Nuremberg is undoubtedly Silver Arrow territory – and judging by their form so far this season, arch rivals Audi won’t be able to challenge the works Mercedes drivers for victory at all at what is known throughout the paddock as the Monaco of the DTM.
“Every race in the DTM calendar is a one-off – but Norisring is always the most unique each year,” explains Mercedes team principal Norbert Haug.
“The route right through the city of Nuremburg is only driven on once a year, on a single racing weekend, and as short and simple as it looks, it poses a unique challenge for the vehicles, drivers and teams. From 2003 to 2009 we have achieved seven victories in succession at Norisring.”
Jamie Green has won the last two races here, and is still confident he can succeed at one of his best tracks on the calendar.
“I won the race at Norisring in 2008 and 2009 – driving the same [2008-spec] car. The circuit looks quite straightforward, but it can be deceptive. The numerous undulations give the car problems and need great concentration on the part of the driver, especially when braking hard from around 260 km/h to less than 50 km/h before the hairpins.”
This year’s championship has been dominated by Mercedes trio Bruno Spengler, Paul di Resta and Gary Paffett, but the last of the works drivers, Ralf Schumacher, is looking to turn his season around this weekend after failing to score a single point so far this year.
“Norisring is one of my favourite tracks, and last year I achieved my best DTM result so far there,” he said. “The circuit layout looks simple, but it has its challenges and merciless duels are guaranteed. The frequently high, summery temperatures up to 60 degrees in the cockpit can also make things uncomfortably hot.”
One thing is for sure – Audi is going to have pull off something of a miracle to stop a Mercedes domination this weekend. And the other Mercedes drivers need a miracle to rein in Spengler in the championship, at one of his best tracks.