DTM-Preview: Fifth race of the season in Moscow.
The 2014 DTM season reaches the halfway stage at the Moscow Raceway on the weekend of 12th/13th July. This will be the home race for Mercedes-Benz DTM driver Vitaly Petrov who has become the first Russian to contest this internationally popular touring car series. The Moscow Raceway became a fixture on the race calendar in 2013. The circuit is located approximately 80 kilometres to the north-west of the Russian capital. It was designed by famous racetrack architect Hermann Tilke and opened in 2012. Last year, 45,000 race fans came through the gates to watch the DTM makes its debut in Russia.
The configuration has been changed from last year, making a lap distance of 3.931 kilometres. This fifth race of the season will be run over 48 laps, amounting to a total 188.688 kilometres.
Robert Wickens posted his second DTM career win at the standout event of the season in Nuremberg: “I certainly wasn’t expecting to be coming to Moscow on the back of a race win. But that’s motorsport for you – it’s just full of surprises. Despite that victory at the Norisring, we have to be realistic. As a racer, I’m obviously looking to win all the time, but under normal conditions and with this being a permanent track, we are still looking for improvements. I really like the Moscow Raceway. The DTM debut last year was a fabulous occasion, and I am looking forward to driving there again.”
The Moscow Raceway is a great track.
Christian Vietoris competing at the Moscow Raceway for the second time: “The Moscow Raceway is a great track. I’m curious to see what difference the longer configuration will make this time round. This past weekend in Nuremberg was one of mixed emotions for me. Second place would have been a great reward for our team after we had worked so hard to improve our car.
But unfortunately it wasn’t to be. We’re expecting Moscow to be a completely different challenge to the Norisring. That’s why it’s all the more important to work hard and apply clever strategy to exploit all of our options to the full.”
Paul di Resta competing at the Moscow Raceway for the first time: “The race in Moscow will be a completely new experience for me, because unlike most of the other drivers, I’m unfamiliar with the track. However, the layout has been changed from last year, so even those drivers who competed in the 2013 debut race will have to adapt accordingly. Essentially, I quite like driving on new tracks and I learn them pretty quickly. On paper and based on what I’ve seen from onboard footage, it definitely looks very interesting. Consequently, I’m really looking forward to my first race weekend in Moscow.”
Pascal Wehrlein started last year’s race in Moscow from a Top 8 grid position: “I thoroughly enjoyed the debut race in Moscow last year. I familiarised myself with the track very quickly and qualified among the Top 8. Even so, I’m very pleased that we’ll be using the longer configuration of the Moscow Raceway this year.
The shorter version is also very nice, but I think that the longer layout is more varied and will be a lot more fun for us drivers. I just can’t wait to compete on the four-kilometre configuration for the very first time this coming weekend.”
We’re doing everything we can.
Gary Paffett finished fifth in last year’s Russian debut fixture: “I like the Moscow Raceway – I drove a good race there last year. This season, we’ll be competing on a longer version of the circuit which has several more corners. That will make the race better for us drivers, I’m quite sure. It’s a long way to Moscow, but racing there is important for the DTM. We were in excellent form for the previous race at Nuremberg. For various reasons, we were unable to capitalise on this as much as we would have liked.
In Moscow, it’s going to be tough for us again, but c to improve our performance on this type of track in the future.”
Daniel Juncadella qualified in the Top Ten for the Moscow debut race: “This is the second time in Russia for me, and I’m looking forward to driving on the new track layout. I really liked the shorter version. In the first qualifying session ever held there, I came ninth. Unfortunately, I got hit by another car early in the race.
After that, I had no chance of a decent result. This year, we have a difficult task ahead of us in Moscow. Over the coming weekend, we will once again have to work hard and get everything we can out of the car, the driver and the team.”
Fans and friends.
Vitaly Petrov is the first Russian driver to have competed in Formula 1 and the DTM: “Obviously, I’m looking forward to my home race in Moscow, especially as I’ve rarely had the opportunity to compete in the country of my birth. I’m expecting many of my fans and friends to be there at the Moscow Raceway, so it should be a really good weekend. Last year, I completed a few laps in the capacity of a DTM ‘race taxi driver’. This year, we’re racing on a longer version of the circuit. That should make it even more fun. Motorsport is becoming more and more popular in Russia; last year, the DTM made its debut in Moscow, and this year, Sochi will be hosting Formula 1 for the first time. I hope that I can play my part in the DTM to raise awareness of our sport in my country.”
The successful weekend at the Norisring was a real tonic for our team.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “The DTM debut at the Moscow Raceway last year was a huge success. This track presents a major challenge to drivers and engineers alike, and fans are assured of exciting racing. Consequently, we are really looking forward to contesting our second ever race in Russia. With last year’s event having been such a big hit and with the recruitment of Vitaly for the 2014 campaign, interest in motor racing has increased dramatically in his home country. Russia is a very important market, both for the DTM and for the Mercedes-Benz brand. In fact, it’s among the Top Ten for sales of Mercedes-Benz cars. The successful weekend at the Norisring was a real tonic for our team.
Robert’s race win was a just reward for the tireless effort that everyone in the team has put in since the start of the season. Even so, the task that awaits us in Moscow will not be an easy one. We know that we still have to raise our performance on this type of track, and we will continue to work hard on making improvements.”