BMW driver Wittmann glad DTM has banned "too obvious" team orders for 2020

BMW driver Marco Wittmann supports the DTM's decision to outlaw team orders, saying their use became too "obvious" at times for fans

BMW driver Wittmann glad DTM has banned "too obvious" team orders for 2020

Autosport revealed in June that the DTM has agreed to ban team orders in 2020 following a meeting of the ITR advisory board, which includes members from both Audi and BMW.

Team orders have been commonplace in the DTM due to heavy involvement from manufacturers, who have often manipulated race results in order to favour their best-placed drivers in the championship.

Wittmann was especially critical of Audi last year, saying at Brands Hatch that it was "pretty clear" that the marque had favoured Nico Muller and Rene Rast in the race at the expense of its other drivers.

Preview: The on-track questions ahead of the DTM's last hurrah

Asked again by Autosport about his thoughts on team orders now that they've been outlawed, Wittmann said: "At the end it's a good decision to ban the team orders.

"We've seen in the past, sometimes it was a little bit too obvious, which is not nice for the fans and for the spectators.

"For the overall brand, I can understand [why they were used], but at the end we mainly race for the fans, for spectators and this is something they don't want to see.

"So I think it's a good decision to do so and let's see how it goes through the season.

"First of all we start the season there's anyway completely free racing and we go for the win."

Loic Duval, who was the main driver to lose out at Brands Hatch last year, feels that the new rules - coupled with Audi's decision to withdraw from the DTM at the end of 2020 - will allow drivers to race freely throughout the season.

"I think Audi always wanted to have free races, but when you fight against other constructors who are [also] using a strategy, and your drivers are taking points away from each other, maybe someone from another constructor wins even if you have the fastest car," Duval told Autosport.

"But I'm convinced this year, because it's the last year of Audi in the DTM and also the new regulations, we will have free races the whole season, which is cool for the series in general.

"Last year I could have won two races I think, Norisring and Brands Hatch, but as everybody knows we are working for a brand and we had a strategy to follow.

"But this year will be a bit different which is nice for all the drivers, even though target number one is still for an Audi to win."

Autosport also quizzed Rast about the ban on team orders, but the two-time champion simply smiled at the question and didn't offer any comment.

Rast: New rules will stop drivers dominating races

However, Audi driver Rast does believe the changes made to the series' DRS and push-to-pass rules this year will prevent drivers from running away with the lead of the race.

As part of the sporting regulations for the new season, the DTM has made the push-to-pass system twice as potent, with the power boost increased from 30bhp to 60bhp and its usage likewise raised from 12 to 24.

The DRS, meanwhile, can now be used for the 50% of total laps - and drivers no longer need to be within three seconds of the car in front to deploy it.

However, as was the case last year, the race leader will still not have access to either of the two aids, leaving them even more vulnerable to the drivers behind than in the past.

"I think with the changed rules, DRS and push to pass, we might see a different picture compared to last year's because obviously the leader can still not use DRS and push to pass," Rast said in the pre-race press conference.

"But now the second and third placed cars don't have to be in the three seconds anymore.

"So whenever you have different strategies you can use DRS and push to pass now as well as a strategy tool.

"[The driver in] P1 cannot use it so maybe being on pole position is good for having the three points, but maybe not the best position during the race.

"So I think we are gonna be seeing some different kind of racing this year.

"I think there's no car just leaving the field and nobody can catch him anymore. It's gonna be a bit different this year."

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The on-track questions ahead of the DTM's last hurrah

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Series DTM
Drivers Marco Wittmann
Author Rachit Thukral
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