Friday, March 31, 2023

Why Mercedes star Gotz isn’t returning to DTM this yr

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Mercedes unveiled its six-strong driver roster for the 2023 DTM season on the finish of February, headlined by Lucas Auer, Luca Stolz and Maro Engel. However fellow works driver Gotz was curiously absent from the announcement, regardless of having clinched the 2021 title on Mercedes’ return to the DTM.

The 37-year-old is as a substitute anticipated to compete in different GT3 classes and endurance races within the Mercedes-AMG GT3, though his precise programme is but to be revealed.

The choice to drop Gotz from the line-up follows a discount in Mercedes’ finances for the DTM, and wider modifications in the way it supplies manufacturing unit help to the groups.

After a yr through which it was represented by a powerful eight automobiles, Mercedes has downscaled its involvement to simply six entries in 2023, unfold equally throughout Winward, HRT and newcomer Landgraf.

Just one automotive in every group is immediately supported by the manufacturing unit, clubbing what it calls a ‘efficiency driver’ with a junior racer.

Winward beforehand had each Auer and Gotz in its three-car line-up in 2022, but it surely was left with house for only one works driver this yr.

Though Winward was curious about maintaining the companies of Gotz, Mercedes finally elected to drop him from the DTM in favour of a programme elsewhere in its GT3 racing portfolio.

“We fought for a very long time to get one thing completed,” Gotz referred to Winward group boss Christian Hohenadel in an interview with’s sister web site 

“We actually tried every little thing, however ultimately it was an inside AMG resolution to set it up like this now.

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“AMG’s plan was clear comparatively early on that they needed to do six automobiles with two or three groups. Due to this new thought of placing juniors in [each team] and solely supporting one automotive, the ‘constellation’ took place like that.

“Luggi [Auer] was with Winward for a yr longer. And so they deliberate with Luggi comparatively early on. That is why it took place that means.”

Maximilian Gotz, Mercedes-AMG Staff WINWARD

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

Gotz raced within the final two DTM seasons within the well-known pink colors of Austrian water therapy firm BWT.

Nonetheless, it’s understood that BWT has not renewed its contract with Mercedes in response to the German producer elevating the leasing charges for its manufacturing automobiles, adversely impacting the price of working the BWT fleet.

Particular person groups will nonetheless be capable of signal a contract independently with BWT, but it surely should be famous that Winward’s #1 AMG GT3 ran in all-pink livery final yr attributable to a deal that was immediately completed with Mercedes. Gotz additionally has a long-standing non-public sponsorship take care of BWT that isn’t linked to his employer.

Mercedes’ DTM boss Thomas Jager, nonetheless, insists that the developments surrounding BWT didn’t influence Gotz’s future within the class.

“That has nothing to do with it in any respect,” Jager instructed

“We have now a really intensive programme for Maxi in different sequence. DTM did not come up due to the density of the programme and the overlaps. 

“In fact, he would have favored to do DTM, however we’re not able the place we finance the entire operation and say it’s a must to take the driving force now. It is at all times a mixture of group, sponsor and us.

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“All needs and constellations must be taken into consideration. And that has merely turned out to be the best way it’s needed.”

Gotz, who stated he shall be concerned in at the very least two different sequence, has no qualms about not getting an opportunity to return to the DTM and add to his 2021 title and three race wins.

“I am proud to be a Mercedes-AMG works driver and I stand behind their choices, simply as they stand behind me,” he stated. “That is additionally what makes it particular that we take care of one another brazenly and truthfully and nobody is offended when one thing does not come about. I owe them loads – and vice versa.”

Maximilian Gotz, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

Maximilian Gotz, Mercedes-AMG Staff WINWARD Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

The German additionally believes the choice was not impacted by his leads to 2022, when he slipped to eleventh within the standings and scored only a single podium end at Spa.

“That has nothing to do with efficiency or something. As a result of when you take a look at the outcomes, there was Maro Engel behind me, additionally [David] Schumacher and [Arjun] Maini. I had a brilliant sturdy second half of the season.

“In case you take a look at the qualifying common, let’s take out Hockenheim, the place there was chaos qualifying with pink flags and so forth, I used to be one of the best [among Mercedes drivers]. 

“And I turned up the tempo within the second half of the season. You’ll be able to’t put it right down to outcomes. Or say you did not deserve it.”

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That stated, Gotz doesn’t need to rule out a return to the DTM, citing countryman Nico Hulkenberg securing a comeback in Formulation 1 this yr with Haas after being sidelined for 3 seasons between 2020-22.

“It isn’t goodbye without end, see Hulkenberg,” he stated. “Who would have anticipated that he would additionally get one other Formulation 1 cockpit? 

“I by no means say by no means. It might be good if I might assault once more within the DTM. I am not the youngest anymore, that is clear, however expertise is what counts. And the successes I’ve had thus far rely, too.”


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