Ralf feeling pressure of HWA drive

Ralf Schumacher is putting pressure on himself to perform well in the DTM this year following his promotion to a top car for 2009

Ralf feeling pressure of HWA drive

The ex-Formula 1 driver made his debut in the series last year driving a one-year-old Mercedes, but he will drive for the top HWA team this year alongside Paul di Resta, Gary Paffett and Bruno Spengler.

The German admitted last season that he tried not to put too much pressure on himself while he was learning the ropes in the series, but he says that has all changed for this year, ahead of this weekend's season opener at Hockenheim.

"Now that I'm driving the current Mercedes, there is obviously even bigger expectation," said Schumacher. "When you're behind the wheel of a current DTM model, you're expected to be competing for points, podiums and victories.

"Consequently, the pressure that I put myself under is also much greater. But this year's C-class gives me an opportunity make real progress."

The 33-year-old added that he hopes by the end of the season to have proved that his switch to tin-top racing was worthwhile.

"No-one should underestimate the DTM or the level of performance that is required to succeed here. I'm hopeful that, at the end of the season, people will be saying I took the right decision by staying on in DTM."

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