Ekstrom: Green more deserving of title than Wehrlein

Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom reckons that newly-crowned DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein benefitted unfairly from Mercedes' team tactics and has named Jamie Green as a more worthy champion.

Green had won three of the first four races of the campaign but scored points in only five of the 13 races since, and was eliminated from title contention before the Hockenheim finale.

Ekstrom himself remained with a shot at the crown but was spun by Mercedes driver Robert Wickens in the Saturday race and couldn't prevent Wehrlein from wrapping up the drivers' title.

"I think Audi had the best car, by far," the Swede told Motorsport.com Russia. "And I think the Audi driver line-up has been the strongest on average.

"Maybe that is one of our biggest challenges as drivers because you have such strong teammates.

"Timo [Scheider], Miguel [Molina], Jamie, Edo [Mortara], Mike [Rockenfeller] and myself won races, so the points are very well-shared between the drivers.

"On the other side you see Mercedes, who have won the title by having one guy score most of the time, most of the points.

"He got loads more help from his teammates than we got at our place. And that's probably the biggest difference.

"Mercedes had a strategy and the way they played it, you become champion."

While the Swede was Wehrlein's closest challenger through much of the season, he named teammate Green as the quickest driver of the season, lamenting the Brit's "bad luck".

"I don't think [Wehrlein] was the best driver this year, I still think Jamie Green was," Ekstrom said.

"And it's just a matter of how you play it - [Mercedes] played it differently and that's why they have more points.

"I think Jamie had many good races and, if I'm being honest, I think on his best days he was better than we were. Then he also had bad days, but he also had bad luck with the technical problems, with the car, which for sure cost him many points."

Green had retired from four races before the season finale, including a car failure that took him out of the lead at Spielberg, while Wehrlein was classified in every race.

"If you take those races out of his tally, he would definitely have been fighting with Pascal," Ekstrom added.

"And, for me, in that case, I must say, he would've been a more worthy champion in terms of raw pace and having less points for free from teammates."

Interview by Sergey Bednaruk

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Mattias Ekström , Jamie Green , Pascal Wehrlein
Teams HWA AG , Team Abt , Audi Sport Team Rosberg
Article type Breaking news