DTM preview: Rounds 5 & 6 in Nuremberg.
Highlight of the season.
After the first two race weekends of 2015, the DTM comes to Nuremberg next weekend for what many consider to be the highlight of the season at the Norisring. The DTM has been contested on the street circuit near the Dutzendteich lake since 1984. At a length of only 2,300 metres, the Norisring is the shortest circuit on the calendar. There will be two races staged this weekend in Nuremberg. The first takes place on Saturday and lasts 40 minutes plus one lap. The second race on Sunday is 60 minutes plus one lap. In Sunday’s race, there will be a mandatory pit stop.
Gary Paffett (34, England): “Obviously, it was a pretty difficult start to the year. At Hockenheim, we had a great podium finish, but at the Lausitzring we had a couple of mechanical failures which hindered our performance over the whole weekend. Now I’m looking forward to going to the Norisring. Hopefully we won’t have any problems there. The pace of the car has been good so far. ART have done a good job with setting the car up.
Hopefully we can realise the potential we have in the car and maybe get on the podium.”
Play a good role.
Paul di Resta (29, Scotland): “I hope we can play a good role in both races at the weekend. Last year, the car felt great at the Norisring. Unfortunately, I got spun round before the start, which meant that the race didn’t go optimally. At the Norisring, it’s always important to have good brakes and good traction. I think that DRS will ensure that there is some overtaking. Needless to say, top speed will also play a crucial role.”
Robert Wickens (26, Canada): “The Norisring is a very special race for me. In the last two years, I’ve been the best-placed driver here and also managed to take pole position both times. I hope that I can carry on that sort of form at the weekend. The atmosphere in Nuremberg is always amazing. The fans are so close, and in any case, competing on a street circuit is something that I’ve always found to be a lot of fun.”
Keeping the eye on the ball.
Christian Vietoris (26, Germany): “I’m looking forward to the Norisring. After a relatively difficult start to the season, I managed to score my first points of the year at the Lausitzring. Now it’s important to keep our eye on the ball. In Nuremberg, we intend to maintain the upward momentum from the Lausitzring. We’re getting to know the car better
from race weekend to race weekend. At the Norisring, I’m expecting to take the next step. The track suits my style a lot. I’m always extremely happy competing on the street circuit in Nuremberg where I’ve had considerable success in the past. Two years ago, I finished on the podium. The atmosphere is great, and it’s one of the season’s highlights.”
Aiming für Top-5.
Daniel Juncadella (24, Spain): “The fact that I finished the last two races in the points has given me added motivation, and I’m hoping for a good result at the Norisring. Obviously, you want to do even better every time, so I’m clearly aiming for a place in the Top Five. The track is a lot of fun, and the special atmosphere makes it a real highlight on our calendar.”
Will be stronger.
Lucas Auer (20, Austria): “I gained a lot of experience and once again learned quite a few things at the Lausitzring. Now we have to make sure that we keep working our way up to the front in each successive race. I’m looking forward to the Norisring. The fact that it’s a street circuit makes it a very special and challenging track. I’m very confident that we will be stronger than on the last two race weekends, and I’m going to the Norisring feeling upbeat.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve done a lot of work with the team and trained hard, so I’m feeling very well prepared.”
Maximilian Götz (29s, Germany): “The Norisring is a sort of home race for me. I’m obviously pleased whenever my family and friends are at the track and cheering me on. But as soon as the lights go out, it is just a race like any other for me. I drove my first race at the Norisring in 2002. I’ve had four podium finishes there in Formula BMW. My last race in Nuremberg was in the 2008 season, which is quite some time ago. But I’ve prepared myself well in the simulator, and I’m eager to get back in the car. It would be great if I could score my first DTM points in my home race this weekend.”
Lots of bumps.
Pascal Wehrlein (20, Germany): “I'm really looking forward to the Norisring as I've been very quick there in the past. I like the circuit and Mercedes has been very successful there. I hope we can be competitive this weekend. If you look at the circuit map you might think that it is a very easy track as the Norisring features very few corners. But honestly the circuit is very difficult to drive.
There are a lot of bumps that you have to get right under braking from high speeds. You also need to get the corner exit right to achieve a high top speed on the straights. That's especially important in the race. You are nearly touching the walls on each lap. One single mistake and the race could be over. It's crucial to stay focused and not make any mistakes.”
Closing the gap.
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “The season has got off to a mixed start for us. After a promising weekend at the Hockenheimring, our result at the Lausitzring was obviously a sobering experience. Nevertheless, we have been the second-best of the manufacturers in the four races so far. This shows that we have taken a step forward compared to last year. We can build on that. What we have to do now is continue our hard work to further close the gap and to regularly finish on the podium. Next up is the Norisring, a track that Mercedes has done very well on in the past. Since 2003, the best-placed contestant here has always been a Mercedes driver. Since the start of the new DTM era, we have won 13 out of 15 races at the Norisring. These are all indicators that give us every reason to feel optimistic about next weekend. In the meantime, the tyre issue appears to have been resolved. We’re working on the assumption that we’ll be using the old specification at the Norisring, as we were promised by Hankook.”