INTERVIEW: Q&A with Susie Stoddart – DTM Race Driver for AMG Mercedes

INTERVIEW: Q&A with Susie Stoddart – DTM Race Driver for AMG Mercedes

Susie Stoddart has progressed through the ranks of motorsport, starting off in karting, then moving up to Formula Renault and Formula 3 before moving to the DTM to compete for Mercedes-Benz since 2006. 2010 is her fifth season in the DTM. She lives in Ermatingen, Switzerland with her boyfriend Toto Wolff, an investor in the Williams Formula One team and part-time racing driver.

1. How do you feel the start of this years DTM championship is going for you?

So far so good. I scored my first DTM points in the last race which was a great feeling. I hope to continue as I have started.

2. At what point did you know that you wanted to become a professional driver? For instance many people go through the karting ranks, but at what point did karting become more than a hobby at weekends and the first rung of a career ladder?

I was taken to watch a F3 race at Donington Park when I was 14 by the manager of the team I drove for in karts, Duncan White. We were supporting Andrew Kirkaldy who was driving in Jackie’s Stewarts team as he also drove for Duncan. I watched the race and thought to myself, one day I will drive these cars.

3. You’ve got the lifestyle, the cars and work with some fantastic people. With that in mind, what still gets you out of bed in the morning?

I never take anything for granted and still push myself hard as I still have a lot in life that I want to achieve so it is never a struggle to get out of the bed in the morning.

4. Let’s chat road cars, and firstly what are you currently driving, and what do you look for when purchasing a new car? Is it all about style and appearance or performance and luxuries?

I drive a Mercedes C220 Blue Efficiency! For me its about being practical and efficient. On long journeys I use my C220 and if I have a short journey I use a Mercedes C63 AMG. For me the C63 AMG is the ultimate luxury.

5. If we take the Mercedes C63 AMG how does that compare to your DTM car? For example if you were to lap say the Nurburgring in both, how much later on the brakes and earlier on the power can you get in your DTM car, and what are the other major differences?

It is simply not possible to compare a C63 or any other car to a DTM car. A DTM is the fastest and most technologically advanced touring car in the world.

6. One of my favourite cars at the minute is the new SLS AMG that Mercedes have recently launched, have you had the opportunity to drive it?

Yes, I spent 2 weeks in Laguna Seca giving press and potential customers a drive in the SLS. It is such an amazing car. I am a big fan.

7. What is next for you? Do you see yourself continuing in the DTM championship indefinitely, or are their GP2 and Sportscar ambitions ahead in the coming years?

Lets see what happens. I am happy in DTM just now and still have a lot I want to achieve with Mercedes-Benz.

See more of Susie Stoddart in her role as a Mercedes-Benz Brand Ambassador.
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Exterior

Susie drives the Mercedes E63 AMG Estate

Interior

Susie at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

8. What advice could you give to our younger readers, not only on developing their early racing careers, but attracting the right advisors and making yourself commercially attractive in a very expensive motorsport market?

It is tough as there are so many talented drivers and very few chances to become a professional and earn money. Stay focused, motivated, always believe in yourself and just never give up.

10. What are the best bits about being a racing driver and what do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a racing driver?

Maybe I would be a downhill skier. I love being a racing driver and never think of doing anything else. Getting to drive amazing cars and the feeling of adrenaline you get out on the track. Nothing compares.

11. Finally what is your all time favourite Mercedes-Benz?

The C63 AMG.

TwitterYou can follow Susie on Twitter (as @Susie_Wolff) by clicking the button.