Ralf Schumacher will not be seen lining up for 2013 DTM event as he has relinquished his position to shift to RSC Mucke Motorsport in a managerial position. At his new job he will be responsible for coaching budding talent of young drivers like Pascal Wehrlein and Daniel Juncadella.
Pascal is the youngest DTM driver at age of 18 years and 188 days on Hockenheim debut day. Ralf Schumacher will be of crucial help to these young drivers as he has vast experience in the racing world considering his stint in Formula 1 and DTM. He’s accredited with six grand prix wins and has competed in 54 DTM races as a driver for Mercedes Benz.
Wehrlein and Juncadella have a good record in the ADAC and Formula 3 events. Youngsters from Mercedes Benz include Christian Vietoris (23), Robert Wickens (24) and Roberto Merhi (21). Gary Paffet, the experienced driver within Mercedes Benz DTM lineup for 2013 will be taking part in his tenth DTM season in 2013. He turned 32 today. STIHL this year has a Mercedes-Benz DTM sponsorship for Robert Wickens, with co-sponsor RTL II TV show ‘GRIP – The Motor Magazine’ and its sister print publication. While he takes to the STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé steering this year, last year he drove the DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. Previously he was a F1 test driver with Marussia Virgin Racing, and Lotus Renault GP.
2013 DTM season will see 22-year-old Spaniard, Roberto Merhi take to the wheel of a THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. The young driver has been a Mercedes-Benz protégé since 2008 having won the Formula 3 Euro Series championship in a Dallara-Mercedes and won the FIA ??Formula 3 International Trophy earlier. The sponsorship will see the company’s logo on front aprons of all 6 DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupés and racing overalls of this season’s Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers.The company has been sponsor at DTM since the 2011 season, and is also personal sponsor to MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg.
Roberto Merhi had this to say, “THOMAS SABO is a global brand that has also made a name for itself in motor racing in recent years. My black THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé looks fast and aggressive. I am really looking forward to Hockenheim and lining up for the first time in the C-Coupé. Gary achieved brilliant results with our very own Black Lightning last season. Now it’s up to me to continue the good work.”
Thomas Sabo said, “I am delighted that we are expanding our involvement in motor racing with Mercedes-Benz. THOMAS SABO will have a dynamic and promising team on the grid once again this year. We are particularly keen to promote young drivers and in Roberto Merhi, we have found a young dedicated DTM driver who not only has a great career in motor racing ahead of him, but also perfectly fits the image of the THOMAS SABO lifestyle brand. I am certain that we are in for a thrilling DTM season.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport said, “The black THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé with its elegant, sporty look is a firm favourite of many DTM fans. So, I am really pleased that THOMAS SABO is stepping up a gear with Mercedes-Benz and the world’s most popular touring car series. The two brands fit together perfectly: The distinctive design and the high quality standards of the lifestyle label correspond exactly with those of the Mercedes-Benz brand. We aim to continue our successful long-term cooperation both on and off the track this coming season.”
Ralf Schumacher had this to say, “I’ve been thinking a great deal about my future during the last few weeks and have reached the conclusion that I am better able to support the extensive changes at Mercedes-Benz with regard to the DTM in a management role than at the wheel of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. I had talks with Toto Wolff and Gerhard Ungar and asked to finish my current career as a racing driver and concentrate on this new position. I am very grateful for more than two decades in professional motor racing and the last five years with Mercedes-Benz in the DTM. We have plenty of young, up-and-coming talent in our squad of drivers and I am happy to make way for them so that I can concentrate fully on my new responsibilities in the management team at RSC Mücke Motorsport. This represents an exciting challenge for me, helping the best young drivers with my know-how and expertise, and hopefully seeing them on their way to a successful career in motor racing.”
Pascal Wehrlein went on to say, “It’s like a dream come true, my promotion to the DTM. What’s especially nice is that I will be making my DTM debut with RSC Mücke Motorsport. I know Peter Mücke’s and Ralf Schumacher’s team already from previous years when I first competed for the outfit in the Formula ADAC and then later in the Formula 3 Euro Series. Working together always went well and I can’t wait to get down to the business of setting up my new DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé for the season opener at Hockenheim with the guys from Mücke.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport said, “We would love to be with Ralf Schumacher for his sixth DTM season. However, Ralf has informed us that, after careful consideration, he sees his future in management, which we fully support. Of course, it is a pity to lose a driver of his calibre, but we are really pleased that he will remain with us in his new role. Our driver line-up is certainly a valiant bunch, but they also patently represent a huge investment in motor racing’s future by Mercedes-Benz – these guys are stars in the making. In going this route, Ralf is taking on a very important, key role, using his experience to advise and assist our young drivers.”
Robert Wickens said, “My orange and white STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé is definitely one of the coolest designs seen on the DTM grid this year. In my whole racing career, I’ve certainly never seen a paint job that I liked better. Our goal now is to make sure that we don’t just look cool but are also fast.”
Wolfgang Schattling, DTM Management and Motorsport Communication had this to say, “I am delighted that we have been able to raise our longstanding cooperation with STIHL to a new level this season and that we now have them as our latest vehicle sponsor. Since the company was founded 85 years ago, it has been renowned for its revolutionary technology and innovative ideas. The name STIHL has become synonymous with cutting-edge technology and market leadership. This premium brand also stands for quality and service, values that align perfectly with those ??of the premium car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz.”
Jürgen Fitting, Head of Marketing Communication at STIHL said “The outstanding engineering that goes into the Mercedes AMG racing car and the fact that Robert Wickens personifies the Canadian outdoorsman very much reflects our brand values, namely uncompromising professional quality. Both car and driver are perfect brand ambassadors for STIHL.”