News: General

Paffett looking forward to DTM return in Moscow

Posted 16th August 2016

The DTM Championship recommences this coming weekend following the mid-season break and Gary Paffett and the Mercedes-AMG DTM Team will be looking to pick up where they left off following Gary’s podium finish and heavy point-scoring weekend in Zandvoort last time out.

Gary’s mid-season break was slightly shorter than many of his DTM counterparts as he filled his time by making his GT debut for the AMG-Team HTP Motorsport in the 24 Hours of Spa. The race provided an eventful, unique and ultimately successful experience for Gary as he helped the team recover from twelfth on the grid to cross the finish line in fifth-place overall.

This weekend sees Gary return to more familiar territories as he shifts from being the least experienced to the most experienced driver on the grid as the DTM Championship sparks back into action in the Russian capital. Back in 2015, Gary enjoyed a point-scoring weekend at the Moscow Raceway finishing in seventh and sixth place respectively and the 35-year-old will be looking to manoeuvre his way further up the pack this year.

The Mercedes-AMG DTM Team will be returning to action following the short summer break with a refreshed driver line-up as the team’s test and reserve driver, Felix Rosenqvist, is stepping up to make his DTM debut having been a part of the Mercedes-AMG family for many years. Felix is replacing the outgoing Esteban Ocon who has secured a Formula One seat for the latter half of the 2016 season as he moves to partner Pascal Wehrlein at Manor Racing.

Ahead of this weekend’s racing, Gary Paffett commented: “After the long summer break, we're getting back into a racing frame of mind. Last year, the two races in Moscow went pretty well for me. I'm therefore hoping that we can build on the successful weekend at Zandvoort. If we manage to do that, we should be competitive on the Moscow Raceway. Then maybe we can finish on the podium again. “

“I'm getting a new team-mate for Moscow in the shape of Felix. But I already know him very well from his role as our test and reserve driver. After Lucas and Esteban, he's the third rookie team-mate for me in succession. I hope that he quickly finds his feet in the DTM and has a good first race weekend. At the same time, of course, I wish Esteban all the best for his Formula 1 debut in Belgium."

The Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM, Ulrich Fritz, echoed Gary’s hopes of a successful weekend by adding: “Whenever I think about Moscow, it immediately brings back two memories which I'll cherish for a long time. Firstly, when Pascal won the first of the two races last year in Moscow and took a decisive step towards the championship. Secondly, in the same race, we saw Gary make an incredible charge up the field, advancing from P20 to P7. It would be great if we could come away from this year's races with equally fond memories. We've seen over the last few race weekends that the potential is definitely there - both in terms of the car and of the team and drivers.”

Racing at the youngest venue on the DTM calendar kicks off on Saturday the 20th of August at 11:30 GMT, with the twelfth round of the Championship taking place the following day at 11:10 GMT.