Mercedes DTM driver Gary Paffett said recently to Motorsport.com that BMW won this year’s DTM manufacturers title with an inferior car.
“Performance weights are a big subject [of discussion],” he said to Motorsport.com. “No offense to BMW, but they won the constructors’ championship with the worst car this year – so, you know, it doesn’t really tell the full story.”
Paffett makes a direct reference to the weight ballast rule introduced in 2014. The so-called performance weight was introduced to the DTM in the 2014 season to balance out the cars. This additional balance is intended to prevent one manufacturer from dominating and to keep the competition exciting.
All 24 drivers began the 2015 DTM season with the same weight. Including the driver, the cars each weighed 1,120 kilograms at the opening round in Hockenheim
BMW sat last in the manufacturers’ championship when the weight ballast was introduced by promoter ITR.
Over the remaining seven rounds, the average weight of a BMW car stood at 1109.6kg, well below the basis weight of 1,120kg. Mercedes, meanwhile, clocked in an average of 1123.8kg, while Audi topped the list at 1127.2kg.
At the Zandvoort and Oschersleben races, BMW’s DTM cars weighed 1,105kg helping BMW score 52 percent of its season points. BMW became the first manufacturer in the history of the DTM to finish in places one to seven.
“The drivers’ championship does tell the full story,” Paffett added. “The guy who won it – Pascal [Mercedes driver] – did the best job of everyone all year. The guys in second and third – Jamie [Green] and Eki [Mattias Ekstrom] also did a great job – the drivers’ championship is more relevant I think.”
Paffett hopes that small changes to the rules will take place for the 2016 DTM season.
“As drivers, we know what we want,” said the Briton. “Also, I think we have a really good idea of what improves the show for fans and things like that. I think that’s what we need.
“[DTM] needs to have exciting racing, it needs to be fun for the fans to watch – but it still needs to have the best driver in the best team winning the race and that’s the balance we need. To have the best person winning still, while giving the fans excitement.”