Fifth DTM season for Ralf Schumacher in 2012
Ralf Schumacher will continue to race for Mercedes-Benz in the 2012 DTM season. Schumacher has been competing in the world’s most popular touring car championship since 2008, and next year will be his fifth in the series. This season saw him score his first two podium finishes – in the opening race at Hockenheim and DTM’s return race at the Austrian circuit of Spielberg.
Between now and the start of the 2012 season, Schumacher will be heavily involved in the development and testing programme for the new DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé. HWA AG began work on the new Mercedes-Benz DTM car in June 2010 and the first test of the C-Coupé took place in early September 2011 at the Lausitzring with Gary Paffett. Schumacher drove the car for the first time at the same circuit between 12-13 October and, before the end of the year, he will complete another test in the new C-Coupé.
Between 1997 und 2007, Schumacher completed eleven seasons in Formula One – a total of 180 Grand Prix races. His six wins during this period make him the third-most successful German F1 driver after his brother, MERCEDES GP PETRONAS driver Michael Schumacher, and double champion Sebastian Vettel.
Ralf Schumacher: “DTM is a fantastic championship and, after four years as part of the Mercedes-Benz family, I feel in the best place possible. So I’m all the more delighted to be starting a new era next year together with Mercedes-Benz. With the new technical regulations and the arrival of BMW on the scene as the third premium manufacturer alongside Audi and Mercedes-Benz, DTM has an exciting future, and I feel privileged to be playing my part in development of the new DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé. My first impressions from testing are positive, and I’m very excited about racing this car next year. At the start of this season, I was determined to take the next step forward in my DTM career, and I feel I have accomplished that by finishing on the podium twice – at Hockenheim and Spielberg. During testing this winter, we intend to lay the groundwork to ensure that I can improve my results even further with the new C-Coupé in 2012.”
Norbert Haug, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “Ralf Schumacher isn’t only the best-known driver in the DTM, he’s also one of the most-liked and most successful in international motorsport. I rate very highly the fact that Ralf walked the difficult road from Formula One to the DTM, boosted the series’ popularity and continuously improved until he scored his first podium. Ralf is now one of the drivers aiming for his first win and he has shown that everything is possible with talent, determination and hard work. That approach is a perfect fit with Mercedes-Benz and that’s why we are delighted to extend Ralf’s DTM contract beyond 2011. We and the fans have a lot of enjoyment ahead of us as we watch him racing.”