Habsburg and the hot seat
Just like day one, the second day of the ‘Young-Driver-Tests’ at Jerez was contested by seven DTM rookies at the wheels of an Audi RS 5 DTM, BMW M4 DTM and Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM. In addition, Mike Rockenfeller and Bruno Spengler tested the new turbo vehicles of Audi and BMW for the 2019 season.
Ferdinand Habsburg and Thomas Preining tested for HWA, Mikkel Jensen and Sheldon van der Linde for BMW and Andreas Bakkerud, Frederic Vervisch as well as Jonathan Aberdein for Audi. In the tests held in agreeable temperatures (22° C), all the rookies displayed ardent zeal. “To conclude the year in a DTM car that features so much motor-sport and old-school passion gave me a big smile for the festive season,” Habsburg said after his tests on Tuesday and compared the DTM car to the F3 single-seater he raced this season: “The biggest differences are the weight, the carbon brakes and the higher downforce level. The car is more stable altogether and features more downforce in the corners. And it’s faster on the straights. I am accustomed to racing with cars that have got a weight of 500 to 600kg. The DTM car is clearly heavier. And I also had to learn a lot when it comes to the braking and dealing with the tyres. In some respects, it resembles an F3 car a lot but in the end you have to adjust yourself a lot as the DTM car is far more sophisticated.”
In his tests in the cockpit of the Mercedes-AMG C63, the 21-year old also gathered another special experience. “It’s clearly hotter in the car than I had expected. After all, it’s no F3 single-seater but a tin top. Therefore, my test in the hot seat was very exciting. I sweat more than I had planned. At the same time, driving with more power was big fun. Cooperating with a professional team such as HWA was very impressive and something completely new for me. There are more people in the team you can talk with and that’s extremely productive. I learned something new as racing driver on every single lap.”
On Wednesday, the final day of testing, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-AMG offer further DTM rookies the chance of demonstrating their skills in a DTM car, inter alia Russia’s Sergey Sorotkin. The 23-year old who lost his Williams Formula One GP seat at the end of the 2018 season to Robert Kubicka was nominated by Audi on short notice. He will test the WRT Audi RS 5 DTM at Jerez.