M ercedes enters the 2017 DTM year with a new line-up. As agreed with Audi and BMW, only 6 cars will be used in the coming season. Felix Rosenqvist, Daniel Juncadella, Christian Vietoris and Maximilian Götz are no longer part of the Stuttgart team.
Mortara and Engel new in the Mercedes squad
But team boss Uli Fritz has two new faces welcome. Vice-champion Edoardo Mortara joins the team from Audi. Maro Engel, who was part of the Mercedes team from 2008 to 2011, will receive another C63 DTM. Maximilian Günther is also in the Swabian squad. The Formula 3 runner-up will be the new test and reserve driver.
As well-known greats, Gary Paffett, Paul di Resta, Robert Wickens and Lucas Auer will remain on board. “Edo, Lucas, Paul, Gary and Rob have all won DTM races and are able to have a say about the championship. But that is exactly where a big challenge for the team and the drivers lies: in order to survive this year, we have to present ourselves as a homogeneous and constant unit again. And then we have Maro, who also has a lot of experience and a few titles under his belt, ”says Fritz about the strengths of his squad.
Mercedes with new car 2017
The boss of The team explains why good staff will be particularly important in the coming season: “In 2017 every manufacturer will face major challenges. We have a new car, new tires and a reduced field of drivers. The power density is even higher than it was in the DTM anyway. That is precisely why I am glad that we have a top-class driver squad. ”
The new Mercedes sextet will contest its first race weekend in Hockenheim (May 5-7). Until then, however, there is still a lot to be done: The first test drives of the year will take place in Portimao from February 20 to 23. After that, the new cars will also be put through their paces in Vallelunga (March 13-16) and Hockenheim (April 3-6).
“There is still a lot of work to be done before the start of the season us, ”emphasized Ulrich Fritz. “We have to develop our new car and get used to the new regulations. But I am confident that we and our team are well prepared for this and that we can have a successful season. ”