Audi Sport Team Abt Sportline’s Nico Müller scored an important podium in his quest to reel in championship leader Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s René Rast, and the Swiss driver believes that his race result was down to his strong start.
After the tricky wet-dry qualifying session on Saturday morning, Müller found himself in eighth place, and several places behind his championship rivals Rast and BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann, who locked out the front row.
However, Müller made a strong start and avoided the start line drama and any incident at Paddock Hill Bend to climb the order.
“My start was good, that was the key today,” explained the Audi driver, “After a difficult qualifying where I was compromised a bit by traffic, and maybe we were a bit early on the new tyres when the track was drying.”
Müller made his mandatory stop on lap 12, and was the earliest of the top five to make the compulsory visit to pitlane. The two-time DTM race winner revealed that he did have to conserve his Hankook rubber to ensure his podium finish.
“I think we picked the right time to pit,” admitted the Abt Sportsline pilot, “I just tried to survive to the end.
“P3 was the maximum today, these guys [Rast and Wittmann] were a bit stronger on pace in the race.
“I had to keep the tyres alive and it worked out. Tomorrow we’ll try to go better.”
With the championship fight heating up between the leading trio, Müller emphasised that his attitude remains the same; to take it race-by-race.
“This championship is very long, we still have three and a half weekends to go and you can score a lot of points.
“We have to stay focused and maximise every day.”