Drives have been allocated – Ocon is the only DTM novice
The 24 drives in the DTM have been allocated: after Audi and BMW, Mercedes-Benz also has announced its drivers for the upcoming season and, just like the opposition, is counting on continuity. Lucas Auer, Paul Di Resta, Maximilian Götz, Daniel Juncadella, Robert Wickens, Gary Paffett and Christian Vietoris will be racing for the Stuttgart-based brand in the DTM, like last year. The seat left vacant by reigning DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein will be taken over by Esteban Ocon. Thus, the 19-year-old Frenchman will be the only newcomer among the 24 drivers.
And the DTM business isn’t even that new for Ocon. During the 2015 DTM season finale, he replaced the ill Daniel Juncadella in free practice on Friday. Now, the reigning GP3 champion can prove his skills and gather experience in a full season. Ocon: “I am really grateful to everyone involved for this fantastic chance. Since having participated in free practice during the final race weekend of the 2015 season at Hockenheim, I am eager to race in the DTM. Of course, there are still many things to learn for me in the early stages, but it is my goal to become a contender for victories as quickly as possible.” For Ulrich Fritz, Mercedes-AMG DTM team principal, it is certain: “When you start the season as defending champions, it's hard to have any other goal than winning the championship. But everyone knows just how competitive the DTM is and it won't be an easy task. We're aiming for stability in the team after a successful 2015.”