Mercedes DTM team drops four drivers in 2017 shake-up

Mercedes has dropped Daniel Juncadella, Christian Vietoris, Maximilian Gotz and Felix Rosenqvist from its DTM line-up for 2017

Mercedes DTM team drops four drivers in 2017 shake-up

All three manufacturers are cutting their involvement from eight cars to six this year, and Mercedes became the last to name its line-up on Thursday.

Already-announced Audi recruit Edoardo Mortara will be joined by incumbents Gary Paffett, Paul di Resta, Robert Wickens and Lucas Auer.

Maro Engel will return to the DTM to complete the line-up, having previously raced for Mercedes in the series in between 2008-11.

Engel has remained in Mercedes' fold since, primarily in GT competition, but he also spent a year in the Australian Supercars series and is now in Formula E with the Venturi squad.

With the two recruits and a trimmed line-up, Mercedes has parted company with Juncadella, Vietoris, Gotz and Rosenqvist, although the latter was only a mid-2016 replacement for the Formula 1-bound Esteban Ocon.

"In Daniel Juncadella, Maximilian Gotz, Felix Rosenqvist and Christian Vietoris, we are saying goodbye to four drivers who have competed successfully for the team in recent years," Mercedes DTM boss Ulrich Fritz said.

"We would like to thank Dani, Max, Felix and Chris for their efforts and their dedication.

"They didn't always have it easy, but they resolutely stuck to the task.

"I am convinced that this will continue to be the case in the future, and I wish them all the best for their new endeavours."

Vietoris was the longest-serving of the dropped drivers, having been part of Mercedes' roster since 2011, winning a single race and finishing fourth in the '13 and '14 championships.

Mercedes has appointed 2016 Formula 3 European Championship runner-up Maximilian Gunther as its designated test and reserve driver, a role filled by Rosenqvist and Ocon in recent years.

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