Robert Wickens and Roberto Merhi join Mercedes for DTM assault

Robert Wickens and Roberto Merhi will race in the DTM this year after joining Mercedes

Robert Wickens and Roberto Merhi join Mercedes for DTM assault

The pair will form two thirds of the Mercedes Junior Team, which will be mentored by seven-times Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher. The final member will be Christian Vietoris, who is being promoted to the crack HWA outfit for the coming season after dovetailing his maiden DTM year with his GP2 commitments in 2011.

Canadian driver Wickens, who won last year's Formula Renault 3.5 title, will partner grand prix winner David Coulthard at Mucke Motorsport.

"The DTM is a fantastic series - you're competing against top-notch drivers," he said. "I'm proud that Mercedes-Benz are giving me the chance to show what I am capable of in this environment in the Junior Team. My main aim will be to finish every race and to deliver decent performances."

F3 Euro Series champion Merhi will race for Persson Motorsport, taking the seat vacated by new HWA driver Vietoris.

Schumacher, who was part of Mercedes' first junior team in 1990, said: "I remember clearly the early stages of my career, and what I gained from my time in the Mercedes-Benz Junior Team - both on and off the track. It taught me the best way of working with the engineers and helped me build a professional relationship to the media.

"I'm excited to see how Christian, Roberto and Robert develop - they're certainly going to have a great time. Mercedes-Benz places great importance on developing the next generation of drivers - and there are plenty of examples who demonstrate this."

The announcement means that there is no place in the DTM line-up for either Maro Engel or Renger van der Zande; the Dutchman having announced last month that he would be racing elsewhere this season.

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