After an impressive second year in the FIA European F3 Championship last year, the Austrian Lucas Auer has today announced a deal to join Mercedes in the highly competitive DTM series this year. Auer is the third confirmed Mercedes driver behind long term Mercedes DTM driver Gary Paffett and GT racer Maxi Gotz.
Auer was seemingly initially looking to move into the Renault World Series with Arden, however that deal failed to come to fruition, and now Auer can look forward to being a professional racing driver with Mercedes in the DTM this year.
Auer commented on his latest deal today "Joining the DTM is an important step in my career,” said Auer. “I’m very proud to be part of the Mercedes family. Testing towards the end of last year in Jerez de la Frontera was a fantastic experience. I can’t wait to get back in the car and continue preparations for my DTM debut. I realise that it won’t be an easy task as the DTM is a top-class racing series with formidable opponents, but I’m willing to learn and ready to embark on this adventure. I intend to grab this chance at Mercedes Benz with both hands."
Also commenting on this deal was Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff, who stated "Lucas Auer has earned this opportunity with his performance in recent years,Our involvement in Formula 3 has enabled many drivers in the past to show that they are ready for the DTM, including Christian Vietoris and Pascal Wehrlein."
Auer will be looking to impress in his debut season, although that will be a tall order thanks to his inexperience in the high powered DTM racers, alongside the supremely high quality field. It seems he may be joined in the series this year by some of his FIA European F3 rivals as Esteban Ocon and Tom Blomqvist are seemingly looking at joining the series this year also.
What are your thoughts on this deal for Auer and Mercedes? Please feel free to comment below.