The Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM
When the starting signal for the development of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM for 2017 was given in late 2015, the engineers had to face three major challenges: new regulations, new aero rules and new tyres supplied by DTM partner Hankook. Just a season later, the technicians once again had to cope with new aerodynamics specifications and changes for the 2018 season.
Inter alia, the DTM cars have got just one small aero flick per side on the front of the car. Furthermore, the front skirts and the side ducts have been modified and the side boards below the doors have been removed. In addition, the third element of the front axle has been omitted what means that only linear coil springs are used. Due to the reduction of aero components the downforce of the cars has been reduced by about a third compared to last year.
“I think that’s great,” says Gary Paffett. “The standardisation of the components takes all the teams on a better-balanced level and that’s exactly what we want, isn’t it? They talked a lot about the reduced downforce but to be honest it still feels like a DTM car.”
From the 2005 DTM Champion’s point of view, racing with less downforce brings a lot of advantages as the softer tyres compensate for the reduced downforce by making for more mechanical grip. “I think we have found a rather good balance and the cars’ handling will be slightly more difficult in both dry and wet conditions,” says Gary. “Therefore, I hope that the driver skills will again come somewhat more to the fore, compared to the cars’ performance.”