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Mercedes contingent pleased with intense pre-season test efforts

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM were the team with the most mileage under their belts, over the last pre-season test at Hockenheim this past week.

The Stuttgart brand completed a grand total of 1,580 laps around the 4.574-km circuit, higher than both Audi Sport and BMW Motorsport combined over the three and a half days of running.

The fastest of all the Mercedes drivers was Paul di Resta on the final day of testing, after the outfit was topping the time sheets after the end of the first three days, before the Scot was pipped on the final day by BMW Team RMR’s Timo Glock.

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“We did our job, working on the balance and other things,” said the 2010 DTM champion, who partners with returnee Maro Engel this season at Team SILBERFEIL Energy.

“We have ticked off as much as possible from our list and tried to optimise everything. Because what comes next is race time. My overall impression is positive. The mood in the team is good, and I’m feeling optimistic about the start of the season.”  

“I’m very happy with the test week,” said Gary Paffett, who switches to the Mercedes Me branded livery, after a long association with EURONICS.

“We drove a lot, and the pace of the car was very good on the performance runs. I was also satisfied with the long runs. We’ve had a good week of testing and are now ready for the first race weekend of the season.” 

 “The most important thing is that we were able to complete our entire programme,” admitted Robert Wickens, who was fastest on day three and completed in excess of 830 kilometres on the final test day.

“We put in a lot of laps and worked hard. On Thursday, I may even have broken my personal record for the number of laps completed in one day. Having said that, though, we were not going all out for performance. It was solely about preparing the car for the races. Now we’re really looking forward to finally getting started.” 

Engel had the opportunity to try out the new C63 DTM at Hockenheim for the first time, classing the experience as “fantastic, having driven more than 1,000 kilometres in the short time behind the wheel: “The team worked superbly well and made the job easier for me. It was great fun. I was able to learn a lot about the car and the tyres. The next time I get into the car, it will be to race. Until then, though, we still have a lot of work ahead of us.” 

 The BWT pairing of the newest recruit to the Stuttgart stable, Italy’s Edoardo Mortara and Austria’s Lucas Auer, were able to collect data and push their cars to the limit to help prepare for the forthcoming season opener.

“It’s a pity that these were my last two test days before the start of the season,” said Mortara, who started his work with Mercedes late last year.”

We have collected a lot of data this week that will help us make our car even faster, more reliable and more driveable.” 

“The times are incredibly fast. The tests were very interesting and productive. It was nice to be back in the car and discover more about it,” said Auer, who is looking to build on a improving rate of success from last season.

“For us drivers, it will certainly be very challenging to balance the long runs. This will be a very interesting aspect of the races this season. Now we are ready for the first race weekend of the year.” 

“Having set the best times this week was a nice bonus,” stated Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Ulrich Fritz, who also admitted that the new regulations will bring uncertainty at the Hockenheim season opener.

“Ultimately, though, it is much more important that you complete your programme. It’s really satisfying to see that we were able to cover that many kilometres in this last week of testing. That’s the only way in which you’re going to find out how the new tyres and components behave.” 

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