DTM 2018: Spielberg – Preview

The championship contest is hotting up as the penultimate race weekend of the 2018 DTM season at Spielberg approaches.

Fast Facts

  • Debut in Spielberg: 9 September 2001 (Result: Bernd Schneider claims pole position, race win and fastest lap)

  • First race on the revamped track at Spielberg: 5 June 2011 (Result: 2nd place for Ralf Schumacher, six Mercedes drivers in the Top Ten)

  • The DTM was first hosted by the picturesque circuit in the Austrian Alps over a three-year period (2001, 2002 and 2003). All three races were won by a Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM driver – the team monopolised the first four places in 2002 and achieved a podium lockout in 2003. Since returning to Spielberg in 2011, the team’s drivers have made five podium appearances between them.

  • At Spielberg, five-time world rally champion Sébastien Ogier will make his race debut as a guest starter behind the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

  • Going into the penultimate race weekend of the 2018 DTM season, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport leads the drivers’, manufacturers’ and team standings

Comments on the DTM races at Spielberg

Gary Paffett (37, England):

  • Car number: 2
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“I went to the Nürburgring second in the championship and came away first with a very strong showing and two second places in qualifying. I started from the front row in both races, finished third on Saturday and should have been second on Sunday. So in general, our performance was very good at the Nürburgring. We are back on the pace, scoring points again and back in the lead of the championship. So I am really looking forward to Spielberg. I think our car is going to work well there, but as always, it will be a challenge. The Nürburgring also threw up a few issues for us that we will have to master at Spielberg. Consequently, we still have some hard work ahead of us.”

Paul Di Resta (32, Scotland):

  • Car number: 3
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“We have another race coming up really soon. After the disappointment on Saturday at the Nürburgring, I was able to salvage a good result on Sunday. It looks like the championship is wide open going into Spielberg, and we now need to keep our heads down and just keep enjoying what we are doing. The team is motivated, the car is fast, and we’ll approach the weekend like any other. We will try to recover as best as we can and fight for podiums.”

Edoardo Mortara (31, Italy):

  • Car number: 48
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“Spielberg is probably the track where I’ve had the most success in the DTM. I have won there twice already, and it was where I secured my first pole position and my first victory in the series. I like the track and the surroundings. However, I’ve just had a difficult weekend at the Nürburgring, so I’m not completely sure what to expect at Spielberg. But I hope that we will be competitive and manage to adapt to the new rules a bit better.”

Lucas Auer (24, Austria):

  • Car number: 22
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“Spielberg is my home race, so I’m really looking forward to it. As usual there will be a lot of my friends and acquaintances there. The whole setup is just mega, and I feel really good. I think we will definitely be more competitive this year than last time around.“

Pascal Wehrlein (23, Germany):

  • Car number: 94
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“The two races at the Nürburgring did not quite go as I had hoped, but I at least managed to score points in both of them. I would now like to build on that and, if the weekend is going well, do considerably better. It was at Spielberg that I scored my first Formula 1 world championship point in the 2016 season. I have already stood on the podium there in Formula 3 and in the DTM. Our team has not been particularly successful on this track in recent years, but I hope we can change that on this visit, just as we did in Budapest.”

Daniel Juncadella (26, Spain):

  • Car number: 23
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“With Spielberg, we’ve already reached the penultimate race weekend of the year. Sadly, the season is coming to an end. The track is very interesting, as it offers several places for overtaking, and I’m sure that we are in for two exciting races. It’s always fun to drive there. After a difficult weekend at the Nürburgring, I’m confident that things will go better for me there. So far in 2018, we have seen that we are much more competitive this year, even on tracks where we haven’t been all that strong in the past. So for that reason, I’m optimistic that we can do it again at Spielberg.”

Sébastien Ogier (34, France):

  • Car number: 17
  • Guest start
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“I’m really looking forward to this new exciting adventure! It will be a completely different weekend from what I’m used to in the WRC, with a lot to learn. I enjoyed my two-day test at Vallelunga last month; it felt like a school day where I had so much to learn, and my feeling in the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM was pretty good. However, I know that driving alone is nothing to be compared with joining the 18 DTM regular drivers on track, and the level of this high-quality championship means that I’ll have to be realistic with my expectations. It’s all very new to me, so I can’t aim for any performance. I’m thankful for the opportunity that Mercedes gives me and I’ll make sure to enjoy it as much as possible!”

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM:

“Unfortunately, the race weekend at the Nürburgring did not go quite as we would have wished. But afterwards, we immediately set about analysing what had happened and identified a few things that we definitely want to do better in Spielberg. In the last two years, unfortunately, we haven’t managed a single podium finish in Austria. So obviously, the motivation is even greater to avoid a similar fate in our last year. In terms of the title fight, we are now entering the decisive phase. First and foremost, we have to ensure that we create optimum and – above all else – equal conditions for our drivers. Each of our guys is able to win races, as they have been demonstrating throughout the season.”

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