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Felix Rosenqvist replaces Esteban Ocon in Moscow
Stuttgart: The Mercedes-AMG DTM Team return from their summer break with a new driver line-up ahead of the upcoming race weekend in Moscow (19th - 21st August). After only ten races in the DTM, Mercedes Junior Esteban Ocon has been offered a seat in Formula 1. The Frenchman is about to become the new team-mate at Manor Racing of reigning DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein who himself made the move from the DTM to Formula 1 during the winter.
Ocon's cockpit in the FREE MEN'S WORLD Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM has been given to the team's test and reserve driver, Felix Rosenqvist, ahead of the forthcoming race weekend at the Moscow Raceway. The Swedish pro's connections with Mercedes-AMG go back several years. Twice (2014 and 2015), he has won the prestigious Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix in a Mercedes-powered car. Last season, he was also crowned FIA Formula 3 European champion.
This year, Rosenqvist has been kept busy with his duties as test and reserve driver in the DTM and also a stint in a Mercedes-AMG GT3: one and a half weeks ago, he and co-drivers Renger van der Zande and Tristan Vautier finished as runners-up in the 24 Hours of Spa after starting from a relatively modest 15th on the grid.
"Getting the opportunity to race in the DTM is very exciting for me. I've been a part of the Mercedes-AMG family for many years, and this was always one of my primary targets. It is going to be a real challenge, joining such an incredibly competitive championship mid-season, and I know I will have a lot to learn in a very short amount of time. Having been around the team in my capacity as test and reserve driver this season should help ease the transition, however, and I'm grateful to Mercedes-AMG for finally getting this chance. I can't wait to get out on track in Moscow!"
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM:
"The world of motorsport never stands still and is always offering new opportunities. It's fantastic that two of our Mercedes Juniors in the shape of Esteban and Pascal have made the step up from the DTM to Formula 1. At the same time, this gives the next talented squad member in line the chance to prove himself in the DTM. As our test and reserve driver, Felix is well prepared for the challenge. He has gone everywhere with the team since the beginning of the season, including the fitness camp, and he knows the whole squad as well as the car. His strong performance in the 24-hour race in Spa also speaks volumes. It therefore makes absolute sense for us to give him the opportunity to contest this DTM race weekend in Moscow. And of course, a very special thank-you goes to Esteban for his achievements this season. He has done exceptionally well in his DTM rookie year against a strong field. Now we're all giving him the thumbs-up on his Formula 1 debut at Spa. Good luck, Esteban!"
Quelle: Daimler AG