ART Grand Prix's Gary Paffett has blamed a 'lack of grip' for his tumble down the order during the season ending DTM race at the Hockenheimring.

The Mercedes driver had a chance of breaking his two season victory duck after clinching his first DTM pole position in over three years.

Paffett's prospects received a further boost when the 2005 DTM champion ended the opening lap with a comfortable 1.1 second margin over his fellow countryman Jamie Green.

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But Paffett's lead soon started to dwindle away after the 34-year old began to struggle with a lack of grip thanks to the cold track conditions that greeted the field.

The Mercedes C63 driver was soon passed by Green but a slow pit-stop denied Paffett any hope of forging a recovery back up the order.

"I got off to a really good start from pole position and managed to pull out a bit of a lead on the first lap. But after that, I was simply struggling for grip," said Paffett.

"The car was sliding about a lot, which meant I wasn't able to match the other guys for pace. I think that we had problems getting the tyres up to temperature with it being so cool today."

Nevertheless, Paffett says his opening campaign with DTM newcomers ART Grand Prix leaves him optimistic over his chances for next season.

Despite still failing to pick up a win in 2015, Paffett's season was still a vast improvement from his previous campaign having finished 13 places higher in ninth.

"This season has had its ups and downs, but unfortunately there have been too many downs. We certainly had the potential, though," the 34-year old continued.

"We now need to try and come back next year so we get the maximum out of the situation more often."