BMW's Marco Wittmann admits his surprise in coming away from the Norisring weekend with the DTM championship lead ahead of Audi's Edoardo Mortara.
Since his first win of the season at Austria, the 2014 DTM champion has gradually moved himself into the thick of the title fight, which he now leads thanks to two further strong points finishes gained at the Norisring.
Apart from his 16th place finish at the Hockenheim season opener, Wittmann has gone on to score points during every race thus far - handing the RMG driver a slender two-point cushion over Mortara in second.
Wittmann initially lost a place off the line during today's race but made amends to finish in sixth after prolonging his opening stint to good effect.
The BMW M4 driver finished just 0.5s shy of Paul di Resta in fourth having opted to safely bank eight points in sixth rather than taking any unnecessary risks.
“My start wasn't very good, but the incident involving Mattias Ekström meant that I made it through the initial phase in tenth place anyway. After that the pace was really good, but you couldn't really attack," said Wittmann.
"It would have been too risky. We opted for a slightly longer first stint. This turned out to be the right move. After that I fought well, was able to overtake Edoardo Mortara and then got stuck behind Lucas Auer and Paul di Resta for a long time.
"It would have been too risky to get involved in this situation too. We didn't reallNy expect that I would be leading the drivers' championship at the end of the weekend.”