QUICK CHAT: Uli Fritz
Uli, the waiting is nearly over, and the new season of the DTM starts this weekend. What is the prevailing mood in the team?
Ulrich Fritz: Very good. The anticipation everyone is feeling is obviously great. You spend all winter working on the new cars and getting your fitness level up for the first race, so you now want to see how good your preparations have been or whether the opposition is perhaps just that bit better. Sure, the tests give you some idea, but as the saying goes in English, “when the flag drops, the bullshit stops”. In other words, it’s only when it really counts that everyone reveals their hand. My hope is that all three manufacturers will be closely matched and that we at last have a season in which the focus is on the sport.
How would you sum up the preparations?
Ulrich Fritz: I think they have gone well despite some obstacles along the way. Those started with the chaotic weather conditions during the tests in Italy. We really hadn’t been expecting snow. However, the weather did actually help us when we lost our test car on the second day. Because of the conditions, the others were unable to get much more done than we did. In the run-up to Hockenheim, we received the bad news from Dani that he had broken his collarbone. Although no one believed it possible at the time, he then went on to complete the full test programme, and he’s been passed fit for the start of the season. That borders on a miracle for me. Otherwise, everything went relatively as normal and the guys in the workshop did a great job.
The idea has been floated in the media that HWA might compete in the DTM next year as a private team. What’s your opinion?
Ulrich Fritz: Yes, that is the case. Would we be capable of doing that in terms of the engineering and the staff? Yes, sure. Would it be productive to compete as a private team against factory teams entered by manufacturers? Probably not. Apart from that, I hardly think that a project of this nature can be serious and viable if it relies on private finance.