Mercedes AMG surprises with their DTM line-up for 2017, where they have shaken up their driver combination a little bit.
Lucas Auer, Robert Wickens, DTM Champion 2005 Gary Paffett, and DTM Champion 2010 Paul Di Resta are the basic line-up carried over from the 2016 season. In the final two cars we will have new arrival from Audi Sport, Edoardo Mortara, and then Maro Engel will return back to DTM after he drove DTM for the star brand in 2008 to 2011.
Which means we’re saying good boy to Daniel Juncadella, Christian Vietoris, Maximilian Götz, and Felix Rosenqvist for 2017. Rosenqvist is out because he has a few date clashes with his Formula E commitment, but he has impressed in both series. Juncadella and Götz have never really hit the groove in DTM, even though they have had several seasons for Mercedes AMG. Vietoris finished 4th in the championship in both 2013 and 2014, but since then he has only been on 3 podiums out of 36 races. That’s simply not good enough if you wanna win the drivers, the constructors, and the teams championships in DTM.
With the new line-up, it’s an all-star team, who has a total of 30 Pole Positions and 99 podiums where 41 of those are victories. So you can’t argue that Mercedes AMG has all the potential to top of the championship, and now we only have to wait and see if the cars can deliver as well.
The last few seasons we have seen experienced drivers like Gary Paffett and Robert Wickens struggle big time, and if you look back in history in DTM, it will probably mean that they will have a few more advantages compared to the other teams, since the pendulum normally swings a little between the teams BOP wise. It’s something that the organizers normally do between season, to not make any of the 3 constructors too unhappy, so they can fight a bit more at the front than the previous season. And of course we have the natural development of the cars, which is another big factor.
The DTM season starts early May, but the first testing of this year will be around one month from now.