19 questions for 2019: How will DTM manage without Mercedes?
Motorsport Week's team of writers got together to discuss what they believe will be the big questions for the 2019 motorsport season, covering all the major series from Formula 1 to IndyCar, WEC to DTM and everything in-between. We'll be posting one each day and today we ask...
8/19: How will DTM manage without Mercedes?
Mercedes shocked the DTM world when it announced it would quit the German touring car series it has dominated since 2000, winning ten Constructors’ championships – more than double Audi and BMW combined – and eight Drivers’ titles.
The future of the championship was thrown into doubt over concerns it wouldn’t survive as a two-make series again, but those concerns have been somewhat alleviated by the news that Aston Martin will join the grid as a third manufacturer through a partnership with R-Motorsport and HWA AG – who of course ran Mercedes’ entry and therefore have a wealth of experience which should see the Aston cars on the pace from the get-go.
Aston Martin might not be as big as Mercedes, but the name certainly is. The Aston brand is massive – largely thanks to a certain Mr Bond – and will be a welcome addition to the DTM grid which has been dominated by German brands. The loss of the powerhouse that is Mercedes is of course going to be felt, but it’s by no means the final nail in DTM’s coffin, as many believed it would be.
The series remains popular both inside and outside of Germany, with the recent calendar expansion to include a return to Brands Hatch plus Misano, Zolder and Assen and it remains the quickest form of Touring Car racing within Europe. It’s thrown up some exciting races and will continue to do so in 2019.
It’ll be interesting to see how Aston fares against the likes of Audi and BMW and whether it can fight these automotive giants for wins, but it’s safe to say the series’ future is secure for now and the loss of the three-pointed star won’t have as much of an impact as many first feared.