The first test drives of the new DTM season are fast approaching. Lucas Auer tells us about the tracks and the rivalry he is most looking forward to.
- News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams
- Three questions for Lucas Auer
- Social media news: What’s new online
New Silver Arrow: Watch the media tomorrow, because Thursday 22nd February is the big day. That’s when we make our official presentation at Silverstone and the new Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+ is unveiled to the Formula 1 world in the context of a filming day. Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton will also be taking the new Silver Arrow out for its first laps of a real circuit ahead of the 2018 season. Anyone who is unable to be present in person can follow our online live coverage on the official Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport website (www.mercedesamgf1.com) or via the team’s YouTube and Facebook channels. All online transmissions are accessible to both the media and the general public.
DTM starting numbers: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport heralded the new DTM season last week with the customary fitness week in La Manga. Car numbers have now been allocated to the Mercedes driver sextet: Gary Paffett (2), Paul Di Resta (3), Lucas Auer (22) and Edoardo Mortara (48) will be competing under the same starting numbers as last season. Returnees Daniel Juncadella and Pascal Wehrlein have been given the numbers 23 and 94 respectively. 94 is the same number that was assigned to Pascal’s Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM in his first DTM stint and the number with which he became the youngest champion in the history of the racing series in 2015.
Three questions for Lucas Auer
The new DTM season 2018 is about to get underway. Which races are you looking forward to the most?
Lucas Auer: I’m very happy with the new race calendar. The standout events for me are obviously the classic at the Norisring and the new fixture at Misano. I like Italy a lot, and that’s why I’ m especially looking forward to the atmosphere there, especially as it’s a night race. We also have one race weekend more this year than in previous seasons, which means 20 races instead of 18. If it was up to me, they could increase that to 50. [laughs] As a racing driver, I have no objection to driving more races... From my perspective, the more the merrier.
Two major topics of recent weeks were the retirement of Mattias Ekström and the comeback of Pascal Wehrlein. What do you think of the changes that are taking place in the DTM driver line-up?
Lucas Auer: With the departure of Eki, a legend has left the DTM stage. He is a good friend and was an absolutely strong personality in the series. Pascal is a former DTM champion who has spent the last two years in Formula 1. With his return, the DTM is gaining another great personality. In any case, it’s going to be interesting
You are friends with Pascal, but you also both have the same objective – you want to graduate to Formula 1 and he wants to get back into it. Do you see this developing into a rivalry that could endanger the harmony within the team?
Lucas Auer: Oh yes, it’s very, very dangerous. [laughs] Joking aside, though, when I first arrived in the DTM, I was not a serious competitor to Pascal. As a rookie, I still had a lot to learn, and he was entering his third year in the DTM. So it’s going to be an interesting contest between us this season. But first we have to see who are the biggest threats to us in the other teams. However, if it develops into a pitched battle between the two of us, that will definitely be exciting and really cool.
Social Media News
#F1Explained: In 2018, Pirelli tyres in all colours of the rainbow will be available to the teams. But what effect will the new tyre selection have on the racing?
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZbtsXJRMJ0
#VBTakeover: We recently accompanied Valtteri Bottas on a visit to the Brackley team factory to see what he got up to there. As we discovered, no two days are ever the same for a Formula 1 driver.
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9072d5Ln6M0