Stuttgart - A home race in Hockenheim for Mercedes-Benz this coming weekend (May 3rd-4th) marks the start of the DTM's 30th anniversary season.
The track: The 4.574 kilometre Hockenheimring Baden-Wurttemberg is traditionally the venue for the DTM season opener and the finale. The race is held over 42 laps which equates to a distance of 192.108 kilometres. The section of track from the Parabolica to the hairpin is taken at about 270 km/h and is the fastest on the DTM calendar. Drivers are at full throttle for 64% of a single lap. Seven turns are traversed at more than 100 km/h and only four at less than 100 km/h.
Videos: Copyright-free videos are available to journalists this season with onboard lap commentaries by Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers. Each circuit is presented by a driver in his native language. Hockenheimring onboard lap commentaries are available to download here:
Video: Hockenheim onboard lap with Gary Paffett (English)
Video: Hockenheim onboard lap with Pascal Wehrlein (German)
Video: Hockenheim onboard lap with Daniel Juncadella (Spanish)
Video: Hockenheim onboard lap with Vitaly Petrov (Russian)
Fan zone: Mercedes-Benz are continuing a small tradition this year and opening up their hospitality suite to interested fans on the Friday before race weekend. In the Mercedes-Benz DTM 'Fantreff', 100 lucky prize winners plus one accompanying person can meet Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers, get autographs and take souvenir photos.
For more information visit: www.mercedes-benz.com/dtm
VIP guests: Three special guests will circulate among fans at the season opener in Hockenheim. Apart from the two top ranked German Formula 1 drivers of the current season, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS driver Nico Rosberg and Sahara Force India-Mercedes driver Nico Hülkenberg, football legend and Laureus ambassador Franz Beckenbauer will also be a guest at Hockenheim. Fans can meet all three in the course of the weekend during public interviews and at autograph sessions.
Timetable for the DTM season opener at Hockenheim:
Saturday 3rd May
'Meet the Drivers' autograph session with Nico Hülkenberg and the entire Mercedes-Benz DTM squad
In front of the Mercedes-Benz hospitality suite
Press conference with Nico Hülkenberg
Mercedes-Benz hospitality suite
Interview with Nico Hülkenberg
Stage of Mercedes-Benz Erlebniswelt
Sunday 4th May
09:30 - 10:00
Press conference with Nico Rosberg
Baden-Württemberg Center, 4th floor
10:55 - 11:15
Interview and autograph signing with Franz Beckenbauer and Nico Rosberg
Stage of Mercedes-Benz Erlebniswelt
11:55 - 12:00
Nico Rosberg in demo drive of 1954 W196 Silver Arrow
Comments on the DTM race in Hockenheim
Christian Vietoris (25, Germany, Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
"After a long winter break, we're finally racing again! The entire crew has worked flat out this winter to be in a position to fight at the top this season. After the first tests with my new Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, I have to say, I'm really optimistic! A lot has been done to the car visually and I feel really at home in it. I think we've made genuine progress. We'll only find out how quick we actually are at the season opener in Hockenheim. It won't be easy, because our competitors have not been hibernating this winter, you know, but I'm looking forward to the first showdown this weekend."
Paul Di Resta (28, Scotland, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
"It feels great to be back in the DTM. Straightaway, I felt at home once again in the team and used the tests before the start of the season just to familiarize myself with the new generation of vehicles. Other drivers may have acquired more experience with these cars during my three-year absence competing in Formula 1, for sure, but I can adapt relatively easily and quickly to new circumstances, which I proved in Formula 1. Now it's time for me to show out on track that I can continue in the DTM exactly where I left off in 2010 when I clinched the championship - with race wins! Preferably in my comeback race this weekend at Hockenheim!"
Gary Paffett (33, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
"I can't wait to start the new DTM season. My tenth anniversary season last year did not go as I would have wished, but maybe luck will smile on me in my eleventh DTM year. At any rate, we've worked hard during the winter of 2014 to be back at full strength. We definitely intend to improve our performance and make fewer mistakes. Everyone expects Mercedes-Benz to win and remain true to their motto: das Beste oder nichts - the best or nothing. We want to win races and be real title contenders - that's our aim. We'll have to wait and see how the season actually turns out, but as a team, we will do everything in our power to achieve our goals in the very first race."
Robert Wickens (25, Canada, FREE MAN'S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
"Last season was really good for me. Now I can hardly wait to do even better this year. I got the taste for success after my first DTM victory at the Nürburgring and aim to finish on the podium more often. The entire team has worked hard over the winter and we're all highly motivated to play our part in the title fight. Our home race in Hockenheim is the perfect place to start the season. Mercedes-Benz have always been quick on this track in recent years and very successful. We want to repeat that success with a top result to start the new DTM season."
Daniel Juncadella (22, Spain, Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
"I feel ready for my second season in the DTM after a busy winter. My rookie year wasn't easy, but I learned a great deal and now intend to translate my new found knowledge into even better results. My goal is to achieve my first podium finish in the DTM this year and maybe even win a race. Hockenheim is a great track to start the season. The atmosphere in the stands is always fantastic and the circuit offers good overtaking opportunities, especially in the hairpin. Everything augurs well for an exciting opening weekend."
Vitaly Petrov (29, Russia, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
"My first DTM race is in prospect. I know Hockenheim from competing in Formula 1, but DTM cars are so different that I almost have to relearn the circuit. I've got a really steep learning curve ahead of me this year, and that process got under way even before the season started with the first tests. So far, I'm pleased with my progress as is the team, and I will do everything possible to be in a position to say I'm still pleased after the opening weekend. But I must be realistic. It's not going to be in any way easy for me; after all, I'm competing with the best touring car drivers in the world. The level of competitiveness of drivers and cars is very high, both in qualifying and in the race, and almost the entire field bunches close together. You have to stay focused and avoid making mistakes. If I can achieve that, then I'll be satisfied with my DTM debut."
Pascal Wehrlein (19, Germany, gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
"I can hardly believe that I'm about to start my second DTM season next weekend. It only seems like yesterday that I was preparing for my DTM debut at the same venue, here in Hockenheim. I quite like the track, even if it's not particularly easy to find the right setup compromise between maximum downforce in the turns and high top speed on the straights. Braking is also paramount at this well established circuit, since you have to brake down hard from top speed a couple of times per lap. But I like challenges, so I'm looking forward to the season opener when we'll get to see for the first time whether all our hard work this winter was worth it."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"After a long break from the DTM this winter, touring car racing is finally back. We have been preparing intensively for the new season in recent months, and obviously, our goal is to improve our performance in comparison to last year. We want to win races and have a say in who wins the championship title. We expect to see many colleagues and fans in the stands at our home race this weekend. I'm really looking forward to experiencing the electric atmosphere both in the Motodrom and in the Mercedes grandstand. What's more, interest in the DTM is immense, as evidenced by the fact that two Formula 1 drivers - Nico Rosberg and Nico Hülkenberg - plus living football legend Franz Beckenbauer will be our guests at the DTM season opener."
Source: Daimler AG