WTCC Race of Hungary: Muller wary of ballast handicap on Citroen

Yvan Muller is concerned about possible ballast problems as he attempts to claw back the points deficit at a track he's dominated at in the past
Yvan Muller is preparing to return to a track which he dominates at as he attempts to claw back the points deficit on his World Touring Car Championship rivals.

Heading to the Hungaroring for round three of the 2015 WTCC campaign, Muller trails defending champion and current leader Jose Maria Lopez by 36 points and second place driver Sebastien Loeb by 19 points. After winning race two in Morocco last time out the four-time WTCC champion is aiming to kick-start his season at a circuit he has historically done well around.

Since the Budapest circuit first appeared on the WTCC calendar in 2011, the French driver has won a race in every single year.

“I like this circuit,” Muller said. “There's a lot of rhythm in it. It is true that the stats suggest I should be the favourite, but I think we're going to suffer from the ballast, particularly at the Hungaroring. We're going to have to pull out all the stops in qualifying to have a chance of winning.”

The ballast weight rules - like in the British Touring Car Championship - sees more weight added to the championship leaders to create more competition and parity between the field. The leaders will carry an extra 60kg on board, starting at the Hungaroring, before being adjust for the subsequent rounds.

All the WTCC drivers, including Muller, Lopez and Loeb, have been testing their saloon cars around the Nurburgring circuit, an almost identical one to the legendary Formula 1 Nordschleife track, measured at 25.947km with 170 turns. The German circuit is set to host round four of the WTCC season two weeks after Hungary.

“I'm looking forward to seeing what the Nurburgring is like in the C-Elysée,” Muller added. “Strangely enough, I've never raced there. The drivers who know it well say that you need at least 80 laps to get to grips with it properly.

"Needless to say, we're a long way from that, but it will be a good challenge for our drivers and engineers.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing
Yvan Muller (FRA), Citroen Racing, WTCC [Credit: WTCC]
Nestor Girolami, Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo, WTCC [Credit: WTCC]
Tom Chilton, Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen [Credit: XPB]
Tom Coronel, Roal Chevrolet [Credit: WTCC media]
Gabriele Tarquini, Lada, Moscow [Credit: WTCC media]
Nicky Catsburg, Lada, WTCC [Credit: WTCC media]
Nicky Catsburg, Lada, WTCC [Credit: WTCC media]
Jose Maria Lopez, Citroen, [Credit: WTCC media]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing [credit: Florent Gooden / DPP]
Jose Maria Lopez, Citroen, [Credit: WTCC media]
Rob Huff - Castrol Honda Civic
Rob Huff - Castrol Honda Civic
Tom Coronel - ROAL Chevrolet Cruze
Rob Huff - Castrol Honda Civic [credit: FIA WTCC Media]
Rob Huff - Castrol Honda Civic [credit: FIA WTCC Media]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing [credit: FIA WTCC Media]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing [credit: FIA WTCC Media]

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