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The engines are roaring again! In the run-up to the launch for the new Silver Arrows Formula One car on Thursday, the DTM drivers were completing the first test session of the year at Portimao.
Showtime: It’s almost that time of the year again. Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport will be launching its new challenger for the 2017 Formula One season as part of the Team’s official 100 km Filming Day on Thursday at Silverstone. There will be online Q&A sessions with the drivers and team management, all shown live on the official Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport website (www.mercedesamgf1.com) and the team’s social media channels. The first tests with the car start next Monday (27th February) at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The grand prix circuit on the outskirts of Barcelona has been chosen as the venue for the two test weeks before the start of the season in Australia (24th - 26th March).
Pick a number: The driver line-up has been confirmed, the first test sessions are underway, and the newcomers to the team have been given their starting numbers. DTM returnee Maro Engel will have the number 63 on his Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, while test and substitute driver Maximilian Günther has requested and been granted the number 97. Why? It’s the year the 19-year-old was born in! The date of birth for the runner-up in the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship was 2nd July 1997. Incidentally, the last Mercedes-AMG DTM driver to have such a high number (also indicating his birth year) was Pascal Wehrlein who won the championship in 2015 with 94 emblazoned on his car.
Testing times: The first official tests for the 2017 DTM season take place this week at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao. Gary Paffett, #pauldiresta and newcomer Edoardo Mortara are the standard bearers for the Mercedes-AMG DTM Team. This is the final test session before the homologation of the new Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM on 1st March.
Three questions for Paul Di Resta
Paul, due to the changes in the rules, the driver is set to play a more prominent role this year. With your many years of experience, do you think this will improve your chances?
Paul Di Resta: The new rules for 2017 will definitely add more spice to the races. One of the main criteria was to put on an even better show for the fans. The most important change is certainly the new tyres, in particular how fast they degrade and how they behave during qualifying and #racing. You have to manage them properly to get a decent result. Hopefully, my experience will help me, including with the Pirelli tyres in Formula One. The most important thing for us, however, is to provide the fans with good entertainment.
Will you be changing your training or preparation routine for this season?
Paul Di Resta: My training programme looks just the same. I always take myself to my physical limits. Obviously, I’m getting older too, so in those circumstances, it helps to concentrate more on your training. But I’m doing enough to hopefully have a small advantage.
How will the new vehicle differ from the previous model? What can the fans look forward to?
Paul Di Resta: At the moment, we’re not testing in the finalised car, but even at this stage, I can feel the differences in the aerodynamics. The most obvious difference for the fans is surely going to be the rear wing. When the DRS is activated, the main element remains the same, but there is a narrow flap that opens. You can see this much more clearly when a driver attacks the car in front. Personally, I’m looking forward to the cars being faster. We have slightly more power. Also, the cars will be a little faster due to the softer tyres. In addition, there are no blankets for keeping the tyres warm any more. This could ramp up the action during the pit stops, with some cars sliding around on cold tyres while others on warmed up tyres go on the attack. All in all, these are great ideas which the drivers have argued for in the past. I’m now hoping that it all goes to plan and that it increases the entertainment factor.
Social Media News
SimpliF1ed: The 2017 season marks the beginning of a new era for Formula One. Radical changes in aerodynamics and the introduction of wider tyres bring new challenges. We explain the consequences for the coming season...
Watch video – Power Unit explained: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvivLc8UtIY
Watch video – Aerodynamics explained: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ONfK64MvBQ
Watch video – Tyres explained: www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-vAG88dQ_U
MBFamily: Valtteri Bottas is ready for the new season! Prior to the unveiling of the new Silver Arrows car, he paid a visit last week to Daimler headquarters in Stuttgart. While he was there, he was even issued with his own employee ID and allocated a locker!
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVOX85GWv3c
ThisIsWhyWeRace: Team captain Gary Paffett explains the philosophy that motivates the Mercedes-AMG DTM Team: “ #racing is about winning, but not at all costs. There is a limit to what acceptable and respectful. For me, respect is the most important word in motor #racing.”
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQWwG8sPDQk
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