Preview: Second round of the season at Lausitzring.
Maiden victory at Lausitzring.
After securing three podium finishes in the opening double bill of the season at Hockenheim, the Mercedes-AMG DTM Team now travels to the Lausitzring this coming weekend for Races 3 and 4. The Lausitzring is located in an area between Berlin and Dresden which was formerly dominated by lignite (brown coal) mining. The track is 3.478 kilometres in length and is driven counter-clockwise. In addition to its long straight, the circuit also has a technically challenging infield with a sequence of slow corners and chicanes. Pascal Wehrlein claimed his maiden DTM victory in last year’s race at the Lausitzring, thus becoming the youngest winner in the history of the touring car series.
A real rollercoaster ride.
Gary Paffett (34, England): “The first race of the season at Hockenheim was a real rollercoaster ride for us. The car was quick, and the podium on Sunday brought the occasion to a satisfactory conclusion. On the other hand, we unfortunately had a few problems and made mistakes which cost us good results in qualifying. That was obviously disappointing. But we’ve got over that now and are ready to attack again at the Lausitzring with the aim of scoring more podiums. The Lausitzring is certainly a track which I always enjoy racing on and where I’ve had a few successes.
Unlike some of the other tracks on the calendar, it offers overtaking opportunities. This always makes the races at the Lausitzring a fun event.”
Driver counts more.
Paul Di Resta (29, Scotland): “The podium at Hockenheim certainly came as a relief. It was good to see that the hard work over the winter has paid off and that we are on track to achieve our goal of closing the gap on the other manufacturers. I think we are in good shape and that we are capable of podium finishes at the Lausitzring – maybe even race wins. But I also think that BMW will be stronger than they were at Hockenheim, and of course, Audi were already strong in the last races. All in all, I would say that there is not a lot separating the manufacturers, which is very good because it means the skills of the drivers now count for more. If we finish in the Top Five in both races, that would be a successful weekend.”
Always a great pleasure.
Robert Wickens (26, Canada): “It’s always a great personal pleasure for me to drive at the Lausitzring. In the last two years, I’ve had a fourth and a fifth place finish here. With the season opener at Hockenheim having been such a disappointment for me, I’m hoping that we can score some points in the next races.”
I'll be arriving with plenty of confidence.
Christian Vietoris (26, Germany): “After two difficult race weekends, one at Hockenheim and the other being the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, the Lausitzring has come at just the right time. I've always had good results there, and I'll be arriving with plenty of confidence.
I've been around long enough to know that the bad weekends in motorsport alternate with the good ones. I've had my bad run now, so I'm looking forward to the Lausitzring with great optimism. This is when the season starts properly for me. It's nice to know that, when everything goes right, we have a competitive car.”
A strong car.
Daniel Juncadella (24, Spain): “Last year’s race at the Lausitzring was an emotional rollercoaster for me. Although I came fourth, which is my best DTM result to date, I missed out on a podium due to a drive-through penalty. The objective for this year is therefore quite clear – to finish on the podium. The Lausitzring is the home venue for Mücke Motorsport, which always makes any race here very special.
I also believe that we have a strong car this season, and with two races on the programme, we have twice the chance of a good result. In any case, I'm looking forward to the race weekend.”
I know what to expect.
Lucas Auer (20, Austria): “Although I’ve never driven in a race at the Lausitzring, I know the track very well, because it serves as the test circuit for Mücke Motorsport. And after all, I’ve competed in Formula 3 for Peter Mücke’s team. Everything that happened in the opening race has been put down to experience and is water under the bridge. I now know the procedure for a DTM race weekend and what to expect. Consequently, I’m confident that we will be putting in a much improved performance this coming weekend and coming away with a decent result. In order to be successful at the Lausitzring, you have to be technically proficient, but at the same time, you need to let the car fly.”
The best rookie.
Maximilian Götz (29, Germany): “The first DTM race weekend wasn't easy by any means, but at least I emerged from it as best rookie. Since Hockenheim, I've been spending a lot of time in the simulator. I'm feeling upbeat about the Lausitzring because it's a track which I know very well. Last year, I won a race there in the ADAC GT Masters. But all the same, I'm going to study videos of the recent races and spend a lot of time at the computer.
Apart from that, there is the usual amount of fitness training to get through. We failed to identify the optimum window in qualifying at Hockenheim, and we need to be better in this regard at the Lausitzring. During the race, I'm going to concentrate fully on the track and keep calm. Then we'll see what position I end up with.”
Very fond memories.
Pascal Wehrlein (20, Germany): “I am really looking forward to the next race at the Lausitzring. Last year, I got my first win there, so I obviously have very fond memories of the track. In any case, the Lausitzring has consistently been associated with success for Mercedes drivers over the last few seasons, and I think that we will again be very strong this year. My objective is, of course, to finish on the podium twice and, as always, to do my best. It’s very satisfying to see that we have made such a big step forward. Our team has worked hard. I’m quite sure that we will be lining up in a competitive car.”
A well-deserved reward.
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes DTM: “The podiums secured on the opening weekend at Hockenheim have done our entire team a power of good; they represent a well-deserved reward for all the hard work over the winter. Nevertheless, the whole team is aware that much work still lies ahead if we are to finish among the top places in the DTM on a regular basis. With the Lausitzring, we now have a track on which we have scored eight wins over the past ten seasons. But we also realise that success in the past is never a guarantee of successful weekends in the future. Of course, it would be nice to make it a hat-trick after Gary and Pascal won here in the last two years, but it’s difficult to make any sort of forecast with the strength of competition that we’re up against in the DTM. That’s what makes this series so fascinating.”