BMW factory driver Nick Yelloly and former Formula 1racer Robert Kubica tested the M4 DTM at BMW’s annual winter test on December 11–13 on the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain. Current DTM drivers Marco Wittmann and Philipp Eng also participated in the test.
The tests help BMW prepare its cars for the 2020 season and provides an opportunity to evaluate potential new drivers. BMW brought two cars to the test, one for Wittmann and Eng and another for Kubica and Yelloly.
Eng said, “I was pleased to be able to get back in the seat of the BMW M4 DTM with Christmas just around the corner, as it has been quite a while since the Hockenheim finale. The winter tests are always very intense with an extensive program of work. It was good that we had consistent conditions throughout the test. That meant we could use the days at Jerez very productively. We were able to move in the right direction in many regards, as we prepare for the 2020 season. That puts me in a positive mood and I can now enjoy the Christmas holidays.”
Kubica, who drove for BMW Sauber in Formula One from 2006-2009, drove for Williams in the 2019 F1 season. He will not be returning to Williams, and is looking for a ride in DTM. He said, “It has certainly been a very productive test. It was my first time in the new generation of DTM cars. There have been a lot of things to learn and a lot of things to discover as, of course, it was different to what I was used to in the past years. There have been a few things about the DTM car that surprised me positively. On my first laps in the car I felt comfortable straight away, which is always something a driver is looking for when testing and discovering new cars. Because if you feel comfortable and confident, you lap quicker and your life becomes easier. So, definitely the drivability of the car really surprised me positively. There are, of course, some differences to a Formula One car that you can feel – like the weight of the car and although DTM cars have a lot of downforce it is less than in Formula One. Nevertheless, I think it is a really pleasant car to drive and a very advanced car also from a technical aspect. I really enjoyed the test and working with the team. I think we got through a lot of stuff with a successful outcome so yes, I am pretty happy.”
The 2020 DTM season begins at the Zolder circuit in Belgium on April 24–26.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]