Mercedes driver Paffett: Upcoming 2018 DTM weekends an 'experiment'

Gary Paffett believes the upcoming DTM weekends will be an "experiment" because of the new regulations for 2018

Mercedes driver Paffett: Upcoming 2018 DTM weekends an 'experiment'

The DTM introduced a package designed to reduce downforce by 30% for 2018 and also implemented simplified suspension in order to cut costs and improve racing.

That in turn made setting up cars at the season opener at Hockenheim challenging.

Mercedes surprised with its early form and Audi was left confused by its turnaround in pace on Sunday after struggling through Friday and Saturday with oversteer and tyre degradation.

Paffett, who won the Hockenheim opener, expects that teams will continue to tinker with set-ups at this weekend's Lausitz round.

"If you look at it just based on Hockenheim, then you have to say that Mercedes are looking very strong," he said.

"If you also look at last year, Lucas had a great weekend at the Lausitzring [winning a race in 2017, and he will probably be very strong there.

"But after my first race weekend, I feel very confident that we can go and do something similar again.

"I've won at the Lausitzring in the past, and I think we need to look forward to it in a very positive manner.

"With the new regulations, however, every weekend is also a bit of an experiment.

"But I certainly don't expect the performance of the cars and the drivers to change that much from Hockenheim."

Paffett added that he did not expect Mercedes to be the early favourites, and he was surprised by Audi's struggles.

"I think I would be insulting my engineers if I said I was surprised that we were so good," he said.

"But obviously, we didn't know what to expect.

"It was a nice surprise that we definitely were the quickest and most consistent team on both days.

"The biggest surprise actually was the lack of pace of the Audi. Mercedes and BMW were both pretty close, and Audi seemed to have found some speed on Sunday.

"But it was definitely pleasing to see that we started the season in such a strong way."

shares
comments
Privateer entries now a 'must' for DTM's plans from 2019 - Berger

Previous article

Privateer entries now a 'must' for DTM's plans from 2019 - Berger

Next article

Mercedes's Paul di Resta: 2018 DTM regulation changes came too late

Mercedes's Paul di Resta: 2018 DTM regulation changes came too late
Load comments

About this article

Series DTM
Drivers Gary Paffett
Author Tom Errington
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis? Plus

Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions Plus

The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions

The Opel Vectra GTS was the last in the line of the marque's DTM challengers, but failed to hit the lofty heights of its predecessors when financial constraints hit

DTM
May 15, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Plus

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000. Autosport's expert panel ranks its 10 best drivers from the period

DTM
May 5, 2020
How the DTM landed itself in crisis Plus

How the DTM landed itself in crisis

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM was the latest bodyblow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series Plus

The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was an ardent detractor of Formula E and was reluctant for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. But this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure the DTM's existence in the future of motorsport

DTM
Dec 13, 2019