Lotterer has sympathy for Audi DTM drivers

Andre Lotterer says he has sympathy for Audi's DTM drivers, who are now facing an uncertain future as he did when the German marque ended its LMP1 project four years ago.

Lotterer has sympathy for Audi DTM drivers

Late last month, Audi announced its decision to end a two-decade-long involvement in the DTM to focus solely on its Formula E and customer racing programmes.

As well as plunging the future of the championship itself into doubt, it also means some of Audi's six factory DTM drivers could find themselves needing to find drives elsewhere to continue their careers.

Nico Muller and Robin Frijns also race in FE, the latter for Audi customer team Envision Virgin Racing, but Rene Rast, Loic Duval, Mike Rockenfeller and Jamie Green have all focussed largely on their DTM commitments in recent seasons.

Although Lotterer hasn't raced in the DTM, he was offered a place on Audi's roster in the tin-top series in 2017 following the brand's exit from the FIA World Endurance Championship, but turned it down to race for sister brand Porsche's LMP1 team.

"At that time I was an Audi driver, I was still under contract when they pulled out of WEC," Lotterer recalled speaking to Motorsport.com.

"They offered me a DTM seat to stay as an Audi driver, but I preferred to stay in sportscars so I went to Porsche. Rene Rast took the seat and he killed it [winning two titles in '17 and '19]. But now I guess he has a problem.

"For sure it’s very sad that they pulled out for the whole championship, and the drivers. It’s a historic and successful championship, it’s always been strong, but it makes you realise times are changing a bit. Motorsport has changed quite quickly and for some championships it’s difficult to adapt that quickly."

Lotterer was once again left without a drive at the end of 2017 season when Porsche ended its LMP1 project, and although he continued in the WEC with the Rebellion team, he also turned his attention to securing a drive in FE.

He signed up to join Techeetah for the 2017/18 FE season, before moving across to join Porsche's new works effort for the start of the 2019/20 campaign.

"It was a bad feeling [from when Audi quit LMP1]," he said. "I was super-happy there with all the success we had, but then my world completely changed.

"Luckily I had that opportunity to race for Porsche, which is a very special and privileged situation. But then they stopped [after 2017].

"Endurance racing was my life, so I had to adapt. But when you’re racing in a championship, you don’t really realise so much what’s going on outside.

"It made me realise quickly that things are changing a lot and that FE is the future, so I re-orientated myself there and got back into Porsche."

shares
comments
Super GT's alignment with DTM no waste, says Cassidy

Previous article

Super GT's alignment with DTM no waste, says Cassidy

Next article

Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis?

Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis?
Load comments
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Prime

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works.

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Prime

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Prime

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Prime

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One ruleset, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race.

DTM
Oct 14, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis? Prime

Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Prime

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000.

DTM
May 5, 2020
Why the DTM must reinvent itself after Audi exit Prime

Why the DTM must reinvent itself after Audi exit

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM at the end of 2020 was the latest blow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive.

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
Why cynic Berger changed his mind over green tech in racing Prime

Why cynic Berger changed his mind over green tech in racing

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was a detractor of Formula E and held a reluctance for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. However, this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure DTM's existence as the motorsport world moves forward

DTM
Dec 13, 2019