There was a moment of shock-horror in the DTM shortly after the start of the sixth race of the season at the Hungaroring. The second round at Budapest was stopped after a quarter of an hour’s racing following several incidents in the pit lane.
The stoppage was the result of a number of unrelated accidents in the rain-hit pit lane, involving cars driven by Lucas Auer and Edoardo Mortara. Three people were injured and taken to hospital for treatment. According to information received initially at the time, a marshal suffered severe leg injuries and two more people were injured but not too seriously. There followed a long break in proceedings, after which the race was restarted at 2:20 pm for 28 minutes plus one lap.
Lucas Auer had started the race in dry conditions from pole position. However, rain began to fall shortly after the start, becoming heavier during the initial laps, and more and more drivers came into the pits to change from slicks to wet-weather tyres as a result of the conditions. A number of drivers were unable to keep their cars under control on the wet track in the pit lane while running slicks and could not slow down to make the pit stop.
The final race result was seriously affected by the tempestuous initial stages of the race with early pit stops, the onset of rain, and the temporary stoppage after the accidents in the pits and subsequent re-start. The six Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM drivers had all been in the Top Six at the start of the race.
Three of them ultimately finished in the Top Ten: Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS), Lucas Auer (Mercedes Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport SILBERPFEIL) and Edoardo Mortara (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) came home in fifth, ninth and tenth place respectively. Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) and Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS) had led the race for a time after the re-start but booked P14 and 16 after their mandatory pit stops. Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS) finished the race in 18th place.
Gary is in second place in the drivers’ standings after the first six races of the season, eleven points down on BMW driver Timo Glock (90 points). Mercedes-AMG (297 points) still have a 57-point lead on BMW (240 points) in the constructors’ championship.
Looking ahead to the next race weekend: The fourth race weekend of the 2018 DTM season will be held at Nuremberg’s legendary Norisring from 22nd to 24th June.