DTM-Preview: Rounds 9 and 10 of the season at Zandvoort.
Paul Di Resta (30, Scotland): “Looking ahead to the race weekend at Zandvoort, I find myself in a strong position with regard to the championship. I’m therefore really keen to get back in the car and out on the track. In recent years, the circuit at Zandvoort has not been very good for us. But I believe that we now have a better understanding of the reason why and, moreover, that we are better placed to rise to the challenge.”
Robert Wickens (27, Canada): “The Norisring was a nightmare for me, so I’m all the more determined to be up there with the front-runners again at Zandvoort. The team deserves to be back on the podium and to be scoring a lot of points. That’s my target for this weekend. I’m still a title contender.
I’m only 17 points behind the leader, so there is still everything to play for.”
Maximise the performance.
Lucas Auer (21, Austria): “After the Norisring, we had a week of sport with the whole team in Austria. That was really cool. From there I travelled on directly to the F1 race at Spielberg where I was a guest TV commentator. It was really interesting to get a glimpse behind the scenes and see how television covers an event like this. The rest of the time, I was with my team in Berlin preparing for Zandvoort. Last year, we had a difficult weekend there. But I will again try to maximise my performance, to get the most out the car and to build on the decent results of the last two race weekends.”
Fair und exciting racing.
Christian Vietoris (27, Germany): “I’ve been able to channel my anger about the events at the Norisring into positive energy. If you are robbed of a good result in the way I was, then you just can’t wait to claw back those lost points in the subsequent races. It’s no good burying our heads in the sand and moaning about what might have been. I just hope that the race weekend at Zandvoort is different and that it’s fair and exciting racing making the headlines.
Although I’m always happy to be the centre of attention, I would prefer it to be for positive reasons. That’s my objective for Holland.”
Gary Paffett (35, England): “Zandvoort is one of my favourite tracks on the calendar. It’s really fun to drive there. It counts as an ‘old school’ circuit, by which I mean that if you stray from the track, you quickly end up in the barriers. There are no tarmac run-off areas, which makes it quite exciting. At the same time, the track is very narrow and twisty.
We drive with a lot of downforce, and the surface is relatively bumpy. So the setup is quite different from Hockenheim, for example. For this reason, it will be interesting to see where we stand compared to the other cars. Last year’s race went well for me. Consequently, I’m hoping for a good result.”
Maximilian Götz (30, Germany): “In the short break since the Norisring, we drivers have been able to get our breath back and to reinvigorate ourselves at the fitness camp. This has been good for our team spirit. The sequence of events at the Norisring has strengthened the bonds between us as a team. That’s why I’ll be going to Zandvoort feeling upbeat. In last year’s equivalent fixture, I was just outside the Top Ten.
This year, I have set myself the target of finishing in the points.”
Daniel Juncadella (25, Spain): “Zandvoort is a special track for me that I know really well. I’ve won there several times in Formula 3, including a victory at the 2012 Formula 3 Masters. So I have great memories of this venue. The circuit is one of the toughest on the calendar. Looking back at my good track record at Zandvoort I’m hoping that it is a perfect place to turn the tide for me this season.”
Esteban Ocon (19, France): “Zandvoort is new territory for me. It’s supposed to be a difficult track, but the other drivers have only good things to say about it. Consequently, I’m facing a new challenge this weekend, so I have to try to make the most of the available training time. I’ve been invited to test-drive the Formula 1 Silver Arrow at Silverstone on the Tuesday and Wednesday before the race weekend at Zandvoort.
I’m obviously looking forward to this a lot, and I hope that it will give me additional momentum for the coming weekend.”
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “After a disappointing weekend at the Norisring, we travel to Zandvoort with our motivation very much boosted. In Paul, Robert and Lucas, we have three drivers in the Top Ten. And just two good results would be enough to put Chris and Gary back in touch with the championship leaders. Consequently, the situation as we approach the halfway stage of the campaign is encouraging, although of course we lost a lot of points at the Norisring through no fault of our own. The track at Zandvoort is quite special, if only for its unique location next to the sea, and its characteristics certainly make it one of the greatest challenges of the season. Our drivers have repeatedly shown in the past how speedy they can be at Zandvoort. But the new Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM has surprised us all through the season so far for different reasons on the tracks where we’ve competed. We are therefore being cautious about making any forecasts. But as I’ve already said, our team certainly won’t be lacking motivation.”