After much speculation on whether Mercedes-Benz would be running eight C-Coupé AMGs in 2015, the brand’s Stars & Cars event in Stuttgart saw the announcement that they will expand their ranks to eight cars for 2015, especially after the hard criticism that the brand received from both Audi Sport and BMW about competing on a level playing field.
2014 Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and runner-up Nico Rosberg from the dominant Mercedes AMG Petronas outfit, were in attendance at the event, which saw 50,000 fans attend an event that saw racers from the past and present days.
The current established outfits, in the form of DTM development partner HWA AG and Mücke Motorsport, will be joined by current GP3 and GP2 outfit ART Grand Prix for the forthcoming season.
The team, originally formed back in 1996 by Frédéric Vasseur under the name of ASM F3 Team, had a great partnership with Mercedes between 2003 and 2010.
The Formula 3 Euroseries partnership culminated in seven team titles, six drivers’ titles, 78 victories and 55 pole positions, which saw current DTM stalwarts Jamie Green and Paul di Resta secure title glory. This was before the outfit decided to concentrate on its efforts in both GP2 and GP3.
Vasseur’s team will field two cars next year, which shows that there will be at least one new name arriving in Mercedes’ ranks next year, as he said that being “picked by the most successful brand in the annals of the DTM to become their latest team fills us with enormous pride.”
“We have a steep learning curve ahead of us. Nevertheless, we can’t wait for the season opener at Hockenheim to get under way when we will line up in a DTM Mercedes AMG C Coupé on the DTM starting grid for the first time in team history.”
Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Toto Wolff, welcomed the return of a partnership that has proven success, and that Mercedes is looking forward to repeating this in the DTM next year: “We have always said that we would only ever increase the number of vehicles in the DTM when we could be certain that all the cars deployed would be equally well looked after.
“We will have three strong teams next year, HWA AG, Mücke Motorsport and ART Grand Prix, who are well placed to contest a successful season in 2015 with the DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé.”
With Gary Paffett already confirmed to race with the manufacturer for 2015, when Mercedes extended its partnership with EURONICS at the Hocekenheim finale, the rest of the squad for next year is as of yet undecided. However, di Resta looks to be pretty much assured for next year’s refreshed campaign with the new car.
We also await the decisions that will be taken by both Audi Sport and BMW Motorsport for who will line up on the grid for 2015, with both brands making their announcements next month.