Ahead of his final weekend in the World Touring Car Championship, Yvan Muller says that he is proud of what he has achieved at Citroën, with the relationship producing 11 wins, 35 podiums and, potentially, three vice-champion positions for the Frenchman.
After 11 years competing in the WTCC, Muller will retire after the season finale in Qatar this Friday. And despite being out-classed by team-mate José María López, who took the title in each of the three years Citroën raced in the WTCC, Muller admits he is still proud of his achievements.
“This is not only the end of my career, but the end of a great adventure with Citroën, too,” said Muller, who joined Citroën for the start of their WTCC programme in 2014. “I was there from the start, which is something that hasn’t often been the case in my career, and I’m proud of what we have achieved.
“I haven’t won any titles myself, but collectively we have had a lot of success. I am touched by the gratitude the Citroën Racing team have expressed to me.
“On Saturday morning, I’ll be starting a new life. I have been lucky enough to choose when I stopped and I’m going to enjoy my first winter off in decades!”
Looking ahead to the weekend, Muller needs to cement his position of second overall in the drivers’ championship standings. Third-placed Honda driver Tiago Monteiro is 31 points adrift but within mathematical contention of passing Muller if the season finale doesn’t go according to plan for Citroën.
“Like last year, I will be competing for second place in the Championship. I’m in a good position, but there have been so many twists and turns this season that I don’t want to take anything for granted. A Championship one-two would be a great reward for the team.”
Muller admits that the weekend will likely be an emotional one for him, as he says goodbye to 23 consecutive years of touring car racing.
“After such a long break, I feel like this is like part three of the season! When I see how many of my friends are making the trip, I think there will be a lot of positive energy around the Citroën camp!
“Everyone is telling me it will be a special race and I’m beginning to realize that it will be a really emotional moment.”