Mercedes-Benz in the 2010 DTM:
David Coulthard's Premiere in the DTM
- Nine Drivers from five nations will start with the AMG Mercedes C-Class
- David Coulthard: a well-known charismatic driver new with Mercedes in the DTM
- The C-Class won six out of last year's 10 races
- 24:17 is the score for the Mercedes C-Class in those four years, since only Audi and Mercedes-Benz have been participating in the DTM -- therewith Mercedes won almost 60 percent of all races since 2006
- Chinese CongFu Cheng (25) is a talented newcomer in the 2010 Mercedes-Benz DTM team
Cheng (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) is the second new driver besides 13-times grand prix winner David Coulthard (39). Both will start with the AMG Mercedes C-Class in the 2008 specification.
The 2009 AMG Mercedes C-Class will be driven by: Gary Paffett (29, Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), 2005 DTM Champion, 2009 DTM runner-up and reserve and test driver for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team; Paul Di Resta (23, AMG Mercedes C-Class), 2006 Formula 3 Euro Series Champion, 2008 DTM runner-up and reserve and test driver for the Force India Mercedes Formula 1 team; Ralf Schumacher (34, Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class), and Bruno Spengler (26, Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class), 2006 and 2007 DTM runner-up.
Susie Stoddart (27, TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class); Jamie Green (27, Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class), 2004 Formula 3 Euro Series Champion and Maro Engel (24, GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) will drive the C-Class in 2008 specification.
The Mercedes-Benz DTM team will be presented to the public for the first time within the DTM presentation at Wiesbaden on Sunday. Paffett and Di Resta who both are at the Chinese Grand Prix until Saturday because of their commitments as reserve and test driver for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Force India Mercedes respectively, will arrive at Wiesbaden only on Sunday morning at 6 a.m.
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport and David Coulthard who is also working as F1 commentator for British broadcaster BBC will be in Shanghai and will join the press conference live via TV.
Short profiles of the Mercedes-Benz DTM driver line-up in alphabetical order:
CongFu Cheng, 25, China:
- moved up to the British Formula 3 Championship after racing karts in China and Asia, having been supported by Mercedes-Benz and McLaren in Formula Renault
- ended the 2007 F3 Scholarship Class runner-up after five race wins
- was 2008 the first Chinese to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans; he finished third in the LMP2 class with team Saulnier
- was also the first Chinese driver in the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring in 2009, when he came home third in the SP3T category together with Altfrid Heger, Carlo van Dam and Franck Mailleux
- will be the first Chinese driver in the DTM when the season will start at Hockenheim on 25 April 2010
CongFu Cheng: "It will be a great challenge for me to race in the DTM for Mercedes-Benz. I know I will have to learn a lot in this highly competitive championship, but I will give it my all to thank everybody for their confidence."
David Coulthard, 39, Scotland:
- completed 246 grands prix between 1994 and 2008
- he competed in 150 Formula 1 races for McLaren Mercedes from 1996 until 2004; in this period, he achieved 12 of his 13 grand prix wins and ended the 2001 season runner-up
- formed together with Mika Hakkinen, Formula 1 World Champion in 1998 and 1999, and Mercedes-Benz DTM driver from 2005 to 2008, the McLaren Mercedes driver line- up between 1996 and 2001, the line-up that was racing together in one team for the longest time in Formula One
- drove for Red Bull from 2005 until 2008, before he retired and joined BBC as a TV commentator for Formula 1
- attended a couple of DTM races, the most recent ones in 2009 at the Norisring and at the season finale at Hockenheim. In February and March he tested the AMG Mercedes C-Class with good results
David Coulthard: "I look very much forward to return to racing in the DTM after a one-year break. To sit behind the wheel of an AMG Mercedes C-Class at Hockenheim and not at the pit wall suits me better somehow."
Paul Di Resta, 23, Scotland:
- won the 2006 Formula 3 Euro Series with five victories out of 20 races; like Jamie Green in 2004 and the 2008 Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton in 2005, he was driving for ASM
- debuted in the DTM on 22nd April 2007 with fifth place at Hockenheim, followed by fifth place overall in his first championship season
- won his first two DTM races in 2008 and ended that year as runner-up
- achieved one win and third place overall in 2009
- became reserve and test driver for the Force India Formula One team which has been powered by Mercedes-Benz engines since last year
Paul Di Resta: "In 2008, I was runner-up; last year, I came home third overall. In 2010, I want to move up again, hopefully two positions."
Maro Engel, 24, Germany:
- drove his first ever car race at the age of 15 in 2001. In the Formula BMW Junior Cup, he won three races and was third overall
- became runner-up with three race wins in the 2007 British Formula 3 Championship and moved up to the DTM
- achieved his best ever DTM result finishing sixth in the 2009 season opener at Hockenheim
- scored points on three more occasions and ended the season 12th overall with eight points
Maro Engel: "During the 2009 DTM season I showed that you can achieve good results even with a car from the previous year. This year, I want to score even more often."
Jamie Green, 27, England:
- has been linked to Mercedes-Benz for 13 years
- was second of the 1997 "Champions of the Future" kart series with two wins; this series was part of the promotion programme for young drivers of Formula 1 partners McLaren and Mercedes-Benz
- won the 2004 Formula 3 Euro Series with seven victories out of 20 races at the wheel of an ASM team Dallara Mercedes; driving for ASM in 2005, also Lewis Hamilton won the title of the Euro Series title
- won five of his 52 DTM races since 2005, the most recent at the Norisring last year with a 2008 car
Jamie Green: "In my opinion, the DTM is the best touring car series in the world. Here you fight for every meter and every tenth of a second. Not only do I like this, but also the spectators do and fortunately there are many of them."
Gary Paffett, 29, England:
- won the 1999 McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award
- he became German Formula 3 champion in 2002
- was promoted McLaren Mercedes test driver after winning the 2005 DTM championship title and is now reserve and test driver for the team for the fifth year
- won four of 10 DTM races in 2009, more than any other driver last season. He missed his second title win after 2005 by five points
Gary Paffett: "I won the last two races of the previous DTM season and I possibly aim for a hat trick -- three wins in a row - in the season opener at Hockenheim in a few weeks. The DTM is just great -- to win here means a lot to me."
Ralf Schumacher, 34, Germany:
- participated in 180 Grands Prix, won six of them and started from pole position six times from 1997 until 2007
- posted eight fastest race laps and scored a total of 329 World Championship points
- finished the 2001 and 2002 Drivers' Championships in fourth positions respectively
- finished his Formula One career at the Brazilian Grand Prix on 21 October 2007 driving for Toyota
- debuted in the DTM at Hockenheim on 13 April 2008
- achieved his best DTM result at Dijon 2009 with fifth place
Ralf Schumacher: "After two learning years, I now want to fight for podium positions. Our tests were positive and I hope for the same in the races."
Bruno Spengler, 26, Canada:
- moved up to the HWA factory team after a learning year with Persson Motorsport in 2005
- was one of the youngest winners in DTM history at the age of 22 years and 334 days when he clinched his first DTM victory at Nuremberg's Norisring in 2006
- became runner-up in the same year and repeated his success one year later
- achieved his best results in 2009 finishing second each at the Eurospeedway and at the Norisring; he came home fourth overall
Bruno Spengler: "After being runner-up in 2006 and 2007, the fourth place overall last year was certainly not what I had expected. This motivates me even more to be at the top from the very beginning this year."
Susie Stoddart, 27, Scotland:
- qualified for the final round of the renowned McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award in 2003 and 2004
- changed from the 2005 British Formula 3 Championship to the DTM four years ago and finished her first race in the championship at Hockenheim in 10th place
- achieved four more 10th-place finishes at Mugello in 2007, at the Norisring in 2008 and at Oschersleben and at the Norisring in 2009
Susie Stoddart: "I have only one goal: I finally want to score points. In 2010, that will not be easier than in the previous years, but I know I can do it."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"In 2010 we want to present new attractions to the DTM spectators at the race tracks and at the TVs again. David Coulthard will certainly be in the focus of the audience, when he returns to active racing in the DTM. David has been working with us since 1996 and won our first Formula One race of the Silver Arrows' new era in the 1997 Australian Grand Prix. David is one of the most distinguished and worldwide best known drivers who is not only competent but also extremely charismatic. CongFu Cheng is a promising Chinese driver who gets a chance for more success. Apart from that we rely on our experienced drivers who have shown top-class performances for years. During the previous three years, we did not win a drivers' title, but we won 18 out of 31 races -- almost 60 percent of all wins. Of course it would be nice to be on top both with victories and points at the end of the year."