Overall, for myself it was a very satisfactory season. It's disappointing not to win the championship, but if you win four races out of 10 then you've got to be pleased, whatever else happens.
It was my first year back in a new car, with my engineer coming back to Mercedes as well - the last time we worked together was 2005, so for both of us to return as former champions, the pressure was on. We tried to do the best job we could from the start, and we put pressure on ourselves to be the first Mercedes.
I won twice as many races as Timo Scheider, but he just kept picking up points, which was enough to get the title. There are races you can look at specifically, the non-score from Hockenheim for instance. It was a disastrous start to the season.
Then at the Nurburgring we had a problem in qualifying and then got taken out by Katherine Legge at the start. They were the two biggest ones, but the other thing that boosted Timo was how helpful his team-mates were for the whole season.
Gary Paffett (HWA Mercedes-Benz) and Timo Scheider (Abt Audi) race at Hockenheim © LAT
That's the difference between the two teams - they tend to focus on getting as many points for one driver, whereas at Mercedes we try to race a bit more fairly. Maybe it cost us points, but that's where we stand.
We finished the year on a high by winning the final two races, which shows how strong we were in the end. It was good to finally have some battles with Mattias Ekstrom as well, although our Hockenheim scrap didn't last very long when he damaged his radiator by hitting me up the back.
Lots of people were talking about our fight after the race, and I was interested to hear that Mattias thought I was a bit forceful at times. I'm told that the officials were looking very closely at it, but they decided that they didn't need to intervene. I'm glad Mattias decided to retire as soon as he knew his engine was overheating - it was nice of him not to interfere with the title battle rather than stay out until his engine gave up.
It was a good battle, and we need more of that in DTM. It was exciting for the fans and it was for us too. I don't know if it's down to the drivers to know their limits when they race if that sort of thing is going to be allowed, because quite often people take it too far. But we showed what is possible if you race hard and fair.
At the end of the season, I don't think anybody can be disappointed at Mercedes. Obviously we would have loved to win the championship, but having four wins for me, six for us overall and winning the teams' championship means we can be happy with what we've done this year.
Our pace was good towards the end of the year, and we started getting more cars regularly to the front. Once the development freeze came in during August we were able to just focus on set-up work, and we really started to progress then. By the end of the year we were extremely strong, which bodes well for next season.
The season may be over, but I've still got plenty to keep me occupied over the winter. There's lots of work for McLaren as we prepare for the 2010 season, plus a bit of DTM testing and a training week in Finland. That's better than having nothing to do until next year!
Get back on track. Join today for unlimited access to all Autosport news and features.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from monthly, yearly and two-yearly packages.