Mercedes driver’s fate:”Never be sure.”
The 2018 DTM season is the last for Mercedes and its drivers for the time being – returning driver Pascal Wehrlein knows the ride into the unknown.
Mercedes wanted to make it fair. As early as July last year, they announced that the 2018 DTM season would be the last in which they will participate as manufacturers for the time being. This should give the series the time to look for an alternative, give itself the opportunity to contest a complete farewell season and also give the drivers the chance to look for new jobs.
DTM returnee Pascal Wehrlein can tell you a thing or two about how it’s like not knowing where you can reach into the steering wheel the following year. But the 2015 champion puts it into perspective:”You drive around your future every year. Nowadays there are so many good drivers – if you can’t perform for one or two years, you have a problem. From this point of view, it’s about the future every year.”
Wehrlein returns from Formula 1. With Mercedes’ support, he was able to run a year for the Manor backseat team and a year for the Sauber team, both of which were also in the past. 2018 was no longer a place in the royal class for him. Because Robert Wickens has already seized the opportunity to drive IndyCar and Maro Engel prefers to concentrate on Formula E, in which Mercedes also wants to enter at the end of the year, Wehrlein was able to return.
Whether he will get a chance in Formula 1 afterwards is uncertain. Gary Paffett, Paul di Resta, Lucas Auer, Edoardo Mortara and Daniel Juncadella have also not yet formulated any concrete plans for the future. Some of them already have their feet in alternative series.
Meanwhile Mortara is already active in Formula E – Paffett could well imagine a change to the electric series. This year, Di Resta is already testing long-distance events such as the 24-hours of Daytona, after failing to make a Formula 1 comeback for him either.
In his DTM comeback, Juncadella is also aiming for Formula E, but has already gained GT and long-distance experience with Mercedes. And for Auer, the issue of Formula 1 has not been dealt with after his test drives last year.
Wherever they land, they will try to bring the farewell season in the DTM not only to a successful close for Mercedes, but also to put themselves in the limelight for the last time. Wehrlein is aware of the difficulties involved:
“It’s a little different in the DTM than in Formula 1. It’s more of a team sport and it can happen that you have to race for two or three team mates after a few races and maybe only for one at the end of the season. More drivers are driving for one brand.”
It is therefore important to position yourself as early as possible in the season. Because Wehrlein also knows how to report:”Everyone else drives it also for himself and his own future. And I don’t think you should ever be sure of your future.”
© Motorsport-Total. com