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HomeUncategorizedHow DTM's latest Schumacher fared in his rookie year

How DTM's latest Schumacher fared in his rookie year

David Schumacher continued some kind of tradition this year. After his attempts to get into Formula 2 were stalled by a lack of sponsorship, Haas Formula 1 driver Mick’s 20-year-old cousin became the third in his esteemed family to participate by signing a Winward Mercedes GT3 outfit A member of the DTM race.

His father, Ralph, spent five years in DTM with Mercedes from 2008 to 2012, having previously scored six DTMs in his F1 career. victory. He finished his best second at the Red Bull Ring in 2011, a year he topped the standings with an eighth-place finish and two pole positions.

David’s uncle Michael Schumacher, a seven-time F1 world champion before he became famous, made a deep and unforgettable impression on his DTM debut at Hockenheim in 1990 , the reasons are all wrong. After cutting into the first corner, the newly crowned German Formula 3 champion rammed his 190E into BMW points leader Johnny Cecotto – which DNF has largely made him Lost the title to Audi driver Hans Stuck. In 1991, he competed in four races in the World Sports Car Championship with Mercedes, finishing a best 14th on the tricky Diepholz Airport circuit.

FIA Formula 3 graduate David is already at the Lausitzring, but that’s not cause for celebration – after he finished 10th and lost at the start because he couldn’t see the lights after the game. It’s a common cause of DTM complaints this season, although organizers ITR haven’t committed to a fix by the end of the year.

“For me, there has to be a solution to that,” asserted Schumacher, who was joined by in the Winward truck at Norris Lynn on Friday. “These reboots were pure lottery. When I started Lausitzring on the P10, I didn’t see the lights and my team wanted to talk to me over the radio. But then we had radio issues and I couldn’t hear the engineer, so I missed the start completely and lost four positions before turn 1.”

Schumacher, who made his breakthrough in F3 Austria and Trident last year between Schaluz and Carlin Drawing a blank in his 2020 rookie campaign, has just completed a stack of autograph cards that he methodically tackled while chatting with his teammate and reigning DTM champion Maxi before A driver surnamed Schumacher is always in demand and under scrutiny, even if the level of expectations isn’t really justified.

Schumacher is following in the footsteps of his father Ralf and uncle Michael by racing in the DTM

Schumacher follows in the footsteps of his father Ralph and Uncle Michael in DTM

Photo: Andreas Beil

Where F3 is where young drivers learn together, the experience gained by factory GT drivers is a There’s a huge difference between newcomers like Mach — especially since most have raced the same cars in enduro races and logged countless laps in multiple 24-hour races each year.

Accommodates driving with heavier roofs and roofs – “these cars are huge compared to what I use” – plus Michelin tires not like the ones he drives in F3 Pirelli so spiky, while also learning the second-nature (if often frustrated) anti-lock braking system of a top-tier GT3 veteran, he condensed the edes not easy.

“It’s a big difference, it’s harder,” he said. “It’s more of a touch, I’m not used to it yet, so I’m especially growing in this part. Obviously, I’m not used to handling the weight of the car yet, it may take a while.

“My dad helped a lot to get in touch with people. But in the end, I provided lap times. My name does not provide any lap times” David Schumacher

“I took a step, and of course I did improve compared to my first test. But there is still a lot to learn and improve. I mean, I still don’t understand certain types of corners in cars, like hard braking areas are things I still don’t understand very well in ABS.

“It’s hard for me to understand because the brake pedal keeps moving and then the pressure changes and sometimes goes up and down on the graph. It’s a bit confusing to me because I obviously It’s never been in formula [cars] and it’s still something I really need to work on.”

All of this means Schumacher in his expectations for the year.

“Study, that’s it, just study,” he said when asked about his preseason goals. “Maybe a podium or two if possible, but [that would be] like the cherry on the cake. For me, the main focus is just learning as much as possible, getting into the car, getting into the AMG , how it works together, how it works within the team. Understanding that is my biggest goal.”

Not putting pressure on yourself is a common theme for Schumacher. The same was the case last November, when he took part in Mercedes’ DTM rookie test at Paul Ricard’s Haupt Racing Team. Schumacher admitted he was “unprepared” for what was to come.

For Schumacher That said, learning the nuances of GT3 cars like ABS is still an ongoing process, and he only aims to learn in 2022

Photo: Alexander Trienitz

“I didn’t put too much pressure on myself, I just got in the car and ran a few laps,” he recalls. “We had 10 laps to impress them. It’s very difficult to get in a GT3 car, I’ve never seen one in my life. After the first run, I tried as hard as I could with the team to analyze it for the second run to get good lap times and good consistency. In the end, that’s why I’m sitting here right now.”

The result was “Agreed with Mercedes Big deal” to become a Mercedes-AMG Junior.

“I think my dad helped a lot in reaching out to people,” reflected Schumacher. “But at the end of the day, I’ll give lap times. My name doesn’t give any lap times.”

If his Lausitz ring qualifying – will veteran teammate Lucas With Lucas Auer 100th – the highest so far this season, Schumacher’s race is a mixed bag.

In the opening round at Portimao After seeing two races over, he quipped that he needed to go to the sauna more often because he underestimated the heat in the cockpit of the GT3 car, which Schumacher has DNFed four times in the past six races.

He was stopped by the soft brake pedal in the first Lausitzling race, retired from the second Imola race after a clash with Marius Zug and made an early Out two Norris Lynn counter-attacks – blameless in the first corner pileup of the opener, before being braked at Turn 1 and meeting Ricardo Feller in the second.

But Schumacher says he enjoys being in the DTM, where “day and night differences” compared to single-seaters, even harmless touches can lead to retirement.

“I have so many contacts, so many broken mirrors,” he said with a laugh. “The battle was good and I enjoyed it.”

Schumacher identifies qualifying at the Lausitzring, where he matched team-mate Auer, as the high point of his season to date

Schumacher will qualify with team-mate Auer at the Ring of Lausitz, his highest so far this season

Photo: Andreas Beil

Inconsistency is only expected for a rookie — especially when he only had two 45-minute practice sessions on Friday to perfect the matchup with pre-qualifying engineer Andreas Riedl. Schumacher won praise for stepping up when he was short. He described Imola over the weekend as “very bad”, admitting he “did not know why or what went wrong”.

“It was a tough weekend for Mercedes and especially for me,” he said. “The first two sectors I was similar to Luggie [Auer], the last sector I lost half a second for some reason and now I still don’t know why.”

Limited due to supply chain issues Affecting other racing series as well, the current availability of test tires doesn’t help provide an answer.

“His method, how he started a weekend, good to see, I can learn from it, don’t put too much pressure on it, just drive and see what happens what” Maxi Gotz

“right For me, that’s probably a bigger disadvantage than anyone with experience,” Schumacher admitted. “In the end, they don’t need experience, they need the experience of the team to get the right settings for the track and so on. But they’re experienced with the car and they know exactly what to do. So they go in and they run a run or two. laps, they’re there. For me, I still need to get to that point.”

However, Mercedes’ shared culture is “a very big advantage for Schumacher. ‘, he has access to seven other Stuttgart data to cover with his own car. It was something he wanted to be in F3 when “sometimes Prema was half a second too fast and we just sat there with our mouths down and we didn’t know how the hell it was possible”. His teammates were also happy to open up and share, and Schumacher liked the “different way of working”. Can learn from each other”.

“David’s approach is different because he doesn’t even know the track here [in the Norisring], like the cars at specific moments in the race and qualifying , changing weather conditions and so on,” said the 36-year-old. “He didn’t start with too much pressure, and he started fresh without any past experience.

Defending champion Goetz (following Schumacher in the Portimao pre-season test) says his rookie teammate’s approach is something he can learn from

Photo: Alexander Trienitz

“His approach, how he started a weekend, it’s nice to see that I can learn from it, don’t impose too much The pressure to just drive and see what happens. I think it’s better sometimes. He’s starting from scratch, and sometimes it’s good to cut in and start over. I think we can learn from each other very well.”

Schumacher admitted that “my goal is still to enter F1 one day”, but can DTM be his long-term career choice?

“That’s a good question, I don’t know,” was his answer. “I’m at DTM this year and we’ll be focusing on this year, but next year I’ll see. Whatever happens, I’m open to it.”

Schumacher is enjoying his time with Winward so far DTM Tour

Photography: DTM



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