Rene Rast sealed his second DTM title at the Nurburgring with a third place finish for Audi while Jamie Green held on to win.
The target for Rast was to outscore Muller by seven points to take the title, he looked strong and overtook Jamie Green into the lead. Green held close behind and took it back after the pit stops.
Green gained an advantage by completing his pit stop in 7.4 seconds – 1.5s quicker than Rast a lap before – to emerge ahead of his Team Rosberg Audi teammate.
Rast’s failure to repass Green opened the door for Muller to keep his slim title hopes alive. The Swiss driver had made it into the top 10 by the ninth lap of 41 and then became the second-earliest driver to pit in a bid to make further progress.
As the pitstop strategies began to shake out, Muller had done enough to keep the title race alive by a single point, running fourth and two places behind Rast.
But the older tyres began to show in the later stages of the race – with Frijns helping settle the title race by sweeping past Muller at turn 1.
While Rast would fall to third as Frijns’s new-tyre advantage showed, a late pass from WRT Audi’s Jonathan Aberdein on Muller on the run to the Coca-Cola Kurve demoted Muller to sixth – and ensured Rast’s third place would be enough for the title.
Frijns would continue to make progress and closed from within almost three seconds off Green to making a move on the penultimate lap, but he could not stop Green taking his first DTM win since the second Hockenheim round in 2017.
Loic Duval, Aberdein, Muller and Mike Rockenfeller ensured an all-Audi top seven, as Philipp Eng placed as the best BMW in eighth.
Timo Glock recovered from being hit by BMW stablemate van der Linde at turn 1 to finish ninth ahead of Bruno Spengler.
Juncadella was the lead R-Motorsport Aston Martin in 12th, with Paul di Resta failing to start the race due to an engine problem.
Marco Wittmann was the only retirement, having come to a stop at the Mercedes Arena not long after his pitstop before continuing.
The problem would repeat itself later on before Wittmann pulled his BMW into the pits 12 laps from the finish, with his title hopes already over by that point.