Three questions for Pascal Wehrlein.
What was it like to be a spectator at the DTM in Hockenheim and not a driver sitting in the cockpit?
Pascal Wehrlein: “It was a strange feeling when the cars came out on track for the first time. You get used to being a part of it all when you’ve been in the series for three years and have won the championship. This was the first time this weekend that I’ve seen the cars race without taking part. It felt weird. It obviously got the adrenaline going. I would have liked to have jumped in a car and taken part, but still, it was really cool to be on the outside watching all the drivers, teams and cars.
I’ve really been fully focused on my work these last few years and have had tunnel vision, but I could hear this time just what the drivers were discussing with their engineers on the radio. It was an interesting experience.”
What do you miss most about the DTM now that you are in Formula 1?
Pascal Wehrlein: “The fights in the DTM are really cool, proper wheel-to-wheel action with contacts. You can’t do that in F1. The scraps were lots of good fun, really great. Also, I made many friends in the paddock and in our team over the years. I’m really good friends with my mechanics. We weren’t just workmates at the track, we’re still good buddies, and it was really great to see them all again.”
Everyone is a specialist.
You switched from single-seater racing to the DTM. What advice would you give a DTM rookie like Esteban Ocon?
Pascal Wehrlein: “This year, he’s in a similar situation to the one I found myself in when I joined the DTM. You first have to get used to the racing series and to the car, but there are no major problems in making the switch. We can all drive a racing car quickly. What makes the difference in the DTM is finding the last tenth of a second, that’s tricky. You also need experience with setup. As regards to drivers, the DTM is in no way inferior to Formula 1.
The top drivers in both series are extremely fast and very hard to beat. Every one of them is a specialist in his field.”