Quick Chat: Robert Wickens

Rob, when you look back on the last six years, what is your best memory of the DTM?
Robert Wickens: I honestly think that the best memory in the last three years was really finding my groove in DTM and becoming more of a title contender. It’s been a real pleasure. In the first year, I had to learn the ropes of the DTM, and then joining HWA was a big honour. Also getting my first ever DTM win at the Nürburgring in 2013 was an amazing feeling, because I know how much of a struggle it can be for formula car drivers or ex-Formula 1 drivers when they come into the DTM. So the fact that I got a win so quickly was a big relief for me. I had some amazing drives and team results, so it’s hard to pick just one, but I would definitely say it’s the last three years taken together that I will remember the most.

How important for you were the people in the DTM and the team, especially your friendship with Gary?
Robert Wickens: It’s been an amazing six years of my life. I can’t thank Mercedes enough for the last six years, and I wish them the best of luck for the future. I’ve made some lifetime friendships. I had a lot of ups and downs on the way, but I have never had so much support from a team before. It’s been an honour to represent their brand, and maybe it’s not the last time. Gary and I pretty quickly went from being team-mates to actually being friends, and I think that showed both on and off the track. He is such a great guy, so down to earth. While I was a rookie coming into the championship, he was this legend, Gary Paffett. In my rookie year, he was the main title contender and only just missed out. In the following year, we really got to know each other after I had joined HWA. I will cherish our memories forever. There have been so many moments in our driver room that I will keep for a lifetime. I’m sure we’re going to stay in contact, because we’re past the point of a purely working relationship. Every time we speak, it’s more as friends. We can talk for hours about anything. It’s going to be sad and tough to swallow, especially as the last race in Hockenheim was a difficult one for me. I was holding back the tears on many occasions. I honestly wish we’d had a documentary crew to film my entire six years with the team.

What will you most miss about being in Germany?
Robert Wickens: Schnitzel and Oktoberfest! `{`laughs`}` No, seriously, the German fans are so passionate about motorsports. I was able to live in Germany for four years, and I have some great memories and met some great people, but the thing I’m going to miss the most is all my German colleagues. Everyone has been so helpful and supportive throughout my career. The fans are amazing. Every single race has had packed grandstands. When I think back, it just puts a big smile on my face. I’m sad to be leaving, but all the same, I’m really excited about the new challenge.

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