Audi, BMW and Mercedes say DTM calendar expansion not essential

Audi, BMW and Mercedes' DTM chiefs are open to the series returning to a 10-weekend schedule in 2015, but are not convinced it is viable or necessary

Audi, BMW and Mercedes say DTM calendar expansion not essential

The series dropped from 10 events to nine in 2015, as it reverted to twin-race weekends in what became an 18-race season.

DTM chairman Hans Werner Aufrecht has stated publicly that he would "love the calendar to again feature 10 race meetings" in 2016.

The series has held discussions with several potential new European venues, including the former World Touring Car Championship street circuit in Porto, Portugal, and Jarama in Spain, however nothing has progressed to what would be described as 'final negotiations'.

When canvassed by AUTOSPORT, the three manufacturers said a 10th event was not a foregone conclusion

"It's, like always, a question of costs involved and also a question about good locations you can find," Mercedes boss Ulrich Fritz said.

"Basically I think nine events with 18 races this year - and I think [18 races] is the strong message behind it - is a good number for us.

"I think we can live with that."

BMW counterpart Jens Marquardt echoed Fritz's sentiments, adding that he was happy with the series' existing three foreign events and the balance it brought to the calendar alongside six rounds in Germany.

"For me it's not about adding another event, it's about really putting the value into the series, whether this is with nine events and a bit of a reshuffle," he said.

"At the end of the day, it has to be balanced, with regards to what you have to put in as an effort and obviously also from a financial side.

"For Europe, we have outside of Germany three really strong events. We have Spielberg, Zandvoort and Moscow, and I think they are working well.

"In that respect, I think it's again about balancing what we achieve from it overall."

Audi's Dieter Gass added that the technical regulations would also have to be taken into consideration, specifically relating to the mileage expected from a frozen pool of engines.

"It's something that we need to look into very carefully," he said.

"I think we, and as well the drivers and the public, everybody would love 15 race weekends.

"But somehow you need to have a budget for it. That's one thing.

"What we should not forget as well is that we have frozen regulations on the engine and a limited number of engines that we can use throughout the season.

"I think with a 10th event, we might struggle to cover the engine mileage with the available engines that we have.

"So it's something we need to be very careful about when we're looking at it."

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