Quick Chat: Robert Wickens
Last weekend, you drove in an IndyCar free practice session for the first time in your career. How did that come about?
Robert Wickens: I planned on having a relaxing weekend at home, but on Thursday afternoon I got a call from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports which is the team that we did the ride swap with involving James Hinchcliffe back in April. And they asked if I could go to Road America and fill in for Mikhail Aleshin who had immigration issues. Fortunately, Toto was happy for me to do it and I was able to jump on a plane and get to Wisconsin. We didn't get to the hotel until about 10pm on Thursday, and Free Practice 1 was on Friday morning very early. It took some getting used to. The practice itself was fun. The track was really good. It would be amazing to have a DTM race there one day. I definitely wanted to do the full weekend, but the full-time driver got his immigration stuff sorted and he made it to the race track by Friday night. My duties were finished, but it was still a really fun Friday.
Having now sampled IndyCar racing, is that something you’d like to move into?
Robert Wickens: Not really, to be honest. I just want to race cars. That's the main thing. I have no urge to leave the DTM at the moment. Everything is going well, and I'm really happy with Mercedes.
At the Norisring, you’ll be sporting a new livery. Do you think it’s OK to be driving a car that keeps changing its appearance? And what are your expectations for this weekend?
Robert Wickens: I think I said it already with the VfB Stuttgart livery, when I'm inside the car I don't see the difference. But I think it’s cool as long as the fans like it. Fifty years of AMG is obviously a big deal, and I'm happy to represent that on my car this weekend. I don't really have a lot of expectations. The DTM is so competitive. I was very fortunate to have had very good results at Norisring in the years past, but that doesn't mean that we're going to have the same thing again. We have to work very hard. It's been a good track for Mercedes in the last couple of years but we don't know whether we still have an advantage or not. The team around me has done a great job all year, although our results have been a little bit up and down. It would be great to score some big points this weekend.