BMW boss Jens Marquart believes his newly crowned DTM champion driver Marco Wittmann has cemented himself as the benchmark for other drivers to beat following his second title win at Hockenheim.
Wittmann added to his 2014 crown to become the DTM's youngest double champion history after finishing fourth during today's [Sunday] final race to take his landmark title by four-points over Audi's Edoardo Mortara.
Since the Norisring back in June, the Team RMG driver has left every race weekend with his points lead intact despite during what at times has been a ferocious battle for the title.
With BMW, Mercedes and Audi all seeming very evenly matched, Marquardt said that Wittmann's prowess ultimately proved the decisive factor this season.
The 26-year old, who also became BMW's first two-time DTM champion, has finished no lower than eighth in the overall standings since joining the series in 2013.
"With the packages so evenly matched this DTM season, it was Marco that made the crucial difference. His top speed, nerves of steel and consistency are what have made Marco a worthy champion in 2016," said Marquardt.
"In the current DTM, he is the benchmark for all the other drivers in the field. He can be very proud of his performance. We certainly are.
"Marco is the first BMW driver in the history of the DTM to win the Drivers' Championship twice – and in only his fourth year in this high-class series.
"No other DTM driver has ever won two titles in such a short time. With this success, Marco is already assured of a place in the history books of the DTM and BMW Motorsport. He is an extraordinary racing driver and we are delighted that he is part of the BMW family."