There will be a lot of changes in the DTM driver line-up for 2017.
The 3 constructors will just start with 6 cars each, and that will bring even more fights for the fewer seats.
Earlier this year it was announced that Martin Tomczyk and Antonio Felix da Costa no longer would drive in DTM for BMW, and last Saturday night we got the announcement from Timo Scheider, that he hadn’t got his contract with Audi extended.
Mattias Ekström has been a part of Audi Sport in DTM since 2001, but with his World title in Rallycross, the 38 year old Swede might focus more on that in the future. Sometimes he gives the impression that the spark for DTM is lacking. It’s been 9 years since his last title in DTM but he has driven home a few championship medals since that. He finished his 2016 season by winning his final race of the year – but perhaps that’s a nice way to end his DTM career on a high note…?
Rene Rast made a very good impression in both his DTM weekends this year. At Zandvoort he jumped in the car Sunday morning, when Adrien Tambay got a hand injury. But for the DTM finale at Hockenheim he was well prepared, and grabbed a very impressive P6 in Saturday’s race. Since Audi already has announced that they wont run a 3rd car at Le Mans in 2017, they have to find something for him to do – perhaps DTM, perhaps some GT3 races, and probably lending him out to LMP2 teams, to keep his sportscar skills sharp.
At Mercedes we can expect to see Daniel Juncadella lose his seat – unless some others of Mercedes’s drivers decided to go for other championships. He was by far the least scoring Mercedes driver – only surpassed by Esteban Ocon, who made the switch to Formula 1, and Felix Rosenqvist who replaced Ocon in the middle of the season. Rosenqvist already has a Formula E deal, so he might be the other driver that we won’t see in DTM in 2017.
About a month ago we heard some rumours about Edoardo Mortara would change to Mercedes. No matter what, we can be quite sure that because of his 2nd place in this years championship, he will be on the DTM grid – with either 4 rings or a star on his shirt.
Hopefully there will be some new faces in DTM 2017 too, after that the 2016 basically was a copy of the 2015 grid. It is always nice with some new blood, since the grid sometimes turns into “grumpy, old men” if the same 18-24 drivers keep going year after year.