The race for the title in the DTM Drivers’ Championship is over: Marco Wittmann (DE) of BMW Team RMG is the new DTM champion. Fourth place in the final race of the year at the Hockenheimring (DE) was enough for the 26-year-old at the wheel of the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM to win the title. Wittmann has 206 points to his name and a four-point lead over Edoardo Mortara (IT, Audi), who won the race on Sunday. Starting from fifth on the grid, Wittmann produced another flawless race to wrap up the title.
Wittmann is the first BMW driver ever to win the DTM Drivers’ Championship twice, having previously been crowned champion in 2014. Volker Strycek (DE, 1984), Eric van de Poele (BE, 1987), Roberto Ravaglia (IT, 1989) and Bruno Spengler (CA, 2012) had each previously won the DTM title once for BMW. Never before has a driver won the title for the second time in only his fourth year in the DTM. This success sees Wittmann establish himself as one of the most successful DTM drivers ever: only Bernd Schneider (5) and Klaus Ludwig (3) have won more drivers’ titles than him. Wittmann’s latest triumph means that BMW has won at least one DTM title every year since returning to the series in 2012, including three of a possible five Drivers’ Championship titles.
It was at the Hockenheimring that Wittmann lifted the trophy for winning the Drivers’ Championship in 2014. Wittmann picked up three wins, six podium positions and three pole positions this season. At the age of 26 years and 327 days, he is the youngest double DTM champion of all time. In the team standings, BMW Team RMG ended the season in second place with 290 points and a deficit of 29 points. BMW is also in second place in the manufacturers’ standings, with a total of 647 points.
Behind the new champion a further four BMW M4 DTMs finished in the points. Timo Glock (DE) came fifth in the DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM, Maxime Martin (BE) finished sixth in the SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM. Tom Blomqvist (GB) finished in seventh place in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM, while Martin Tomczyk (DE) picked up one point for tenth place at the wheel of the BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM in the final DTM race of his career.
António Félix da Costa (PT, BMW M4 DTM) started from pole position as he did on Saturday, but, after a collision that was no fault of his own while leading the race, was pushed to the back of the field. He was unable to finish his final DTM race. Augusto Farfus (BR, Shell BMW M4 DTM) also retired from the race. Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M4 DTM) narrowly missed out on the points in 12th place.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “That was absolutely mega, Marco! Today’s race was an excellent reflection of the entire season. Marco was flawless and got the very best out of the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM. With the packages so evenly matched this DTM season, it was Marco that made the crucial difference. His top speed, nerves of steel and consistency are what have made Marco a worthy champion in 2016. In the current DTM, he is the benchmark for all the other drivers in the field. He can be very proud of his performance. We certainly are. Marco is the first BMW driver in the history of the DTM to win the Drivers’ Championship twice – and in only his fourth year in this high-class series. No other DTM driver has ever won two titles in such a short time. With this success, Marco is already assured of a place in the history books of the DTM and BMW Motorsport. He is an extraordinary racing driver and we are delighted that he is part of the BMW family. Congratulations also to the other BMW drivers who finished in the points. This applies to Martin Tomczyk in particular, who finished in the points one last time in his final DTM race. It’s unfortunate that an unnecessary collision denied António Félix da Costa the chance of an outstanding result at his DTM farewell race after his fantastic performance. His two pole positions at the season finale were impressive. We can now proudly say that we have won at least one title every year since returning to the DTM in 2012. What a fantastic record! There is certainly some celebrating to be done tonight. Everyone in the team has deserved that after this season. Everyone made a contribution to this success. I would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts. I’d also like to congratulate Audi on winning the team and manufacturers’ championships.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “I’m speechless. Huge thanks go to everyone who contributed to this success. Marco is a mega champion – and my team is simply sensational. And, of course, thanks to BMW Motorsport for the fantastic support. The season was extremely demanding, but everyone here really did their bit. It was another real masterpiece after 2014.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “First off, congratulations to BMW and Marco Wittmann. He delivered another fantastic performance today. I feel that as a team we played a good role this season. The finale is a good example of this: We made it into the top five with both cars in qualifying. That has been a regular occurrence this year. Third place in the team standings is very positive for us. I’m very happy.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “It was a very emotional race for us, since both of our drivers ended their DTM careers today. António Félix da Costa thrilled us with his two pole positions. It’s a shame that, through no fault of his own, he was unable to convert this starting position into a top result. I would have liked that. Martin Tomczyk once again demonstrated what distinguishes him: fighting spirit. And he was rewarded with a point. I’m certain that he really enjoyed the final laps. But the second championship title for Marco Wittmann outshines everything. Congratulations to Marco, BMW Team RMG and BMW Motorsport.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “Congratulations to Marco Wittmann on winning the title. Overall, it was a good season for BMW, but as a team we aren’t happy. We had hoped for more from 2016. The guys had the best pit stops, but somehow everything came together far too infrequently.”
Marco Wittmann (BMW Team RMG, Sun.: 4th place, Sat.: 2nd place): “What a feeling! Being crowned DTM Champion for the second time in four years is incredible. It was a difficult season, but now the emotions are indescribable. We fought right down to the wire and had no idea that we would finish at the top before the season started. We’ve done it now. Crazy. Massive thanks go to my team, BMW Motorsport and everyone involved. And I have huge respect for Edoardo Mortara. He had a great season. In the end we did enough. Now it’s time to celebrate.”
Timo Glock (BMW Team RMG, Sun.: 5th place, Sat.: 7th place): “Today our task was purely to help Marco win the drivers’ title. We managed that perfectly. I had a great pace towards the end of the race and was happy to play the role of Marco’s wingman. Congratulations to my team and BMW Motorsport. Everyone earned this success. It’s the perfect end to the season.”
Maxime Martin (BMW Team RBM, Sun.: 6th place, Sat.: 13th place): “Looking at the positives, I was consistent throughout the course of the season. It was always very close and I was always among the best BMW drivers. Marco Wittmann did an outstanding job and thoroughly deserved this title. Now we will prepare for 2017 – and come back strong.”
Tom Blomqvist (BMW Team RBM, Sun.: 7th place, Sat.: 9th place): “That was another good weekend overall to finish with. Congratulations to Marco Wittmann on winning the title, and I’m also happy that we were able to pick up points again. The key was our performance in qualifying. This meant we were at least able to do battle in the race, even though the car may not have been outstanding. Sixth place in the overall standings is a good result for me. I was still a rookie in 2015. Now I’m hoping that I can take another step forward next year.”
Martin Tomczyk (BMW Team Schnitzer, Sun.: 10th place, Sat.: 20th place):“That was another great race here at the end of my DTM career. The fact that I was rewarded with a point makes up for the disappointing season that is behind me. Before getting out of the car I spent a few moments looking back. Now I’m relieved. Naturally it’s fantastic that Marco Wittmann won the title. Now I can say goodbye with a clear conscience and focus on my new tasks.”
Bruno Spengler (BMW Team MTEK, Sun.: 12th place, Sat.: 14th place):“Congratulations to everyone in Munich who worked hard to win this title. To Marco Wittmann and BMW Team RMG in particular, who delivered extremely consistent performances throughout the year. Unfortunately, my own season was extremely disappointing. So there isn’t really much to say.”
Augusto Farfus (BMW Team MTEK, Sun.: DNF, Sat.: 11th place): “That was far from my best race. The first set of tyres was terrible. I was very slow and had to battle. Then in the end they wore down. Later on there was a problem in the cockpit. It was unfortunate and frustrating. I had to come in for a long stop and then give up later on. My entire season was characterised by bad luck. It was a very difficult year for us. That happens sometimes. You give 100 percent in every race, but it’s not meant to be. Naturally I am delighted for Marco that he won the title. Congratulations to him, he drove fantastically and more than earned the title. It’s also great for BMW Motorsport, and we will celebrate it in style.”
António Félix da Costa (BMW Team Schnitzer, Sun.: DNF, Sat.: 4th place):“Naturally starting my final DTM race from pole position was a dream. But then there was the incident with Gary Paffett. He was impatient. It’s a real shame. Finishing on the podium would have been a great finish for me. Congratulations to Marco Wittmann – he’s the champion. It was a difficult year for us, but we can definitely be happy with the way it ended.”
- Marco Wittmann (206 points), 2. Edoardo Mortara (202), 3. Jamie Green (145), 4. Robert Wickens (124), 5. Paul di Resta (116), 6. Tom Blomqvist (113), 7. Mattias Ekström (107), 8. Maxime Martin (90), 9. Nico Müller (88), 10. Timo Glock (84), 11. Gary Paffett (73), 12. Lucas Auer (68), 13. Miguel Molina (66), 14. Christian Vietoris (60), 15. Bruno Spengler (51), 16. Augusto Farfus (44), 17. António Félix da Costa (43), 18. Adrien Tambay (40), 19. Mike Rockenfeller (31), 20. Maximilian Götz (17), 21. Martin Tomczyk (16), 22. Timo Scheider (13), 23. René Rast (8), 24. Daniel Juncadella (6), 25. Felix Rosenqvist (5), 25. Esteban Ocon (2).
- Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (319 points), 2. BMW Team RMG (290), 3. BMW Team RBM (203), 4. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (185), 5. Audi Sport Team Abt (154), 6. Mercedes-AMG (133), 7. SILBERPFEIL Energy/UBFS invest Mercedes-AMG (130), 8. BWT Mercedes-AMG (128), 9. BMW Team MTEK (95), 10. EURONICS/FREEMEN`S WORLDMercedes-AMG (80), 11. BMW Team Schnitzer (59), 12. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (42).
- Audi (700 points), 2. BMW (647), 3. Mercedes-Benz (471).
Join us, as we look back at Marco Wittmann’s route to the 2016 DTM Drivers’ Championship.
Marco Wittmann (DE) has become the first BMW driver in the history of the DTM to win two Drivers’ Championships. Having won the title in 2014, he was again crowned champion on Sunday, after finishing fourth in the final race of the year at the Hockenheimring (DE).
The 26-year-old BMW Team RMG driver won four races in the 2016 DTM season. His first victory of the year in the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM came in the third race of the season in Spielberg (AT). He went on to add a further two wins in Moscow (RU) and at the Nürburgring (DE).
Wittmann moved to the top of the Drivers’ Championship for the first time at the Lausitzring (DE), after which he was embroiled in a thrilling battle for the lead with Robert Wickens (CA, Mercedes), Jamie Green (GB, Audi) and Edoardo Mortara (IT, Audi). He then wrapped up the title in the second race in Hockenheim.
Join us, as we look back at Marco Wittmann’s route to the 2016 DTM Drivers’ Championship.
Hockenheim (DE), 7th/8th May – Not an ideal start.
The start of the 2016 DTM season by no means goes to plan for Marco Wittmann. At the wheel of the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM, he is initially the best-placed BMW driver after the opening laps. However, the driver from Fürth is then involved in a collision, through no fault of his own, and consequently drops well back through the field. Wittmann crosses the finish line in 16th place – well outside the points. Wittmann finishes eighth in Sunday’s race to score his first four points of the season. Augusto Farfus (BR) in the Shell BMW M4 DTM and Maxime Martin (BE) in the SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM come home second and third to claim the first two podium finishes of the 2016 season for BMW.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after two of 18 races: 12th place – 4 points
Spielberg (AT), 21st/22nd May – Start-finish victory in the Alps.
BMW’s 250th race in the history of the DTM is a successful one for BMW: Marco Wittmann converts pole position into a commanding victory in Saturday’s race at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg (AT). Tom Blomqvist (GB) follows him over the line in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM to complete the first BMW one-two of the year. Wittmann remains the man for the big occasion: his triumph is the 70th victory for BMW in the DTM. In 2014 he claimed the first victory with the BMW M4 DTM, which also marked the 60th success for BMW in the DTM. Wittmann’s team-mate Timo Glock (DE) has cause for celebration in Spielberg on the Sunday, claiming the third DTM win of his career. Wittmann is seventh.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after four of 18 races: 5th place – 35 points
Lausitzring (DE), 4th/5th June – A taste of the lead.
Marco Wittmann takes the lead in the DTM Drivers’ Championship for the first time after race five of the year at the Lausitzring (DE). The BMW Team RMG driver starts Saturday’s race from third on the grid and goes on to cross the finish line in fourth place in the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM, after 32 flawless laps and a fierce battle with the drivers behind him. Wittmann’s tally of 47 points is enough to see him top the overall standings. He produces another impressive display on Sunday, coming home sixth to claim another top-ten finish. He is joined in the top ten by another two BMW drivers, in the form of Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock. However, Wittmann is unable to hang on to the lead in the Drivers’ Championship. Now with 55 points to his name, he trails the new leader – Mercedes driver Robert Wickens – by three points.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after six of 18 races: 2nd place – 55 points
Norisring (DE), 25th/26th June – Cool and consistent on home soil.
The streets of Nürnberg (DE) are a happy stomping ground this year for Marco Wittmann at his home race weekend. Fourth place is the best result of his DTM career on the tight street circuit. Starting from 13th, he fights back strongly to cross the finish line ahead of Bruno Spengler (CA) as the best-placed BMW driver after 49 laps of racing. Wittmann adds a sixth place in Saturday’s race, proving once again that he is among the most consistent scorers in the series. His reward: the local favourite moves back to the top of the Drivers’ Championship with 75 points to his name. The Sunday at the Norisring is even more successful for Wittmann’s fellow BMW drivers from BMW Team RBM: Tom Blomqvist finishes runner-up in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM, having started from pole position for the first time in his DTM career. He is followed over the line by Maxime Martin (BE) in the SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM, who fights his way through from sixth on the grid to finish third.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after eight of 18 races: 1st place – 75 points
Zandvoort (NL), 16th/17th July – All change in the chasing pack.
Marco Wittmann has very fond memories of the spectacular dune circuit in Zandvoort (NL): it was here that he secured his first pole position in the DTM in 2013. He once again has cause for celebration this season, as he extends his lead in the Drivers’ Championship on the Saturday. Wittmann starts from second on the grid, and finishes in the same position to add a further 18 points to his tally for the year. However, there is no let-up from the opposition: Mercedes driver Wickens wins the ninth race of the season to pick up 25 points. This is enough to make him Wittmann’s closest rival, briefly. A further two BMW drivers finish in the points: António Félix da Costa (PT) is sixth in the BMW M4 DTM, while Maxime Martin completed the top ten. Wittmann comes home fourth in race two in Zandvoort, and sees the new second-placed man in the Drivers’ Championship on the top of the podium: Audi driver Jamie Green. However, the BMW Team RMG driver retains his overall lead, now with 105 points. Green is lurking seven points back in second place.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after ten of 18 races: 1st place – 105 points
Moscow (RU), 20th/21st August – Disappointment and winning joy.
The “Moscow Raceway” throws up a special challenge: on the Saturday, the eight BMW riders and their rivals are faced with the first wet race of the season. Torrential rain makes the track so wet that the first eight laps must be completed behind the safety car for safety reasons. Wittmann finishes 19th in the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM and surrenders the lead in the Drivers’ Championship to Wickens, who wins the race. Martin is the best-placed BMW driver in sixth place in the SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM. After the water fight on Saturday, everyone starts from scratch again in dry conditions on the Sunday – and Wittmann comes up trumps: after impressing on his way to pole position in qualifying, the German claims his second win of the season in race 12 of the year, regaining the championship lead in the process. It is Wittmann’s seventh victory in the 50th DTM race of his career. It also represents the tenth win for BMW Team RMG in its 60th DTM race. Blomqvist, Spengler and Farfus follow him home in second, third and fourth to complete the sixth top-four lock-out for BMW in the DTM.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after 12 of 18 races: 1st place – 130 points
Nürburgring (DE), 10th/11th September – The Nürburg in view, sights set on the title.
Whenever Wittmann has won at the Nürburgring (DE), he has gone on to be crowned the DTM champion: when he won his first title back in 2014, he also took his place on the top step of the podium in the Eifel Mountains. This season, he once again represents BMW Team RMG, which is based in nearby Andernach (DE), with a home win. The celebrations know no bounds. Starting from pole for the third time this year, he produces a commanding performance to defends his lead throughout the Saturday race. Blomqvist does a great job of fending off the chasing pack and comes home second in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM to complete BMW’s 19th one-two in the DTM. Wittmann ensures BMW has another milestone to celebrate after Sunday’s race: he finishes third in the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM to claim the 250th podium result for BMW in the DTM. Thanks to the most successful race weekend of the year so far, which yields 40 points, Wittmann goes into the final four races of the season with 170 points to his name – 33 more than Edoardo Mortara, who won on Sunday in the “Green Hell”.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after 14 of 18 races: 1st place – 170 points
Budapest (HU), 24th/25th September – The lead is diminishing.
Initially everything is going to plan for Wittmann in Budapest (HU) at the penultimate DTM weekend of the year. First, he picks up points for finishing seventh in race one, then he crosses the finish line in fourth place on Sunday, after an action-packed race. However, during scrutineering after the 16th race of the season, the stewards come to the conclusion that the underbody of Wittmann’s car did not meet the specified dimensions. The overall leader is excluded from the results. This moves António Félix da Costa (PT) up into third place retrospectively and makes him the best-placed BMW driver on Sunday. Wittmann’s lead over Mortara, who wins the Saturday race in Hungary, but fails to pick up any points in the second race, is 14 points heading into the finale in Hockenheim.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after 16 of 18 races: 1st place – 176 points
Hockenheim (DE), 15th/16th September – A tough fight with happy ending.
The grand DTM finale in Hockenheim turns into a thriller. Alongside Marco Wittmann, the focus is on the two BMW drivers Martin Tomczyk and António Félix da Costa, whose DTM careers come to an end this weekend. Félix da Costa bids a splendid farewell – and claims pole position for both races. But while the man from Portugal is denied a top result, Wittmann makes his dreams of winning the title come true. He picks up an additional 18 points for finishing second on Saturday, so fourth place on Sunday is enough for him to clinch the glass champion’s trophy for the second time after 2014. The big party is underway.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after 18 of 18 races: 1st place – 206 points