Why Luca Ludwig suddenly drives a Ferrari
Luca Ludwig goes completely new ways with HB Racing in the 2018 season – separation from Mercedes-AMG after lack of development opportunities
The news came as a surprise: Luca Ludwig changed not only the team but also the brand in winter. At HB Racing, the son of touring and sports car legend Klaus Ludwig will take his first seat in a Ferrari – something that even his father did not succeed in his extraordinary career. The fans are accordingly astonished, after all the name Ludwig seemed to be quite firmly rooted in Mercedes.
The 29-year-old told ‘Motorsport-Total.com’ that the change to Rinaldi Racing’s team came at very short notice: “I already knew the guys a little and quickly realized during the test at Le Castellet that the structure at Rinaldi is excellent and that we fit together perfectly. They made me an offer that enabled me to do something that would not have been possible anywhere else. He will drive a Ferrari 488 GT3 with Dominik Schwager in 2018 in the GT Masters.
Ludwig is turning his back on his former employer Zakspeed. Not only since the events with the disqualification at the Sachsenring it was clear that the cooperation would come to an end: “From a sporting point of view it was a great collaboration with great successes such as the championship title (2015; Note. d. Red.), the first victory of an AMG GT in Europe and many podium places. But humanly, there have been tensions that have led to my inability to develop myself any further,” he explains the end of the commitment.
For Ludwig it is a priority to race many races. Seven race weekends were simply not enough. The comparatively few kilometres also put Ludwig at a competitive disadvantage compared to drivers who were in action almost every week.
“It’s different traits that ultimately made the difference. As a driver you need a clear head and a team behind you, you need smooth processes and a perfect structure – preferably with people you work with for years. That’s what I expect from my new team.”
The cooperation with Mercedes-AMG also comes to an end after five years together. After finishing at Zakspeed, Mercedes-AMG offered him the prospect of engagements on three continents, but they did not materialise, as he describes: “Things were discussed, but then simply stopped in space. “There was much untapped potential in the Ludwig-Mercedes link.”
“So I took care of alternative programs in motorsport that have now secured my future in racing. The Rinaldi programme was ready in one day, so I am very happy. And I’m sure that this new project will be very well received by the fans and that we will be at the front.”