News: General

Gary Paffett commences 2018 campaign with the first test sessions at Vallelunga

Posted 6th March 2018

First snow, then rain. Team captain Gary Paffett and the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team experienced tricky weather conditions during the first tests of the year at Vallelunga, Italy.

"We can count ourselves lucky to have had such good weather yesterday," said Gary, who drove 119 laps in the dry on Friday. "This year, there have been some big changes to the aerodynamic parts of the car, and there are also more standard parts. This should hopefully help to level the playing field - although that's sometimes hard to imagine, with things being so tight in the DTM. The car did not feel amazingly different. It has a little less downforce, but it is still a DTM car. We have very limited time for testing this winter, so it's important that we get the maximum out of what's available, like we did yesterday."

The 2005 DTM champion set the best time of the day, 1:26.751 minutes. The British driver was fastest on all three track sectors, giving a theoretical best time of 1:26.666 minutes.

The team had to face a wide range of weather conditions over the course of the three days with icy temperatures and snow during rollout on Thursday and the need to bolt on full wets on Saturday, the final day.

The team will now return to the factory in Affalterbach to evaluate the data from the Vallelunga test week and continue preparations for the start of the season on the weekend of 4th - 6th May in Hockenheim. The next round of testing is also scheduled to take place at the Hockenheimring (9th -12th April).