David Schumacher will move into the DTM this year, joining Mercedes-AMG team WINWARD in an extra car and as one of the brand’s official junior drivers.
Winward had already announced its line-up of reigning champion Maximilian Gotz and Lucas Auer, but is now adding a third car to run FIA Formula 3 race-winner Schumacher. The 20-year-old is the son of former DTM driver Ralf Schumacher.
Last year he came 11th in the FIA F3 Championship in what was his second season in the series. He stepped up to F3 from Formula Regional European Championship, where he won four races for his father’s US Racing team.
“The two car categories are worlds apart,” said Schumacher, whose performance in last year’s DTM rookie test brought him into contention for a race seat and led to a recent follow-up test with Winward before he signed with the team.
“Only because of the considerably higher weight, the GT3 requires a much smoother driving style than the single-seater. Initially, the ABS [anti-lock braking system] was a real shock for me, I didn’t know that from a race car at all. Still, I quickly felt at ease in the Mercedes-AMG GT3. It really is a joy to drive.
“I am aware that I have to learn a lot to hold my own in this unbelievably high-class race series. My goal for the first year is to get used to the race car and to take in the many details that are important in DTM. With Lucas and Maximilian, I have two vastly experienced team-mates towards whom I can orientate myself.”
Schumacher is one of two drivers from junior single-seaters going to the DTM this year, following the signing of Formula 2 racer Alessio Deledda by Lamborghini outfit Grasser Racing Team. Deledda will gain a level of direct Lamborghini support, while Schumacher has been named as a Mercedes-AMG sportscar junior (as opposed to F1).
Winward team principal Christian Hohenadel said of signing Schumacher: “We all know how high the level in DTM is, so from that perspective, his maiden season in this very tough competitive environment can be nothing but a learning year.
“With all our experience, we will be supporting him as much as we can. I am convinced that David will be bringing us a lot of joy with his talent, his diligence and his team spirit. There is no doubt that he has the perfect genes.”