Although he will start the penultimate round of the DTM at Barcelona as the leading Mercedes driver, Mika Hakkinen has vowed to help his team-mates keep their fading title dreams alive in the race.

An exciting qualifying session that started off wet and dried throughout, the conditions gradually played into the hands of Mercedes and particularly Hakkinen, who had struggled in the early stages with his car.

Indeed, the Finn very nearly didn't make it into the top eight shootout, but once there he managed to haul his C-Class up to second on the grid.

Nonetheless, Hakkinen is out of the championship reckoning and will therefore be on call to take as many points off the Audis of Martin Tomczyk and Mattias Ekstrom, as well as aid the plight of Bruno Spengler.

"Five of my team mates are among the top eight and the front row for me is a great achievement considering the circumstances. It shows again the potential of the C-Class. We all will work hard tomorrow to keep the championship open until Hockenheim."