Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich has said that he expects you to be capable of causing surprises in your second DTM season. Do you share his assessment?
"I’m hoping to be able to fulfill his expectations. In any event, I’m very happy that Dr. Ullrich and Audi are giving me the opportunity to prove myself in the DTM. Last year, I jumped into pretty cold water. Before my first DTM race I only had two tests and during the season I hardly had any chance of testing either.
I’ve had plenty of opportunity now to make up for that in the winter, which has tremendously helped me. I’ve got a lot more driving practice now and am sure that this will pay off. But one shouldn’t forget that the DTM is still the DTM and that the air in this series is extremely thin."
You’re running for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline this year. How were you received by the Abt squad?
"With extreme warmth. I’ve known most of them pretty well from the past season because we’re really a big family at Audi and all three teams are closely working together in the DTM. I’ve already paid a visit to my new team in Kempten as well. I was given a very friendly welcome and am impressed with what I saw there.
At the last track tests Alex Stehlig, Mattias Ekström’s engineer, took a lot of his time out for me. We practiced starts together, for example. I’ve got the feeling that the people at Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline are doing everything they can to make it possible for us to be successful together."
Have you been able to test the new Audi A5 DTM yet?
"Yes I have. Every one of the seven drivers has been involved in the development from the outset. That, too, is a great feeling because all of us are treated equally. You can’t take that for granted in motorsport. I expect to be driving the new Audi A5 DTM in its final form for the first time at the ITR test in Valencia. I’m really excited about that, the car simply looks great. The engineers from Audi Sport again had good ideas."