Interview with Loïc Duval before the DTM premiere at the MotoGP circuit in Assen
In the first eight DTM races of the 2019 season, Loïc Duval experienced an upswing. The Frenchman shares his views in an interview before the DTM’s premiere on the tradition-steeped track at Assen in the Netherlands (Saturday and Sunday live on SAT.1 starting at 1 PM CEST).
We’ve already had four race weekends. How do you assess the season in terms of the new turbo engines introduced in 2019?
How have the adjusted regulations for DRS and the newly introduced Push-to-Pass system changed the DTM races?
There’s a lot of discussion this season about safety car deployments and the safety car rules. How do you feel about this?
What actions would you take to make the races even more attractive?
You’re contesting the DTM in your third season and for the third year for Audi Sport Team Phoenix. And things are going better for you than ever before: In 2019, you finished in the top five four times and are currently seventh in the drivers’ standings. What’s the reason behind this progress compared with 2017 and 2018?
How has working with Audi Sport Team Phoenix and your relationship with the squad changed in the last two and a half years?
And how has working with Mike Rockenfeller changed?
|Have you ever raced at TT Circuit Assen that DTM is now visiting for the first time?
I’ve never raced there before and only prepared for Assen in the simulator. It’s a good track. It’s a Misano kind of layout. Definitely a MotoGP track and I think it’ll give us a lot of good opportunities to overtake for good racing. We’re really looking forward to it. Also, in Robin (Frijns), we have a Dutchman in the team. So hopefully we’ll get a little bit more support from the fans.How does preparing for such a totally unfamiliar race track differ from preparations for other tracks?
In our day, we have a lot of simulation. But it’s also important for the engineers to watch and analyze onboard videos. To make sure that our car condition is spot on right from the first practice session. And for us drivers, I’d say that we did pay a little more attention to our lap times in the simulator. Overall, we’re spending a bit more time in the simulator for Assen, not for finding the best setup, but for finding the best rhythm of driving.You have plenty of other commitments between the DTM races, for instance you drive in LMP2 and work as a TV commentator covering Formula One. How do you manage all that?
A week normally doesn’t start out so busy. But then you get more and more things to do, appointments and things like that. And sometimes you end up asking yourself things like: What did I do? Why did I do so much? But my job is my passion. I think enjoying so much of what I’m doing every day is a real privilege. Aside from that: when you perform like me this year and are rewarded so much, you don’t get tired of your work.
Have you had any time yet for a vacation?
The DTM Show Event together with the Japanese Super GT at Fuji is coming closer. How excited are you about it?
Are you also keeping up to speed with Audi’s Formula E project?