Wittmann: BMW not yet back in DTM title fight

Marco Wittmann doesn't believe BMW is truly back in this year's DTM title fight, despite the marque securing its first win of the 2020 season at the Lausitzring last month

Wittmann: BMW not yet back in DTM title fight

Lucas Auer led a 1-2 finish for BMW in the second race on the Lausitzring's grand prix layout, while Wittmann himself bagged a podium finish in Race 1 in what was BMW's most competitive showing of the season so far.

The victory prompted ITR chief Gerhard Berger to suggest that BMW can now fight for championship honours again, having halted Audi's five-race winning streak in a dry race.

But two-time DTM champion Wittmann disagreed with Berger's opinion, pointing to the wide gulf between BMW and Audi in both the standings.

BMW's top scorer Timo Glock sits 81 points behind Audi's championship leader Nico Muller, while Wittmann faces an even greater 93-point deficit to last year's title runner-up.

In the manufacturers' stakes, Audi has scored 406 points in the opening three rounds of the season, more than twice the tally of BMW (186).

"Well, I would not call it back in the championship," Wittmann said when Berger's comments were put to him by Autosport.

"If you are back in the championship you are maybe five or seven points behind, but not this amount.

"I mean we just won our first race last weekend on Sunday, [but] I would not call it we are back [in the championship].

"In the team, Lucas and Timo they had a really good strategy on Sunday, undercut a lot of people and did a good race in the end.

"We made some progress over the weekend and there is still some gap, especially in qualy - at the Lausitzting we were missing like three to five tenths to the Audis and maybe in the long runs we are looking a little bit better [compared to Audi].

"We are still trying to make further steps and we are not back in the championship.

"First we need to finish a few more races in front of them to jump them in points."

The key to BMW's shock result at the Lausitzring was the decision to pit both Auer and Glock early on, thus granting them track advantage over their Audi rivals, who were then unable to re-pass them on fresher tyres.

But Wittmann hopes that BMW can bridge the gap to Audi sufficiently that it no longer has to rely on risky strategy calls to fight for wins this weekend at Assen.

"I actually hope that we have just better pace at Assen and that we need not do risky strategies, to stop early to undercut and hope that the tyre degradation will be fine towards the end of the race," he said.

"Being closer to them or maybe even front in qualifying, that would be the perfect scenario.

"And then really trying to do a normal standard strategy and just having a good race."

shares
comments
Berger: BMW highly unlikely to stay in DTM under GT3 rules

Previous article

Berger: BMW highly unlikely to stay in DTM under GT3 rules

Next article

Assen DTM: Frijns takes maiden series win as Audi dominates

Assen DTM: Frijns takes maiden series win as Audi dominates
Load comments

About this article

Series DTM
Drivers Marco Wittmann
Author Rachit Thukral
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