The Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM
When work began on the 2017 version of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM in late 2015, the engineers faced three major challenges: a new set of rules, new aerodynamic regulations and new tyres from official series partner Hankook. One season later, they once again had to cope with revised aerodynamic regulations and changes for the 2018 season.
For example, DTM cars will have only one smallish aero-flick on each side at the front of the vehicle from this season onwards. In addition, adjustments have had to be made to the front apron, the side channel and the side panel under the doors, which has been removed. Also, the third element on the front axle has been eliminated, so that only linear coil springs are used. Reducing the aerodynamic attachments has also reduced the downforce of the car by about one third compared to last year.
“I think it’s great,” says Gary Paffett. “The homologation of these components puts all the teams on a more level playing field, and that’s exactly what we all want. There has been a lot of talk about the lower downforce, but quite honestly it still feels like a DTM car.”
The 2005 DTM champion sees many advantages in driving with less downforce, as the softer tyres compensate for it with mechanical grip. “I think we’ve got a pretty good balance this year, and the cars will be a bit harder to drive in both the dry and the wet,” adds Gary. “Hopefully, this will put the focus more on driver skills rather than pure vehicle performance.”