DTM - 2015 Season preview
After a six-month-long break, the new DTM season kicks off this weekend at Hockenheim. This most exciting thing about this season is that it is bringing a new format to the competition. After 15 years of single races, now racing enthusiasts will enjoy two races per weekend – one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The first race, which continue for 40 minutes and one lap, will not have mandatory pit stops. The other 60-minute long race on Sunday will have one compulsory pitstop.
Some more important changes to watch out for include that from this season onwards, each race is now awarding the full number of points. Apart from this, there won’t be option tyres anymore as the series has returned back to single standard compound, allowing each driver only four sets of tyres per weekend. An equally major change is that the DRS opportunities have been increased to three per lap with an aim to increase on-track fighting.
As always, all three manufacturers have great ambitions. BMW starts the season with just one change in the drivers line-up and retains last year champion Marco Wittmann. Last year, this youngster from Furth unexpectedly beat all the odds to clinch the top spot, a title he is definitely going to defend fiercely. Even though won the Drivers’ title the overall performance wasn’t exactly perfect for BMW and it is undoubtedly going to aim to take the Manufacturers’ title from Audi. Though Wittmann could continue to be BMW’s leading driver again, Maxime Martin Rookie of the year 2014, is also one driver to watch out for this season.
On the other hand, consistency could be Audi’s strongest weapon in 2015, as it was last year. It has retained all eight drivers from the last season and is looking at the double-race format as an advantage. With an experienced crop of drivers and a strong team spirit, Audi claims it is prepared for all the fresh challenges of the season.
It is widely expected that Jamie Green will lead Audi’s path to glory this year. Not only has the British driver already admitted that he is ready for the title this year, but also has pointed out that he has learnt from the mistakes he made in the previous season. Former champions Ekstrom, Rockenfeller and Scheider surely must be considered as the contenders for the top slots too.
Mercedes has had a tough year and every step forward will be considered a success for it. The team’s main aim will probably be to have a more consistent performance than it did last year, which mostly depended on the track conditions. In the pre-season testings, new cars have looked better than previous C-Coupe, but it is still unclear how things will work in the actual races. Stuttgarters now has a full squad of eight cars with two rookie drivers and six from the last year.
Pascal Wehrlein could be Mercedes’ leader in 2015. The youngster has the ambition to prove himself in Formula 1 in the near future and DTM will have an opportunity for him to prove his mettle. Of course, veteran Garry Paffett, who was the 2005 champion and has four runner-up titles to his name, will lead newcomers to the series, French team ART Grand Prix.
DTM 2015 season entry list
- Marco Wittmann (BMW Team RMG) – BMW M4
- Garry Paffet (ART Grand Prix) – Mercedes C63
- Paul Di Resta (HWA AG) – Mercedes C63
- Mattias Ekstrom (Team Abt Sportsline) – Audi RS5
- Robert Wickens (HWA AG) – Mercedes C63
- Bruno Spengler (BMW Team MTEK) – BMW M4
- Christian Vietoris (HWA AG) – Mercedes C63
- Timo Scheider (Team Phoenix) – Audi RS5
- Daniel Juncadella (Mucke Motorsport) – Mercedes C63
- Antonio Felix da Costa (BMW Team Schnitzer) – BMW M4
- Timo Glock (BMW Team MTEK) – BMw M4
- Miguel Molina (Team Abt Sportsline) – Audi RS5
- Augusto Farfus (BMW Team RBM) – BMW M4
- Lucas Auer (ART Grand Prix) – Mercedes C63
- Adrien Tambay (Team Abt Sportsline) – Audi RS5
- Tom Blomqvist (BMW Team RBM) – BMW M4
- Maxime Martin (BMW Team RMG) – BMW M4
- Edoardo Mortara (Team Abt Sportsline) – Audi RS5
- Nico Muller (Team Rosberg) – Audi RS5
- Jamie Green (Team Rosberg) – Audi RS5
- Martin Tomczyk (BMW Team Schnitzer) – BMW M4
- Maximilian Gotz (Mucke Motorsport) – Mercedes C63
- Pascal Wehrlein (HWA AG) – Mercedes C63
- Mike Rockenfeller (Team Phoenix) – Audi RS5