Schumacher steps up to new Mercedes
|By Steven English||Wednesday, February 11th 2009, 11:44 GMT|
Ralf Schumacher will move up to a brand new Mercedes for this season after spending his rookie year in the series in a one-year-old car in 2008.
The six-time grand prix winner only finished in the points twice last season in a 2007-spec C-Class, but is confident that he can improve his results with a year of experience now behind him.
"It was clear for all of us that 2008 would be a learning year for me, therefore I am satisfied with my achievements," said Schumacher. "The 2009 C-Class is a big chance for me and I want to justify the trust Mercedes-Benz put in me with good results.
"In my opinion, the DTM is the best touring car series in the world. Here we fight hard for every metre and every tenth of a second. As I know from many encounters in the paddock, the fans like this as much as me. From my point of view, the spectators don't get more value for their money in any other top racing series."
Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug also expects to see Schumacher's performance increase in a new car.
"During the last season, Ralf Schumacher demonstrated that he was racing in the DTM with all his heart and that, after his Formula One career, he does not consider touring car racing a challenge which he has yet finished.
"His learning year was good for him and for the DTM. The racing series again showed that even a world class driver with Formula One victories to his credit cannot come straight in and compete against the front-runners. Nevertheless, Ralf became one of the most popular drivers already in his debut year and was in the focus of the interest from the beginning to the end.
"Our latest tests in Mugello showed that Ralf can drive a DTM touring car at top level. After his learning year, I am sure Ralf will show what he can do."