DTM title contender Gary Paffett admitted that he was pleased to be on the pace in qualifying at Hockenheim after Mercedes struggled so much at the same track earlier this year.
Audi dominated the season-opener at the German circuit in May, and with the 2009-specification Mercedes running 10 kilograms heavier than the Audis this weekend, there was concern in the Mercedes camp that the battle could be one-sided again this time round. That wasn't the case in qualifying though, where both Paffett and Paul di Resta were quick enough to make it through to the top four pole position shootout.
"With 10 kilos more than the Audis, I think we've done a really good job today," said Paffett, who is seven points behind Timo Scheider going into Sunday's race. "We came here with some bad memories from the first race of the year.
"That was a disaster – so we came here hoping it would be different, but not knowing for certain. And the car has been fantastic."
Paffett needs to finish first or second to have any chance of taking the title, but even if he wins the race Scheider can afford to drop to fifth and still retain his crown.
"We can't influence what happens to Timo, we just have to look at the numbers," said the Mercedes driver. "He's been very quick, which is not a surprise. Tomorrow, I have to finish first or second, and then Timo's result will decide the championship. So far we've done what we have to do, and hopefully in the race we'll do the same again. Then it's up to him."