DTM Open to Independent Mercedes Teams but the Manufacturer Rejects the Idea

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Credit: DTM Media

Gerhard Berger has welcomed the prospect of opening the DTM Series to non-manufacturer backed entires in order to bump the number of entires to sustain the future of the series.

Mercedes announced last year that they are to leave the DTM after the 2018 championship, leaving the series’ future in doubt.

Having thus far failed in finding a third manufacturer to compete alongside Audi and BMW, Berger has suggested shifting the series away from being a manufacturer only championship to allow independent entires.

This would allow HWA, who runs Mercedes’ programme this year, to remain.

“A fully manufacturer-based system, as we have currently, is not good, and the participating manufacturers are aware of that,” Berger told the German press agency DPA. “If HWA needs other projects, the option of continuing to run DTM cars would be a nice solution. No other company has more experience and expertise in the DTM than HWA.”

The series is keen to avoid a repeat of the position it found itself in between 2006 and 2011 when it was only Audi and Mercedes following Opel‘s departure – so much so that the two manufacturers signed an agreement decreeing they would not allow the series to find itself back in the same position.

Director of Mercedes Motorsport, Toto Wolff has stated that he would not object to the idea as long as the HWA-cars bear no Mercedes branding.

However, Mercedes DTM boss Ulrich Fritz believes it would not be viable for an independent team to compete in the series against the manufacturers purely through private funding.

Although he does believe HWA would be able to continue running cars, he doubts the chances of such a deal coming together.

In an interview with Autosport, he said: “Would we be capable of doing that in terms of the engineering and the staff? Yes, sure.

“Would it be productive to compete as a private team against factory teams entered by manufacturers? Probably not.

“Apart from that, I hardly think that a project of this nature can be serious and viable if it relies on private finance.”


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