Yvan Muller confused by the pace of rivals after taking pole

Yvan Muller confused by the pace of rivals after taking pole

Yvan Muller
Photo: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Yvan Muller questioned the pace of the other car manufacturers in the FIA World Touring Car Cup after taking a dominant pole, asking why the pace of the Hyundais was so dramatically different compared with Saturday.

Muller was four tenths of a second clear of anyone else in the second qualifying session of the weekend at Zandvoort, securing his first pole in the series in dominant fashion and continuing the form of Lynk & Co in The Netherlands.

The Frenchman had been fourth quickest in Q1, before setting the joint fastest time in Q2 with an identical time to Thed Björk, before taking pole in Q3.

UPDATE: Muller later had his time in Q3 disallowed for an overboost, losing him pole position and demoting him to fifth for race three and sixth for race two. His lap times in Q1 and Q2 were allowed to stand.

“In Q1 and Q2 I was not happy with my lap – my driving was not good enough”, said Muller to TouringCars.Net.

“I was making some small mistakes on every lap somewhere. In Q3 I could manage to do a complete lap in a good way.”

The Frenchman questioned how the form book in WTCR could fluctuate so wildly from event to event or year to year.

“I have another question – why was the Honda yesterday 1.5 seconds slower than last year? Why was the Alfa P1 in Slovakia last week? Why was the Hyundai nowhere yesterday and in the top five today – and by a big gap?

“I don’t say [that it’s games] but it is a question mark.”

He was also frustrated with the way that he feels the Balance of Performance is affecting the top speed of the Lynk & Co 03, with the Chinese cars around 4-5 kph slower in the speed traps on Sunday compared with Saturday.

Although the speed trap figures were lower across the field in Sunday’s qualifying, Muller still believes it is affecting the Cyan Racing cars more.

“If you look at the speed trap compared to yesterday you will see the big difference. Yesterday we were as the other ones and today we are much slower than the other ones.”

For race three, with Yann Ehrlacher alongside on the front row of the grid, Muller says he will not fight to defend the lead if he is challenged by his nephew.

“No fighting – we are in the same team. We need to be clever and take some points for the team.”