Yvan Muller dedicated his podium finish in the final FIA World Touring Car Cup race in Vila Real to the Cyan Racing mechanic who suddenly lost his life at the weekend.
Tragedy struck the Cyan Racing outfit half-way through the weekend when one of its technicians, a 21-year-old Brit, was suddenly taken ill and passed away on 6 July.
It gave the Swedish team an extremely difficult task on Sunday, as they continued despite mourning the loss of a colleague.
Yann Ehrlacher and Yvan Muller nonetheless delivered a strong result for the team in qualifying, with both Lynk & Co drivers making it through to Q3 to set themselves up for a strong result in the final race of the day.
Muller and Ehrlacher then benefitted from the demise of pole-sitter Attila Tassi early on in the final race, although Muller didn’t have the pace to challenge Honda’s Tiago Monteiro for the win.
The French duo secured a double podium result, with Muller finishing just ahead of his nephew Ehrlacher and meaning they both stood on the podium together for the first time.
“First off, congratulations to Tiago, I’m very pleased about his comeback,” said Muller. “We talked a lot together over the last two years and like he said, he didn’t know if he could come back and be capable to be fast.
“Today he showed that he can, unfortunately for us!”
Muller, who was also the team’s best finisher in race two in sixth, admitted that it had been an ‘emotional’ day for several reasons and dedicated his podium to the lost mechanic.
“It’s an emotional and special day for us. Firstly, because I am on the podium today with Yann, which is the first time.
“He is my nephew and when I started racing, he wasn’t even planned to be born and now he is on the podium with us. He will push us out soon, I think.
“But mainly because we lost our colleague and friend last night; one of our mechanics who passed away. I think the fact to be on the podium both of us, Yann and myself, it was the best answer of what happened.
“Last night at midnight we were still at the truck saying what do we do tomorrow, do we race or not?
“And finally the family of this young guy said ‘yes please, race and do a podium for him’.
“So I dedicate this to him.”