Mercedes-AMG DTM complete first pre-season test

  Mercedes-AMG DTM recently completed the first pre-season where drivers Gary Paffett and Lucas Auer took turns driving at the Vallelunga track in Italy. However, the weather turned out to be rather difficult for the team.The team had to face a wide range of weather conditions over the course of the three days with icy temperatures and snow during rollout on Thursday and the need for full wets on Saturday (final day).

“We can count ourselves lucky to have had such good weather,” said Gary, who drove 119 laps in the dry on Friday. “ This year, there have been some big changes to the aerodynamic parts of the car, and there are also more standard parts. This should hopefully help to level the playing field – although that’s sometimes hard to imagine, with things being so tight in the DTM. The car did not feel amazingly different. It has a little less downforce, but it is still a DTM car.”

The 2005 DTM champion set the best time of the day, 1:26.751 minutes. The British driver was fastest on all three track sectors, giving a theoretical best time of 1:26.666 minutes.

On a rain-affected Saturday, Auer took the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM. Due to the poor weather conditions, Lucas was only able to complete 14 laps in the morning before an unscheduled excursion into the barriers brought the day to a premature end. “It was super cool to be in a DTM car again,” said Lucas. “Unfortunately, it was only for a very short time, because I made a mistake and crashed the car. I apologize to the team and especially to Pascal (Wehrlein). But now I’m looking ahead and feeling excited about the next test.”

The plan had been for Wehrlein to take over in the cockpit in the afternoon and to participate in a first DTM test since claiming the title two years ago. “Despite the challenging weather conditions, we had been having a useful test session until Lucas skidded off the track, and we had managed to get through our scheduled program up to that point,” said Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Ulrich Fritz.

The team will now return to the factory in Affalterbach to evaluate the data from the Vallelunga test week and continue preparations for the start of the season on the weekend of 4 – 6 May in Hockenheim. The next round of testing is also scheduled to take place at the Hockenheimring, 9 -12 April.