German powerhouse BMW has quickly found themselves as the sole manufacturer in the DTM series from next year, though the marque has said they will not close the door on the series and has instead shunned Audi for departing the championship in an ‘unsporting’ manner.
“I believe that the series is still very attractive and has a future perspective,” BMW development board member Klaus Fröhlich told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
“In the short term, the previous DTM approach has a problem, and we may have to think outside the box. There will certainly be a pause for thought and perhaps an interruption. But the DTM has already stopped in its history and has come back.”
Fröhlich was then invited to add his comments on the announcement that Audi will leave the series they have been involved in for 15 seasons after the conclusion of the 2020 season.
“That surprised and disappointed me. And I find it not only astonishing but also unsportsmanlike to drop out and not talk to us as a second partner before. It really blew me away,” he said.
“When Mercedes got out, Ola Kallenius (CEO of Mercedes at the time) called me personally and explained how and why. It was all professional and appreciative. I missed that here at Audi.
“[And] I can’t understand the statement ‘We are going into Formula E for electric cars instead of staying in the DTM’ precisely because the DTM wants to become fully electric by 2025.
“It is not for me to evaluate another company. But from my point of view, Audi is undergoing a far-reaching restructuring process. Whether it was sustainable to cut off the DTM pillar and whether Formula E is more viable in the long term to communicate electric mobility, I put a question mark on that.”
From the outside, the departure of Audi has left the sport in an almost unrecoverable position unless significant changes and improvements are set in place.
One of which is the strong suggestion that the sport should open up its doors to allow GTE cars to enter the series.
The first round of a curtailed 2020 DTM season is slated to get underway on July 10-12 from the Norisring.