DTM: Mortara wins season opener at Hockenheim
The 2016 DTM season has started at Hockenheim with a victory of Audi’s Italian driver Edoardo Mortara who scored 4th win in his DTM career.
Audi dominant in the qualifying session
Audi was absolutely dominant during qualifying. Nico Muller for the first time in his DTM career won the pole position, ahead of Edoardo Mortara. Robert Wickens in Mercedes sneaked to the third position and was followed by another two Audis of Jamie Green and Mike Rockenfeller. BMW was horrible in the qualifying as their best driver was Marco Wittmann who has started 10th place.
Mortara takes the lead
But, Mortara was the one who started better and immediately took the lead. Green, who three races at Hockenheim last year, moved up to third for a while before making a mistake after which he dropped out of top 10. In a meantime, Paul Di Resta did a good job and moved up to 4th. On the back of the grid was a couple of accidents after which Timo Scheider and Adrien Tambay had to retire. Soon after, Timo Glock and Daniel Juncadella also were out after being trapped in the gravel after contact.
Too many incidents
Cars continued to drop one after another. Problems also had former champion Rockenfeller who retired after a suspension failure, just a moments after rookie Esteban Ocon while Maximilian Gotz was the seventh pilot eliminated from the race after losing control of his Mercedes and all of that after only 15 minutes of racing.
At the middle of the race, under the safety car, Mortara was in the lead, ahead of Wickens and Muller, while Di Resta and Vietoris were just behind them. The second half of the race was much calmer, with fewer duels. Mattias Ekstrom and Gary Paffett had an interesting battle and few smaller accidents after which both cars were slightly damaged.
Wickens separates Audis
Without too much effort, Mortara won the race, 1.6s ahead of Wickens while Muller finished third, 4.4s behind a winner. Mercedes pair Paul Di Resta and Christian Vietoris finished on 4th and 5th place, and they are followed by three BMWs of Bruno Spengler, Antonio Felix da Costa, and Maxime Martin. Audi drivers Mattias Ekstrom and Miguel Molina also scored points.