Nico Müller became DTM runner-up in 2019 and has only one goal in 2020: the drivers’ title. The Swiss is regarded as a jack-of-all-trades, who is fast and successful in any race car. In addition to the DTM, Müller now also competes in Formula E, the international racing series for all-electric drives.
In his sixth DTM season in 2019, Nico Müller finally broke the knot: He won three races and clinched one pole position. Up to the penultimate event, the Swiss remained close on the heels of the leader of the standings and Audi brand colleague René Rast. But at the two Nürburgring races a jump-start and a sensor defect during one of the qualifying sessions and the resulting rear grid position cost him his last chances for the title.
“Now I know exactly what’s going on in title fight. That makes me very confident. After my second place in 2019, winning the title is my goal in 2020,” says Müller. The title chaser’s most important focus: “In qualifying I’m concentrating even more on the one lap, the absolutely fastest lap, which decides my grid position. On the track I’m in demand as the driver alone. Together, my team and I have to find the best set-up compromise for qualifying and the race beforehand. So that we are fast enough on a fast qualifying lap as well as over the entire race distance.”
Nico Müller has long since made a name for himself in the DTM. He has been a member of the popular touring car racing series since 2014 and has been with Audi from the very beginning. Where he drove the Audi RS 5 DTM as well as various other race cars with the four rings: the Audi R8 LMS in international GT racing, the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro in the FIA World Rallycross Championship (World RX) and as a test and development driver the Audi e-tron from the Formula E electric racing series.
But the Audi RS 5 DTM remains Nico Müller’s biggest love. And not only because of his current title ambitions. Müller has helped develop the outstanding DTM championship-winning car of 2019. As a test and development driver, he was involved in testing the Audi RS 5 DTM with its new two-liter four-cylinder turbo engine in winter 2018/2019. A role that the Swiss took over from his long-time teammate and mentor Mattias Ekström. Müller is still enthusiastic about the more powerful turbo engine: “Even though I quickly got used to the bigger power, the Audi RS 5 DTM has been even more fun to drive and brings even more action at the wheel since the switch to turbo technology.”
Another driving challenge for Nico Müller is Formula E. From the beginning of 2018 he was a test and development driver in Audi’s Formula E project for two years. In the 2019/2020 season of the FIA Formula E Championship he contests his first season in the electric racing series for the American team Geox Dragon Racing. However, DTM races with Audi have clear priority for Müller – even in the event of clashes in the schedule.
His teammate Robin Frijns also competes in DTM and Formula E. In 2020, they will contest their third joint DTM season for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline: “We’ve known each other since our early days in motorsport and are working together better than ever,” says Müller. An unforgettable highlight for the Swiss and the Dutchman is their one-two victory at the Lausitzring in 2019 when Müller won ahead of Frijns.
With the Audi R8 LMS, Müller continues to sporadically contest endurance races. He has been successful in Audi customer racing with the GT3 sports car for years. The absolute highlight for him was the overall victory in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in the 2015 season.
Privately, the jack-of-all-trades drives an Audi Q8 50 TDI (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.9–6.6; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 182–175; information on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as well as efficiency classes in ranges depending on the tires and alloy wheel rims used). Together with his German partner Victoria, the title chaser lives in Blumenstein near his birthplace Thun. As a sports soldier in the Swiss army, Müller keeps fit at the national sports center in Magglingen, the Olympic base of Swiss Ski. “There I have perfect training conditions and have already met many other athletes and sportsmen and women and learned about their disciplines,” he says. Regardless of this, the Audi DTM driver enjoys cycling: “In the cold on a mountain bike, in the summer rather on a racing bike.”
Nico Müller (CH)
Date of birth: February 25, 1992
Place of birth: Thun (CH)
Place of residence: Blumenstein (CH)
Marital status: single (partner: Victoria)
Height/weight: 1.85 m/75 kg
Motorsport since: 2004 (Audi driver since 2014)
2006 2nd place Swiss Kart Championship (Junior category)
2007 1st place Bridgestone Kart Cup (KF3 category)
2008 5th place Formula Renault 2.0 Switzerland, 3rd place Italian Formula Renault Winter Championship, best rookie
2009 1st place Formula Renault 2.0 Switzerland, 11th place Formula Renault Eurocup
2010 3rd place GP3 series, best European driver
2011 4th place GP3 Series
2012 9th place World Series by Renault 3.5
2013 5th place World Series by Renault 3.5
2014 19th place DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM)
2015 21st place DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM), 1st place 24 Hours Nürburgring (Audi R8 LMS)
2016 9th place DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM), 1 victory
2017 12th place DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM), 3rd place 24 Hours Nürburgring (Audi R8 LMS)
2018 10th place DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM), test and development driver Formula E
2019 2nd place DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM), 3 victories, test and development driver Formula E
2020 DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM), 3 victories, Formula E