News: General

Point to prove for Paffett in Budapest

Posted 13th June 2017

Gary Paffett will be looking to continue his great start to the 2017 DTM season this weekend when he takes to the Hungaroring, Budapest, for the third race weekend of the year.

Sitting third in the Drivers’ Championship and having scored points in all of four of the year’s races, ‘Team Captain’ Gary Paffett travels to Budapest looking to pick up more valuable points and help Mercedes-Benz extend their lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship.

Despite their strong start to 2017, the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team are under no illusions that this weekend may be their toughest challenge of the season to date. The team have only taken eight points from their last three races in Budapest and Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM, Ulrich Fritz, believes the team ‘still have a score to settle in Hungary.’

With new cars for 2017, previous records count for very little and although Audi scored a historic 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 finish at Budapest last season, this year nobody travels to track as an outright favourite.

Although Gary is still yet to secure a DTM point in Hungary, the 26-year-old is confident in the performance of his car and believes the team can have a good outing at the historic circuit.

"I'm really looking forward to going to Budapest. It's a fantastic city and it will be good fun to drive one of our cars through the streets of Budapest on Thursday. We've had two really strong first two weekends. The performance of our car is good, and I think we can go there and have another good weekend. It's a circuit I enjoy driving. I'm pretty happy with the start to the season and want to continue the run of strong results that I've had so far this year. We're not really looking at the championship yet.”

“It's great to be in third place in the championship after two race weekends, which means we're contenders at the moment, but there's still a long way to go. We have to focus on each weekend as it comes. To be honest, you need to produce consistently good performances to win a championship. That's what we did at the first two race weekends of the season and that's what we have to try to do again for the next seven."

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM is still unsure how the Mercedes-AMG team will fair this weekend.  

"We can certainly be very satisfied with the first two race weekends. Our car has run very well so far, and the team and drivers are doing a superb job, so we have the right foundations for Budapest. Nevertheless, there is a big 'but', since we still don't yet know how the car will perform at the Hungaroring where it's going to be important to give the drivers as much downforce as possible. At the same time, tyre management will once again play a fundamental role. Generally speaking, I would say that we still have a score to settle in Hungary. When all said and done, we've only taken eight points from the last three races."

The weekend commences in usual fashion, with free practice kick starting the action at 16:00 (BST) on Friday 16th