Spielberg: Preview

After the controversial incidents of the past two years, the team is intent on beating the Spielberg jinx and defending its lead in the drivers’, team and manufacturers’ championships.

Comments ahead of the DTM races at Spielberg

Paul Di Resta (30, Scotland):

  • Car number: 3
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA)
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“I flew directly home after the race win and then straight on to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Barcelona. Unfortunately, there was no time for celebration. When you have a weekend as successful as we had at Hockenheim, you just can’t wait to get back in the car. In any case, we’ll be going to Spielberg in buoyant mood and also with certain expectations. There is a belief that we are going to have a successful weekend, especially when you see how hard the guys work. We just have to stay focused, then we can extend the championship lead.”

Robert Wickens (27, Canada):

  • Car number: 6
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy / UBFS Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA)
  • Car: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“After my P2 and P5 results at Hockenheim, I’m looking forward to Spielberg. In the last two years, I always seem to have been the centre of attention. However, not necessarily in a positive way. Two years ago, there was the disqualification, and last year we had the “Push him out” affair with my good friend Timo Scheider. It would be nice to get into the headlines for positive reasons this year, say with two high points-scoring results. Ideally, I would like to see the entire field in my rear mirror, just as long Timo doesn’t pop up there. Then it could be a great weekend.”

Gary Paffett (35, England):

  • Car number: 2
  • Team: EURONICS / FREE MEN’S WORLD Mercedes-AMG

(Mercedes-AMG DTM Team ART)

  • Car: EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“For me, the opening weekend at Hockenheim was one of mixed feelings. My pace was really good all weekend, especially in the second race. So it was all the more disappointing not to have finished on the podium. Now I’m looking forward to the races at Spielberg. The track is similar to Hockenheim. So I’m hoping that we can produce a good performance there. Rain wouldn’t be a bad thing either. Last year, I drove an incredible race against Mattias Ekström in the wet on Sunday. After the season opener at Hockenheim, I hope that I will be making at least one podium appearance this time.”

Christian Vietoris (27, Germany):

  • Car number: 8
  • Team: BWT Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team Mücke)
  • Car: BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“It was important to score some points in the season opener, which is what we managed to do on Saturday with a P5. On the first weekend, it’s mainly about finding your rhythm and boosting your confidence. And that’s what the team and I did. After this successful start, I can now look forward to Spielberg. It’s a track where I have always done well in recent years. My aim is to build on my Saturday result, perhaps even with an eye to a podium.”

Maximilian Götz (30, Germany):

  • Car number: 84
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA)
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“I have fond memories of Spielberg. It was here that I scored my first DTM points in the Sunday race last year. That was a really exciting race. It rained and was completely chaotic. The atmosphere at Spielberg is always very special, with the mountains and everything else. I also have an Austrian fan club. Consequently, Spielberg has become a sort of second home race for me. The guys will once again be in superb form and put on a great show. This is obviously cool. But it also has to be said that I need to raise my game compared to Hockenheim. The races themselves were OK, but there are still problems in qualifying. I just have to stay calm and blank out the pressure. Working with my new engineer is also getting better, but obviously that sort of thing needs time to bed in.”

Lucas Auer (21, Austria):

  • Car number: 22
  • Team: BWT Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team Mücke)
  • Car: BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“I’m looking forward to my home race. At Hockenheim, we set some good lap times, and we intend to build on that at Spielberg. I have great confidence in my team, the car feels great, and if everything fits into place, we have a good chance of finishing in the points. On a general note, it is simply great that the DTM is coming to Austria. This year too, my family and friends will be there to cheer me on.”

Daniel Juncadella (25, Spain):

  • Car number: 12
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy / UBFS Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA)
  • Car: UBFS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“Austria is such a cool country. Some of my friends live near Spielberg. They will be there at the weekend to support me. That aspect is of course always nice. I also like Spielberg as a track very much. I have great memories from various successes in Formula 3. The collaboration with my new team is already going outstandingly well. I feel really at home. Admittedly, things didn’t go all that well at Hockenheim, but the pace is there. I think we’ve got to make the initial breakthrough, then it will get a lot easier.”

Esteban Ocon (19, France):

  • Car number: 34
  • Team: EURONICS / FREE MEN’S WORLD Mercedes-AMG (Mercedes-AMG DTM Team ART)
  • Car: FREE MEN’S WORLD Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“I had a tough first weekend in the DTM. Everything was new to me, so I had a lot to learn. In the course of the weekend, though, we made good progress, and I moved up the grid from the first to the second qualifying. We have to keep working in this same direction at Spielberg. My aim for the second race weekend of the season is to improve my performance so that I’m competing more toward the front of the field.”

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM:

“We are of course travelling to Spielberg in an upbeat mood. Hockenheim has shown two things: firstly, that our car is fast, and secondly that our guys were on the ball there, both on the track and in the garage. Furthermore, I was delighted with our strong performance across the whole team. The relief in our camp was commensurately great on Sunday. Now we have to make sure that we can overcome our Spielberg jinx. Two years ago, we had the black flag for Robert Wickens, and last year the “Push him out” affair. At least we never have a boring time at Spielberg! Our idea of the perfect weekend would be to leave the place on Sunday without any whiff of scandal and with a slate of good results.”

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