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Preparations for the new season are set to continue next week with the first DTM tests of the year and the unveiling of the new Silver Arrows car. Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas has this week made his first visit to Stuttgart and #maroengel has taken on an additional role...
A visit by Valtteri: New Silver Arrows recruit Valtteri Bottas is due to take part in the first winter test sessions of 2017, but first he called in at the headquarters of the brand with the three-pointed star in Stuttgart. While he was there, the Finn went on a tour of the Mercedes-Benz Museum and learned more about the illustrious motorsport history of the Silver Arrows. Valtteri also attended a Meet & Greet session with some excited Mercedes-Benz employees, at which he was introduced to his new work colleagues and answered questions about the upcoming season.
2017 about to get underway: The first DTM test drives of the year are scheduled for next week. From 20th to 23rd February, Gary Paffett, Paul Di Resta and Edoardo Mortara will be in Portimao, playing the lead role in preparations for the new campaign. The new cars will then be put through their paces at Vallelunga (13th - 16th March) and Hockenheim (3rd - 6th April). With the start of the 2017 season fast approaching, #maroengel has had his race number confirmed: the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM driven by the returnee to the series will sport the number 63.
New brand ambassador: Maro Engel has become the latest Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador. The DTM driver thus joins a distinguished roll-call of motorsport greats that includes Bernd Schneider, Karl Wendlinger and David Coulthard. #maroengel has been a Mercedes-AMG driver since 2007 when he contested the British F3 Championship as a member of the Junior squad, graduating one year later to the Mercedes-AMG works team in the DTM. He now intends to redouble his efforts on behalf of the high-performance brand from Affalterbach. His greatest successes for the Mercedes-AMG Customer Sports programme include winning the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in 2016 and lifting the FIA GT world championship title in 2015.
Three questions for Maro Engel
Maro, after your GT3 outings in Dubai, Daytona and Bathurst, you met up with your DTM team-mates at the training camp last week. What were your first impressions, and what will you be doing in the next few weeks?
Maro Engel: I joined the guys a bit later because of the race at Bathurst, but it was a great training camp. We trained hard, had a lot of fun together and bonded as a team. Next, I’m off to Buenos Aires for the Formula E race weekend, and then I’ll see my DTM team-mates again at the Vallelunga tests. But before that, I will be a frequent visitor to HWA in Affalterbach where I’ll be getting myself ready for the season. I just can’t wait for the DTM season to start.
You’ve got a full diary with your DTM and Formula E commitments. Can we also expect to see you competing in the occasional GT3 race?
Maro Engel: GT3 #racing is fantastic, and it’s very dear to my heart. I’m especially looking forward to the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring where we’ll be defending the title we won last year. The Nordschleife is an amazing race track that never fails to pose a new challenge; it’s going to be very special having the number 1 on our car. If time permits, I’ll try to compete in some other GT races. In particular, the FIA GT World Cup in Macau – that would be another highlight for me. Let’s see what happens during the year...
You’ve been chosen as Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador. What does this appointment mean to you, and what are your responsibilities?
Maro Engel: It is an honour for me, and I am delighted to be even more closely associated with the brand name. Mercedes-AMG has always been the marque with which I identify one hundred percent. For me, Mercedes-AMG cars are an absolute dream, not only on the racetrack but also on the open road. There are many exciting projects ahead; I will continue to work for the AMG Driving Academy, and I’m looking forward to carrying out my responsibilities as a representative and ambassador of the Mercedes-AMG brand at trade fairs and other events. I’m also looking forward to competing in the DTM with the number 63 on my Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM car.
Social Media News
Firstimpressions: Valtteri Bottas is familiarising himself with a lot of new things. In addition to a debut visit to the team centre in Brackley and to Stuttgart, the Finn also called in at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth for the first time. There, he met his new workmates and took a first look at the 2017 Power Unit.
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLgORt4W8Jk
Pitstoppractice: Perfect timing by new Silver Arrows signing Valtteri Bottas! He was visiting the factory for an exchange of ideas with his new team-mates and was able to watch the intensive practice that is being put into pit stops with the new, wider Pirelli tyres for the coming season.
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w46L9wnsZow
TotoTalksF1: The team has had an exciting few weeks. In the run-up to the new season, Toto Wolff set aside some time to talk about various issues that have arisen in recent weeks. They include the search for a replacement for world champion Nico Rosberg, the recruitment of a promising youngster and the new Silver Arrows car for the 2017 season.
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN7TFymqKBI
EpsonAssembly: Formula One is a never-ending sequence of challenges. We invited one of our team members and an Epson technician to do a temporary job swap. They were set the task of assembling the rear wing of a Silver Arrow and an Epson printer while wearing an Epson Moverio Pro BT-2000 Smart Headset!
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehuHseO-RR0
Adamsphotoalbum: Two weeks ago, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 made its debut in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the 24 Hours of Daytona – a perfect opportunity to take a look behind the scenes. GT3 driver Adam Christodoulou shares exclusive insights into the paddock at the 24-hour classics in his photo album.
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