Oschersleben: Mercedes preview

Something New in the East DTM C-Class premiere in Oschersleben. The second round of the 2007 DTM this coming weekend is already the championship's ninth race at this circuit. The Oschersleben track has been remodelled. A 90-degree ...

Something New in the East

DTM C-Class premiere in Oschersleben.
The second round of the 2007 DTM this coming weekend is already the championship's ninth race at this circuit.
The Oschersleben track has been remodelled. A 90-degree lefthander replaces the fast first corner and is meant to allow outbraking manoeuvres at the end of the front straight. The cars will be slowed down here from speeds of more than 230 kph to about 70 kph whilst the first-corner speed last year was about 170 kph.

Hockenheim review: Six Mercedes-Benz drivers covered the points positions from third to eighth, including all three C-Class generations which had been entered. The eight fastest race laps posted by two Audis and six Mercedes-Benz' were within two tenths of a second.

Oschersleben circuit characteristics: The circuit is now 3.696 kms long with the fastest section being the end of the front straight, where the cars reach more than 230 kph. The track is the fourth longest on the DTM calendar after Mugello (5.245), Hockenheim (4.574) and Zandvoort (4.307).

Statistics: Since 2000, Oschersleben has seen eight DTM races; four of which have taken place in the first year during two events with two races each. Mercedes-Benz drivers achieved three victories here: Bernd Schneider in 2000, Marcel Fässler in 2001 and Gary Paffett in 2005. Opel took three race wins whilst Audi driver Tom Kristensen won twice for the brand, in 2004 and 2006. In 2002 and 2003, Oschersleben was not on the DTM calendar.

The new weight distribution in the DTM: This season, there are handicap weights for the new cars in case of a race win, but also for the 2005 and 2006 models if they achieve points positions. According to the new rule, the steps for more or less weight are seven kilograms instead of five. Consequently, the 2007 Audis (1,070 kilograms basis weight like the 2007 Mercedes-Benz) will start in Oschersleben with an extra weight of seven kilograms whilst the new AMG-Mercedes C-Class of Bernd Schneider, Bruno Spengler, Jamie Green and Mika Häkkinen will start with seven kilograms less.

The 2005 and 2006 C-Class cars scored points in Hockenheim, therefore they have to add weight whilst the 2005 and 2006 Audis, which left Hockenheim without points, will reduce weight. Last year's C-Class (1,060 kilograms basis weight) of Gary Paffett, Alexandros Margaritis, Daniel la Rosa and Mathias Lauda will race in Oschersleben with 1,067 kilograms (2006 Audis: 1,053); the 2005 C-Class (1,040 kilograms basis weight) of Paul di Resta and Susie Stoddart will start with 1,047 kilograms (2005 Audis: 1,033).

What the drivers and Motorsport chief say

Bruno Spengler, start number 2 (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007, third at the flag, but relegated to 14th due to a 50sec time penalty): "I put the disappointing result in Hockenheim behind and focus on the race in Oschersleben."

Daniel la Rosa, start number 15 (TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006): "Following Bruno's time penalty I achieved a podium position; however, I don't like to score points or even a podium this way. In Oschersleben, I want to show that my performance in Hockenheim did not happen accidentally."

Alexandros Margaritis, start number 10 (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006): "I like the Oschersleben circuit. I have a clear target: I want to become best driver with a last year's car."

Paul di Resta, start number 19 (JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class 2005): "One year ago, I won a Formula 3 Euro Series race in Oschersleben, therefore I know that this twisty circuit is physically very demanding and requires maximum concentration. I want to maintain the momentum following my fifth place in Hockenheim and aim to score points again."

Jamie Green, start number 5 (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007): "My first two races in Oschersleben in 2005 and 2006 I finished in third positions each. So there's room for improvement and this I want to achieve."

Bernd Schneider, start number 1 (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007): "It is not easy to find a good set-up in Oschersleben. Therefore, Friday's tests are even more important. Here we have the opportunity to prepare for the race with long runs and try different things for qualifying. We have to improve on the Saturday to achieve better results in the race."

Gary Paffett, start number 9 (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006, eighth): "I like this track and have good memories of my victory here in 2005."

Mika Häkkinen, start number 6 (AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007): "The remodelled first corner makes the track even more demanding for the drivers, as we have to slow down from more than 230 kph to about 70 kph 44 times during the course of the race. This should allow outbraking manoeuvres, which is good for the spectators. We have a lot of potential, which we will show and realise."

Mathias Lauda, start number 18 (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006): "In Oschersleben, a good grid position is even more crucial than elsewhere, because overtaking is so difficult. Therefore I will focus even more on qualifying and a good start."

Susie Stoddart, start number 14 (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class 2005): "After retiring so early in the race in Hockenheim my first target for Oschersleben is to finish. If I manage to achieve a good qualifying result like ten days ago it should be possible to finish among the top-ten."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "As everybody could see, we did not act very skilfully during the second half of the race in Hockenheim, and we have been defeated there after nine consecutive race wins. Starting from pole position on the debut of the new C-Class, Bruno Spengler was in the lead until his final pit stop on lap 22 of the race, which had been shortened to 27 laps. Following his 50-second time penalty on the final lap, which he had entered in second place, he has now zero points."

"Our four C-Class cars posted competitive lap times during the race; however, except for Spengler they were all in the second third of the field following the opening lap after the re-start, and therefore they were not in positions to fight for the podium. Although there have been six Mercedes in the points positions from third

-credit: mercedes

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Tom Kristensen , Marcel Fassler , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Alexandros Margaritis , Mathias Lauda , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green