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Made in Germany

Studio Guest of the Week: Bernd Gottschalk

In our studio we talk to Automotive expert Bernd Gottschalk.

Watch video 02:54

DW-TV: For more on the need for speed.. automotive expert, Bernd Gottschalk joins us. Are you a fan of the DTM championships?

Bernd Gottschalk: Yes I am. For me, a car has never been just a vehicle to get from a to b. It's a product full of emotion and once you have participated and sat in a car with a team and gone round the Hockenheim Ring, you have to be very positive about racing.

DW-TV: Why do the carmakers invest so much money in motorsports?

Bernd Gottschalk: Well, it's a clear-cut calculation. They see that it helps to create a sporty image. It's an investment in fascination and emotion. And certainly it's an investment in technology. Therefore they see it as a positive investment.

DW-TV: That technolgy - how do we see that in the cars we drive?

Bernd Gottschalk: You see how the carbon fibre comes into the modern car. We see what we have learnt from tyres and oil and all these things - aerodynamics. It has all been learnt from racing. On the other hand, to build a new car, you don't really need to race.

DW-TV: At a time of so many environmental concerns and such expensive petrol prices, how can you justify this type of sport?

Bernd Gottschalk: During the oil crisis that was critical and the industry has reacted: today you find catalytic converters and all these things in racing cars too - the circuits have been certified in ecological terms. So i think the acceptance has incaresed dranatically.

DW-TV: What about the electric racing car. Why isn't that sort of thing catching on?

Bernd Gottschalk: Sooner or later in the forthcoming time we will see electric cars racing as well. But I don't think it will be a Formula One with zero noise and zero emissions. You need a certain atmosphere. But it will increase.

DW-TV: What sort of demand is there for environmentally friendly vehicles? Are carmakers doing enough to meet demand?

Bernd Gottschalk: I think you see it already and it will not be a Green racing. But on the other hand they see they have to do soemthing. It all depends on how effciient your car is. That's the same on the race track as it is in day-to-day business.

DW-TV: Bernd Gottschalk, thank you very much.