Gary Paffett secured victory in the opening round of the DTM as Mercedes kicked off the season in style with a 1-2-3-4 finish at Hockenheim.
Paffett started the race from pole position but lost out early on to the Audi of Martin Tomczyk, but regained the lead when Tomczyk suffered a spin on the eleventh lap due to a puncture.
The closest challenger to Paffett looked like being Mattias Ekstrom before the Swede was forced to complete an additional pitstop when it was found that he had completed his first mandatory pitstop a lap before the window opened.
“Winning the first race is a great way to start the season,” Paffett said “Last year, the season started just the other way round for me. Today, our goal was to score as many points as possible. The team has done a tremendous job and I like the car - it is just running well. I could see the rest of the season going like this.”
Ekstrom's error left Bruno Spengler to take second behind Paffett after a fight with the 2008 machine of Jamie Green, with Green completing the podium in third place.
Force India F1 test driver Paul di Resta took fourth ahead of the top Audi driver, with Mike Rockenfeller in fifth. After his additional pitstop, Ekstrom had to settle for sixth place with Timo Scheider and Miguel Molina completing the points finishers – the latter scoring on his DTM debut.
Former F1 driver David Coulthard took twelfth on his debut in the series, while Oliver Jarvis was the only driver to fail to finish after a collision with Maro Engel early on forced him to retire.