Air Kraft: DTM preview
Audi, Mercedes and BMW are going racing, and whoever has the cleverest wings, wins
Posted: 15 Mar 2012
Yet despite all those wings, there is actually less aero-induced grip than last year. Less aerodynamics means a greater reliance on ‘mechanical' grip - instead of relying on the wings to stick the car to the track, the drivers will be depending on the tyres. And that means the holy grail of motorsport - more overtaking. If the car in front isn't ‘stealing' as much of your downforce - and therefore grip - then you can get closer in faster corners. The 2011 cars were on the edge, especially in qualifying, but because the Hankook tyres are larger than the Dunlops used last year, the cars should be more stable.
Gary Paffett, Merc's leading driver, the most successful current racer in DTM and a Brit unknown by 99 per cent of the country, reckons it will be more fun. "Slower corners will be harder work, because we'll be going quicker. But because we've now got a six-speed paddle gearbox, we'll be able to upshift in the corners and push much harder." Pushing harder, in racing-driver speak, means having more fun.