DTM: Rounds 15 and 16 of the season at the Nürburgring - Preview.
Leading drivers' and team championship.
Races 15 and 16 of the 2015 DTM season will be contested this coming weekend (25th – 27th September) on the legendary Nürburgring. Going into the penultimate race weekend of the campaign, the Mercedes-AMG DTM Team leads both the drivers’ championship (Pascal Wehrlein) and the team championship (gooix/Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG).
As in previous years, the two races will be held on the 3.639km long configuration of the Nürburgring. The first race on Saturday (starts 13:25 CEST, live coverage on ARD from 13:00 CEST) has a duration of 40 minutes plus one lap. The second race on Sunday (starts 13:35 CEST, live coverage on ARD from 13:20 CEST) has a duration of 60 minutes plus one lap. Race 2 includes a mandatory pit stop.
Things a lot more even.
Gary Paffett (34, England): “Oschersleben was tough. In qualifying, we were midfield for both races, but then we got caught up in accidents, and we ended up not scoring any points. Also as a manufacturer, we weren’t as good as we could have been. But obviously the penalty weight helped BMW quite a lot. Going to the Nürburgring, things are a lot more even, so we’re expecting a closer fight. I’ve been successful there in the past, and the Nürburgring is a circuit where we should be competitive. I’m looking forward to hopefully scoring some points in both races and maybe even getting onto the podium.”
Paul Di Resta (29, Scotland): “Obviously it’s been a short break again, but I’m looking forward to getting back into action. Our performance in Oschersleben was strong. As a manufacturer, I think we will be working hard to retain our advantage in the championship over the weekend so as to put ourselves in a good position for the last two races at Hockenheim. Of course, the weights will play a role again. This past weekend, we saw that they helped BMW considerably. Knowing the Nürburgring, I also think that the weather will certainly bring some surprises over the weekend. But we are well prepared for everything. Also, our car has been strong in the wet this year.”
Turning luck around.
Robert Wickens (26, Canada): “The Nürburgring has always been a good track for me. I’ve scored points there in every DTM race in my career, so I am optimistic that I’ll finally have a good weekend. Recent races have been a disaster, and I’m looking forward to turning my luck around.”
Christian Vietoris (26, Germany): “After two tough weekends without any points, we’re now coming up to my home race at the Nürburgring. Naturally, I’m looking forward to that. Thanks to my family and friends, I’ll be getting a lot of support over the weekend, which obviously puts me in a positive frame of mind. It will certainly be a special occasion.
The weather forecasts are good at the moment, which is rather unusual for the Eifel. The track itself is very challenging. There are a lot of corners in the first and second sectors. The main thing here is getting the setup right. We’ve been working hard on that over the last two weeks. Consequently, I’m sure we have a car that is well suited to the track.”
Targeting a podium.
Daniel Juncadella (24, Spain): “I’m looking forward to the weekend. The Nürburgring is one of my favourite tracks. Last year, I managed to finish fifth, my second-best result in the DTM to date. I’ve also had frequent success here in Formula 3. My main target for the weekend is obviously a podium finish. Our car is strong on this circuit, and I’m well prepared for the race. For both of those reasons, I’m feeling very confident.”
Lucas Auer (21, Austria): “It’s all about focusing fully on the Nürburgring. I’m training a lot and looking forward to the upcoming weekend. Last year, I won a Formula 3 race there, so I have fond memories of the track. It’s very special and also technically demanding. I’ll be interested to discover how the track feels in a DTM car.”
Knowing every blade of grass.
Maximilian Götz (29, Germany): “As the season comes to a close, the pace is hotting up, with only a couple of weekends between races. Since the last race, I’ve spent a few days with friends. Also, my girlfriend and I attended two weddings. Apart from that, I’ve been training and also doing a bit of relaxing to make sure I’m in top form ahead of the remaining races. But now I’m looking forward to getting back in the car. I really like the Nürburgring. I’ve competed on this track many times, and you could say that I know every blade of grass. I’ve even had some successes there. But in the DTM, every track still represents a new start for me. We will try to find a good balance and to get the sector times to come together for a good result. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite manage that at Oschersleben. But the potential is definitely there.”
Pascal Wehrlein (20, Germany): “Last weekend, I was in Singapore watching the Formula 1 race. When you see the other drivers on the track, it just fills you with the urge to be doing it yourself. So I just can’t wait to get back behind the wheel. What is important is that we get a perfect weekend together. Then we can challenge for front positions and race wins,
which would bring our ultimate objective one step closer. But this won’t be easy, and a lot of hard work lies ahead. The track in the Eifel is also quite different from the one at Oschersleben. Consequently, it’s difficult to predict who will be competitive at the weekend. I’m working on the assumption that it will be a close fight between all three manufacturers.”
Extending the lead.
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “We’re going to the Eifel leading both the drivers’ and team championships. It is obviously our intention to be still in this position on Monday and to extend our lead. But that won’t be easy. I think the fans can expect tight races between all three manufacturers. In the light of that our entire team faces a big challenge that we are willing to accept. The weather up in the Eifel next weekend can also be an important factor at this time of year. But we are well prepared and hopefully able to cope with all conditions.”