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).
Check out some highlights from the DTM 2016 final in Hockenheim: