Power summit: all eyes on Japanese at Hockenheim DTM finale

  • Making history: SUPER GT marques Honda, Nissan and Lexus set to challenge Aston Martin, Audi and BMW
  • Formula 1 & SUPER GT champion Jenson Button to make DTM debut
  • Fantastic promotion: free entry for fans of Japanese car culture
Jenson Button (GBR) © GTA

The 2019 DTM season finale (4-6 October) at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg will mark the first, much-anticipated summit between the world’s two biggest GT and Touring Car championships.
For the very first time, cars from Asia’s hugely popular SUPER GT series will compete alongside DTM’s manufacturers in a historic, unifying event at Hockenheim.

SUPER GT manufacturers Honda, Nissan and Lexus will join DTM regulars Audi, BMW and Aston Martin, with 2009 Formula 1 world champion and reigning SUPER GT champion Jenson Button (GBR) spearheading the driver line-up from Japan.

Ronnie Quintarelli (ITA) / Tsugio Matsuda (JPN), Nissan GT-R © GTA

In a further boost for the event, DTM organisation ITR has created a unique opportunity to provide free entry to the weekend for German fans of exotic Japanese car culture.
For this promotion, ITR has collaborated with the organisers of ‘Reisbrennen’– a major international meeting for Japanese car owners, tuners and race fans. Over 2,000 members of the ‘Reisbrennen’ community have already confirmed their attendance at Hockenheim, where they will gain free admission to the north grandstand B (while stocks last – register via DTM.com)

‘Japanese village’ and special car park for tuned Japanese cars

Jenson Button (GBR), Honda NSX-GT © GTA

As an additional extra, 100 owners of particularly stylish, highly tuned Japanese cars will exhibit their vehicles on high-profile VIP parking spaces behind the south grandstand. This area will feature a special ‘Japanese village’, complete with Japanese speciality food stalls and sales areas for Japanese tuning- and car-components.
To prepare for the joint-event, the three Japanese SUPER GT squads will be permitted two one-hour test sessions at Hockenheim on Thursday afternoon (October 3). As a major incentive, Hockenheim organisers are offering ALL fans free admission on this German public holiday to the south grandstand G.

Several SUPER GT champions to make their DTM debuts

In addition to the three cars from Honda, Nissan and Lexus, no fewer than five SUPER GT drivers are set to contest the Hockenheim race weekend.

Jenson Button (GBR) will drive his Honda NSX-GT at Hockenheim. In his 17-year Formula 1 career, he scored 15 Grand Prix wins and 50 podium finishes. He joined the SUPER GT series in 2018, racing for the Kunimitsu team, winning the title alongside team-mate Naoki Yamamoto (JPN) in his debut season.

Nick Cassidy (NZL) / Ryō Hirakawa (JPN), Lexus LC500 © GTA

Nissan and Lexus are each bringing two drivers to Hockenheim, with the intention that they will contest one race each.

Nissan intends to field Ronnie Quintarelli (ITA), SUPER GT’s most successful champion, with four drivers’ titles; and Tsugio Matsuda (JPN), a two-time champion who partnered Quintarelli in 2014 and 2015. The 2017 SUPER GT champions Nick Cassidy (NZL) and Ryō Hirakawa (JPN) are set to race for Lexus.

F1Weekly podcast # 804


Thoughts from Charles Leclerc.

“Singapore is maybe the toughest track for us drivers physically, just because of the heat and the humidity. It’s always a special place to go, because it’s a night race. I really enjoy driving at night and somehow, it feels a lot quicker than it does during the day. It’s just a unique weekend and I am really looking forward to being there.

After two positive weekends in Belgium and Italy, the race in Singapore doesn’t look as good on paper for us, because of the very different circuit layout, featuring lots of of slow corners and fewer straights. It might be a more difficult weekend for us, but we will give our all to have a good result.”

Play Podcast: 09-18-19f1weekly804.mp3


The power of two: Rast powers to second DTM title

  • René Rast secures second DTM title with third-place finish at Nürburgring
  • Audi driver now on title par with Paffett, Wittmann, Scheider and Ekström
  • Jamie Green wins after thrilling duel with Robin Frijns

Audi driver René Rast (GER) was crowned 2019 DTM champion after finishing third in Sunday’s Nürburgring race, throwing the title beyond the reach of his closest rival.

After taking pole and victory in Saturday’s race, Rast looked increasingly assured of sealing the title at the penultimate round of the series after securing a front-row starting place. Chief rival Nico Müller (SUI) would start from 14th.

Rast becomes the seventh driver in DTM history to win more than one title, joining fellow double-title winners Mattias Ekström (SWE), Timo Scheider (GER), Marco Wittmann (GER) and Gary Paffett (GBR).

Jamie Green (GBR), Audi

Only Klaus Ludwig and Bernd Schneider (both GER) have won more than two titles. Rast celebrated his second crown in only his third full season in the DTM – earlier than any other driver before him.

Lucky seven: Audi dominates second race on Sunday, equalling record

Sunday’s race at the Nürburgring turned into another Audi demonstration run, including matching an earlier record achievement.

Jamie Green (GBR) started from pole position and dominated the race, beating fellow Audi driver Robin Frijns (NED). For Green, it was his first win since the 2017 season finale. The Briton becomes the seventh driver to win a DTM race in 2019, and led home an Audi septet that was completed by Loïc Duval (FRA), Jonathan Aberdein (RSA), Nico Müller (SUI) and Mike Rockenfeller (GER).

Robin Frijns (NED), Audi

The finishing order meant that Audi today equalled a record established by BMW at Zandvoort in 2015:  a clean-sweep of the top seven finishing positions.

Disillusion for BMW and Aston Martin

BMW could only secure three points-scoring positions after a disappointing day for the Munich marque. Philipp Eng (AUT) flew the flag for BMW with his eighth-place finish while Timo Glock (GER) finished ninth and Bruno Spengler (CDN) came home 10th. Once again, Daniel Juncadella (ESP) was the best-placed Aston Martin driver, 12th across the line.

In spite of the early deciders in the battles for the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles going the ways of René Rast and Audi, there is still everything to play for in the teams’ classification during the season finale at the Hockenheimring (4-6 October). Audi Sport Team Rosberg (Rast/Green) has a margin of just 32 points over Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (Müller/Frijns)



Sébastien Ogier – Julien Ingrassia and Esapekka Lappi – Janne Ferm secured two stage wins apiece as they tightened their stranglehold of the rally to end day two first and second overall, following another dominant performance that saw them increase their advantage over the chasing pack.

Featuring two of the slowest and most technical stages of the weekend as well as Kizlan, a new and very fast speed test (contested at an average speed of almost 110kph), today’s 109.80km-long leg looked like it would be extremely challenging once again. Conditions were all the more testing for the fact that ground temperatures reached 50 degrees Celsius.

In such extremely hot conditions, and despite there being a hard, very sandy base on the roads, you had to be very confident in your ability to look after your tyres in order to gamble on taking three medium compound and two hard Michelin tyres, from so far down the running order (ninth). And yet that was exactly the approach adopted by Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia this morning. It paid off immediately as the French crew claimed their first stage win of the weekend on Yesilbelde (33km), having spent more than twenty-five minutes combining serious pace and expert tyre management in the C3 WRC!

With their rivals more than a minute behind, the six-time world champions focused on adopting a rhythm that would enable them to minimise the risks as much as possible on these very rough roads. Sébastien and Julien added another stage win on the second pass on Yesilbelde, taking over from their team-mate at the top of the leaderboard. They remained there at the end of the day and head into tomorrow’s final leg very determined to complete what would be an excellent overall team performance and a good result for the championship.

With a tyre package favouring hard compound tyres (four, plus one medium), Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm also impressed on the morning loop. They claimed two consecutive second fastest times, then a stage win (SS10), all done without taking any unnecessary risks in the C3 WRC. Aware of the need for the Citroën Total World Rally Team to secure a one-two finish tomorrow, they pursued the same rhythm in the afternoon, enabling them to keep out of trouble. They Finns managed to score another stage win on the repeat of Kizlan and although they lost the overall lead to their team-mates after stalling on SS12, they still remain way ahead of their nearest challengers.

The Citroën Total World Rally Team members will now get to work on the C3 WRCs – once again incredibly reliable – to ensure the Citroën crews make it through the 38.62 kilometres of timed stages left to complete tomorrow.

F1Weekly podcast # 803


Charles Leclerc was rapid from the off at Monza but Sebastian Vettel was a genuine threat to his hopes of taking pole position. The pair were supposed to swap running orders in Q3 to give each other the benefit of the tow.

Did Leclerc do the dirty on his team mate by dithering on the out-lap? The fact Vettel passed him at the start of the lap makes it hard to come down on either side.
In the race Leclerc demonstrated true grit, withstanding a sustained attack from Lewis Hamilton with moves which were firm and right to the limit of what was acceptable.

Vettel had the car and the potential to win at Monza. It wasn’t entirely his fault that he ended up boxed in to fourth on the grid. But he was fully to blame both for spinning out of that position, thanks to yet another unforced error, and the horror show moment when he pulled onto the racing line in front of oncoming traffic. In light of events at Spa, a 10-second stop-and-ho penalty for that was too lenient.

Play Podcast: 09-11-19f1weekly803.mp3



Leclerc survived an onslaught from LCH and Valtteri Bottas to win a thrilling Italian Grand Prix. LCH hustled Leclerc during a remarkable spell of wheel-to-wheel action at Monza – but the young Monegasque excelled to keep the world champion at bay and register his second win in as many weeks and Ferrari’s first on home soil in nine years.

With 11 laps remaining, LCH then made a mistake at the first corner in his pursuit of Leclerc, falling off the road and allowing Bottas to take second. On fresher tyres, Bottas took over from Hamilton in his pursuit of Leclerc but crossed the line just eight-tenths shy of the Ferrari star.

In contrast to Leclerc’s heroics at the Cathedral of Speed, Sebastian Vettel endured yet another torrid afternoon in the sister Ferrari. The four-time world champion took the chequered flag a dismal 13th and one lap down after a spin at the Ascari chicane on lap six.

Vettel had to stop for a new front wing after he clumsily collided with Lance Stroll in his attempt to rejoin the track following his mistake. He was hit with a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for his part in the incident.

Hamilton’s late error allowed Bottas to reduce the championship deficit to 63 points with seven rounds left.

“What a race,” said Leclerc. “I have never been so tired. I made a few mistakes, but in the end I finished first so I am very happy.”