Ben – Hi Gary I hope you are well ? I asked your agent for the interview earlier in the year, but thought it would be better if we waited till after testing and the first race.
At DTM UK we’re trying to make the DTM more recognised in the UK and what better way to do it than interview you the most successful Brit in the series.
Ben – Firstly congratulations on your podium at Hockenheim on Sunday, from 22nd on the grid to 3rd must mean a lot to you and a sign of good things to come ?
Gary – It was 23rd to 3rd but I’ll forgive you 😉 it was a really tough weekend and being demoted to the last row of the grid for the second time of the weekend, especially after being the best placed Mercedes in qualifying was hard to take. But the race was incredible. We had a good pace in the dry but in the wet it was a different level to everyone else, And to finish on the podium was just so satisfying. Whether our pace will continue we will have to wait and see but it’s a great start to the year yes.
Ben – Mercedes had a pretty poor season in 2014 are things looking up for 2015 ? Do you feel the car is better than last season and capable of a title fight ?
Gary – Pretty poor ? That’s a bit of an understatement, it was kind of a disaster. But the whole team has been re born and we are on a different level to last year. There is still work to do but we have started this year at a much higher level which was really pleasing to see. Can we challenge for the title? I don’t know. We have to make some ground up as Audi are still a couple of tenths ahead and we still have to see if we can replicate our pace at the other circuits.
Ben – You’ve been in DTM some years now, if I said to you that you could win the championship this year but you had to walk away from the series and retire would you ?
Gary – What a question, I have never been asked this before. After finishing runner up 4 times I am really eager to secure my 2nd championship. If I would have to walk away after winning it this year I would have to decline. I’ll just wait until 2016! I hope that I can stay in the DTM for many years to come.
Ben – With Lucas Auer drafted in as your new teammate do you pass on all of your experience to him ? Do yo see him as a future champion ?
Gary – Its exciting because I remember being in his position. I try and help him where I can and he is also really keen to learn which is nice, he has a great character and not the big ego that you see in some young drivers. Will he be a champion one day, we will have to see but he is fast and is still very young so maybe.
Ben – Would you swap your “Euronics” livery for Lucas’s rather fetching pink design ?
Gary – No! Haha I like my car, it stands out and the guys at Euronics have been such great supporters of Mercedes and myself over the past few years. I think the pink is suited to a younger driver.
Gary – Yes absolutely and the brits among the current drivers are trying hard to get it back on home turf. I think we would ideally like it to be at Donnington but to be honest just getting a race here for the fans would be great.
Ben – There are 8 champions on the grid this season, is there anybody that’s not yet champion that you see becoming champion soon ? (I predict Pascal Wehrlein)
Gary – Well any of the 8 champions could win again. Apart from us anyone of about 10 others (maybe more) could also win the championship. Yes Pascal is very talented and is pushing us drivers at Mercedes hard but he is not the only one. I would list all of them but that might take some time.
Ben – Would you like to see another manufacturer enter the DTM or is it best left as it is ?
Gary – More manufacturers would be great of course but at the moment we have a strong series and we should focus on making it even stronger. Getting our fan base back to where it was at its peak some years back is the priority.
I managed to sneak in two more cheeky questions at the end.
Ben – Can we have your autograph ?
Gary – Yes of course you can.
Ben – Do you like Corned Beef ?
Gary – No.
I’d like to take this moment to thank Gary for giving up some of his time for the interview, I know he’s busy. Also good luck for the rest of the season.
As well as Gary I’d like to thank M.B Partners for arranging the interview for me, as well as the ART Mercedes DTM Team and Mercedes Benz Motorsport.