Wehrlein becomes youngest DTM champion at Hockenheim

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Mercedes Formula 1 junior driver Pascal Wehrlein became the youngest ever champion in the history of the DTM, Germany’s premier touring car series, on Saturday after finishing eighth at Hockenheim.

Wehrlein entered the final weekend of the 2015 DTM season needing just 14 points to be sure of the title, but a poor qualifying display left him starting outside of the top ten, handing title rivals Mattias Ekstrom and Edoardo Mortara a chance to cut the gap.

However, a manic opening portion of the race saw all three prime title contenders get caught up in incidents, with Ekstrom being sent into a spin and Mortara suffering a puncture.

A safety car period sparked by a crash for Gary Paffett brought Mortara back into contention for points, but he was then hit with a drive-through penalty for spinning Timo Glock when trying to make a pass. He was eventually forced to retire from the race.

With Ekstrom also hitting more trouble, Wehrlein was able to slip into the top ten before taking eighth on the last lap from Antonio Felix da Costa and crossing the line to become the 2015 DTM champion.

Just one day shy of his 21st birthday, Wehrlein becomes the youngest ever title winner in the history of the series, and has done his hopes of securing a seat in F1 with Manor next year a world of good.

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff was on hand to congratulate Wehrlein and the Mercedes DTM team after his title win, and will now be trying to find a seat for the German in 2016.

At the head of the field, Timo Scheider claimed his first win since 2010 for Audi ahead of Jamie Green and Maxime Martin.

The DTM season comes to a close on Sunday with the second race of the weekend at Hockenheim.