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Yvan Muller was concerned about further accidents in race one

Yvan Muller has admitted that he was concerned that further drivers would crash into him and Tiago Monteiro, after the duo crashed out of the opening World Touring Car Championship race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Muller had been running in second in the opening race and was within a second of Honda’s Monteiro going onto the final lap.

When Monteiro suffered a high-speed puncture and crashed into the barriers, it left Muller with nowhere to go and he crashed into the side of the Portuguese racer, with the other Citroën of José María López lucky to get through the incident unscathed.

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“The opening race was going pretty well,” explained Muller. “The first lap was difficult, though, as [Thed] Björk’s car was losing oil, which stained my windscreen. When he pulled out, I moved up into second place, which was already good going considering I started from eighth.

“I knew that if I stayed on Tiago Monteiro’s tail, I could use his slipstream to overtake him on the long final straight. Unfortunately, he got a flat when taking a bend at nearly 250 km/h. His car hit the safety barrier and bounced back onto the middle of the track.

“I braked and locked my wheels as quickly as I could, but I couldn’t avoid hitting him. I was afraid another driver might then run into me, but fortunately everything turned out OK and we emerged unscathed.”

The damage sustained to Muller’s C-Elysée meant that he, like Monteiro, was unable to take the start of the Main Race, for which he would have started from second on the grid.

As a result of the accident, and López’s ensuing win, the Frenchman now has less than half the score of his team-mate, with López on 193 points to Muller’s 84 points.

Citroën Racing Team Principal Yves Matton admits that it was frustrating not to have both cars starting the Main Race at the iconic Nordschleife.

“We are frustrated that Yvan had to pull out,” said Matton. “He had been having an excellent weekend until then, showing significant improvement since last year.

“But for the umpteenth time this season, luck was not on his side, and circumstances beyond his control prevented him from picking up a good result. We sincerely hope that things will go in his favour over the next few races.”

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