Yvan Muller admits that he ‘knew it was very tight’ to claim his third FIA World Touring Car Cup pole position of the season in Macau on Friday, with the Cyan Racing driver topping the first session.
Muller beat Hyundai’s Norbert Michelisz to pole position for race one by just 0.068 seconds, giving the Frenchman his first pole since he did the double at Ningbo in China two months’ ago.
The Lynk & Co driver was knocked off the top spot by Michelisz with just five minutes remaining in the session, before he then pulled out an even faster lap thanks to a tow from team-mate and nephew Yann Ehrlacher.
“It was an amazing session,” said Muller. “Anything can happen at Macau. As a team we did a brilliant job.
“I have to thank my team-mates for the tow, particularly Andy [Priaulx] and Yann, and it was Yann who gave me the tow that made the difference.
“After the red flag we saw we couldn’t achieve a fifth run, so we decided to wait to have a clear lap. “We went at three and a half minutes to the end of the session.
“Yann was in front of me to give me the tow, I follow him quite closely to have the best tow because I knew even in the uphill in the back part of the circuit he would be fast because he showed his speed during all week.
“Finally, I could manage to do the pole because I knew it was very tight because I knew the time of Norbi. I saw my predicted time and I saw it would be in the tenths and finally we did it.
Ehrlacher was an impressive fifth fastest despite losing time with a broken wheel nut, having completed fewer ‘flying laps’ than his team-mates, something which Muller praised the 23-year-old for.
“I don’t know exactly what happened but, apparently, he had a suspension failure or something like that.
“When I went out on the second run behind him [the team] told me not to follow him because it’s too risky and that’s why he lost two runs.
“To manage to do P5 without a tow with two less runs than us is pretty impressive.”