ART Grand Prix's Gary Paffett is confident of backing up his fourth place finish in yesterday's first DTM race as the former champion eyes an even stronger qualifying run at Zandvoort.

The Mercedes driver finished the opening race in the same position as where he started despite challenging his team mate Christian Vietoris for the podium.

Paffett had received the go ahead to pass his team mate with the intention of chasing BMW's Marco Wittmann for second.

But Paffett handed the position back to his C63 colleague once it became clear Wittmann was too far up the road.

"Christian [Vietoris] had tried to get past Wittmann for the whole race and used all his DRS up,"Paffett told Crash.net. "I had loads of DRS left and was catching them in the last five laps. We decided to let me have a go [for second] because I had DRS to get past.

"Unfortunately we lost a bit of time whilst I was getting past Christian so I handed the place back to him because he deserved it."

Ultimately, Paffett admitted that fourth was probably the best he could have hoped for after failing to totally maximise his performance in qualifying but remains hopeful of a better run today.

"It was difficult to expect anything else in the race because it's so difficult to overtake here. Once you get in traffic it's tough. For Sunday, I'm hoping to start further up because with the pit-stop it should be a bit different," Paffett continued.

"My first run in qualifying wasn't good enough and I think that made me a bit cautious for the second run. You can't be cautious around here.

"It was maybe a touch of set-up but I didn't nail the perfect lap. It's all about nailing a perfect lap around here and we didn't quite manage that. I'm more confident for Sunday."