Photo: BMW Motorsport

BMW pleased with “productive” Jerez test

Marco Wittmann insisted that BMW Motorsport had enjoyed a “productive” three days of testing during the annual DTM Young Drivers sessions at Jerez.

Wittmann and Philipp Eng shared driving duties in one of the two M4 DTMs that took part in the test, with former F1 racer Robert Kubica sharing the second with BMW works driver Nick Yelloly.

The conditions during the test, with dry and sunny weather throughout, allowed BMW to complete over 700 laps and 3,200 kilometres of testing, working through an extensive programme.

“It was a good and productive test,” Wittmann said. “We were able to get through a lot of the work we had planned. They were very good days, during which we gained new knowledge, which we must now try to implement for 2020. We know we still have some work ahead of us, in order to be well prepared for the start of the new season. As such, the winter test is very important. I am happy and satisfied.”

Eng was also pleased with the way in which the test had panned out.

“The winter tests are always very intense with an extensive programme of work,” he said. “It was good that we had consistent conditions throughout the test. That meant we could use the days at Jerez very productively. We were able to move in the right direction in many regards, as we prepare for the 2020 season.”

Kubica, who admitted that the DTM machine had been “like a formula car with a roof” after his first runs, completed plenty of meaningful running as he evaluates his options for 2020 after his departure from the Williams F1 team.

“There have been a lot of things to learn and a lot of things to discover as, of course, it was different to what I was used to in the past years,” he said. “There have been a few things about the DTM car that surprised me positively.

“On my first laps in the car I felt comfortable straight away, which is always something a driver is looking for when testing and discovering new cars. Because if you feel comfortable and confident, you lap quicker and your life becomes easier. So, definitely the driveabilty of the car really surprised me positively.

“There are, of course, some differences to a Formula One car that you can feel – like the weight of the car and although DTM cars have a lot of downforce it is less than in Formula One. Nevertheless, I think it is a really pleasant car to drive and a very advanced car also from a technical aspect. I really enjoyed the test and working with the team. I think we got through a lot of stuff with a successful outcome so yes, I am pretty happy.”

2019 China GT Series champion Yelloly also enjoyed his second run in a DTM car having also appeared on track twelve months ago.

“Compared to last year’s test, when I drove the 2018 M4, it’s quite a big change in terms of torque mostly and how the braking works,” he said. “It was a big learning curve for me and I really enjoyed the test.

“You have to look after the tyres in a completely different way compared to last year, and I learnt that early on. We got through a lot of work and a great amount of mileage, so another big thank you to BMW for the opportunity.”