Mercedes-AMG racing driver Arjun Maini said it feels great to be the first Indian to take part in the DTM before adding that the upcoming season is the only thing on his mind at the moment.
The 23-year-old, Maini, will race for the Mercedes-AMG Performance Team GetSpeed in the upcoming 2021 DTM season at the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT3, which will consist of 8 rounds with 16 races across Germany/Europe. Maini will become the first Indian to compete in DTM full-time.
"Everyone knows how big the DTM is and I followed it while growing up as well and now to be a part of the DTM as a Mercedes-AMG driver is an absolute honour. I am really excited about what is coming," Maini said in a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
He also said: "At the moment, I am not thinking about anything else other than my DTM season. That is all I care about at this point in time."
However, Maini stressed that he is not looking too far ahead and is thinking about the small steps that he needs to take to perform well in the competition.
"Of course, I want to deliver some podiums and some race wins but at the minute, I am just focussing on the small steps that we need to take to make that possible and hopefully, we can bring some good results," he said.
Reflecting on the competition he will face, Maini said: "You do not know about the competition until the first qualifying because that is when everybody puts everything on the table. So until then, you really do not know... Of course, it feels great to be the first Indian."
Maini started his racing career on the karting scene in 2006. He won the Indian junior championship in 2011 and took part in the One from a Billion Hunt, which was run by former Formula 1 team Force India. As the winner, he was given the opportunity to race karts in Europe. In 2013, he switched to single-seater racing, in which he enjoyed success in the F4 British Championship.
He ended the season in second place, just three points behind teammate and current Formula 1 driver George Russell. Maini's career took him, via the Formula 3 European Championship and the GP3 Series, into the FIA Formula 2 Championship, in which he drove in 2018 and 2019. In 2019/2020, he raced in the European Lemans Series and in the 24 Hours of lemans. In the Asian Le Mans Series, the team won the LMP2-at the 4-hour race in Shanghai, in Class.
( With inputs from ANI )
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