Muller was "on the verge" of joining World Rallycross

Four-time WTCC champion Yvan Muller says he was close to a switch to World Rallycross in 2016 before accepting Citroen's offer to stay for another year.

Muller has competed in WTCC since 2006, and joined forces with Citroen in 2014, finishing the past two seasons second overall behind teammate Jose Maria Lopez.

With uncertainty surrounding the French team's 2016 racing programme, Muller admitted he was close to sign a deal to race in World Rallycross.

However, he was offered a contract by Citroen to stay in WTCC for one final season before it withdraws its factory support at the end of 2016.

"If I hadn’t been retained by Citroen, I was on the verge of signing for a full season of World Rallycross," the 46-year-old told Motorsport.com.

"When Citroen took its decision, and offered me to stay for one more year, I chose to stay with them for their last year in WTCC.

"If you look at my career, I’m always loyal to factory teams until the end of their programmes, with Vauxhall in BTCC and SEAT and Chevrolet in WTCC."

As for the longer-term future, Muller said there are no plans made after 2016.

"At the moment, I’m not thinking beyond 2016. I will start to think about my future this summer. I’m at the stage of my career where I’m no longer panicking about the future."

Smaller team won't affect performance

For its final season, Citroen will downsize its line-up to two entries with, Sebastien Loeb - now a full-time World Rallycross participant - leaving the programme.

"Obviously, there’s a smaller fleet than last year, but in practice it doesn’t change a lot," Muller reckons. "Last year, the data was not exchanged between the three works Citroen drivers [excluding Ma Qing Hua].

"Sebastien's departure isn’t a good thing, but we can think we can make up for it with experience and a good understanding of the car."

Despite only missing out on eight race wins in the past two years, Muller refused to call 2016 another year of Citroen dominance.

"We don’t know much about the competition, especially Volvo, whose performance level is unknown," he said. "We know on the other hand we have 80 kilos of success ballast for the first two races."

Interview by Emmanuel Rolland

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Yvan Muller
Teams Citroën World Rally Team
Article type Interview