13. Oktober 2018

Strong fightback goes unrewarded

Marco Wittmann’s goal for the final weekend of the 2018 DTM season was clearly formulated: “I will do everything I can to end a disappointing season on a high at Hockenheim,” said the 2014 and 2016 DTM champion ahead of the event. However, a crash in free practice 2 on Saturday morning threw a spanner in the works. He was consequently unable to take part in qualifying and so had to start the race from the pit lane.

Despite that, there was never any question of the BMW driver giving up. He produced an excellent and determined drive, working his way through the field place by place. His fighting spirit and a clever pit stop strategy, which saw him come in late for his mandatory stop, allowed Wittmann to temporarily climb into the top-ten. A points finish looked on the cards until a safety car period and the ensuing Indy restart saw the field bunch back together and Wittmann forced off the track. The damaged caused to the BMW Driving Experience M4 DTM in that incident ultimately forced Wittmann to retire from the race.

“In short, that was a really bad day for me”, said Wittmann. “The repairs needed after my mistake in qualifying cost us a lot of time. That meant we were unable to take part in qualifying. We then actually paced ourselves very well in the race. I still had a lot of DRS activations left at the end, and had relatively fresh tyres at the restart. I think I was running sixth when I lost downforce behind Paul di Resta and had to drive through the dirt. With all the dust and dirt in the car, something broke and the race was over.”

Wittmann’s team-mate Timo Glock finished third and Bruno Spengler ninth to score points for BMW at the end of the eventful, 34-lap race. Wittmann will have the chance to end his disappointing season on a high tomorrow. The 20th and final race of the season gets underway at the usual time of 13:30.