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You’ve just returned from a brief visit to Moscow to promote Audi and the DTM race there on August 4. What was your impression?
This was my first visit to Russia. It was really exciting to be standing on Red Square with the Audi A5 DTM. I was particularly surprised about the high interest of the media. Around 50 journalists were there and Mattias Ekström and I had to give a lot of interviews.
And how did the Russian fans respond to the Audi visit?
They were clearly thrilled. I haven’t signed such a large number of autographs as I did at this event in a long time.
Did you get the impression that the people in Moscow were familiar with the DTM at all?
Yes, absolutely. I think the people there have a great interest in motorsport. Their questions showed me that they definitely know the DTM and are paying attention to it. Of course, we’ve still got to explain the series in terms of its various specifications in more detail to the motorsport journalists and the fans. Mattias and I tried to communicate what our sport is all about as best we could.
What are your expectations of the DTM’s Russian debut this summer?
The track will be new for all of us, so there’s not much you can say about it at this point in time. But after my experiences during this brief visit I’m sure that the race will be a resounding success. The people are obviously very enthusiastic about motorsport. I’m already looking forward to running there. We’ll be doing everything we can to deliver a good show to them and to make the race a success for Audi. Generally speaking, I was very impressed with the hospitality and interest of the Russian people. I’m definitely expecting to see full grandstands at the race and am already excited about my next visit to this fascinating metropolis.