Green insists: Mercedes can retain its crown.

by Russell Atkins

DTM front-runner Jamie Green remains adamant Mercedes is capable of withstanding Audi's seemingly relentless march to steal its crown in the pan-European tin-top series, whilst at the same time stressing his own campaign has not been as bad as it may look on paper.

The Leicestershire ace last year registered a trio of podium finishes, a stunning four pole positions from ten races and was comfortably the championship's most accomplished one-lap ace. In 2007, by stark contrast, he has struggled to make a similar impression, when many pre-season had tipped him to be a title contender.

With just two top five qualifying runs – when in 2006 he only once failed to make the leading two rows of the grid – and a best race finish of fifth place last time out at the Nürburgring, the season so far has fallen somewhat short of expectations, a fact the 25-year-old is quick to acknowledge.

“It's been a hard year,” he admitted to Crash.net Radio. “I think the main thing really has been that with this year's car and tyre package, I've found it difficult to really get the maximum performance out of the car, especially in qualifying which is completely the opposite to last year. That's been putting me down the grid a bit more and it obviously makes the races a lot harder too.

“In terms of the races themselves, I think I've probably performed better than last year – I've been more consistent over long runs and had better average pace – but there have been a few times I've not finished and therefore not scored points. There was one race where I probably should have been on the podium but I got a drive-through penalty, so it has been difficult.”

Indeed, while the rostrum continues to elude the Mercedes star in 2007, he has at least been impressively consistent, finishing five races out of eight inside the top six. He is equally well aware, however, that with such a level playing field, half the battle is played out in gaining a good grid position – his current Achilles' heel.

“We've seen nearly the whole grid within just a second sometimes,” he underlined. “It's extremely close all the way down the field.

“The pit-stops do give you an opportunity to move forward, but on the track they're all very experienced drivers. The Audis are quite strong this year too, as are the older cars because they've got a healthy 30kg weight advantage, and there are some very good drivers in the '05 and '06 cars like Gary Paffett, Paul di Resta and Alex Prémat in the Audi. In previous years we've had an advantage and the older cars have been a bit slower.

“The '07 package is still pretty good, though. If you look at the results it's had five pole positions and five wins – which is more than Audi – so if you look at it that way we're pretty strong. The thing is it's been different Mercedes drivers on different occasions that have scored those pole positions and wins, which is why it's not a Mercedes driver leading the championship. It hasn't been one single driver who has consistently collected all the points.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jamie Green - Salzgitter AMG Mercedes [pic credit: DTM Media]
Jamie Green - Persson Motorsport Mercedes-Benz
Jamie Green - Salzgitter AMG Mercedes [pic credit: DTM Media]
Felix Rosenqvist, Mercedes Team ART, DTM [Credit: Mercedes]
Marco Wittmann, BMW, DTM, [Credit: DTM]
Robert Wickens, DTM, Moscow Raceway [Credit: DTM]
Mattias Ekstrom - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Robert Wickens - Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA [pic credit DTM]
Rene Rast - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]
Rene Rast - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]
Edoardo Mortara - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Gary Paffett - Mercedes-AMG DTM Team ART [pic credit DTM]
Jamie Green - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]
Jamie Green - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]
Jamie Green - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]
Jamie Green - Audi Sport Team Rosberg [pic credit Audi Sport]

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.