Mercedes has confirmed that former Grand Prix driver David Coulthard will remain part of its DTM championship driving line-up for a third season.
The Scot, a thirteen-time winner in Formula 1, will remain with the Mücke Motorsport outfit, although this time he will be driving a latest-spec Mercedes AMG C-Class after spending the previous two seasons piloting the older-spec model.
‘DC’ has started 21 DTM races since he made his championship debut in 2010, earning two eighth-placed finishes, one in each season.
“In 2012, the DTM enters a new era. New cars, new technical regulations and a third manufacturer [BMW] promise to make the championship more exciting than ever before. That’s why I’m looking forward even more to my third year with Mercedes-Benz in this highly competitive championship,” he is quoted as saying in an official press release.
“My first impressions of our DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupe are very positive – especially the paddle shift on the steering wheel, which I know very well from my time in Formula 1.
“In the past two years, I’ve had to learn a lot about the engineering, the driving technique and about DTM racing in general. I know my team well now and, after 15 years as a member of the Mercedes-Benz family, I feel really at home. In 2012, I want to continue my progress and post some respectable results.”
Coulthard will be able to juggle his racing duties with his commitments in the F1 commentary box for the BBC, helped by the fact that the DTM deliberately schedules its races so as not to clash with any Formula 1 race weekend.
Mücke Motorsport is expected to field two of the eight cars that Mercedes will run in this year’s championships, while rivals Audi and BMW (making their long-awaited return to the series) will field seven and six apiece, respectively.
To-date Mercedes has only confirmed three drivers for the 2012 season, with Coulthard joining McLaren reserve driver Gary Paffett and former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher on the entry list.
While the carmaker lost long-time stalwart Bruno Spengler to BMW’s advances, it has yet to announce whether it has re-signed any (or all) of its other out-of-contract drivers, including Jamie Green, Susie Wolff, Christian Vietoris, Renger van der Zande and Maro Engel.
Audi and BMW have already finalised their entire line-ups.