Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4

Luca Stolz

Luca Stolz, who was the best Mercedes-AMG driver last year in sixth place overall, is hoping for an even better position in the final standings this season. Before joining DTM, the Mercedes-AMG Performance Driver contested a large number of GT3 races around the globe - including in ADAC GT Masters, GT World Challenge and Intercontinental GT Challenge - and won the prestigious Bathurst 12 Hour. He has also finished on the podium in numerous other endurance classics. After a successful guest start at the Nürburgring in 2021, Luca has been a regular driver in DTM for Mercedes-AMG Team HRT since 2022. He celebrated his first success in his debut year on his home track in the Eifel. Another victory followed in 2023 at the Sachsenring.

What is your conclusion after the pre-season preparation?
Luca Stolz
: “Together with the team, I had a very prolific winter. During the official DTM test at Hockenheim in early April, we got through our programme well. We were able to try out a lot of things and achieve what we had planned. We were very satisfied with what we learnt, which makes me confident for the season.”

In the 2022 and 2023 seasons, you ended up sixth in the final standings each time. Which is the goal you have set yourself for this year?
Luca Stolz
: “Of course, my dream is to be in contention for the championship. Consistency plays a crucial role in the DTM. We have always had strong single-race results in the past, but to play a role in the overall standings, you can't afford to miss out on points on any weekend. Competition is closer than in any other GT3 series and mistakes are penalised here without mercy. Therefore, our aim is to avoid mistakes and always convert the performance of our package into results.”

In 2023, you concluded the season as the best-placed AMG driver. What, according to you, was decisive for you to end up ahead of your fellow Mercedes-AMG drivers?
Luca Stolz: “Especially in the second half of the season, we scored points on a regular basis. As a team, we often made the right strategy calls in the races. However, it was the qualifying performance that made the difference. We understood well how to better realise the potential of our car on a single lap and that is an important factor in DTM. A tenth of a second can sometimes mean several rows on the grid here, and with a better starting grid position you drive completely different races.”

How important is the familiar environment at HRT for you to be successful?
Luca Stolz
: “Working in a familiar environment is always nice. Mutual trust plays a very important role in motorsport. If you work with the same people for a long time, you develop a deep understanding of their working methods over time. You have to speak the same language with your crew, but also with your teammates, as this is the only way for each individual to deliver their best performance.”

With your race engineer, you aren’t just working in DTM…
Luca Stolz
: “My race engineer Dennis Nägele plays a crucial role for me. I think we complement each other very well and maintain a very open and direct dialogue. Especially when things aren't going the way they should, it's important to lift each other’s spirits. Above all, it's good to be able to criticise without having to fear that the other person will take it personally. In this respect, we get on really well. But I also work very well with everyone else in the team and I can rely on each individual.”

DTM is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. What are the personal memories you connect with it?
Luca Stolz
: “I definitely connect a lot of childhood memories with DTM. The series has always been a fixture in international motorsport and especially for us here in Germany. The fans identified with the cars and the sport, and of course I grew up with that - whether it was my first visit up close to Hockenheim or the countless times I cheered on Bernd Schneider on his way to his next title on TV.”