2018 Driver Line-up Taking Shape
It’s been thirty years since Mercedes-AMG Motorsport began writing the first chapter in their long and extremely successful involvement in the DTM with their decision to enter as a works team in the series. Once again this year, the brand with the three-pointed star has four familiar faces in the line-up who will contest the final DTM season. The team will announce which two drivers will complete the six-man squad for the 2018 DTM season in the very near future.
Team captain Gary Paffett, for whom there are two reasons why 2018 will be a very special season, has the first word. “This will be my 15th DTM season with Mercedes-AMG, but unfortunately, the last for Mercedes in this series,” says Gary, who has been in the line-up for half of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport’s 30 years in the DTM. “Preparations are well underway for 2018. We worked hard with the engineers during the winter and the team put in the same amount of effort as ever. They are really focused and we aim to round off the season with a successful result.”
Paul Di Resta was equally positive about the winter. “Fresh challenges, fresh opportunities. I’m really excited about the new season,” says Paul, who will be starting his ninth DTM season with the team in 2018. “It’s a little bit sad to think that this will be the end of an era for Mercedes in the DTM, but everyone in the team is showing that little bit of extra commitment, keen to end this final chapter on a positive note. I’ve been a part of things for four years now and really love the brand, so I hope that my fellow team members and I can deliver the best possible results this year.”
Lucas Auer will be returning to the cockpit alongside the 2005 and 2010 DTM champions. “This final season in the DTM will be something really special for Mercedes,” says Lucas. “We’re all as keen as mustard and intend to round things off in a fitting manner. 2017 was a good year for me, and I’m really looking forward to 2018. It will be interesting to see how I progress. Everyone who knows me is well aware that I like to drive anything on four wheels during the off-season, but I’m now ready for the first tests and the new season.”
Edoardo Mortara will be contesting his second season with the team in 2018. “There was a lot to learn in our first year together in the DTM,” he told us. “We missed out on a couple of points, but ultimately, we found that we were on the right track during the last few race weekends. I didn’t have a terrific season, so I’m really looking forward to this year when I intend to do much better. Also, there are new rules in place, and we’ll all be starting again from scratch. I hope that we can have a successful season.”
Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Ulrich Fritz said in conclusion: “2018 will be our final year in the DTM, but that doesn’t change anything as far as our readiness to take up the fight, our enormous team spirit and commitment are concerned. Every single member of our team, the drivers, the mechanics, the engineers and our hospitality crew are all highly motivated. We intend to work together in pursuit of a common goal in order to bring a positive conclusion to the final chapter of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport’s involvement in the DTM which goes back 30 years.”