Tales from the paddock – Lucas Auer: “The DTM is so crazy that you get a headache if you think too hard about it”

Sep 5, 2018

Three pole positions and a victory: the Nürburgring is very much to Lucas Auer’s liking. Ahead of his next visit to the Eifel, Lucas talks about luck and about his objectives for the rest of the season.

  • This is what happened: Weekend results and facts
  • News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams
  • Three questions for Lucas Auer
  • Social media news: What’s new online?

This is what happened: Results and facts

  • Formula One: Lewis Hamilton wins the Italian Grand Prix and is joined on the podium by Valtteri Bottas
  • Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup: A win and a P2 for Michael Meadows and Raffaele Marciello at the Hungaroring

News snippets

Stat-Attack – Monza: After Saturday’s qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, few commentators had expected Lewis Hamilton to secure a sixth win of the season and his 68th overall in Formula 1. Valtteri Bottas made it a double podium for the team with his sixth Top Three finish of 2018. Lewis’s fifth victory at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza puts him on level pegging with record world championship holder Michael Schumacher in terms of wins in the Royal Park of Monza. It was also a fifth successive victory for the team on this high-speed track just outside Milan. For Lewis it was the second in a row and his fourth as a member of the team. For the 40th time in his career, he also clocked the fastest race lap with a time of 1:22.497 minutes.

400th Grand Prix: Even before the lights went out on the gantry, the 2018 Italian Grand Prix became another milestone for the brand, as a Mercedes-AMG safety car led the field on a formation lap for the 400th time. As usual, former DTM driver Bernd Mayländer was behind the wheel of the most powerful Formula 1 safety car in history (the Mercedes-AMG GT R pumps out 430 kW, equivalent to 585 horsepower). The performance and sports car manufacturer from Affalterbach has supplied the lead vehicle to the premier class of international motorsport since 1996. The first official FIA F1 safety car was a C 36 AMG.

Nürburgring, here we come: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport enthusiastically rallies to the call of the Eifel. The weather that is often encountered in the Eifel region may not always be to everyone’s taste, but that generally makes the races even more interesting. Like last year, when the team won both contests, with a 1-2-3-4 victory on Saturday and a one-two on Sunday. Overall, the brand with the three-pointed star is the most successful manufacturer to compete at the Nürburgring: since the debut of the works team in 1988, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport has won no fewer than 32 races on the Ring. On the first outing in 1988, Roland Asch made a podium appearance. This was followed only a few hours later in the second race of the day by a maiden victory with Dany Snobeck at the wheel. There are three drivers in the current squad who have one win each in the Eifel – Gary Paffett, Edoardo Mortara and Lucas Auer. The Austrian is considered to be something of a qualifying specialist on the Nürburgring: he has now started from the very front on three occasions.

Early title win, class victories and overall lead in the Blancpain GT Series: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport celebrated a set of outstanding results in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup at the Hungaroring: Raffaele Marciello (ITA) and Michael Meadows (GBR) claimed their first overall victory of the 2018 Sprint Cup on Sunday in difficult conditions and heavy rain. In addition to their lights-to-flag victory, the duo of Marciello and Meadows also made a podium appearance on Saturday as runners-up. It was a double podium for the brand, as Denis Bulatov (RUS) and Nicolas Jamin (FRA) were in third place. A highly successful Saturday was rounded off by a 1-2-3-4 finish in the Silver Cup for the number 87, 90 and 35 cars entered by AKKA ASP and the number 6 BLACK FALCON, as well as a win for the SunEnergy1 Racing duo of Kenny Habul and Tristan Vautier in the Pro-Am class. The points scored in the two races were enough for Marciello and Meadows to catch the previous championship leaders with whom they are now tied going into the Sprint Cup final at the Nürburgring in two weeks’ time. AKKA ASP are also still in contention for the team title, just 10.5 points behind the leaders. Nico Bastian (GER) and Jack Manchester (GBR) are already one step ahead of the rest: the German-British duo clinched the Silver Class title in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup at the Hungaroring ahead of time. In the overall standings of the Blancpain GT Series (Sprint and Endurance Cup), Raffaele Marciello has now taken an eleven-point lead. AKKA ASP have consolidated their second place in the overall team classification and have closed the gap on the leaders to 6.5 points. The situation will remain extremely tense ahead of the Sprint Cup final at the Nürburgring (14th - 16th September) and the grand finale to the Blancpain GT Series season in Barcelona (28th - 30th September).

Overall victories and class podiums in the international arena: Making a guest appearance in the Blancpain GT Sports Club – also at the Hungaroring – Kenny Habul (SunEnergy1 Racing) converted pole position into a first overall victory at the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG GT3. In the International GT Open at Silverstone, Tom Onslow-Cole (GBR) and Valentin Pierburg (GER) of SPS automotive-performance drove a perfect race to claim pole position, fastest race lap and first overall victory of the season. Indy Dontje (NDL) and Russell Ward (USA) also put in an impressive performance in the DMV GTC at Circuit Zoldeed in Belgium. In the DUNLOP 60, the duo won the general classification after starting from pole position. There were further podium appearances in other races of the DMV GTC for Kenneth Heyer (GER, équipe vitesse) with a P2 class finish and Russel Ward (HTP Motorsport) with two P3 class finishes. Xandy and Xandinho Negrão (both BRA) crossed the finish line first at the end of the four-hour Campeonato Brasileiro de Endurance. Daniel Askew (USA) of DXDT Racing took second place in the Pirelli World Challenge at Watkins Glen International. The weekend also saw the sixth round of the VLN on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. The number 13 Mercedes-AMG GT3 entered by AutoArena Motorsport finished the four-hour race fifth in the general classification and fourth in the SP9-PRE. The Mercedes-AMG GT4s entered by Mathol Racing e.V. and BLACK FALCON Team TMD Friction were fifth and sixth respectively in the SP10 class.

Three questions for Lucas Auer

Lucas, next up is the Nürburgring. It’s been a happy hunting ground for you in recent years, especially in qualifying.

Lucas Auer: It’s always good to compete on a track where you have performed well in the past, including in your debut DTM season. But that’s no guarantee for the coming weekend. Every year stands on its own merits, and I have to start all over again. It will it only look good if I’m successful.

You’ve had a lot of bad luck in recent races. How do you deal with that?

Lucas Auer: To some extent, you make your own luck. I think it’s part of a normal learning process that you have to go through to get stronger. It’s important to draw the right conclusions and learn lessons. You always have to get the best you can out of any situation.

Over the last few race weekends, fortunes have fluctuated in the championship. There are still six races left – are you still looking towards the top of the table?

Lucas Auer: For me, the title is not the deciding factor. I’m trying to develop myself as best as I can. If I succeed in that, then I’ll be happy. Most of the time, the two go hand in hand: when you’re learning the most, that’s when things go well for you in championship too. But for me, it’s all about improving myself. I don’t just look at the number of points scored but at my own development. As long as this keeps going forward, the results will usually be good too. That’s why I’m not paying all that much attention to the table. Anyway, it is so crazy in the DTM – there are so many points at stake on a single race weekend that you get a headache if you think too hard about it...

Social Media News

#PurePitWall: Our chief strategist James Vowles answers questions from the fans about the Italian GP. Did Lewis’s car sustain any damage on the first lap, and why did Vatteri stay out so long on his first stint?

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w98ngfBx-s4

#NewBeginning: The four Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports gamers have been chosen. The quartet are now preparing themselves physically and technically for the first round of the F1 Esports 2018 series in October. But they are still very much at the beginning of their journey...

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=N73PNfKKmCc

#EngineerOnBoard: Can one of the most respected Formula 1 engineers of all time be trusted at the steering wheel of a car he and his team designed?

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nkea6ltQyY8

#Nürburgring: Next weekend’s fixture at the Nürburgring is the third-to-last of the 2018 DTM season. We take a look ahead...

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6y-9V2FFbY

Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Italian GP 2018. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Italian GP 2018. Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Italian GP 2018. Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Italian GP 2018. Toto Wolff
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Italian GP 2018. Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Italian GP 2018. Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas