Maro Engel claimed his first victory of the DTM Series in a chaotic race at the Moscow Raceway, but what got the German to where he is today?
The German, grew up in Monaco and it was friendships that he built there that led to him becoming a race driver.
“My parents moved to Monaco when I was three. My father was a fashion designer and even launched his own brands later on. He met Prince Albert at an event somewhere along the line, and he suggested to my dad that he should move headquarters to Monaco. My mother and my wife kept one of the brands going, but my dad bailed out when they split up. He now lives in Brazil.
“I grew up with Nico [Rosberg] as most fans probably already know. We went to kindergarten together and soon got along very well, as we were the only German children there. So, we became friends very quickly and also used to play together in our spare time. At some point, Keke [Rosberg] said to my dad, “Do you know what, I’m going to get Nico a go-kart for his birthday. How about getting Maro one? Then the boys can spend time down at the track, and we can enjoy our holidays.” Fortunately, my dad answered: “Yeah, why not?” And that’s how it all started.”
Engel and Rosberg’s parents soon set up a kart team together with the former heading to Germany and the latter to Italy, before their careers took different paths.
After the DTM after having raced in the series from 2009 to 2011, before returning to this year, Engel spent time with Mercedes‘ customer programme and learnt a lot from the opportunity.
“I owe a lot to the Customer Sport programme and Mercedes-AMG. It’s why I’m still a keen competitor in the big GT races. I really enjoy them. But of course, the idea that I hadn’t quite finished with the DTM was always lurking at the back of my mind. I was well up for another chance and intended to grab it. I worked hard towards that goal and got the chance to line up again this year on the same basis as my team-mates.”
Earlier this year, Engel married his longtime girlfriend Steffi with the pair making headlines for even non-motorsport fans for their unique wedding car choice.
“Our wedding was beautiful. Everything was amazing that day. We got the bright blue sky we’d always dreamed of and found it really fantastic, far more beautiful than we could ever have imagined. It was a very special day.
“We were blown away when the team told us we could use a Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM as our wedding car. Steffi said straightaway that we definitely had to go for it given half a chance. She thought the idea was brilliant! It was an amazing feeling, driving away from the church down the narrow road through the small fishing village and out along the coast with my wife in a DTM car. Neither of us could stop smiling. It was absolutely fabulous!”
Engel is now also competing in the FIA Formula E Championship, having made his debut in Hong Kong with seventh in the second race a positive start for the German.