Nico and Michael to drive Silver Arrows cars at DTM season opener at Hockenheim
Nico will be a special guest at the DTM season opener at Hockenheim on Saturday 28 April. To thank his German fans for their incredible support, he will be performing demo laps in the race-winning Silver Arrow driven by Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1955 season. Team-mate Michael will entertain the crowd on Sunday 29 April with demo laps in the 2011 Formula One Silver Arrow.
Nico’s first Formula One win in the Chinese Grand Prix earlier this month was also the first for a works Silver Arrow since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix. The victory in Shanghai came precisely 20,671 days after five-time Formula One champion Juan Manuel Fangio won the world championship at Monza in his Mercedes-Benz W 196.
"I have great memories of the DTM” says Nico ahead of the event. “The earliest date back to when my father was still racing. Then I started competing in the various junior classes that are staged as part of the DTM race weekend as I started out on my own motorsport career. A lot has happened in the meantime, and the highlight so far was obviously my win in China one week ago.
I am absolutely delighted to be returning to Hockenheim as a Grand Prix winner. Last year, I was able to drive a classic Silver Arrow on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife, so now I'm really looking forward to climbing into the cockpit of Juan Manuel Fangio's phenomenal W196 streamliner from Monza in 1955 and driving a few laps at Hockenheim. It means a lot to me that we have written a new chapter in the wonderful history of Mercedes in motorsport - and that there is plenty more still to come.”
Michael is also keen to be present for the opening race of the world's most popular touring car series and will be in Hockenheim on Sunday. Like Nico, Michael will be bringing a Silver Arrow to the event, namely the 2011 MGP W02 in which he will complete a sequence of demonstration laps.
"After a busy start to the Formula One season with four flyaway races in succession, it will be nice to come back to Germany for the DTM season opener at Hockenheim on Sunday. I'm especially looking forward to the chance to give the fans a taste of a Formula One Silver Arrow in action. This will be my first visit to a DTM race in 20 years, and I hope that my brother and his fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers will get their season off to a great start."
"DTM begins a new era this weekend in Hockenheim, with a brand-new and exciting generation of cars” says Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice President Norbert Haug. “To mark the occasion, we wanted to give the spectators at the circuit something extra, and both our F1 drivers were immediately right behind the idea.
It's a throwback to the start of the DTM, which now features three premium manufacturers, and a way of saying thank you to the loyal DTM fans and to our Mercedes colleagues, thousands of whom will be in the Motodrom this weekend, accounting for a high proportion of the 55,000 pre-sold tickets.
We are delighted to be able to offer the fans these additional attractions and Nico and Michael are excited to be attending on one of their few free weekends, for which I sincerely thank both of them."