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Ralf Schumacher re-inks Mercedes DTM deal

Thursday, October 20 2011

Mercedes-Benz have announced that Ralf Schumacher is to remain with the manufacturer for the 2012 season, which will be his fifth year in the series. Schumacher, the brother of 7-times Formula 1 World Champion Michael, is enjoying his most successful year in DTM, picking up his first podium finishes.

Ralf was also among the fastest of the Stuttgart manufacturer's drivers at Brands Hatch last month, finishing in fifth place behind Gary Paffett. Schumacher's deal includes development work on next year's all-new C-Class Coupé, built to take on the new Audi A5 and BMW's new challenger, the first for 20 years. It's the first all-new car from Mercedes since 2009, when the technical regulations were frozen.

Ralf's four seasons in DTM follow an eleven-year career in F1, which saw him pick up several wins and challenge for the championship with the Williams team, before a spell at Toyota. Since then he has become one of the best-known drivers in DTM and a favourite with fans.

A delighted Ralf Schumacher said: "DTM is a fantastic championship and, after four years as part of the Mercedes-Benz family, I feel in the best place possible. With the new technical regulations and the arrival of BMW on the scene, DTM has an exciting future, and I feel privileged to be playing my part in development of the new DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé. My first impressions from testing are positive, and I'm very excited about racing this car next year. During testing this winter, we intend to lay the groundwork to ensure that I can improve my results even further with the new C-Coupé in 2012."
 
Norbert Haug, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport added: "I rate very highly the fact that Ralf walked the difficult road from Formula One to the DTM, boosted the series' popularity and continuously improved until he scored his first podium. That approach is a perfect fit with Mercedes-Benz and that's why we are delighted to extend Ralf's DTM contract beyond 2011. We and the fans have a lot of enjoyment ahead of us as we watch him racing."