(Motorsport-Total.com) – With David Schumacher, David Beckmann and Lirim Zendelli, the three biggest hopes in German formula will face the Mercedes-AMG DTM Young Driver Test this week on Wednesday and Thursday with Team Hubert Haupt – the racing stables at Le Castellet (all info about the test ). The goal is to see if a driver qualifies for a possible third HRT in the 2022 DTM season.
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David Schumacher in his only Formula 3 victory so far in Spielberg
But how exciting is the DTM for the three German contenders and British Formula 2 driver Jake Hughes, who also races in HRT?
“Such a test only makes sense if you really think about it,” said Ulrich Fritz, managing director of HRT-Mercedes in an interview with ‘Motorsport-Total.com’, referring to the races in 2022.
“I received more and more inquiries”
“This year at DTM we noticed that the podium suddenly became attractive to Formula 2 or Formula 3 drivers who figured out for themselves: Maybe Formula 1 won’t work – or nothing at the moment. Because there are also detours, as I did see Fritz with Liam Lawson,” noting To the hope of Red Bull, who, in addition to Formula 2, has made a name for himself in DTM and continues to focus on Formula 1.
In the end, they “received more and more inquiries” and then decided to give a few young drivers a chance, even if the GT3 was very different from a Formula car unlike the previous DTM’s 1 Series cars.
“Drivers are of course used to 400 to 700 hp, depending on whether it’s Formula 3 or Formula 2, but the car is at least 400 to 500 kg lighter and has no roof,” the HRT director says of the biggest differences. “And they also don’t know any driving aids. That’s why it becomes fun. In the end, you have to tell yourself what is questionable to you.”
This is how David Schumacher’s DTM test came about
How does Fritz assess the future prospects of the four drivers who will now compete in the young driver’s test in the Mercedes-AMG GT3? “David is now trying,” Fritz said of David Schumacher, who in 2021 scored his first win in his second season in Formula 3 after switching from Charrose to Trident. “He is not yet in Formula 2. It may still be an option for him to do Formula 2.”
How come, according to plan, the 20-year-old will be in Vincent April’s DTM race car on Thursday? “I think it originally came from AMG, but I know Ralf well since our time together at DTM,” said Fritz, noting that father and former Formula 1 winner Ralf Schumacher worked for Mercedes in DTM from 2008 to 2012.
“We’ve always been in touch, also on the subject of whether David might be in the Formula 3 cockpit at HWA. This has just developed.”
The no-bake formula path: high costs, no middle equivalent
For Jake Hughes, who has been driving Formula 3 since 2016 and took five Formula 2 races for HWA in 2020 and 2021, as for Schumacher, Formula 2 is still an option. “Either he’s going to get a competitive cockpit next year in Formula 2 or in Formula E, where he’s on the road a lot – or DTM is the alternative.”
At Beckmann and Zindeli, who were promoted to Formula 2 in 2021, their Formula career is over, Fritz believes. “They’ve both shown in the past that they can really drive, but you can’t put money together because it’s pretty much closed to the public,” says Fritz, who sees financial disruption in Formula Racing.
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So far, David Beckmann has achieved two podium spots in the 2022 Formula 2 season Zoom
The fact is that the Formula 2 season in a large team costs up to 2.5 million euros per year, while the largest team in Formula 3 already charges 1.5 million euros. Fritz alludes to the fact that there is rarely coverage of the youth series: “Sports have simply become too expensive – you have no media equivalent.”
Fritz no longer sees Beckmann and Zindeli in Formula Racing
“And then it is difficult to find suitable partners to fund such a program. Against this background, I think that at least the path of the youth formula is over for them, but I think it is going in the direction of DTM – or it would be something completely different. Of course, DTM is really attractive, Because they are both German.”
A DTM season costs around 1 million euros per driver per year – and the media presence, at least in German-speaking countries, is much larger than the youth formula series thanks to the TV contract with Sat.1 and ProSieben in the future.
Many drivers who had previously driven the other GT3 series and were unfamiliar with the many press appointments realized that the media interest in the DTM was still high after the switch to GT3 cars.
Another argument for the DTM: “You sit alone in the car, you have sprint races etc.” So DTM approaches the concept of formula racing “unlike many other GT3 systems,” says Fritz.
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