Arjun Maini, who is set to become the first Indian to compete in DTM full-time, expressed his excitement about racing for the Mercedes-AMG Performance Team GetSpeed in the upcoming 2021 DTM season at the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 during a virtual media conference on Tuesday. The 23-year-old former Haas F1 Team Development Driver will be competing in eight rounds (16 races) in the series, which will be held across Europe from June 2021 to October 2021.
"Everyone knows how big the DTM championship is and I followed it a lot while growing up as well. And now to be a part of DTM as the Mercedes-AMG driver with the GetSpeed team is an absolute honour and pleasure for me. I just can't wait to continue testing and I am really excited for what's coming," said Maini.
The racer further expressed that he is looking forward to being alone in a car once again, "I will be racing in a GT car for the first time. In a way, it's going back to being alone in a car. I have been sharing a car in the last two years because I have been in Endurance Racing . So, it's good to be on my own again and pushing for myself. But the competition is going to be really high and I am ready for it. I have to be on top of my game throughout the season, so I have to make sure that I am consistently performing at the highest level that I can deliver, and I think we should be alright."
Stefan Wendl, Head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing, expressed that Arjun is exactly the type of driver the team was looking for, "We had been in discussion with all potential DTM drivers and then we came across a young Indian driver and we thought it would be interesting for him to join us. Then we put all our heads together along with the GetSpeed team and we made it work. He (Arjun) fits exactly the type of drivers we try to attract for this program. Now, among our seven contracted drivers, we will have a good mix of well experienced drivers and few very young, but talented drivers. We need to keep steeping up to be successful in the season."
Steve Buschmann Team Manager, Getspeed Performance said that the team could see how motivated Arjun is to race in the DTM series from the moment they contacted him for the first time, "The DTM is a new start for every team in 2021 and it is giving new opportunities to drivers like Arjun. The DTM series will not have cockpit sharing and I think this was one of the reasons that Arjun was interested in joining DTM because there won't be another person, who shares the cockpit with him. We got in contact with him, and his management and we could see how motivated he was to join the DTM and to join us. The more the discussions went on, the more we were convinced that this is the right man. Arjun is very motivated and very professional. We have enjoyed the partnership with him from the first minute we met him. We are absolutely looking forward to race with him this year."
GT3 cars will feature in the DTM series for the first time in 2021. A race weekend will consist of two free practice sessions on Friday and then a qualifying and a one-hour race including a pit stop on both Saturday and Sunday.
The opening round of the season is set to take place from June 18 2021 - June 20 2021 in Monza, Italy. Thereafter, the series will be held at the Norisring from July 2 to 4, Lausitzring from July 23 to 25, Zolder from August 6 to 8, Nürburgring on August 20 to 22, Red Bull Ring from September 3 to 5, and Assen from September 17 to 19, before the Hockenheimring conducts the grand finale on October 1 2021 to October 3 2021.