Mercedes sports director wants to fight with equal weapons
Mercedes DTM team boss Ulrich Fritz sticks to his criticism and wishes himself fair treatment in the spirit of sport: “In the end always the best wins”.
Last week Mercedes DTM team boss Ulrich Fritz criticised that BMW won the DTM championship with Marco Wittmann in 2016 because the Munich team”received discounts negotiated at the table” and thus endangered the credibility of the series. In an interview with’Motorsport-Total.com’, the sports director of the Stuttgart company explains his statement: “All I meant was that the sporting situation in 2016 is still difficult for me as a sportsman to understand. I stand by that too,” he says.
“In sport, we always want to compete with the same weapons. It’s frustrating when that’s not the case. I think it’s easier to understand if you lose in fair circumstances. Fritz alludes to the “Lex BMW”, which helped the Munich team to win the title in 2016.
Following the abolition of performance weights in September 2017, uniform wheel arches will be introduced for the new DTM season to ensure that vehicles are aligned. Up to now, the wheel arches have been approved for development. BMW was dissatisfied with the elimination of the success ballast and demanded the introduction of a new balancing element.
“Performance weights back and forth…”
“It’s about how, despite the fact that we no longer have any performance weights, we can achieve a sustainable DTM that has as balanced a starting field as possible,” explains the Mercedes manager.
“Performance weights or not – deep inside me I am convinced that always the best wins. Wittmann was able to win even without performance weights – just like Wehrlein 2015,” he says:”For the viewer it may be that the tension lasts a little longer if there are the performance weights. But in the end, it’s always the one who deserves it.”
Before the 2018 season, the aerodynamics and thus the downforce on the cars will be reduced in order to bring the field closer together again. The head of sports for the Stuttgart team welcomes this change of rules:”That’s a good thing, because it is once again messing up the field. It will be about who understood the whole thing best right up to the start at Hockenheim,” says Fritz.
He still has an idea how the DTM could become even more exciting at the start of the season:”It would be the very best thing for the fan if we weren’t going to test any more. Because then most unpredictable things would happen,” he jokes. Would the competition from Audi and BMW agree?
From 9. till 12. On April 1, the three manufacturers will meet again at the Hockenheim test to put the innovations on their vehicles to the test and put them to the final polish. Four weeks later (4. till 6. May) the new season starts at the same place.