DTM can survive without Mercedes, says Berger

DTM chairman Gerhard Berger believes that the DTM can continue with two manufacturers in the wake of Mercedes' shock withdrawal announcement.

The Austrian, who took over at the helm of the series at the beginning of 2017, said that the precedent is there for the DTM to survive in these circumstances after Mercedes leaves at the end of '18, and added that this gives time to try to attract a new manufacturer for '19.

"For everyone it [Mercedes' announcement] was a very big surprise," Berger told Motorsport.com.

"Now everybody has the feeling that it will take three or four weeks to see what we feel, to calm down and see what are the right steps to do – and of course it's the bloody holiday time at the moment!

"But for many years [2006-11] the DTM was running with two manufacturers – Mercedes and Audi – and I don't see any reason why it should not be again.

"Also we have one and a half years to hopefully get another manufacturer."

Key to this could be the adoption of the new two-litre turbocharged engine formula for 2019, which is already used in Japan's Super GT Championship and would make an entry for one of that series' manufacturers – Lexus, Nissan and Honda – an easier process.

"We were just in the final discussions about the right powertrain concept," said Berger, "and I would say that the two-litre, four-cylinder turbo was on pole position.

"But now with this message everything is stopped for the moment – I think we will know at the end of August which direction we move in."

Berger also played down speculation that the DTM could adopt a version of the current GT3 regulations, perhaps with some of the performance limitations taken off the cars.

"I think what we have to do now is deal with this situation," he said. "I had a very clear idea what is the right way until one week ago, when Mercedes was still in the boat.

"There are a lot of different ideas, and I have to say the concept of the current DTM cars is brilliant, but we will see what we have to do."

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Series DTM
Article type Breaking news