Juncadella named Mercedes DTM reserve

Spanish racer Daniel Juncadella will return to the Mercedes DTM line-up as reserve driver for the upcoming campaign.

Juncadella, 25, has raced for the Silver Arrows full-time in the DTM between 2013 and 2016, but was left without a drive for this year amid the series scaling down to six entries per manufacturer instead of eight.

But the former F3 Euro champion and Force India F1 test driver has now been confirmed as remaining within the Mercedes set-up for 2017.

In addition to a previously announced Blancpain GT schedule with Mercedes team AKKA ASP and a Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Team Black Falcon seat in the VLN series, the Spaniard will be one of the German marque’s two reserve drivers in the DTM.

“I think it’s great to be back in the DTM team this season,” Juncadella said.

“I know the drivers and team members really well from previous years. The team spirit and the atmosphere within the squad were always great, so I’m delighted that I can combine racing the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with being a DTM reserve driver this year.”

Juncadella will share reserve duties with Formula 3 frontrunner Maximilian Gunther. The German is expected to be a title contender in his third year in the European F3 series, which supports DTM for six of its nine rounds in 2017 – with Mercedes stressing it wants Gunther to focus on the F3 season.

“As some of the DTM race weekends are colliding with his commitments in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, we want Max to concentrate on his races in Formula 3,” said Mercedes DTM boss Ulrich Fritz.

“On these occasions Daniel takes over Maximilian’s duties as our reserve driver.”

Last year, Mercedes called up reserve driver Felix Rosenqvist into a race seat for the final four rounds, after regular driver Esteban Ocon joined Manor in Formula 1.