Yvan Muller has spoken about his early Formula One dreams and revealed that he was never meant to be on the grid when the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup began in 2018.
The world’s most successful touring car driver with four WTCC titles and 48 WTCC wins, Muller is the latest WTCR driver to guest in a new series of weekly podcasts presented by Goodyear and hosted by Martin Haven, the voice of WTCR.
Frenchman Muller, 50, will drive a Lynk & Co 03 TCR for Cyan Racing in WTCR 2020, the continuation of a hugely successful career with a roof over his head. However, single-seaters was his first love with Formula One the ultimate goal, as he explained in the latest WTCR Fast Talk.
“Single-seaters was a great school and Formula One was my target before I realised there is a life outside of Formula One, and it’s one of the reasons why I moved to touring cars,” said Muller. “At the end of F3000 in 1993, I thought it was the end of my career, but fortunately BMW asked me to do a test and signed me. That’s why I did so many things afterwards, Le Mans, Dakar, ice racing.”
Having called time on his driving career after three years racing for Citroën in the WTCC, Muller switched to an advisory role with the Volvo Polestar team, made a one-off return for the 2017 world title decider in Qatar, before entering the inaugural WTCR season in 2018 with his YMR team, albeit with back-up from Cyan Racing, the squad behind Volvo Polestar’s WTCC attack.
“For me it was not planned to drive again,” said Muller. “But we needed to learn WTCR with Lynk & Co coming in 2019. So, I decided to do my own team with Thed Björk in one car and my nephew Yann Ehrlacher in the other car. The idea for me was to be focused on the team management but the sponsor at that time said ‘we are ready to sponsor but we want you in one of the cars’. I said, ‘if that is the only chance for me as a team to be in the championship then I have to put my helmet back on’. Fortunately, Yann had a contract with another team.”
After missing out on the 2018 WTCR title to Gabriele Tarquini by three points, Muller joined the Cyan Racing Lynk & Co WTCR line-up for 2019. He challenged for title in the four-way season super-finale in Sepang, eventually finishing third. But his and Björk’s combined efforts helped Cyan Racing Lynk & Co to the Teams’ title. He will partner Ehrlacher in 2020 as he continues to race on.
Muller’s WTCR Fast Talk podcast presented by Goodyear, the WTCR’s official tyre supplier, is available in two parts at FIAWTCR.com and other outlets from 12h00 CET today (Wednesday) with part two following from 12h00 CET on Friday (24 April). Having heard from Norbert Michelisz in the first episode of WTCR Fast Talk, Tom Coronel and Esteban Guerrieri are due to reveal the stories of their careers in the coming weeks. Click here for to listen to WTCR Fast Talk or follow this link: https://www.fiawtcr.com/wtcr-fast-talk/