Mr Rast, how does it feel to be the current leader in the drivers’ standings?
René Rast: “It’s obviously a great feeling, no question. I really did not expect it. Even the idea of it was still so far away for me. Then in a TV interview I was told that I was now leading the championship. Meanwhile it has started to sink in more and more, and of course it feels really good.”
Last weekend in Budapest you celebrated your first DTM victory already. Does this spur you on more or do you feel the pressure that comes with this success?
“It drives us more as a team. Whether it’s starting on the first row on the grid in Hockenheim or the podium at the Lausitzring. The more success we have, the more motivated we become. This has given us all yet another boost. In Budapest, I had already driven a few laps for tire testing and therefore knew the track. When I was then close to all of my brand colleagues in the first free practice session, I knew that it could really go well. But I hadn’t even thought about victory by that point.”
Will you change anything about your preparation for this race weekend? Will you now work even more meticulously?
“At the moment, we don’t have any reason to change the way we’ve been doing things. Because so far it has worked out well at all of the race weekends. So as far as I’m concerned it can go on the same.”
Both in qualifying and in the previous races, you are always amongst the drivers with the fastest lap times. The setup seems to be all good – is it now just down to fine tuning?
“Preparing the setup for the upcoming events remains a major challenge. We couldn’t base it on previous successful events, but rather we have to completely specifically prepare for each race. In Budapest, we had tuned the car mainly with a lot of downforce, while the next DTM event at the Norisring will require little downforce. Every circuit requires its own setup. Fortunately, my team is able to be very well prepared before we get to the race track. At the last three race weekends, we as a team have always found a good setup, but this is still never a given.”