DTM-Preview: Rounds 1 & 2 of the season at Hockenheim.
Start with a clear sheet.
Gary Paffett (35, England): “I’m really looking forward to Hockenheim. It’s the first race of the new season and we all start again with a clean sheet. I’m curious to see where we all stand. As always, the DTM will be closely fought, but my ART team and I now have an additional year’s experience under our belt. I believe that we are in for a good season. But for that to come true, we need to have a good opening weekend at Hockenheim.”
Paul Di Resta (30, Scotland): “At last, it’s show time again. I’m going into the new season feeling highly motivated. The team has worked hard over the winter preparing the next generation of our car for its debut. Hopefully we can pick up on track where we left off last year at Hockenheim.
The whole team is totally motivated to repeat the success we had last year.”
Hockenheim - bring it on.
Robert Wickens (27, Canada): “Hockenheim – bring it on! The tests went well and I feel at home in the team with my fellow team members and my engineers. I’m now looking forward to seeing
how we measure up to the competition. I myself am feeling confident about the season ahead. What matters now is to get the campaign off to a good start and to score points in both races.”
Building on success.
Christian Vietoris (27, Germany): “There have been a few changes in my circumstances over the winter. I’ve changed teams and will be driving for Mücke Motorsport in 2016 rather than for HWA. Mücke are an outfit that I already know from my time in Formula 3. And I’ve also been successful with them, which is obviously the objective for this year too: building on the successes of the past. Last season wasn’t all that good for us. We know the reasons for that. But it’s nice to be driving for Peter again. There have also been some changes in the car livery.
We are definitely raring to go, even though in all honesty the preparations didn’t go too well. I myself didn’t manage to get a lot of driving practice in. Nevertheless, the anticipation is great and we will doubtless make up for the lack of practice relatively quickly.”
First DTM podium.
Daniel Juncadella (24, Spain): “For me, this is not only the start of the new DTM season but also a resumption of language lessons. My aim for this year is to improve not only results on the track but also my command of German. By changing teams, I’ve gone from the Berlin dialect to Swabian, but I think I should cope OK. The switch to HWA is in any case an additional motivation for me. This year, I definitely want to make my first DTM podium appearance.”
Lucas Auer (21, Austria): “Next weekend, the season gets underway for me at my new team of Mücke Motorsport. Like Chris Vietoris, I also drove for Mücke in Formula 3. Our preparations have been good. I myself have spent hour after hour on the simulator. We feel absolutely ready for the start of the season. I also have a new team-mate this year in the shape of Chris. He’s an extremely nice guy, and we are going to be pushing each other really hard. Chris has a lot of experience in the DTM, and I am pleased to have him as a team-mate going into the new season.
This time, there will be not one but two pink cars. I like our sponsor BWT a lot, and I’m pleased that we will stand out twice as much on the grid – even though I enjoyed the unique status conferred by my Pink Panther last year.”
Esteban Ocon (19, France): “I feel ready for my first DTM race weekend and am entering my debut season in an optimistic frame of mind. I’ve been training hard over the winter and just can’t wait
for my first DTM race. I’ve set myself high expectations for this first season. If I have the pace for it, I hope to be competing for pole positions and victories. Let’s see how it goes.”
Maximilian Götz (30, Germany): “I’ve already driven three races in the AMG GT3 so far this year on the Nordschleife. So I think I can say with some confidence that I’ve shaken off the cobwebs! The two days of testing at Hockenheim with the new team and the new car worked well. I feel well prepared and I’m glad that the break is over. The season will certainly be exciting and tight. The races at Hockenheim in particular will be tough. Everyone is raring to go, and I’m assuming that there will be some wheel-to-wheel action on the first few laps.
I’ve come up with something special for the fans at Hockenheim: I’ll be making a ‘Magnum-style’ appearance there. I’m quite curious myself to see how I look. It won’t be all that bad, but be prepared for a surprise.”
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “The whole team is obviously pleased that the DTM is starting at last. It’s always special to start the season with a home fixture and to see the many Mercedes fans in the grandstand and in the paddock. Ahead of the first race, there is always a certain amount of uncertainty about where you stand compared to the opposition. The feeling is similar to a poker game when you have to show your hand. The guys have all worked hard to make the new car ready for use in the DTM. Above all, the motivation across the board is remarkable. I hope that Hockenheim will be the curtain-raiser to an exciting and successful season.”