Photo: DTM Media

Marco Wittmann on a high as points leader: “A great start to the turbo era”

BMW Motorsport Team RMG driver Marco Wittmann couldn’t repeat his strong results of yesterday, but is satisfied with the overall results from the 2019 DTM season opener at Hockenheim.

“At the end I have a pretty positive feeling. Yesterday we had a great start into the new turbo era and I’m actually really happy because it was a very tough winter for us to prepare for everything and it went well in the end,” said Wittmann to TouringCarTimes.

Wittmann started from the second spot on the grid, but had a difficult start, dropping down to fourth position.

“What happened at the start is something that will be common this year,” Wittmann told TouringCarTimes. ”Sometimes you can have a good start, others a bad start. It’s so difficult if you have wheel spin with 600bhp on the back and, without a hand brake, it’s even more difficult.”

Wittmann was then tagged into a spin at Turn 6 on lap nine, falling to the back of the pack, but managed to recover to finish eighth. The Team RMG felt more could have been in store for him.

“Today I was P2 in qualifying and that’s another 2 points, so I’m happy and, except for the start which was bad and I lost two places, the rest was good. I got spun around after the Indy restart by an Audi and, coming from last to P8 and scoring some points it’s reasonable, but I think that more was possible today. But, all in all we can be happy with the weekend,” said Wittmann.

BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt was mixed in his feelings after the second race of the season start.

“Today the safety car had an influence in our strategy,” the BMW boss told TouringCarTimes. “In the two races held this weekend three cars got turn around and all of them were BMWs, which is unfortunate.”

Marquardt believes the reliability issues that marred their pre-season are now resolved, but there are other aspects where BMW can do better: “All our cars made it to the finish line again today, so we are ok in terms of reliability,” said Marquardt.

“With all the testing we did my biggest worry was reliability and that seems to be ok now, we could also see today in qualifying that the speed potential of the package is there. What we have to do now is to manage it on a consistent level and that’s something we can work on with what we have learned today.”

“Regarding tyre management, we can definitely improve as we are quick on one lap, but we can do better in the race. Having said that, our strategies today weren’t geared up to the optimum but rather to reacting to things in most of the cases. But still we have to see what we can learn from this weekend and our first proper running in dry conditions,” added Marquardt.

Wittmann leads the drivers’ championship with 34 points, followed by Audi Sport’s Robin Frijns with 31 and René Rast with 25. In the manufacturers’ classification, Audi leads with 110 points and BMW 17 points adrift. Aston Martin conclude their first weekend in the DTM with nine points.