DTM 2014: Round 3, Budapest: Preview

The DTM returns to the Hungaroring this weekend after 26 years! On 18th September 1988, the most popular international touring-car series made its Hungaroring debut, with Venezuela’s former Motorbike World Champion and Formula 1 driver Johnny Cecotto winning both races of that weekend at the wheel of an AMG Mercedes.

The DTM last raced in 1988 at the 4.381 km Hungaroring that consists of seven right-hand turns and seven left-handers. The distance from pole position to the apex of the first turn is 610 metres. The race is held over a distance of 41 laps which equates to 179.621 km. This is, overall, the second shortest race distance of the year after the Nürburgring, and drivers familiarised themselves with the race track in Budapest during a four-day ITR test session (March 31st – April 3rd) before the start of the season.

Race Date: 01 Jun 2014
Circuit Name: Hungaroring Budapest
Number of Laps: 41
Circuit Length: 4.381 km
Race Distance: 179.621 km
Lap Record: 1:57.38 – Frank Schmickler (BMW) (1988)

Comments on the DTM race in Budapest

Christian Vietoris (25, Germany, Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé)

”I began this season with the aim of winning my first DTM race. I never expected that it would happen so quickly after such a tough start to the season in Hockenheim. My team did a fantastic job at the last race weekend in Oschersleben, and everything went well – car, pit stops and strategy were all perfect in tricky conditions – but we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that we are not yet where we want to be in the dry. We’re still not fast enough to win in all conditions. At Oschersleben, however, we showed that we’re trying to achieve the very best results possible in the circumstances, utilising a well-thought out strategy and solid teamwork to compensate for the situation. But there’s still a lot of work to do to increase our cars’ performance in all conditions over the coming weeks.”

Paul Di Resta (28, Scotland, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé)

”Budapest is a really cool city that I’ve been privileged to get to know through Formula 1, so I’m really pleased that the track has found its place back on the DTM calendar after such a long break. We tested pre-season at the Hungaroring and consequently have some empirical data to work with as we travel ​​to this third race weekend of the year. Although we’ve already tested there, we still have a lot to learn this weekend about the track and setup, especially in the situation in which we find ourselves where we all have to pull together to go on improving our cars’ performance.”

Gary Paffett (33, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé)

”I like driving on new tracks, but actually, I’m quite used to the Hungaroring from DTM tests this winter and am also already very familiar with it from the many visits I’ve made there as a Formula 1 test driver. Overtaking in Budapest is a real challenge, so it’s a bit like last time out at Oschersleben. The track has plenty of turns and relatively few straights. Most of the corners are medium fast, but there are also some faster ones. It’s an interesting track and should be a lot of fun, especially on options.”

Vitaly Petrov (29, Russia, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé)

”I know the track well from my time in Hungary both in GP2 and in Formula 1. That doesn’t mean that I’ve got any kind of an advantage as a result, though. On the contrary, I noticed at the season opener in Hockenheim that I have to approach tracks completely differently in a DTM car and adapt my driving style to suit. It’s nice that the DTM is taking place in Hungary. I like the atmosphere at the Hungaroring. Budapest is a beautiful city and there’s always a fantastic atmosphere on race weekends.”

Robert Wickens (25, Canada, FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG C Coupé)

”Budapest is a beautiful and very challenging circuit and I’ve already achieved a podium there in GP3. With its many narrow, twisty turns and very few straights, it’s almost like a street circuit that’s actually a permanent race track. The driver always has plenty to do on a lap around the Hungaroring, and there are few places where you can relax.”

Daniel Juncadella (23, Spain, Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé)

”I really look forward to Hungary. I took my first race win in Formula BMW at the Hungaroring during the 2008 season – and then clinched my second victory the very next day. I like to look back on that. The circuit is very demanding for both driver and car with its many turns. We can expect a physically demanding race, made even tougher by the lack of long straights, because there’s simply no time to relax at all on this track, not for a single second.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

”We’ve known the Hungaroring for many years now through Formula 1 and thus have first-hand experience of the fans’ enormous enthusiasm for motor racing in Eastern Europe. Budapest is an important fixture for Mercedes-Benz, and we can certainly expect that a good many of the more than 3,400 colleagues from our plant in the Hungarian town of Kecskemét will come to the circuit to wish us luck. Their usual job is to produce the B-Class and the Mercedes-Benz CLA, but we aim to provide them with an exciting show this DTM weekend. Our first win of the season in the previous race at Oschersleben has given our team an extra motivational boost. However, we are aware that this victory came about in particular circumstances. Therefore, we will continue to work tirelessly to go on improving our performance in the dry.”


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