Budapest: Preview

Budapest plays host to the eighth race weekend of the 2016 DTM season this coming weekend. The Mercedes-AMG DTM Team can look forward to a new stretch of tarmac, a ‘heavyweight’ challenge and the penultimate round of the title fight.

  • Following strong performances in Moscow and at the Nürburgring, DTM rookie Felix Rosenqvist will also be contesting the last two race weekends of the season in his FREE MEN’S WORLD Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM.

  • The Hungaroring has been completely resurfaced for the 2016 season. This throws up new challenges in getting the right balance between car setup and tyre management.

  • The Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM will go into the first qualifying session in Budapest as the heaviest car in the field. Tipping the scales at 1,135 kilos, it weighs 17.5kg more than the BMW and 25kg more than the Audi.

  • Robert Wickens: “With regard to the championship, Budapest is an all-or-nothing weekend for us.”

  • Ulrich Fritz: “The team has done a really fantastic job throughout the year. We have a strong car and great drivers. Consequently, we’re of the opinion that we are still contenders for the championship.”

Comments ahead of the DTM races in Budapest

Robert Wickens (27, Canada):

  • Car number: 6
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA)
  • Car: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“With regard to the championship, Budapest is an all-or-nothing weekend for us. I’m 50 points behind the leader but am feeling upbeat ahead of the race weekend. The Hungaroring has been resurfaced for this season, so that’s going to be a new challenge for everyone. So far this year, we’ve been highly competitive on tracks with a very smooth surface, for example recently in Moscow. At Spielberg, where there was also new tarmac, we made some mistakes, but ultimately we were quick and we even set the fastest lap. So there are some encouraging signs that we can take to Budapest. Anyway, I’m all fired up for the weekend, and I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got to score as many points as possible.”

Paul Di Resta (30, Scotland):

  • Car number: 3
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA)
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Unfortunately the races at the Nürburgring didn’t go as planned but that’s part and parcel of motor racing. We’ll certainly do our best to turn the tide in Hungary. Budapest is a really cool city and I love to travel to the Hungaroring since my Formula 1 days. The track is very challenging and the new tarmac represents an unknown factor. It will be important to find a good setup in free practice to be competitive in qualifying.”

Gary Paffett (35, England):

  • Car number: 2
  • Team: EURONICS / FREE MEN'S WORLD Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team ART)
  • Car: EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“The Nürburgring was a mixed weekend for me. But at least on Sunday the pace was decent. In Budapest, it’s going to be tough again for us. All the same, I’m looking forward to the race weekend because I really like the track. That’s why I’m all the more eager to return. My aim is to have two good races and score as many points as possible.”

Lucas Auer (22, Austria):

  • Car number: 22
  • Team: BWT Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team Mücke)
  • Car: BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“I’ve competed in Budapest once before. That was a Formula 3 race weekend in 2014. The track is great for the spectators, and Budapest is a really cool city. The Hungaroring itself is very demanding. As at the Nürburgring, qualifying will once again be crucial. The new surface is an unknown for all of us, but at least it’s the same for everyone. We will work hard to ensure that we continue to be competitive on this penultimate race weekend of the season. I am convinced that we can be successful there. I’m aiming to carry over the positive momentum of the Nürburgring weekend to Budapest.”

Christian Vietoris (27, Germany):

  • Car number: 8
  • Team: BWT Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team Mücke)
  • Car: BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“After a mediocre weekend at the Nürburgring, I’m looking forward to getting back in the car as soon as possible. Budapest – it’s a cool city and a cool track. For us, carrying so much additional weight in the car won’t be easy, but we will obviously try to make the best of it. Maybe we can spring a surprise, as we have done before on other tracks this year.”

Maximilian Götz (30, Germany):

  • Car number: 84
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA)
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“Budapest is completely new territory for me. I’ve never driven on the Hungaroring, so I’m very excited about gaining my first experience there. The new tarmac evens out the situation for all of us drivers. It’s certainly going to be exciting. I only know the track from the simulator, but it comes across as very challenging and discriminating by virtue of its many turns. That makes it all the more important to get the setup just right. There are two or three relatively fast corners, but apart from that, it’s somewhat reminiscent of Oschersleben or Moscow. It’s important for me to spend some time acclimatising myself to the circuit in free practice and to find the right balance. After that, qualifying is the name of the game this weekend. If we do well in qualifying, we have a good chance. The battle for the championship is by no means lost.”

Daniel Juncadella (25, Spain):

  • Car number: 12
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA)
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“Budapest is a real highlight for me. In 2008 and 2009, I had some success there in the Formula BMW series. That’s when I won my first race in a single-seater car. We’ve competed at the Hungaroring in the DTM before – that was two years ago. On that occasion too, I had a good feeling on the track, although we were not quite so competitive. The last few races have gone well for me. That’s why I am happy at the thought of getting back in the car again, and I’m hopeful of continuing in the same vein this weekend.”

Felix Rosenqvist (24, Sweden):

  • Car number: 88
  • Team: EURONICS / FREE MEN'S WORLD Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team ART)
  • Car: FREE MEN'S WORLD Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“It’s very nice to know that the team is satisfied with what I’ve done so far. I always put myself under immense pressure to deliver the best possible performance. On my first two DTM race weekends, it worked out very well. I’d like to build on that in the remaining races this season and improve even further. Since making my debut in Moscow, my form has been on an upwards trajectory with every outing. After the Nürburgring, I now feel like a fully-fledged DTM driver, and I’m ready for the job ahead.”

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM:

“In terms of our championship aspirations, the Nürburgring weekend was certainly a setback. But there are still 100 points up for grabs, and in the DTM anything can happen. The team has done a really fantastic job throughout the year. We have a strong car and great drivers. Consequently, we’re of the opinion that we are still contenders for the championship. Obviously, it’s not going to be easy for us in Budapest, and I mean that quite literally, but we just have to deal with it. After his strong showing over the last two race weekends, we have decided to continue with Felix for the rest of the season in his role as substitute driver. I think it’s very rare for a rookie to come into the DTM and immediately be on song, especially if he doesn’t get behind the steering wheel until the midway point of the season. But that’s precisely what Felix has managed to do. For this level of performance, he deserves the greatest credit. I hope that he will continue to bring us pleasure in the remaining four races.”

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