Nico Müller did not expect Norisring podium after safety car intervention

Nico Müller did not expect Norisring podium after safety car intervention

Nico Müller
Photo: DTM

Nico Müller believed that a podium was unexpected after the early safety car in race one put the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline driver in poor position.

The Swiss driver notched up only his second pole in the DTM series this morning, and was looking to lead from lights to flag after generating a near three second gap in the opening four laps of the race at the Norisring.

“I was very happy all day long with the car,” described Müller, “the team gave me a really quick car.

“It’s been a long time since I have had a free view into turn one, and especially at the Norisring that’s a good thing to have.

“The car felt very good in the first three or four laps, and I managed to pull away.”

However, the safety car was called out as Audi Sport Team WRT’s Pietro Fittipaldi stopped on the short chute between the Grundig Hairpin and the Schöller-S.

“When I saw Pietro’s car on the side I was worred that a safety car would be called out, which happened.

“I saw how many cars had pitted, and I thought it’s going to be tough to even score points today.

“Luckily the team made the right call out of a pretty shitty situation.”

Müller lead the field to the restart but with half the field having pitted in the opening handful of laps, it looked unlikely that he would finish in the points paying positions.

However Müller’s team left him on track for as long as possible, and were able to drop him into a window that gave him the best opportunity to score points.

Rejoining the race in seventh, and on fresh tyres, Müller battled up the order and passed BMW Team RBM’s Joel Eriksson for second place in the final corner of the race, the Audi ace citing the move as payback for a race earlier in the season.

“We went for a pretty long first run compared to the others which paid off in the end of the race.

“I managed a few nice overtakings and made my way up to the podium which was very unexpected.

“It was important to get past Joel at the end, it was a bit of revenge for Zolder where I spent the whole race behind him!”

After another strong race, Müller has jumped to second in the standings with 97 points, with a 21 point deficit to Rast.