Canadian Robert Wickens is about to begin his fourth season in the DTM. He will be behind the wheel of the No. 6 Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 run by the works HWA Team.
Wickens, the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 champion, believes this new AMG C63 will mark an improvement over last year’s car.
“There was nothing particularly wrong with the previous car”, Wickens told Auto123.com in a one-on-one interview.
“We didn’t understand the car we had built, basically. And once we understood how it worked, we didn’t know which direction to take in terms of development. And at that time, the car needed to be homologated and its design was frozen”, said Wickens.
This year’s Mercedes AMG C63 performed well during the two major pre-season tests.
“We found some lost time. But as you know, testing is testing… It does not mean much. It would be a shock if we are fighting for victory at the season opener at Hockenheim. However, I honestly think we can be fighting for a top 5 spot,” the Guelph, Ontario resident confessed.
How does he like the new format of having two races per meeting?
“I like it. Spectators come to see us race, not practice and qualify. I hope we can give them a good show”, he said.
With two races in two days, damage control will be crucial.
“After Saturday’s race, the cars will go into the parc fermé. If your car is damaged, too bad; you’re going to have to race it as it is the following day, unless the car is not safe to drive”, he told Auto123.com.
Wickens was Marussia Virgin Racing F1’s reserve driver in 2011 before he switched to the DTM series ─ a decision he never regretted.
“I enjoy my life as a tin-top driver. I did not dream of it, but without proper funding and because of other reasons I did not make it to F1. I had this opportunity with Mercedes-Benz, and I took it. When I see how big the DTM is, I have no regrets. It was the smartest move in my career!” Wickens acknowledged.
The 2015 season of the DTM will start at the Hockenheimring in Germany, May 2nd and 3rd.