For a start, Mercedes-AMG has introduced four familiar faces who will contest the final DTM season. In due time, the team will announce two more drivers to complete the six-man squad for the new season. Team captain Gary Paffett, for whom there are two reasons why 2018 will be a very special season, has the first word. “This will be my 15th DTM season with Mercedes-AMG, but unfortunately, the last for Mercedes in this series,” said Paffett, who has been in the line-up for half of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport’s 30 years in the DTM. “Preparations are well underway for 2018. We worked hard with the engineers during the winter and the team put in the same amount of effort as ever. They are really focused and we aim to round off the season with a successful result.”
Paul Di Resta was equally positive about the winter. “Fresh challenges, fresh opportunities. I’m really excited about the new season,” says Paul, who will be starting his ninth DTM season with the team in 2018. “It’s a little bit sad to think that this will be the end of an era for Mercedes in the DTM, but everyone in the team is showing that little bit of extra commitment, keen to end this final chapter on a positive note. I’ve been a part of things for four years now and really love the brand, so I hope that my fellow team members and I can deliver the best possible results this year.”
Lucas Auer will be returning to the cockpit alongside the 2005 and 2010 DTM champions. “This final season in the DTM will be something really special for Mercedes. We’re all as keen as mustard and intend to round things off in a fitting manner. 2017 was a good year for me, and I’m really looking forward to 2018. It will be interesting to see how I progress. Everyone who knows me is well aware that I like to drive anything on four wheels during the off-season, but I’m now ready for the first tests and the new season,” commented Auer.
Edoardo Mortara will be contesting his second season with the team in 2018. “There was a lot to learn in our first year together in the DTM. We missed out on a couple of points, but ultimately, we found that we were on the right track during the last few race weekends. I didn’t have a terrific season, so I’m really looking forward to this year when I intend to do much better. Also, there are new rules in place, and we’ll all be starting again from scratch. I hope that we can have a successful season.”
2018 DTM Season calendar: New venue
The 2018 DTM calendar features two new venues, which makes up 10 instead of 9 race meetings. Just as it was the case in recent years each race weekend features two races. Hockenheim traditionally stages the season kick-off (04th to 06th May) and the season finale (12-14 October). New on the calendar are the circuits of Brands Hatch, UK, (11-12 August) and Misano, Italy (24-26 August).
In addition to Hockenheim, the German circuits Lausitzring, Norisring and Nürburgring also represent a constant on the DTM calendar and the same applies to the abroad races at the Hungaroring, Hungary, Zandvoort, Netherlands and Spielberg, Austria.
2018 DTM calendar
04th to 06th May Hockenheim
18th to 20th May Lausitzring
01st to 03rd June Budapest
22nd to 24th June Norisring
13th to 15th July Zandvoort
11th to 12th August Brands Hatch
24th to 26th August Misano
07th to 09th September Nürburgring
21st to 23rd September Spielberg
12th to 14th October Hockenheim