First pole position, first podium, first victory: Nico Müller achieved a lot in the DTM last season. In 2017, he intends to be constantly in contention at the front of the field in the Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM.

“In 2016, I showed that I basically had the pace, but I could have definitely done better,” the Swiss self-critically admits. “My aim for 2017 is to become more consistent and to also put my speed on track when it matters – which is in qualifying. I rigorously worked on this in winter.”

Before the 2016 season, Audi’s youngest driver switched to Hans-Jürgen Abt’s team, with a fast and furious beginning. At the Hockenheim season opener, Müller clinched the top spot on the grid and first place in a race, scoring his first podium result. A victory at the Norisring, his first in the DTM, was the absolute highlight.

The free practice sessions in 2016 nearly always saw Müller among the front runners, but in the battle for the top grid positions he frequently suffered setbacks. “If we improve there, I’m optimistic because my race pace was practically always okay.”

In Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, the 25-year-old continues to work with his race engineer, Daniel Grundwald. The other team members remained nearly the same as well. “Two mechanics are no longer with us. It was painful to say goodbye but the new ones are good guys. I’m very thankful to Audi for the fact that my surroundings have practically remained unchanged. I know that I’m backed by a tremendous team that always gives 100 percent.”

Müller prepared intensively for the new season in winter in spite of having been drafted as a Swiss Army recruit immediately after the 2016 DTM finale. Following three weeks of basic training in Lyss, he was promoted to the rank of a sports soldier at the national Sports Center in Magglingen, the Olympic base of Swiss Ski. “I had perfect training conditions there to prepare for the season and got to know a lot of other athletes and sports disciplines. Plus, I was able to leave the barracks at any time for commitments relating to motorsport.” 

Aside from this, Müller stays fit by cycling. “In the cold on a mountain bike and in the summer on a road bike,” says the youngster who is planning to move in with his partner Victoria in Bern this year. The young race driver and the German model fell in love with each other last season and have been a couple ever since.

In regard to his personal company car, Müller has returned to an old love. After driving an Audi RS 7 last year, the Swiss ordered an Audi RS 6 Avant again. “The RS 6 simply can’t be topped,” he enthuses. “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to drive such cars as a young Audi factory driver.”

Müller has fallen in love with another car as well: the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro from the FIA World Rallycross Championship. “The fire’s been burning ever since Eki (Mattias Ekström) invited me to a test. That was extremely good fun. It’s simply fantastic to drive such a car. It would be cool to contest a race in it now and then. After all, I still have some time left alongside the DTM.”

That is why Müller always welcomes GT racing opportunities in the Audi R8 LMS. “I’ve had some great races in GT,” he says. “I’d like to tackle a second victory in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring and, following two podiums, my first victory at Spa too.”

His clear priority, though, is the DTM in which Müller is contesting his fourth season and looking forward to the most recent changes to the regulations and the cars. “A breath of fresh air is always good,” he says. “We had many thrilling races in the past and racing will hopefully be even better as a result of the changes. I’m very much looking forward to 2017.”

In the DTM, Nico Müller drives car number 51, a number that he was previously fortunate with in karting. “My cousin used to have number 50 on his kart. When I became his teammate it was only logical to pick 51,” relates Müller whose hobby is juggling. “I won many kart races with this number and later the title in Formula Renault as well.” And in the DTM, the 51 seems to work too …


Nico Müller (CH)

Date of birth: February 25, 1992
Place of birth: Thun (CH)
Residence: Bern (CH)
Marital status: single (partner: Victoria)
Height/weight: 1.85 m/74 kg
Motorsport since: 2004 (Audi driver since 2014)

Sporting career
2006 2nd Swiss Kart Championship (Junior category)
2007 1st Bridgestone Kart Cup (KF3 category)
2008 5th Formula Renault 2.0 Switzerland, 3rd Italian Formula Renault Winter Championship, best rookie
2009 1st Formula Renault 2.0 Switzerland, 11th Formula Renault Euro Cup
2010 3rd GP3 Series, best European driver
2011 4th GP3 Series
2012 9th World Series by Renault 3.5
2013 5th World Series by Renault 3.5
2014 19th DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM)
2015 21st DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM), 1st Nürburgring 24 Hours (Audi R8 LMS)
2016 9th DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM), 1 victory
2017 12th DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM) (@nico_mueller)