DTM has dodged an 'arms race' with 2018 rule changes - Paffett

Mercedes driver Gary Paffett says the DTM's new aerodynamic restrictions will stop an arms race and create a more level playing field in 2018

DTM has dodged an 'arms race' with 2018 rule changes - Paffett

The DTM has moved to reduce downforce by a third ahead of the upcoming season, having made a reduction in 2017 too.

The change is expected to produce aerodynamically similar cars across Mercedes, Audi and BMW, creating fewer set-up options and reducing costs.

The series has previously admitted it is under "high pressure" to find new manufacturers to replace Mercedes when it leaves for Formula E following the 2018 season.

But Paffett believes the DTM's chosen direction will help and also bring driver skill back into focus.

"In recent seasons, aerodynamics has developed into a kind of arms race, including in the DTM, and the more money you spend, the faster you get," he said.

"So I think the standardising of the components gives all the teams a much more level playing field, which is what everybody wants.

"We drivers did want a bit less downforce. The problem with having a lot of downforce is that it takes a lot away from what you are doing.

"It also makes it very hard to follow cars very closely, which makes it difficult to overtake.

"There are lots of benefits to having less downforce. For years, we have been saying you can reduce the downforce, but you need to replace it with mechanical grip, and that's precisely what we did last year.

"We had softer tyres which replaced some of the downforce that we had lost. That is the direction we need to go.

"We need to have grippy tyres because they help to go fast in the corners while not making it hard to follow another car.

"I think we have got a pretty good balance this year and that the cars will be a little bit harder to drive in dry as well as in wet conditions.

"Hopefully, this will bring driver skill and ability back into focus rather than just the performance of the car."

Audi also backs the changes, according to its head of motorsport Dieter Gass.

"We are in agreement with DTM CEO Gerhard Berger about the future of the DTM," he said.

"We do not want to see a never-ending technological arms race and dominance of a single brand, but thrilling, top-calibre races.

"The further reduction of downforce and simplified suspension promise an even greater spectacle for the fans."

shares
comments
DTM reveals regulation changes for 2018, reduces aero by 'a third'

Previous article

DTM reveals regulation changes for 2018, reduces aero by 'a third'

Next article

Misano double-header to host DTM's first night races

Misano double-header to host DTM's first night races
Load comments

About this article

Series DTM
Drivers Gary Paffett
Author Tom Errington
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis? Plus

Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions Plus

The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions

The Opel Vectra GTS was the last in the line of the marque's DTM challengers, but failed to hit the lofty heights of its predecessors when financial constraints hit

DTM
May 15, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Plus

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000. Autosport's expert panel ranks its 10 best drivers from the period

DTM
May 5, 2020
How the DTM landed itself in crisis Plus

How the DTM landed itself in crisis

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM was the latest bodyblow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series Plus

The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was an ardent detractor of Formula E and was reluctant for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. But this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure the DTM's existence in the future of motorsport

DTM
Dec 13, 2019