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Why 2021 champion Gotz shouldn’t be returning to DTM this 12 months

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Mercedes unveiled its six-strong driver roster for the 2023 DTM season on the finish of February, headlined by Lucas Auer, Luca Stolz and Maro Engel. However fellow works driver Gotz was curiously absent from the announcement, regardless of having clinched the 2021 title on Mercedes’ return to the DTM.

The 37-year-old is as a substitute anticipated to compete in different GT3 classes and endurance races within the Mercedes-AMG GT3, though his actual programme is but to be revealed.

The choice to drop Gotz from the line-up follows a discount in Mercedes’ funds for the DTM, and wider modifications in the way it supplies manufacturing facility help to the groups.

After a 12 months by which it was represented by a formidable eight vehicles, Mercedes has downscaled its involvement to only six entries in 2023, unfold equally throughout Winward, HRT and collection newcomer Landgraf.

Just one automotive in every staff is straight supported by the manufacturing facility, clubbing what it calls a ‘efficiency driver’ clubbed with a junior racer.

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Winward beforehand had each Auer and Gotz in its three-car line-up in 2022, nevertheless it was left with area for only one works driver this 12 months.

Though Winward was excited about holding Gotz’s companies, Mercedes finally elected to drop him from the DTM in favour of a programme elsewhere in its GT3 racing portfolio.

“We fought for a very long time to get one thing completed,” Gotz referred to Winward staff boss Christian Hohenadel in an interview with Autosport’s German language sister title Motorsport-Complete.com. 

“We actually tried every thing, however in the long run it was an inner AMG resolution to set it up like this now.

Maximilian Gotz, Mercedes-AMG Crew WINWARD Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

“AMG’s plan was clear comparatively early on that they wished to do six vehicles with two or three groups. Due to this new thought of placing juniors in [each team] and solely supporting one automotive, the ‘constellation’ happened like that.

“Luggi [Auer] was with Winward for a 12 months longer they usually deliberate with Luggi comparatively early on. That is why it happened that approach.”

Gotz raced within the final two DTM seasons within the well-known pink colors of Austrian water remedy firm BWT.

Nonetheless, it’s understood that BWT has not renewed its contract with Mercedes in response to the German producer elevating the leasing charges for its manufacturing vehicles, adversely impacting the price of working the BWT fleet.

Particular person groups will nonetheless have the ability to signal a contract independently with BWT, nevertheless it have to be famous that Winward’s #1 AMG GT3 ran in all-pink livery final 12 months on account of a deal that was straight completed with Mercedes. Gotz additionally has a long-standing personal sponsorship cope with BWT that isn’t linked to his employer.

Mercedes’ DTM boss Thomas Jager, nonetheless, insists that the developments surrounding BWT didn’t influence Gotz’s future within the class.

“That has nothing to do with it in any respect,” Jager informed Motorsport-Complete.com.

“We’ve got a really intensive programme for Maxi in different collection. DTM did not come up due to the density of the programme and the overlaps. 

“After all, he would have preferred to do DTM, however we’re not able the place we finance the entire operation and say it’s important to take the motive force now. It is all the time a mix of staff, sponsor and us.

“All needs and constellations should be taken into consideration. And that has merely turned out to be the way in which it’s wished.”

Ricardo Feller, Team ABT Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3, Maximilian Gotz, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

Ricardo Feller, Crew ABT Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3, Maximilian Gotz, Mercedes-AMG Crew WINWARD Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

Gotz, who stated he shall be concerned in at the very least two different collection, has no qualms about not getting an opportunity to return to the DTM and add to his 2021 title and three race wins.

“I am proud to be a Mercedes-AMG works driver and I stand behind their selections, simply as they stand behind me,” he stated.

“That is additionally what makes it particular that we cope with one another brazenly and truthfully and nobody is offended when one thing does not come about. I owe them quite a bit – and vice versa.”

The German additionally believes the choice was not impacted by his ends in 2022, when he slipped to eleventh within the standings and scored only a single podium end at Spa.

Interview: Gotz on his sluggish title defence

“That has nothing to do with efficiency or something. As a result of in the event you take a look at the outcomes, there was Maro Engel behind me, additionally [David] Schumacher and [Arjun] Maini. I had a brilliant sturdy second half of the season.

“Should you take a look at the qualifying common, let’s take out Hockenheim, the place there was chaos qualifying with purple flags and so forth, I used to be one of the best [among Mercedes drivers]. 

“And I turned up the tempo within the second half of the season. You may’t put it right down to outcomes. Or say you did not deserve it.”

That stated, Gotz doesn’t wish to rule out a return to the DTM, citing countryman Nico Hulkenberg securing a comeback in Formulation 1 this 12 months with Haas after being sidelined for 3 seasons between 2020 to 2022.

“It is not goodbye endlessly, see Hulkenberg,” he stated. “Who would have anticipated that he would additionally get one other Formulation 1 cockpit? 

“I by no means say by no means. It will be good if I may assault once more within the DTM.

“I am not the youngest anymore, that is clear, however expertise is what counts. And the successes I’ve had to date depend, too.”

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