Opening race of the 2013 DTM season begins at Hockenheimring on 4th and 5th May 2013. Mercedes Benz has devised a brilliantly interactive competition for fans. This one of a type chance from MB entails participants to write in and describe in their own words why they would like to go on a taxi ride across the Hockenheimring circuit with none other than Nico Rosberg as their chauffeur. This is to be sent in the form of an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winner of this exciting competition will get to ride as a passenger with Rosberg in a DTM race taxi at Hockenheim. Rosberg will take the winner around the circuit, offering them an experience of a lifetime and an experience which only drivers get to experience as they’re the only one’s who get in a car. The winner of the competition will also receive two tickets which will gain them entry for the weekend races, besides entry to the drivers’ paddock. Winners of this competition will however have to make their own way to the venue as the prize does not include travel and accommodation.
Nico Rosberg said, “I always take an interest in the DTM, because I’ve had some great times there with my father. I’m looking forward to watching those talented youngsters Daniel Juncadella, Roberto Merhi, Christian Vietoris, Pascal Wehrlein and Robert Wickens go about their business. The Mercedes-Benz Junior Team offers a marvellous opportunity to talented drivers, and I’m glad to be a part of it. I very much hope that one of the Mercedes drivers, whether a newcomer or a more experienced member of the squad, is able to bring the title back to Stuttgart after missing out so narrowly last year. And as a racer myself, I’m especially looking forward to driving the race taxi around the circuit. I’ve had the opportunity to drive a DTM car several times in the past, and it’s going to be great fun, not only for the fan who wins the ride but also for me, to share that very special feeling.”
Last weekend saw Nico Rosberg start at pole at the Bahrain Grand Prix, however the Sakhir circuit didn’t offer much to Nico in terms of points in his 9th place finish Team mate Lewis Hamilton finished the race in 5th place. Starting at Q1 wasn’t enough to win on race day and Nico was put on a 4 stop strategy after his 3rd stop. This saw Nico stop at laps 9, 20, 33 and 44, running option/prime/prime/option/option. Nico Rosberg launched the A-Class small car in Bahrain last weekend. The hatchback from MB will have a launch date for India within this year. Lewis was on a 3-stop strategy and stopped on laps 10, 22 and 38, running option/option/prime/prime. F1 moves to Spain on the 10th May weekend.
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG Petronas said, “I’m really happy with our result today. It’s been a tough weekend for us but we got through it and finishing in fifth place was some good damage limitation. My race didn’t start well at all. I was looking after the tyres but I really struggled on the first two stints and was falling back. But as the temperatures dropped, the car picked up and then I had the grip that I needed to push and close the gap. I had so much fun fighting with Mark at the end. We really needed that point and I was so determined to get by. It was good, clean wheel-to-wheel racing. I’m very proud of what we have achieved over the first four races and to be third in the Drivers’ Championship is beyond any of our expectations. But we’ve got to keep pushing and find more performance. We’re hanging on by the skin of our teeth at the moment and, if we can make that next step, then we can close the gap.”
Nico Rosberg said, “A tough day for me. As nice as it was to start from pole this afternoon, it was just as hard to finish in ninth place. I didn’t feel comfortable in the car today and it wasn’t much fun out there really. We switched to a four-stop strategy at the end of my third stint but it wasn’t enough. We were using the rear tyres too much and at the end, I was really struggling and wasn’t able to push hard enough. There is a lot of work ahead and we need to focus on why our race performance isn’t matching the pace that we can show in qualifying. Hopefully we can make some steps here before the European season starts.”
Ross Brawn said, “We struggled badly in the early part of the race when the track temperatures were at their highest. This is an issue we have to address and we will continue working on solutions to improve our performance in this area. In the second half of the race, as the track temperatures cooled somewhat, our pace was not bad – particularly with Lewis. We got two cars home in the points, both drivers enjoyed some exciting wheel-to-wheel racing and the pit crew delivered some great stops. Lewis and Nico did as good a job as possible with the car we had this afternoon but it was a case of damage limitation for both of them. However we must make it a priority to cope better with elevated temperatures: the tyres are the same for everybody and we are not performing as well as our competitors in these conditions.”
Toto Wolff said, “We knew it would be a tough day and the high track temperatures were clearly not good for us. That’s not an excuse but a priority area to improve. We need to analyse carefully why we suffered so much, particularly in the early stages, and why we were not on the pace. Both drivers were tough but fair in defending their positions and delivered some good racing, particularly Lewis in the closing stages. But from a team perspective we must see this as a disappointing result. We learned a lot this afternoon but it is clear that we still have a lot to learn.”