RML chief executive Ray Mallock has paid tribute to Yvan Muller following the announcement that he will leave the team to join Citroen at the end of the World Touring Car Championship season.
The 43-year-old – who is within touching distance of a third title with RML in four years – has agreed a two-year deal with the French manufacturer that will see him partner Sebastien Loeb from 2014.
Muller has played a key role in RML's programme both as the factory Chevrolet team and as an independent team this year, and Mallock paid tribute to the work that Frenchman has done in his time with the team.
“Naturally everybody at RML will be sorry to see Yvan go at the end of this year – he has been a key supporter and a perfect ambassador for RML over the very enjoyable years that we have worked with him,” he said. “However, we appreciate this will not have been an easy decision for him to make and we fully support Yvan in his move and wish him the best of luck for the future.
“This season has been a real challenge for the team. Targeting an FIA World Championship title without the benefit of a works programme is really tough, so I am tremendously proud of our achievements so far - with Yvan leading the Drivers' Championship and with Tom (Chilton) settling in quickly to a new environment. We've amassed an impressive set of results thus far, and both drivers are a real credit to the team.”
Mallock added that the team was fully focused on wrapping up the 2013 title before Muller departs for pastures new, with the decision then needing to be taken on RML's progamme moving forwards.
“Our short term goals are clear,” he said. “We are focused on ensuring our 2013 campaign ends on a high note, with another pair of Championships for Yvan and for the team – who I know will be fully committed to achieving this objective until the final race in Macau.
“In the longer term RML Group will continue to bring success in which ever formulae it competes in, and, whilst we hope to return to the new-specification 2014 WTCC, one way or another, we also respect our OEM clients who may have inclinations to race in other formulae.
“RML has always delivered cost-effective winning projects for its OEM client and partners. As ever, we will continue to strive for their success in the remainder of 2013 and beyond.”