Daniel Juncadella has revealed he thought about giving up on his motorsport career following a difficult 2016 campaign in DTM, ahead of his return to the series with Mercedes this year. 

The Spaniard took a year out from DTM to contest full Blancpain GT Sprint Series Cup and Endurance Cup campaigns in 2017, but is returning to Germany’s premier Touring Car category as part of a six-car driver line-up for Mercedes’ swansong season. 

Juncadella endured a frustrating campaign in 2016, finishing 24th in the DTM drivers’ standings with just six points to his name, as Mercedes lost out to both Audi and BMW in the manufacturers’ championship. 

“I wasn't enjoying it any more,” Juncadella explained. “I wasn't motivated and I was out of condition. I needed that year off to get back to my roots and to enjoy racing again. It's about battling with the best drivers in the world. 

“It took me around six months in 2017 before racing became fun again. The results also started to improve, and I realised that was the way it had to be; you have to enjoy racing. But I have no regrets and I'm now relishing the moment.

“That's why I needed the change that one year away from the DTM provided. Now I've recharged my batteries, and I'm looking forward to competing in such a strong field. It's great that we have such a strong driver squad at Mercedes and that I have the opportunity to measure my performance against that of my team-mates.”

The 2012 European Formula 3 champion said he is not feeling any added pressure heading into the 2018 season, given his past experiences. 

“In my first four DTM years, I didn't get the results I had imagined. But I don't feel any special pressure. I do not have to prove myself all over again. The results can only get better, and it's a great opportunity to round off my DTM time with Mercedes. 

“There are so many strong drivers and former champions on the grid this season that the pressure is all on others. I just intend to have fun, and then the results will come by themselves.”


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