Edoardo Mortara has branded his rise from 16th to a first DTM podium finish in Mercedes as 'unbelievable' at the Norisring.

The 2016 DTM runner-up produced a superb charge up the order during an incident packed second Norisring to record his podium finish in third since leaving Audi at the end of the last season.

Mortara ran a longer first stint than the majority of the field before pitting for fresh rubber on lap 20, 13 laps prior to the stoppage.

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The Italian still looked destined to finish fifth behind BMW's Marco Wittmann and Audi's Mattias Ekstrom, but contact between the latter pair at the final corner gave Mortara an offer too good to refuse.

The Mercedes C63 driver ultimately out-dragged Ekstrom and Wittmann in a photo-finish to snatch third position by just 0.002s.

"When you're in a fight like that with two other guys, it's like a drag race from the last turn to the finish line. It was tough, but ultimately it went my way and I had my nose in front," said Mortara.

"Third place from 16th on the grid is simply unbelievable. This is a fantastic result for the team and for me.

"I could have had a podium already - that was in Race 2 at Hockenheim - but I made a mistake there. Now I'm so pleased to have got my first DTM podium as a member of the Mercedes team. Hopefully, there will be more of these in the future."