Special mission for the Formula One and DTM drivers in Stuttgart city centre. On Friday afternoon, Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, world championship runner-up Nico Rosberg and the eight DTM drivers of the brand with the three-pointed star dropped by on fans at the market square in Stuttgart, where they signed autographs and gave interviews on a show stage.
600 spectators in all joined the motor racing stars in gearing up for the new season. The racing drivers travelled to their surprise appearance in a relaxed, environmentally manner in vehicles from the Mercedes-Benz electric fleet.
“It’s terrific to be here in Stuttgart, and even though it’s a little bit on the cool side, it’s just great that so many people have come to see us and the DTM drivers”, said reigning Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton. His Silver Arrows team-mate Nico Rosberg added with reference to the start of the new season: “I always look forward to being close to the fans who support us so well. It’s great to see how enthusiastic they all are before the start of the season.”
Mercedes-AMG DTM driver Lucas Auer was also bowled over by the spectators’ enthusiasm: “It was really fun and a brilliant day. I hope that the fans will cheer us on just as well in the season to come.” Maximilian Götz used the fan activities as preparation for the upcoming season. “Loads of fans were there, and I warmed up for the new season by signing my first autographs of the year,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m now back in the swing of things with my autograph.”
Canadian Robert Wickens stressed the feeling of oneness within the Mercedes-Benz motor racing family on behalf of his DTM driver colleagues: “It’s great to see the passion of the fans here in Stuttgart,” said Wickens. “We can’t thank them enough for braving the cold weather today. It wasn’t quite so bad for me, as it’s warmer here than back home in Canada!”
The first Formula One race weekend of the year will take place in one week’s time with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, March 18th-20th. The DTM will get the new season under way with a home race for Mercedes-Benz at Hockenheim, May 6th-8th.