Tales from the paddock: Maximilian Götz: “A podium in the standout race of the season is enough to boost anyone’s motivation”

Jun 9, 2021

There was a third overall podium in four years for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife: Maximilian Götz tells us how he and his team-mates pulled off this coup

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

This is what happened: Results and facts

  • F1: Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton come away empty-handed from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix
  • 24h Race Nürburgring: Maximilian Götz, Daniel Juncadella and Raffaele Marciello in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 celebrate podium finish
  • GT World Challenge America: A victory and a P3 for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the two races at Virginia International Raceway
  • Pirelli GT4 America: Kenny Murillo and Christian Szymczak win Race 1 at Alton

News snippets

Facts and figures from Baku: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit last weekend was a real thriller, with unexpected twists and turns right up to the chequered flag. For the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, however, Sunday afternoon in Baku turned out to be bitterly disappointing. Lewis Hamilton started the race from second on the grid and looked to be podium bound until shortly before the end. With the race having been briefly stopped for the marshals to attend to Max Verstappen’s stricken car, the standing restart with just two laps to go offered Lewis the chance to attack race leader Sergio Perez. Unfortunately, Lewis accidentally nudged a button that changed the brake balance of his car, causing him to lock up and sail off into the escape road at the first corner. He eventually came home in 15th place. Valtteri Bottas struggled with grip on his W12 throughout the weekend and finished the Azerbaijan GP in P12. After two tough races on street circuits in Monaco and Baku, the team heads to Le Castellet for the French Grand Prix (18 - 20 June).

Run of strong results in 24-hour race at the Nürburgring continues: The 49th ADAC TOTAL 24h Race Nürburgring thankfully produced a happier ending for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, with a third overall podium finish in four years and three class victories for the brand. The notorious Eifel weather once again disrupted proceedings, and a long interruption ensured that this year’s race went down in the annals as the shortest 24-hour Nürburgring event of all time, with only 9½ hours of actual racing. There was, however, to be a gratifying outcome thanks to the heroics of Maximilian Götz (GER), Daniel Juncadella (ESP) and Raffaele Marciello (ITA) in the number 7 Mercedes-AMG GT3 sporting the BWT livery. The Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed trio mounted a recovery from ninth place after the restart at 12 noon on Sunday, and in a strong finish to the 59 laps actually completed, they took the chequered flag in third place. 

Meanwhile, BLACK FALCON were delivering one of three class wins in the endurance classic for the brand. Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR), Gabriele Piana (ITA), Mike Stursberg (GER) and Ersin Yücesan (TUR) in the number 36 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR continued the team’s winning streak in the SP8T class, finishing just ahead of the number 34 Mercedes-AMG GT4 fielded by Schnitzelalm Racing. It was a third class win for the BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the other two having come in 2018 and 2019. Schnitzelalm Racing contributed class win number two, with Marek Böckmann, Marcel Marchewicz, Tim Neuser and Reinhold Renger (all GER) in the #34 Mercedes-AMG GT4 claiming victory in the SP10 category. Top spot number three for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport came in the SP-X class for innovative variants. Sharing the cockpit of the number 25 Mercedes-AMG GT3 equipped with the new steer-by-wire technology, the Team Space Drive Racing quartet of Philip Ellis (SUI), Dominik Farnbacher, Tim Scheerbarth (both GER) and Darren Turner (GBR) put in a respectable performance to finish 16th overall and first in their classification.  

Race wins in GT World Challenge America: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport extended its lead in the GT World Challenge global manufacturers’ standings with a first race win of the 2021 GT World Challenge America. In the second of the two sprint races at Virginia International Raceway, the WINWARD Racing duo of Mikaël Grenier (CAN) and Russell Ward (USA) celebrated a lights-to-flag victory in the number 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3. In Race 1 on Saturday, Michael Cooper (USA) and Erin Vogel (both USA) in the number 19 of DXDT Racing had already scored valuable points for coming third overall and first in the Pro-Am class. No fewer than three Mercedes-AMG GT3s finished in the Top Ten of the general classification in both of the two 90-minute races. 

An Affalterbach-built car also crossed the finish line first in the GT4 America races contested at the same venue. Kenny Murillo and Christian Szymczak (both USA) drove to victory on Saturday in the #72 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 from second on the grid. In the second race on Sunday, John Allen and Kris Wilson at the wheel of the #16 Capstone Motorsports car took victory in the Am category after finishing third in class the previous day.

Further class podiums for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 were contributed by RENNtech Motorsports in the GT America. Chris Cagnazzi (USA) came home third in the GT4 class in both races. Three Top Ten finishes in the 40-minute sprint races rounded off a successful weekend for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport at Virginia International Raceway.

Victory streak and worldwide podium successes: Team ABBA Racing totally dominated the GT Cup Championship event at the Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit as Richard and Sam Neary (both GBR) in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 won all four 25-minute races, taking their victory tally this term to 24. 

In the Italian GT Championship Sprint Cup at Misano, Bar Baruch (ISR) and Luca Segù (ITA) finished third overall for Antonelli MotorSport in the second race of the weekend. In the GT4AM class, Diego Di Fabio and Luca Magnoni (both ITA) in the #207 Mercedes-AMG GT4 also secured two class wins, which takes them to the top of the standings in this category.

AKKA ASP team in the shape of French duo Eric Debard and Simon Gachet also took third place overall in the GT4 France. The number 81 Mercedes-AMG GT4 was one of five Mercedes-AMG GT4s to finish the second race at the Circuit d’Albi in the Top Ten. The #88 sister car driven by Timothé Buret and Paul Evrard (both FRA) finished ninth overall, which was enough for victory in the Silver Cup.

Further class wins for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 were recorded in Brazil and Spain. In the Endurance Brasil race hosted by Curitiba, AMG CAC Competiçoes took first place in the GT4 class. In the Supercars GT4 South contested in Madrid, Sports & You took class victory twice in the GT4 Bronze category.

Three questions for Maximilian Götz

Maximilian Götz has been driving Mercedes-AMG racing cars competitively for more years than most, but he will look back on this year’s ADAC TOTAL 24h Race Nürburgring with especially fond memories. After an exceptionally lengthy interruption to the race, he and his team-mates Daniel Juncadella and Raffaele Marciello in the number 7 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed launched into a determined fightback to finish just inside the Top Three. For Maximilian Götz, it was a second podium success in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. He talked to us about the race and about the next big challenges this year.

Maximilian, congratulations on your podium in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. What was the decisive factor in your charge through the field that produced the goods?

Maximilian Götz: The decisive factor was that we never gave up. We maintained our self-belief at every point in the race. Of course, the interruption and the neutralisation of the time gaps played into our hands. Before the restart, we agreed that we would go for broke. We knew that we had the pace and that the Mercedes-AMG GT3 is ideally suited to the Nordschleife. So we resolved to treat every lap as if it were a qualifying lap. It was a gamble that paid off in the end, thanks in part to excellent teamwork. 

The 49th running of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring will go down in the history books as the shortest ever. Apart from this rather dubious record, what will you remember the 2021 race for?

Maximilian Götz: What I will remember most is the intense wheel-to-wheel action on this difficult track. For me as a driver, it was lots of fun. The weather conditions were extreme again but quite typical for the Nürburgring. I won’t forget those first few laps in a hurry. We started on slicks, and it immediately began to rain. From that point on, it was just a matter of making sure you stayed in the race. To finish on the podium under these extreme circumstances definitely counts as a big success.

You have the 24-hour race behind you, so that’s one of the standout fixtures ticked off. But the season is far from over. In a fortnight, you’ll be competing in the DTM opener at Monza. Does the podium success at the Nürburgring give your confidence an extra boost?

Maximilian Götz: You always like to finish the highlight of the season on the podium. The trophy for third place at the Nürburgring is now here in my office, and nobody can take it away from me. This result gives me an enormous motivational boost for the rest of the season. I’m already looking forward to some thrilling racing in the DTM with its GT3 cars. The objective is very simple – to win more trophies! We want to exploit the strong pace of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the races at Monza and then finish on the DTM podium as often as possible.

Social Media News

#MercedesAMGMotorsport #24hNBR: Raffaele Marciello pulled off an exquisite overtaking move on the penultimate lap to secure third place for Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed in the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race at the Nürburgring.

Watch video: www.facebook.com/watch/?v=806047103384969

#MercedesAMGMotorsport #24hNBR: The start of an action-packed 24-hour race at the Nürburgring – watch the highlights from the first four hours of racing.

Watch video: www.facebook.com/MercedesAMGCustomerRacing/videos/4510675102294885

#MercedesAMGMotorsport #24hNBR: An exclusive insight into the data and analysis room at the ADAC TOTAL 24 Hours – the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Race Base.

Watch video: www.facebook.com/MercedesAMGCustomerRacing/videos/228646175415259

Maximilian Götz
#33 Mercedes-AMG GT3, WINWARD Racing
Mikaël Grenier (left) and Russell Ward, WINWARD Racing, at the podium ceremony
#19 Mercedes-AMG GT3, DXDT Racing
Erin Vogel (left) and Michael Cooper, DXDT Racing, at the podium ceremony
#72 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Murillo Racing
Christian Szymczak (left) and Kenny Murillo, Murillo Racing, at the podium ceremony
#39 Mercedes-AMG GT4, RENNtech Motorsports
#16 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Capstone Motorsports
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Aserbaidschan GP 2021. Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Aserbaidschan GP 2021. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Aserbaidschan GP 2021. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Aserbaidschan GP 2021. Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Aserbaidschan GP 2021. Lewis Hamilton
Maximilian Götz, Daniel Juncadella, Raffaele Marciello (from left), Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed, at the podium ceremony
#7 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed and #9 Mercedes-AMG GT3, GetSpeed Performance
#6 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT and #16 Mercedes-AMG GT3, CP Racing
Re-Start of the ADAC TOTAL 24h-Race Nürburgring
#34 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Schnitzelalm Racing
#8 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed
#25 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Space Drive Racing