Great drama for the champion in Hungary

18. Juni 2017 Zurück zur Artikelübersicht »

Good and bad luck are often only a few race laps apart in racing, as Marco Wittmann experienced bitterly in Sunday’s race at the Hungaroring. After he clinched grid position two in qualifying, he retired from the sixth race of the season two laps before the end, with an overheated car.

Wittmann had the best time for much of the 20-minute qualifying session, before René Rast snatched the potential first pole position of the year from the champion shortly before the end. But his second place saw him start from the front row of the grid in the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM for the first time this season. “After qualifying I was very happy with the second place on the grid,” said Wittmann.

After a not quite perfect start, the champion initially dropped back into third place – but had the performance. Wittmann was able to keep up with the front of the pack for much of the race, and opted for a slightly later pit stop than some of his rivals. “The performance was there, only the drivers who stopped on the first lap were able to overtake us. That was the better strategy here,” said Wittmann. “It cost us two places in this phase of the race.”

But then the problems started. “It was quite warm in the car after the pit stop, and we didn’t really know what was causing that to start with. In the end, it turned out that polystyrene got stuck in the right-hand air duct. The car eventually gave up the ghost, although my Red Bull BMW M4 DTM battled for a long time. That was very frustrating and disappointing for us.” Wittmann was in sixth place when he was forced to retire shortly before the end of the race.

The champion now has two weeks to lick his wounds. Then it is time for his home race at the Norisring on the DTM calendar. Wittmann will be highly motivated once again as he races through the streets of Nuremberg.