For its mission title defence in DTM, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport can build on a first-class line-up again in 2022. Together with the teams, Mercedes-AMG has completed the last details and has finalised a powerful line-up for the upcoming season: in the 16 races of the renowned sprint series, four customer teams are participating with eight Mercedes-AMG GT3s. In the process, the driver line-up is like a “who is who” of GT3 racing: next to reigning champion Maximilian Götz, brand ambassador Maro Engel (both GER) will be behind the wheel as well. Moreover, like last year, Mercedes-AMG Drivers Lucas Auer (AUT), Maximilian Buhk (GER) and Arjun Maini (IND) will be on the grid again. With Mikaël Grenier (CAN), David Schumacher and Luca Stolz (both GER), three well-known names will be taking on their first full DTM season. The opening round of the eight scheduled events will be held at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão/Portugal from 29th April until 1st May.
This year, the DTM field has been expanded by quite some cars, from 19 to 29, split up between 14 teams and six manufacturers from now on. Among them, no other manufacturer has more cars on the grid than Mercedes-AMG. The most successful brand in DTM history that managed to decide the battles for both the manufacturers’ and the drivers’ titles in its favour in 2021, is also taking on the upcoming season with title ambitions thanks to a high-quality line-up.
In the process, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is relying on four customer sport teams that have already been representing the brand from Affalterbach in a very successful way for many years and in the most varied series. In 2022, GruppeM Racing (#88, #99) and WINWARD Racing (#1, #22, #27) will both be running one Mercedes-AMG GT3 more than in the previous year while Haupt Racing Team (#4, #36) and Mücke Motorsport (#18) will be participating with an identical number of cars. Mercedes-AMG will be starting the mission DTM title defence with the following teams and drivers:
#1 Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD Racing: Reigning DTM champion Maximilian Götz is switching cockpits for the mission title defence. In the 2022 season, the driver, born in Ochsenfurt, will be behind the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD Racing car with starting number 1. The 36-year-old secured the title last year while still racing for Mercedes-AMG Team HRT, but now, he is following his sponsor BWT that has been supporting Team WINWARD Racing since this season.
#4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT: In 2021, Luca Stolz participated as a guest driver in both DTM races at the Nürburgring. This year, the GT3 specialist will now go the full distance behind the wheel of the #4 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT entry. The 26-year-old is looking back upon numerous achievements in sprint races in other series. For instance, Stolz most recently ended up third in the drivers’ standings in both ADAC GT Masters and the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup.
#18 Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke Motorsport: Like last year already, Maximilian Buhk will be competing for victories and points with the #18 Mercedes-AMG GT3 run by Mücke Motorsport. Buhk is looking back upon five top ten results including a third-place finish in the season finale at Norisring. Like in the past season already, Mücke Motorsport’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 will again be running with the innovative Space Drive technology by Paravan.
#22 Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD Racing: With over one hundred races and seven wins to his name, Lucas Auer ranks among the most experienced DTM drivers in the entire field. Like in the previous season, in which he ended up fifth in the drivers’ standings and scored commanding race wins at Assen and Hockenheimring, he will be racing the #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 run by Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD Racing.
#27 Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD Racing: One of the 15 drivers making their DTM debut this year is David Schumacher. The 20-year-old son of ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher, who also raced in DTM with Mercedes-AMG from 2008 until 2012, will be driving alongside champion Götz and stalwart Auer. Most recently, Schumacher raced in single-seaters, had his first test with a GT3 car during the winter and particularly is to acquire valuable experience in his maiden season.
#36 Mercedes-AMG Team HRT: With strong achievements, Arjun Maini caught the attention during his first DTM year in 2021 and thus earned his promotion to the Mercedes-AMG Driver ranks. Following a second-place finish in the season finale and four further top ten results in the past season, the Indian is now making the step to Mercedes-AMG Team HRT where he wants to score points on a regular basis.
#88 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing: For the second time, Maro Engel is making his comeback in DTM. After his campaigns from 2008 until 2011 and in 2017, the 36-year-old will be competing in the GruppeM Racing team in 2022. Engel has been among the most successful GT3 drivers for many years and moreover has been representing Mercedes-AMG as a brand ambassador since 2017.
#99 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing: With Mikaël Grenier, another DTM newcomer is to be found within the ranks of the Mercedes-AMG Drivers. As Maro Engel’s teammate, the fast Canadian will be driving the GruppeM Racing sister car. The livery of the #99 Mercedes-AMG GT3 that has been designed at the occasion of AMG’s 55th anniversary will only be unveiled at the start of the season.
Regulation changes for the 2022 season
Compared to the previous year, drivers and teams have to adapt to some rule changes: during the mandatory pit stop for example, that from now on can also be completed during a safety car intervention, the maximum of two mechanics on each side of the car first have to change the wheels on the rear axle before the front wheels can be changed. This is to enhance safety, but also to increase the excitement. Moreover, the fastest race lap is becoming more significant as of this year. The series is awarding one additional championship point for the fastest lap time posted in a race, putting 16 additional points at stake in the course of the season. For the first time in DTM history, full course yellow phases will be integrated into the regulations. However, pit stops are forbidden during these spells.
The first official testing opportunity for DTM teams and drivers is from 4th until 7th April at Hockenheimring. A second possibility to test will be available at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal on 26th and 27th April, the same venue where the season opener will be held immediately afterwards. Further tour stops for the series are Lausitzring, Imola, Norisring, Nürburgring, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and Red Bull Ring. The season finale will be held at Hockenheimring in October. All the 16 races will be broadcasted live on German TV channel ProSieben, livestreams will be available on YouTube.
Christoph Sagemüller, head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: “We believe in DTM as an established and very successful motorsport platform that has been thrilling fans also beyond Germany for decades. The decision to race with GT3 cars and to provide a highly competitive platform for customer teams has proven to be a great success, both for DTM and for us at Mercedes-AMG. Also the fact that established top drivers like Maro Engel and Luca Stolz absolutely wanted to be part of the DTM family for 2022 is further proof that this transition was the right decision and is getting positive feedback from drivers and fans alike. Together with the series, we, as the AMG brand, want to continue this route we have taken, to expand the DTM stage even further within the possibilities and therefore we are highly ambitious as we get the new season underway.”
Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: „With the line-up of experienced, very successful GT3 drivers, reigning champion Maximilian Götz and up-and-coming young talents, we have found a very good mix with which we are very confidently starting the new season. As usual, we will support our customer teams in the best possible way to turn the common goal of defending the drivers’ and manufacturers’ title into reality. I wish all the teams and drivers a lot of success in the preparation for the season and I am looking forward to an exciting motorsport year in DTM.”
Thomas Jäger, Sporting Director DTM: „We are full of anticipation going into the new DTM season! The field is packed with teams and drivers at the highest level. We are happy to be facing this competition and we want to build on our achievements from last year. That is a huge challenge, but we are confident that we are prepared for it in the best possible way with our teams, drivers and the Mercedes-AMG GT3.”