In response to Mercedes-AMG Motorsport’s decision to leave the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters at the end of 2018, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt admitted in an official statement that the decision is a “heavy blow for the DTM.”
BMW made its return to the DTM back in 2012, having decided to compete in top-level touring car racing alongside fellow luxury brands Audi and Mercedes after a 20-year absence.
“It is with great regret that we acknowledge that Mercedes will end their involvement in the DTM after the 2018 season,” explained Marquardt, whose outfit is currently defending the drivers’ title with Marco Wittmann in the series.
He also said that it was too early to make any sort of speculation towards the series’ future, especially with one brand having been a main protagonist both on and off-track through the tough times for the DTM.
“Now it is time to evaluate the situation and discuss scenarios for the future with the ITR, whether based on the existing regulations or on different ones, such as the GT regulations. The fans certainly deserve the future of the DTM to be fought for. That’s what we will do.”
BMW, along with Audi, will go into direct competition with the Stuttgart marque, who will enter the FIA Formula E championship as a works entry in their revised motorsport strategy, as Marquardt looks forward to further rivalries with Mercedes.
“We look forward to seeing Mercedes-Benz again in Formula E soon. We have been represented on this attractive, innovative platform right from the start, and are delighted that more and more manufacturers are joining us.”