Not an ordinary race for Mercedes as the DTM reaches Oschersleben
After Robert Wickens scored his maiden DTM victory in the previous race at the Nürburgring, Mercedes-Benz is gearing up for a double anniversary at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben which will be hosting the eighth race of the 2013 campaign this coming weekend.
Gary Paffett's 100th DTM race: Mercedes-Benz DTM driver Gary Paffett will be competing in his 100th DTM race at Oschersleben (total includes one invitation race in Shanghai in 2004). In his 99 DTM races to date, Paffett has claimed 20 wins, 32 podiums and ten pole positions. He not only has more silverware in his trophy cabinet than anyone else in the current DTM line-up but is also the third-most successful driver in DTM history. Only record DTM championship winner Bernd Schneider (43 victories, all with Mercedes-Benz) and Klaus Ludwig (36 victories, 22 with Mercedes-Benz) have won more races than Paffett.
150th race for Mercedes-Benz in the 'New DTM Era': The eighth race of the season at Oschersleben will be the 150th occasion on which Mercedes-Benz has contested the 'New DTM' (race series revived in 2000). During this period, the marque with the three-pointed star has won 86 races, including 48 'one-two' podiums.
The track consists of 15 turns - seven left-handers and eight right-handers. The race is run over 51 laps, equivalent to a distance of 188.496km.
“After a four-week break, the DTM season enters the home straight at Oschersleben. In this part of the country, there is tremendous enthusiasm for motor racing, and we know that we can count on the support of our many fans here”, says Toto Wolff. “In Christian and Robert, we have two of our Mercedes Juniors in the Top Three of the drivers' standings, separated by just one point. Closing the gap on current championship leader Mike Rockenfeller won't be easy, but we have no intention of giving up.”
TAKING EACH RACE AS IT COMES
Christian Vietoris scored his first DTM points at Oschersleben in 2011: “Third place at the Nürburgring was the best and probably the most important P3 of my DTM career - and in my home race, which makes it all the better! I'm now second in the championship and am looking forward to the last few race weekends of the season, starting with Oschersleben. As before, I will be taking each race as it comes, but I'm hoping that I might be standing two steps higher than in my previous four podium appearances. I know the podium at Oschersleben from my time in Formula BMW and the Formula 3 Euro Series; I've had wins there in both competitions. It is a great track that I know inside out. Compared to other circuits on the calendar, Oschersleben is relatively slow and most of the corners are taken in first or second gear.”
Robert Wickens won his first DTM race at the Nürburgring: “My first DTM race at the Nürburgring was an incredibly beautiful experience, despite the absolutely atrocious weather conditions. I knew that in racing everything is possible, but all the same, I wasn't expecting that result. Even now, nearly four weeks later, I still have a smile on my face when I think about it. But that's all in the past: the Nürburgring win is irrelevant to my chances in the upcoming race. I'm now third in the standings, but my goal for the rest of the season is simply to score as many points as possible. I'd like to carry on the good work over the weekend at Oschersleben. The track is very demanding for both driver and car; there aren't many straight sections where you can ease up mentally. The kerbs are very high, and to be fast, you need good traction and a stable setup for the slow corners.”
100TH DTM RACE
Gary Paffett won at Oschersleben in 2005 and 2007: “I've now put the disappointment of the Nürburgring behind me, and over the past four weeks, I've been doing some intensive preparation for the last three races of the season. Hopefully, the Nürburgring used up the rest of my bad luck quota for this season, and maybe fortune will smile on me again. I will definitely be going all out to get the best results from the final sprint stage of the season. I'd like to start this process over the weekend at Oschersleben. I've already won on two occasions at Oschersleben and would be very happy if I could celebrate my 100th DTM race with a third win there. That would be a perfect way to round off the anniversary and a great start to a hopefully successful run-in to the season finale.”
Daniel Juncadella knows the track from the Formula 3 Euro Series: “I have very fond memories of the Oschersleben circuit. I won my first international race there in 2007 and I was also quick around this track in the 2010 Formula 3 Euro Series.”
“If I can manage another good qualifying performance, I hope I can make amends for the disappointing retirement in the last race. My objective is to build on the good results in mid-season and finish in the points again at Oschersleben.”
Roberto Merhi set a new lap record at Oschersleben last year: “Oschersleben is an exceptionally challenging circuit; the different radii on the corners are a major headache for us drivers. In last year's race at Oschersleben, I set the fastest lap for the first time in my DTM career; at the same time, it was also a new record for the circuit. After a disappointing weekend at the Nürburgring, I'm looking forward to a track where I had such good speed last year. My goal for the weekend remains the same: I want to use the practice session on Saturday morning to work with my engineers on perfecting the car for qualifying and thereby secure a better grid position than on previous weekends. Then we'll see how the race itself goes.”
Pascal Wehrlein won the Formel ADAC race at Oschersleben in the 2011 season: “The four-week break since the last race at the Nürburgring felt like a mini eternity, so I'm all the more motivated to get back in the cockpit of my DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé next weekend and carry on from where I left off in the Eifel, scoring more points. The difference in lap times in the DTM is incredibly tight. That's why it's so important to book a good grid position in qualifying and to then derive maximum benefit from it in the race. At the Nürburgring, I was intermittently the fastest driver on the track, and in previous races, I was also making good headway. This is the form I want to continue at Oschersleben.”