Quick Chat: Robert Wickens
Rob, after a difficult season opener at Hockenheim, you returned to form at the Lausitzring with two podium finishes. Did you feel under pressure going into the second weekend?
Robert Wickens: No, not really. Clearly, Hockenheim was a weekend to forget. But from a team perspective and as regards preparation, we did a lot of things right. It was just a weekend where we couldn't catch a break. It was just one thing after another. But our approach to the Lausitzring was the same, and this time it paid off.
Next stop, Budapest. In which areas do you still have to improve?
Robert Wickens: It’s all about further improving the car. At Hockenheim, it was very fast right from the word go. But because of the pre-season test at Hockenheim, we were also in a different situation. The Lausitzring, by contrast, was new for everyone. The challenge this time was getting to understand the tyres on a different track. But there too, I was happy with my car from the very beginning. Consequently, I feel confident that we will also have a good car in Budapest. Hopefully, we’ll be able to turn in a good qualifying performance, because that’s so important in the DTM. A good qualifying result made life easier for me at the Lausitzring. But it’s equally important to have a good understanding of the tyres. That’s another area in which we need to improve. You can never have too much knowledge of the tyres. Every driver would prefer to be starting from the front of the grid rather than pitting on the first lap. But we do a good job in terms of getting performance and lap time out of the tyres. At the Lausitzring, we were middling in this respect – behind Audi, but ahead of BMW. So we have some catching up to do on Audi. It was also apparent at Audi, though, that not everyone can manage the tyres as skilfully as Eki and Mike. Their stop on Lap 1 in Sunday’s race worked out well for them. When Jamie tried something similar on Saturday, it was less successful.
Starting with Budapest, your car will be sporting a new paint job. The combination of VfB Stuttgart and Rob Wickens seems to have worked out well at the Lausitzring. You made two podium appearances, and VfB were promoted to the Bundesliga. Are you still looking forward to your new Mercedes me livery?
Robert Wickens: It was a lot of fun having the VfB logo on the car. The response of the fans was also amazing. But essentially, everything looks exactly the same from inside the cockpit. For me, all that matters is getting the results right.