With Filipe Albuquerque switching to Audi's LMP and GT programme for 2014, Nico Müller has been handed the chance to fill the vacant seat in the marque's DTM line-up.
The 21-year old Swiss talent proved his ability with some strong performances in recent track tests, and was the unanimous choice to fill Albuquerque's RS5 DTM. The single-seater ace moves over from the World Series by Renault, having previously shone in both F3 and GP3.
“We've been watching Nico's career for some time now, but he completed a few hundred test kilometres in our DTM cars and left an outstanding impression,” Audi's head of motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich commented, “I'm confident that it won't take him long to fill the gap that has been created by Filipe Albuquerque switching to our LMP and GT programme.”
For Müller, meanwhile, becoming an Audi factory driver means the fulfilment of a long-held dream.
“I watched the series even as a child – and, ever since I tested a DTM Audi for the first time, if not before, I've been dreaming about an opportunity to contest a race in such a car,” he said, “The DTM ranks among the most professional and popular racing series worldwide and is on practically every driver's wish list. That's why it's a great honour for me that Audi is placing the trust in me to compete in an RS5 DTM.”
Coming from the 530bhp WSbR, where he won two races including the 2013 Monaco showpiece, Müller will be used to handling powerful race cars.
“It's not so much the engine's power output that I'm not familiar with as driving with a roof over my helmet, but that'll soon become second nature to me,” the touring car rookie noted with confidence, “The competitiveness in the DTM drivers' field is unique, so it'll be difficult to score points, but my goal is to learn quickly and steadily, and to occasionally manage the leap into the top ten in the second half of the season.”