Thanks to his fourth place at the season finale at the Hockenheimring (DE) he was crowned DTM champion for the second time. This makes Wittmann the first BMW driver to win two drivers’ championships in the DTM. He is also the first DTM driver ever to have managed to claim his second title in only his fourth season.
In an interview Wittmann talks about the 2016 DTM season and the decider in Hockenheim.
Marco, two-time DTM Champion – How does that sound to you?
Marco Wittmann: “Fantastic! It’s a great feeling that I managed to be the first BMW driver to win two DTM titles. I might have been a little bit more emotional at the finish line the first time. But my success this year proves that the title in 2014 wasn’t just a flash in the pan. There aren’t many drivers at all who have won the DTM twice. I’m very proud to be part of this elite circle.”
What was the key to success at this finale weekend?
Wittmann: “I just kept my cool, as I did throughout the entire season. Sure, our rivals didn’t make things easy for us this year. Edoardo Mortara was a fierce rival. He would have deserved the title too. Maybe I was a bit cleverer this season. I kept out of dicey situations and picked up points in almost every race. On top of this were three wins. In the end it was close, but I think that we deserved the title.”
When you compare the two seasons 2014 and 2016: Which year was more difficult?
Wittmann: “No one just wins titles. I had to work just as hard to win in 2014 as I did this year. Naturally, it was more exciting for the fans this season since the title wasn’t decided until the very last race. In contrast, I clinched the title before the end of the season in 2014. The 2016 DTM season offered fantastic racing. The field was studded with top-class drivers and I had to fight for every point. My rivals didn’t make it easy for me, but I kept cool and focussed on my strengths. And the second title was the result.”
Edoardo Mortara was your main rival this year: What is your opinion of him?
Wittmann: “I have great respect for him and his performance. He is a fantastic driver and a cool guy. Edo fought like a lion and did everything to make things go his way this weekend. I ended up just in front. Edo, like Jamie Green, who finished third in the drivers’ championship, has a fantastic season behind him and delivered a great show for the fans. I think that I’ll need to be on my guard next season since Edo will do everything to fight me for the title.”
Who would you like to thank in particular for this success?
Wittmann: “My guys at BMW Team RMG and everyone at BMW Motorsport. I feel incredibly at home and know that everyone supported me 100 per cent. As a driver you are nothing without your team. The mechanics and engineers worked hard to provide me with a perfect car. The pit crew were flawless in the races. We win and lose together. We have reason to celebrate after this season. My family also played a big role in my success. They support me. I can allow myself to relax and recharge my batteries for the tasks that I need to master in the DTM.”
How will you celebrate this title?
Wittmann: “We’re really going to go for it today. The team earned it. No doubt I will have a lot of hands to shake and a lot of congratulations to receive, but it’s a pleasure after such a success. After the official part, then things will really get going.”