Tales from the paddock – Sébastien Ogier: “There are so many new things that I have to pay attention to that I can expect challenges in every area”

Sep 19, 2018

Multiple challenges await five-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier as he makes his DTM debut at the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM.

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

This is what happened: Results and facts

  • Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton registers his 69th Grand Prix victory in the Singapore GP and his fourth on the Marina Bay Street Circuit
  • Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup: Michael Meadows and Raffaele Marciello win the second of two races at the Nürburgring, as Hubert Haupt and Luca Stolz make it a one-two for the Mercedes-AMG GT3

News snippets

Stat-Attack – Singapore: Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, not many experts had been predicting this outcome – Lewis Hamilton conjured up a magic lap to secure pole position and followed up with a fourth victory in the night race around the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The track, which weaves its way around downtown Singapore, had been a source of frustration to the Silver Arrows in recent years. Lewis was uncatchable on the day. Thanks to the hard work of his team, he claimed a 79th pole and 69th victory in the highest echelon of the sport. For the team, it was an 80th podium in Formula 1 and a tenth podium finish for Mercedes-Benz power in Singapore. With 15 races of the 2018 season complete, Lewis now leads the drivers’ standings by a 40-point margin. He is also the driver with the most victories (seven), pole positions (seven) and podium finishes (twelve).

Spielberg, here we come: Next weekend (21st - 23rd September), the DTM arrives in the idyllic setting of Spielberg for the penultimate fixture of the season. The race venue in the Austrian Alps first hosted the series during a three-year period (2001, 2002 and 2003). All three races ended with a Mercedes driver on the top rung of the podium. On the debut weekend for the track in 2001, Bernd Schneider pulled off a hat-trick of pole, race win and fastest lap. In 2002, the team monopolised the first four positions, and in 2003 there was a podium lockout. Since returning to Spielberg in 2011, the squad have made five podium appearances between them, although none of these have come in the past two seasons. According to team boss Ulrich Fritz, a change is due this weekend: “Obviously, the motivation is even greater to avoid a similar fate in our last year.”

Guest start: On the race weekend at Spielberg, five-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier will be making his DTM debut as a guest contestant. Sébastien will be driving a Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM that has been specially decorated for the occasion with photos from the 30-year DTM history of the brand with the three-pointed star. They will include celebratory images from the podium and portraits of team legends such as Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig. The idea is that Sébastien’s car should be a record of DTM history on four wheels. The bonnet and roof of the number 17 car will be inscribed with the message ‘30 Jahre DTM’ (30 years of the DTM).

Championship success in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup: Raffaele Marciello (ITA) and Michael Meadows (GBR) in the number 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 entered by AKKA ASP have won the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup. In a nail-biting conclusion to the season at the Nürburgring, the duo staged a spectacular charge through the field in the Saturday race to finish fourth and score vital points. They went into the second and final race on Sunday trailing by nine points. Starting from P2 on the grid, they then put in a flawless performance, taking the lead at the pit stop and thereafter controlling the race. The points haul from Sunday was sufficient for them to win the championship by a margin of 7.5. Hubert Haupt and Luca Stolz (both GER) crossed the line in second place on Sunday to register the first one-two win of the 2018 Sprint Cup. At the end of the Sprint Cup season, Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing can look back on two overall victories, six class victories and two championship titles – Nico Bastian (GER) and Jack Manchester (GBR) had already secured the Silver Cup title ahead of time two weeks ago. In the overall standings of the Blancpain GT Series too, Raffaele Marciello and AKKA ASP are well positioned to take the respective titles. The points scored at the Nürburgring team have put Marciello top of the drivers’ standings while AKKA ASP are now tied at the top of the team championship. The final race weekend of the season (28th - 30th September) will take place in Barcelona.

International podium finishes and race wins: GOODSMILE RACING finished the sixth round of the Super GT in third place. At the Sportsland Sugo race track in Murata, Japan, Tatsuya Kataoka and Nobuteru Taniguchi (both JPN) made it onto the podium in the number 0 Mercedes-AMG GT3 after starting from eighth. This was their second Top Three finish in succession. The Japanese duo are equal third in the GT300 classification, seven points behind the leaders, with two races still to go. Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams were competing in two races at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola last weekend. In the 3 Ore Endurance Champions Cup, contested over two and a half hours, the Swiss brothers Manuel and Adrian Zumstein in the number 1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 (MDC - Sports UG) were runners-up in the general classification and winners in their class. Philipp Zumstein (SUI) driving the number 625 SLS AMG GT3 (MDC - Sports UG) likewise made a podium appearance in the P9 Challenge. Meanwhile, Gilles Magnus (BEL) and Bas Schouten (NED) were involved in a podium finish at the Nürburgring. The Belgian-Dutch duo driving the number 31 Mercedes-AMG GT4 entered by Selleslagh Racing Team took third place in the last race of the 2018 GT4 European Series.

100th Mercedes-AMG GT4 leaves the factory: Since its first official competitive outing in the hands of a customer team at the 24 Hours of Dubai (early January 2018), the Mercedes-AMG GT4 has been racking up impressive results in endurance as well as sprint events. The youngest member of the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport family to emerge from Affalterbach has recorded five general classification victories and 25 class wins in just under 100 races to date. On its endurance debut in the ADAC Zurich 24h race around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in June of this year, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 registered a one-two win in the SP10 class. In the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Hugh Plumb and Owen Trinkler (both USA) driving the number 46 Mercedes-AMG GT4 entered by Team TGM currently lead the championship and are poised to win the title with one race remaining. The main selling points that are making the Mercedes-AMG GT4 such a popular choice in the GT4 segment are its unique safety design, thoroughbred motorsport electronics and a gearbox specially developed for racing. In addition, customers around the world appreciate the long service intervals and low running costs. The 100th Mercedes-AMG GT4 will be on show at the grand finale to the 2018 ADAC GT Masters at Hockenheim on the weekend of 21st - 23rd September.

Three questions for Sébastien Ogier

What did you like most when you test-drove a DTM car for the first time?

Sébastien Ogier: I was favourably impressed by a lot of things. It was a very different experience from driving my rally car. It felt like I’d been transported back to my childhood, like I was getting a new toy. I tried to have fun and find the limit. Two of the biggest differences compared to my rally car are certainly the braking and the cornering speeds. But it’s a question that’s very difficult to answer, because I liked almost everything.

What preparations have you been making for Spielberg?

Sébastien Ogier: I have just returned from the rally in Turkey, which was very demanding and took place in high temperatures. I guess that was the ideal preparation for Spielberg [he chuckles]. I haven’t made any special preparations for the race weekend, but as soon as I’m at the track, I’m sure I’ll have a lot of questions for my engineers and team-mates. After all, I haven’t internalised the procedures for the race weekend to the same extent as everyone else, so I will have to feel my way into it. It will certainly be quite stressful for me, but before it really gets underway, I will try to absorb as much information as possible.

What is the biggest challenge going to be for you on this race weekend?

Sébastien Ogier: I think I will be facing quite a few challenges. My objective is to have a clean and flawless weekend. That would be a good achievement from my perspective. Everyone knows that I don’t have a lot of experience in circuit racing – I’m simply not used to it. Consequently, I will be trying to keep up as best I can. I also know how difficult it is to get the tyres into the right operating window. Maybe the new rules will work for me a bit, because everyone is lacking experience in this regard. There are so many new things that I have to pay attention to that I can expect challenges in every area.

Social Media News

#OnTour: With 21 races contested all over the world, the Formula 1 season is a real challenge. We explain the science of human performance in Formula One.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QqDvX6CObI

#30yearsDTM: The penultimate race weekend of our anniversary season is fast approaching. We look back at the most thrilling moments from the past 30 years of the DTM at Spielberg...

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jumYd62jdoQ

Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Singapore GP 2018. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Singapore GP 2018. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Singapore GP 2018. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Singapore GP 2018. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Singapore GP 2018. Lewis Hamilton