by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

DTM Spielberg 2013: Preview

The Red Bull Ring in Spielberg will host the DTM for the sixth time this weekend (1st-2nd June).

The circuit: The length is exactly 4.326km, the Red Bull Ring is the second longest track on the DTM racing calendar – only the Hockenheimring in Baden-Württemberg is longer at 4.574km. The race is held over 47 laps, which equates to a total distance of 203.322 kilometres, making it the longest of the entire season.

Support for VfB Stuttgart: Qualifying at Spielberg is not the only sporting event taking place on Saturday 1st June. VfB Stuttgart play FC Bayern Munich in the DFB Cup final that same evening. To mark the final in Berlin, Pascal Wehrlein will line up for the Spielberg race weekend in the VfB Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, sporting the white/red club colours of five-time German football champions and three-time DFB Cup winners, VfB Stuttgart, who are sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Bank.

Warming up for the race weekend: Pascal Wehrlein was in action at the Red Bull Ring on the Monday before the race. As part of ongoing driver training, the Mercedes junior gave the two Austrian football internationals, Andreas Ivanschitz and Sebastian Prödl, tips on finding the racing line and took them out on a hot lap of the south circuit in a C63 AMG Performance Car.

Statements about the DTM race in Spielberg

Gary Paffett (32, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):

- was third on the podium last year in Spielberg
- won a Formula 3 race at Spielberg in 2002

“The start to the season could hardly be more varied. After the short and twisty Brands Hatch circuit, one of the longest and fastest tracks of the year now awaits us in Spielberg. I had a decent race there last year, was placed third and finished on the DTM podium for the first time at this track. I would really like to repeat a similar showing with my first podium of the season, but would, of course, prefer to be two places up than one year ago! Our race pace was great at Brands Hatch, and we aim to be among the front-runners once again in qualifying at Spielberg, just like last year.”

Christian Vietoris (24, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):

- was one of the Top 10 on the grid at Spielberg in his debut season

“After a tricky qualifying session at Brands Hatch, my DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé was much better in the race and I was able to move up the field eight positions thanks to our good race pace and clever strategy. But for the mistake in qualifying, more than P8 would have been possible – I intend to make up for my error in Brands Hatch now in Spielberg. The track is great. It goes uphill and down, and the many fast turns are really challenging for the drivers. It will be interesting to see how the option tyres behave on this roller coaster and which strategies will bring success this time. My engineers and I will again spend a lot of time deciding the right tactics, for sure.”

Robert Wickens (24, Canada, STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):

- finished on podium for first time in his DTM career at Brands Hatch

“My first podium finish at the last race came unexpectedly, but that made the champagne at the winners’ ceremony all the sweeter. Now that I’ve tasted it once, there’s no holding me back and I aim to finish on the podium more often! My STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé prepared by HWA is a highly competitive car and never far from victory – Gary has proven that often enough. I’ll have a good chance of being in contention for a top position if qualifying at Spielberg goes better than it did at Brands Hatch. I’ve already demonstrated that I can hold my own in a scrap against all comers over a full 98 laps at Brands Hatch.”

Roberto Merhi (22, Spain, THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):

- won two Formula 3 Euro Series races at Spielberg in 2011

“Spielberg is a very special track and one of the best on the DTM calendar in my opinion. Long straights, a unique atmosphere in the Austrian mountains and large variations in altitude – not many race tracks can offer such a thrilling combination. The challenge in Spielberg is to find a compromise between having as much downforce as possible for the twisty sections of track and high top speed for the relatively long straights. I drove a good race in Austria last season. I aim to do even better this year and secure a points-scoring finish for the second time this season after that tough Brands Hatch weekend.”

Pascal Wehrlein (18, Germany, VfB Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):

- secured a point for first time at Brands Hatch in his second DTM race 
- achieved podiums at Spielberg in the Formula 3 Euro series and in the Formel ADAC

“My first DTM point at Brands Hatch was nice, but I would like to do even better in Spielberg and secure more than one solitary point. I have fond memories of this track where I have constantly been on the podium both in Formel ADAC and in the Formula 3 Euro Series. Overtaking in Spielberg is possible even without DRS, so I wonder how it will affect the race. We had one decent qualifying and then one good race during my first two DTM race weekends, so we are now going to combine the two on Saturday and Sunday in Spielberg.”

Daniel Juncadella (22, Spain, stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):

- has won two Formula 3 Euro series races at Spielberg

“Brands Hatch was a weekend to forget as far as I’m concerned, so now I’m really looking forward to the Red Bull Ring, which is one of my all-time favourite tracks. I’ve won there in Formula 3 Euro Series during the past two years, and so hopefully, I can find the same form in the DTM. Spielberg has many fast turns and only one hairpin, at Turn 2. Consequently, it is particularly important to have good aerodynamic balance. My goal is to quickly find the rhythm that we had in the season-opener at Hockenheim and then aim to score my first DTM points.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“I have been to so many countries around the world with the DTM and Formula 1 during the season and am very much looking forward to a race in Spielberg, in my Austrian homeland, for a change. Every year, I never fail to be amazed by the fantastic atmosphere in front of the packed grandstands, and the track in its mountain setting is unique on the DTM calendar. We achieved one podium in each of the first two races this year. We would now like to occupy the very top spot for the first time this season at Spielberg. Gary Paffett is further motivated to secure his first win of the season following his penalty at Brands Hatch, but our Mercedes juniors have also shown in the first two races that podiums are possible.”

~ Official photos and details courtesy of Mercedes-AMG GmbH ~

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