Tales from the paddock – Daniel Juncadella: “It’s great that we have such a strong driver squad at Mercedes and that I have the opportunity to measure my performance against that of my team-mates”
Preparations for the new motorsport season are reaching a critical stage. Daniel Juncadella is ready for his comeback season in the DTM.
- News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams
- Three questions for Daniel Juncadella
- Social media news: What’s new online?
Test summary: In one and a half weeks, the new Formula 1 season finally gets underway in Australia. It’s time to review the winter tests in 2018. Eight days, two weeks and one snowman: these are just three of the key statistics from the recent test sessions in Spain. The team completed 1,040 laps (equivalent to 4,841 kilometres) at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – more than any other team. Those 1,040 laps meant that Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport were the only team to have got into four figures during the winter tests. The new F1 W09 EQ Power+ covered the same distance as 15 Spanish Grand Prix races. Valtteri Bottas put in 584 of the laps (2,719km) and Lewis Hamilton 456 (2,123km). Teams using Mercedes-Benz Power Units covered a grand total of 11,961 kilometres (2,570 laps) during the two weeks of testing at Barcelona.
Victory at Silverstone: The British outfit ROFGO Racing got their title challenge off to a perfect start in the European Championship of the 24H GT series last weekend. In the twelve-hour race at Silverstone, Roald Goethe (GER), Stuart Hall and Daniel Brown (both GBR) secured overall victory in the number 31 Mercedes-AMG GT3 and first place in the A6-PRO class. With heavy rain making for difficult conditions, the trio moved up from tenth on the grid to fifth on Friday. When the race resumed on Saturday, they continued to progress through the field, taking the lead at around the three-quarter mark and then successfully defending it to the finish. The team dedicated their victory to motorsport presenter Henry Hope-Frost who died in a road accident on Thursday. The win at Silverstone is the second of the season for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in the 2018 24H GT Series after the opener at Dubai. There was a further podium finish for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Silverstone: the PROsport Performance trio of Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub and Joe Foster (all USA) came third in the A6-Am class.
Double podium in St Petersburg: CRP Racing enjoyed a gratifying start to the Pirelli World Challenge in the Grand Prix of St Petersburg (Florida), with Daniel Morad (CAN) making two podium appearances. On the demanding street circuit, the Canadian driving the number 2 Mercedes-AMG GT3 was part of the leading group right from the start and registered a creditable third place in both sprint races. The debut of the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the North American series also went well, with both of the two cars entered by Robinson Racing finishing in the Top Ten of the Pro class in the two GT4 races. The P6 for Shane Lewis (USA) was the best result of the weekend.
Three questions for Daniel Juncadella
Dani, how does it feel to be competing in the DTM again this year?
Daniel Juncadella: It’s great. For me, it’s very special to be part of such a historic year. After a one-year absence, I am up for it. 2016 was a difficult season for me, and I wasn’t happy with the situation. That’s why I needed the change that one year away from the DTM provided. Now I’ve recharged my batteries, and I’m looking forward to competing in such a strong field. It’s great that we have such a strong driver squad at Mercedes and that I have the opportunity to measure my performance against that of my team-mates.
You’ve mentioned the 2016 season. Did you ever think about giving up motor racing as a career?
Daniel Juncadella: Yes, I wasn’t enjoying it any more. I wasn’t motivated and I was out of condition. I needed that year off to get back to my roots and to enjoy racing again. It’s about battling with the best drivers in the world. It took me around six months in 2017 before racing became fun again. The results also started to improve, and I realised that was the way it had to be; you have to enjoy racing. But I have no regrets and I’m now relishing the moment.
Do you feel a lot of pressure ahead of your comeback season in the DTM?
Daniel Juncadella: No, quite the contrary. In my first four DTM years, I didn’t get the results I had imagined. But I don’t feel any special pressure. I do not have to prove myself all over again. The results can only get better, and it’s a great opportunity to round off my DTM time with Mercedes. There are so many strong drivers and former champions on the grid this season that the pressure is all on others. I just intend to have fun, and then the results will come by themselves.
Social Media News
#F1W08vsW09: It’s not often that two Formula 1 siblings are sighted at the same time and in the same place. But our Technical Director James Allison gave us the opportunity to perform a direct comparison of the W08 and the W09…
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfBOxwSNg6s
#Unboxing: New year, new look. Prepare to be dazzled by the new team kit and race gear for 2018! Lewis and Valtteri get their brand-new helmets and race day clothing out of the box.
Watch video - Team Kit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9plyprII2hk
Watch video - Race Gear: www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_kx97PGen0
#360: A different way of looking at the track. Get a 360° view of the 2018 Mercedes F1 W09 from a wholly new perspective.
Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuCdZZmSDEs