Ralf Schumacher to race in DTM - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Ralf Schumacher to race in DTM

Ralf Schumacher to race in DTM
Having contested eleven Formula 1 seasons, 32-year old Ralf Schumacher switches to DTM to race the Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class, this year. These news were announced by Mercedes-Benz Motorsport today. Schumacher will make his DTM debut in the season opener, held on 13th April at Hockenheim.

Ralf Schumacher covered more than 2,000 kilometres of testing
Over the course of four and a half days of testing at Estoril, Portugal, the German completed a total of some 490 laps at the wheel of the AMG Mercedes C-Class, representing a total mileage of about 2,000 kilometres or twelve DTM races. It was his first outing with an AMG Mercedes since 20th July 1997 when he raced an AMG Mercedes CLK-GTR as guest driver in an FIA GT Championship round at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. At the same time, this was the last time to date that Ralf contested a race with a tin-top racing car.

Ralf made his first driving experiences with a kart as early as at the age of three years. In 1991, now 16 years old, he won his first title: the German Kart Junior Championship. In 1992, he contested just one car race, the ADAC Formula Junior round at Nuremberg’s Norisring. In the following year, Ralf contested the full ADAC Formula Junior season. In 1995, he raced in Formula 3 (runner-up in the German Championship and winner of the prestigious Macao GP) and one year later, he secured the title in Japan’s Formula Nippon. In summer 1996, he was invited by McLaren Mercedes to execute his maiden Formula 1 test, at Silverstone, and in the following year, he made his Formula 1 debut for Jordan Peugeot.

From 1997 to 2007, Ralf contested 180 GPs, won six and secured six pole positions. Over the course of his Formula 1 career, he scored a total of 329 World Championship points. In both 2001 and 2002, as Williams BMW driver, he finished fourth in the drivers’ championship. From 2005, he raced for Toyota and the 2007 Brazilian GP, the finale of last year’s Formula 1 World Championship season, represented the last race of his Formula 1 career.

Apart from his brother, Michael, Ralf has been the most successful German Formula 1 driver since the World Championship was created back in 1950.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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No special treatment for Ralf Schumacher
The deal is home and dry: Having raced in Formula 1 for eleven years, Ralf Schumacher is going to compete in DTM, now. On 13th April, when the most popular international touring car series will kick off its 2008 season at Hockenheim, the German will be on the grid at the wheel of an AMG Mercedes C-Class. “Testing the DTM C-Class was big fun for me,” he says, “and I’m massively looking forward to the forthcoming season. More than to any of the seasons I contested in the recent past.”

Ralf Schumacher still knows DTM from the early days of his career - although the series has been subjected to several changes, since then. In the mid-90s, Ralf raced in Formula Junior and Formula 3 - and both series were held in the support programme of DTM. “In those days, I dreamt of being on the grid of the main event, sometime,” recalls the former Formula 1 ace. Now, his dream has come true.

The six-time Grand Prix winner won’t get a special treatment, in DTM. “During the negotiations, Ralf asked neither for a Formula 1 bonus regarding his salary nor for a special status in the team,” reveals Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Director Norbert Haug. “Compliments for this approach. It couldn’t be better and represents the perfect basis for his new career.” The new entrant also is aware that he won’t receive presents, in DTM. “Being an ‘apprentice boy’, it would be great if there would be made some allowances for me, in the beginning,” he says. “But it also will be fine for me if this isn’t the case. I already now the major part of my future opponents but I don’t think that this will make them say: ‘Hey, our Ralf is coming. He doesn’t know a lot about DTM, so let him just pass’.”
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