“No idea about motorsport!”
René Rast is DTM champion for the third time. That’s what he says about his third season with a championship trophy at the end
Very good, to be honest. If someone had told me that five or six weeks ago, I would have said: He has no idea about motorsport. I mean, I went to Zolder believing that the championship was over for me. Crazy, because we’ve had a run since then. And my car also flew in the final. The race was very emotional and I had trouble focusing because so much was on my mind. I really had to force myself to focus on the corners and not think too much about this crazy season. Thanks also to my guys from Team Rosberg: three championships and one runner-up title in four years; that is extraordinary!
You now have three titles like Klaus Ludwig, you are the best Audi DTM driver of all time and have overtaken Mattias Ekström. These are DTM legends. Are you one now?
No idea. I am now actually the third best DTM driver after Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig. But I’m too young to be a legend.
Compare your three titles!
The first was the most surprising title in 2017. Nobody expected that. Me neither. That’s why it was very emotional for me. Somehow 2019 wasn’t that emotional because we dominated and expected the title. Coming back so strong this year after problems at the beginning of the season and fighting for the title in the final is always something special. And to end the season with a win after this roller coaster ride is like the cherry on the cake. Because I then also realized that it would be the last laps in these Class 1 cars, I got a little emotional.
And rightly so: As Master 2017, Vice 2018, Master 2019 and 2020 you shaped an era.
It’s a phenomenon that has been with me since 2005. Since then I’ve won a lot of championships or 24-hour races. But one thing is clear: Success does not come from the sky, I know how many hours of work it costs me. Anyone who thinks I’ll get into the racing car, drive a bit in a circle, get out and then think about private life, is wrong. There is not a day on which the DTM does not take place. It starts with a simple phone call: When I look at the data – which many drivers don’t even do after the race – and I have thoughts that I pass on to the team. Changing the set-up and driving style is a lot of fun. I push every detail to the max. My working gene is very distinctive.
So would you describe yourself as a motorsport “freak”?
Not as a freak, but as a perfectionist. When I know how the perfect lap works, I try to get it back over and over again.
Yes, absolutely. Of course, you have to wait and see if there is any overlap with Formula E. But I can already imagine it in general, even if the DTM will no longer be the same: the GT3 cars are slower, have ABS and traction control. There is no longer a standing start and there are certainly some drivers who would otherwise not have made it into the DTM.