Nico Müller admitted that losing out on the DTM title to René Rast in the final race of the season at the Hockenheimring had been ‘tough to swallow’ after the Abt Sportsline driver failed to match his rival’s pace.
Müller had looked to be on course for a first DTM title until the latter stages of the 2020 season, when Rast came back with another incredible run of form.
The Swiss racer won the first three races of the 2020 season and stood on the podium in eight of the first nine races, at one stage holding a 43-point championship advantage at the mid-stage of the campaign.
But a loss of momentum in the double-header at Zolder in October stalled Müller’s title campaign, whilst Rast claimed almost every point available in Belgium.
The 2020 runner-up admitted that he had made too many mistakes to beat Rast to the title, paying tribute to his season-long rival in the process.
“It’s a very difficult situation to describe emotions after such a race on such a day,” said Müller, who had kept his hopes alive with a race one win on Saturday.
“We knew it was going to be difficult. There was no doubt about it. But you don’t stop believing until the very end.
“When you then cross the finish line and you know it’s over, when you haven’t achieved what we all have worked hard for, so long, it’s a tough one to swallow.
“It’s hard to put it in words, but it doesn’t mean that René doesn’t deserve it. He has done a mega job to turn that one around and we’ve made one or two mistakes too many and paid a big price for it.”
Müller also admitted that it was sad to say goodbye to the Class One turbocharged DTM cars only two years after they were introduced.
“As René said, on top of that it’s the last laps in those cars.
“It’s a tough day to describe but still I think a lot to be proud of this year, a lot of positives to take on into our future and great memories that have been made.”