STUTTGART, 04-May-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — Two exciting weekends for the brand with the three-pointed star, as Valtteri Bottas wins his first Grand Prix in Russia and the new DTM season gets underway at Hockenheim with a milestone for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, namely the 400th race in the DTM/ITC.
- This is what happened: Weekend results and facts
- News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams
- Three questions forUlrich Fritz
- Social media news: What’s new online?
- This week’s important dates and events
This is what happened: Weekend’s results & facts
- Formula One: Valtteri Bottas claims a first F1 victory in the Russian Grand Prix
StatAttack – Russia: Four races, four victories – the Sochi Autodrom continues to be a happy hunting ground for the Silver Arrows. At one point, however, it looked as if the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Formula One Team were not going to repeat their victory of the previous year. For the first time this season, neither of the two Silver Arrows drivers qualified for the front row of the grid. Valtteri missed out on P2 in a tense qualifying session by just one tenth of a second. On the day of the race, however, the tables were turned: Valtteri got off to a stunning start, overtook both Ferraris and proceeded to claim a first ever grand prix victory.
Finnish successes: With this maiden win in the highest echelon of motor racing, Valtteri joins an illustrious band of fellow countrymen: Keke Rosberg (world champion 1982), Kimi Räikkönen (world champion 2007), Mika Häkkinen (world champion 1998, 1999) and Heikki Kovalainen. Four of the five victorious Finns won at least one race in a Mercedes-powered car: Häkkinen (20 wins with a Mercedes engine), Räikkönen (nine wins with a Mercedes engine), Kovalainen (one victory with Mercedes engine) and now Bottas. So far, eight Finns have competed in a grand prix, five of whom won at least once and three of whom went on to become world champions. It took Valtteri precisely 81 grands prix before he at last ascended the top rung of the podium. Prior to that, he had made eleven podium appearances as the runner-up or third-placed contestant.
Show run in Budapest: Valtteri did not have much opportunity to celebrate after his first grand prix victory. Just one day later, he was sitting in the cockpit of a Silver Arrow doing a demo run through the streets of Budapest – a fitting way to mark a maiden F1 victory. Mercedes-AMG DTM driver Robert Wickens was also in Budapest on Monday, assiduously carving out donuts in a Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM. “Thank you, Budapest,” said Robert afterwards. “There were so many people there. What a great day!” The Hungaroring in Budapest will be hosting both the DTM (16th – 19th June) and Formula One (28th – 30th July) this season.
Podium in Monza: Another race weekend and another podium for Maximilian Günther. On the second race weekend of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Monza, the 19-year-old registered his second Top Three finish of the campaign. The test and substitute driver for the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team came third after starting from sixth on the grid. The race was won by Callum Ilott, his second victory of the season in a Mercedes-powered car. “Standing on the podium in the home race for my team was something special,” said Max. “I am now looking forward to next weekend when I will be accompanying the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team to Hockenheim. It will be a great experience for me!” On Saturday, Mick Schumacher made his first Formula 3 podium appearance after finishing third in the second race.
30th win in general classification for the Mercedes-AMG GT3: Ryan Dalziel (SCO) and David Morad (CAN) driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3 won the second race of the SprintX event, part of the Pirelli World Challenge held in the US state of Virginia. This latest success is the 30th general class victory for a Mercedes-AMG GT3 since the car made its debut in 2016. The one-hour race was a first outing for Morad as a member of the CRP Racing squad in the Pro class. The Pro/Am class was won by Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED) and Tim Pappas (USA), also in a Mercedes-AMG GT3. In addition to passing the 30-victory mark, Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing reached another milestone in April as the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and its predecessor (SLS AMG GT3) notched up a 200th victory in various series around the world, including Australia, Asia, Europe and North America.
Class victory in the International GT Open: The Mercedes-AMG GT3 registered two class wins in the curtain-raiser to the 2017 International GT Open at Estoril. The Brazilian duo of Marcio Basso and Fulvio Figueiredo (Team Sports & You) left the Am class opposition standing in the first of two races in Portugal. Runners-up were Alexander Hrachovina and Martin Konrad (AUT) of MS Racing. In the second race, it was Hrachovina and Konrad who crossed the finish line first. Second and third in the class were the two Mercedes-AMG GT3s entered by Sports & You driven by António Coimbra and Luis Silva (both POR) and by Basso and Figueiredo.
Podium success in the DMV GTC: Bruno Stucky driving an SLS AMG GT3 entered by ANTeam finished second in his class in the two DMV GTC races (general classification P4 and P3) hosted by the city of Dijon in France. In Race 2, Josef Klüber in the number 5 Mercedes-AMG GT3 entered by équipe vitesse was class runner-up. In the concluding Dunlop 60 race (i.e. 60 minutes in length), Klüber and Marc Asbeck (GER) in the number 15 Mercedes-AMG GT3 entered by BLACK FALCON once again finished second and third in their class.
Three questions for Ulrich Fritz
Uli, the season is finally upon us. How are you feeling in the run-up to Hockenheim?
Ulrich Fritz: Basically, I’m feeling good. But there is always an element of uncertainty. Sure, we tested here four weeks ago, but you never know what the opposition were actually revealing and how many aces they have up their sleeve. I think we have done our homework, and the team as well as the drivers are motivated right down to their fingertips. But the tension is definitely tangible.
It is exactly four years since Mercedes found out at Hockenheim that their car was not competitive. Do you have that fear in the back of your mind when you embark on a new season after the car has undergone major development?
Ulrich Fritz: Let’s put it this way: the past is always valuable as a source of learning, and I think we now understand the things that didn’t go as they should at the time. But we should not be approaching Hockenheim in fear and trepidation of the first qualifying round. Thoughts of that kind would be very counterproductive. What matters is that everyone in the team can say of themselves that they have done their best. You can’t ask for more than that, anyway.
What are you most looking forward to this season?
Ulrich Fritz: I have the general impression that the DTM is currently on the up. You can also feel the energy flowing from everyone involved that you want to feel as you go into a new season. Over the winter, we agreed on a lot of good things that should make the racing even more exciting. You will already have heard a lot about the new tyres and the extra horsepower, but I’ll also be interested to see how the spectators react to the whole trackside experience and the innovation with the open garages. ARD have also come up with some good ideas regarding the TV transmission. Ex-champions and motorsport celebrities as co-commentators is going to be great for the fans and certainly entertaining. So I think we’re all heading in the right direction.
Social Media News
#Message: After his first Grand Prix victory in Russia, Valtteri Bottas sent a message to his fans, thanking them for their support over recent years.
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gNgzbsdPjw
#F1explained: Have you ever wondered what goes on at the team’s section of the pit wall? Who sits where and what job have they been assigned? Sporting Director Ron Meadows reveals the secrets of the pit wall…
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Bfvu11pxLM
#ReadyToRace: The Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team is ready for the new season! We have put together short videos introducing each of the drivers and getting their insights on the forthcoming season.
Watch video – Lucas Auer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0SdPeKl6c4
Watch video – Robert Wickens: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHXGK-oWQWU
Watch video – Edoardo Mortara: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyeSFMXLDVU
Watch video – Maro Engel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7bGCGjrpB4
#NoRegrets: Just before the 2017 season gets off the ground, we look back at the previous campaign. But not just that: our documentary provides a glimpse behind the scenes at Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team and shows how the drivers get on with each other.
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dghTr8t_mzM
Upcoming events & dates
|Friday 05/05/2017||DTM: Hockenheim – Practice 1|
|Saturday 06/05/2017||DTM: Hockenheim – Practice 2 / Qualifying 1 /
Blancpain GT Series: Brands Hatch – Qualifying
|Sunday 07/05/2017||DTM: Practice 3 / Qualifying 2 /
Blancpain GT Series: Brands Hatch – Race
SOURCE: Daimler AG
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Office Mercedes-Benz DTM Communications
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Fax +49 711 17-49986