Despite seeing their success run at the Norisring come to an abrupt end three weekends ago, Mercedes AMG-DTM are looking to hit back at their rivals at Circuit Park Zandvoort this weekend.
Paul Di Resta, Robert Wickens and Lucas Auer are the top three drivers for the Stuttgart outfit, and if events are just as exciting just off the North Sea coast, it could see more of their drivers move up into the top ten.
“Consequently, the situation as we approach the halfway stage of the campaign is encouraging, although of course we lost a lot of points at the Norisring through no fault of our own,” explained Head of DTM, Ulrich Fritz, who stated that their new challenger for 2016 has been a surprise after a topsy-turvy season thus far.
“Our drivers have repeatedly shown in the past how speedy they can be at Zandvoort. We are therefore being cautious about making any forecasts. But as I’ve already said, our team certainly won’t be lacking motivation.”
2005 champion Gary Paffett is looking forward to the encounters on the 4.307-km “old school” circuit, which punishes even the slightest mistakes, as the Briton has found out previously.
“Zandvoort is one of my favourite tracks on the calendar. It’s really fun to drive there. There are no tarmac run-off areas, which makes it quite exciting. At the same time, the track is very narrow and twisty. We drive with a lot of downforce, and the surface is relatively bumpy,” explains the Suffolk-based driver, who is now in his second season with Team ART.
“So the setup is quite different from Hockenheim, for example. For this reason, it will be interesting to see where we stand compared to the other cars. Last year’s race went well for me. Consequently, I’m hoping for a good result.”
HWA’s Daniel Juncadella has had his fair share of previous success at Zandvoort, having won there previously in Formula 3, and is hoping to use his experience to get on the podium for the first time in his career.
“Zandvoort is a special track for me that I know really well. I’v e won there several times in Formula 3, including a victory at the 2012 Formula 3 Masters,” said the 25-year-old, who has not had the best of seasons in the DTM so far.
“So I have great memories of this venue. The circuit is one of the toughest on the calendar. Looking back at my good track record at Zandvoort, I’m hoping that it is a perfect place to turn the tide for me this season.”
The first free practice session of this weekend’s DTM action starts at 16:00 local time, lasting for 30 minutes.