After the introduction of a new car for 2016, Mercedes-AMG DTM have had their fair share of highs and lows in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters this year. But the marque is looking ahead to a track that has served them well over the series’ colourful history.
Paul Di Resta and Robert Wickens have been at the top of the drivers’ standings at multiple points during the season, but both drivers are now out of contention for a title fight that is set to implode between Marco Wittmann, Edoardo Mortara and Jamie Green.
The pair stepped on the rostrum when the season got underway back in May, with Wickens finishing second to Mortara in the sprint race, as the Scot initially seized the advantage in the standings by winning the feature race.
The Canadian has a clear goal in mind, now that the title went out of reach at the penultimate race weekend at Hungary. He is aiming for a top-three finish in the points to head into a winter that will help him refocus on a 2017 title challenge.
“This is going to be a bitter-sweet finale for me. I would have liked to have been in championship contention until the very end, really I would,” said the 27-year-old, who is currently fourth in the standings, 15 points behind Green.
“Unfortunately, Budapest didn’t go according to plan, so we’ll now do everything we can to achieve a positive result before we head off on our winter break.”
Di Resta, who made his return to the series back in 2014, is also hunting for further podium visits for his tally of results, wishing to make the season finale a success for the Stuttgart brand and himself.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the car this weekend. However, I also think it’s a bit sad that the season is already over again,” explained the 30-year-old.
“Even if we no longer have a chance of winning the title, we want to end the season just as successfully as we started it here at Hockenheim. My goal is to finish on the podium in both races, for sure, and give the team and the fans something to cheer about again. We all deserve it.“
Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM, Ulrich Fritz, is hopeful of some decent results for his eight drivers, which could see the entire squad push for a potential second place in the manufacturers’ standings, even with none of the drivers in contention for the title.
“The whole team are really looking forward to delivering another strong performance this weekend in Hockenheim. Hockenheim is always a bit special for our team. The atmosphere is really unique, and we get incredible support from our fans in the Mercedes-Benz grandstand. Even if we can no longer win the drivers’ title, we think it important to inspire the fans again and round off the season with a decent result.”