With an updated and expanded driver line-up, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is underlining its ambitions for the next successful GT season. The Mercedes-AMG family has been strengthened further by the new exclusive signings of DTM race winner Lucas Auer (AUT) and IMSA stalwart Mikaël Grenier (CAN). As a result, the high-class line-up for 2022 includes a total of 17 drivers who will support the international Customer and Performance Teams in selected race participations.
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport has traditionally been relying on a mix of seasoned stalwarts and promising talents. 2022 is no exception: Maximilian Buhk, Maro Engel, reigning DTM champion Maximilian Götz, Thomas Jäger, Luca Stolz (all GER), Jules Gounon (FRA), Dani Juncadella (ESP) and Raffaele Marciello (SUI) will again be competing as Performance Drivers in the world’s most demanding GT series and will be racing the matured Mercedes-AMG GT3.
An addition to the team is Philip Ellis (SUI), still racing as a Junior in the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Programme last year, but having been upgraded to Performance Driver status during the winter break. With his DTM race win at Lausitzring and victory in the Daytona 24 hour race last season, the 29-year-old had put himself in the frame for this next step in his career. Ellis’s DTM teammate from last year, Lucas Auer, who reliably racked up outstanding results for Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD in the prestigious German series, has now also been incorporated into the Performance Drivers group.
For the dedicated support of young drivers, Mercedes-AMG is working with a brand-specific Junior programme. Here, up-and-coming talents get the chance to prove themselves with a Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the highest level. Like in 2021 already, Patrick Assenheimer, Fabian Schiller (both GER) and Arjun Maini (IND) will be supported in a special way. For this year, they will be joined by Mikaël Grenier, who convinced most recently in GT World Challenge America and won the Pro-Am title in the Intercontinental GT Challenge with SunEnergy1 Racing.
As so-called Experts, Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Manuel Metzger (GER) and Daniel Morad (CAN) have been added to the line-up and are taking care of individual duties. Christodoulou and Metzger will exclusively be focussing on the Nordschleife programme in 2022 and will be racing in the Nürburgring Endurance Series and in the legendary 24-hour race. As an esports specialist, Morad is supporting the further development of the internal sim racing involvement. Beyond that, the programmes of the drivers have been put together individually. In 2022, the GT3 stalwarts, Junior drivers and newcomers will, among others, be racing in DTM, ADAC GT Masters, GT World Challenge and international endurance races as well as in various further series. The aim is for them to score points and victories for the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams on a regular basis with their experience and their driving abilities.
For this purpose, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport can again rely on the support from its partner BWT. Having racked up numerous achievements together in the inaugural season 2021, the European market leader in water treatment and Mercedes-AMG are entering the second year of their close cooperation. Additionally, some of the drivers benefit from an extended partnership with the Austrian company. As a result, Performance Drivers Götz, Gounon, Marciello and Stolz 2022 will again be carrying the characteristic pink BWT colour, for instance on their helmets.
Christoph Sagemüller, head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: “In 2022, we want to be successful in each of the major race series, something that is also reflected by our driver line-up. Personally, I am also very pleased that not only our drivers of many years remain loyal to us, but new top-notch drivers also want to be part of the Mercedes-AMG family. Both Lucas Auer and Mik Grenier have continuously improved over the past years, making their integration into the line-up a logical consequence. Furthermore, we are also expanding our commitment with strong partners like BWT, which makes me personally very happy. All in all, looking at our line-up, coupled with our strong team spirit, makes me very confident for the new season.”
Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Performance Driver: “The line-up is really whetting the appetite for the season. I am happy that I am again allowed to represent the Mercedes-AMG brand in the best race series at the world’s most beautiful circuits with my colleagues of many years and I am curious about the new faces as well. Now, we have to work together as drivers in the best possible way to propel the ongoing development at Mercedes-AMG and to celebrate many achievements. After all, joint positive memories are connecting.”
Maximilian Götz, Mercedes-AMG Performance Driver: “We are entering the season again this year with a very exciting and competitive squad. Not only are there the old hands, but also up-and-coming young talents. I think we have found a good mix and could hardly be better placed. Every driver has had different experiences in different series and has developed his own special skills. Even I can learn a lot from one or two of my colleagues. I’m happy to be part of this great AMG family and to be back in the hunt for the title.”
Mikaël Grenier, Mercedes-AMG Junior Driver: “I am simply just grateful that my efforts in the past years are paying off and that I am getting this unique chance from Mercedes-AMG. Now, I want to perform well and I want to show that those in charge have made the right decision with this step. After all, now it is no longer just about the driver and personal success, but it is about raising the Mercedes-AMG customer sports programme to the next level together.”
Lutz Hübner, COO/CMO, BWT Group: “We are looking forward to another season together with Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing, to the great team spirit and, of course, also to the eye-catching Mercedes-AMG GT3s in pink! In many sports supported by BWT, pink reflects our mission: “Change the world sip by sip” and is more and more becoming a movement to make the world a little bit better every single day by doing without the unnecessary use of disposable plastic bottles. We will be using the platforms in DTM, ADAC GT Masters, GT World Challenge and also the two legendary endurance races, the 24 Hours of Spa and the 24 Hours at the Nürburgring, to spread the BWT message further into the world together with our partners. Of course, we are also particularly happy with the continuing close cooperation with the AMG Performance Drivers Maro Engel, Maximilian Götz, Jules Gounon, Raffaele Marciello and Luca Stolz who in the meantime have also become ambassadors for our common goal.”