Mueller: Result before Monaco DNF was 'like a win'

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Mueller: Result before Monaco DNF was 'like a win'

ABT CUPRA's Nico Mueller was on track for two championship points at last weekend's Monaco E-Prix. Having made his way up the grid from 17th, it was set to be another promising result for the Swiss driver. However, Jaguar TCS Racing's Sam Bird punted him out of the race with just minutes until the chequered flag, which resulted in his fourth DNF of the season.


Before Monaco, both ABT CUPRA drivers - Robin Frijns and Mueller - lined up on the grid's front row in Berlin and scored the team's first points of the GEN3 era. 

Almost returning to a points-scoring position, Mueller reflected on his performance and how he moved up the field from 17th to ninth around the famous Principality. 


"We maximised what we had," he said after the race. "I'm happy with the job we did. It's frustrating that we didn't get any reward for it, being taken out two laps from the end in P9.

"Two points in a race, coming from 17th for us, would have been like a win, honestly. So very sad for the whole team, because the car was badly damaged and not our fault. We have to swallow that."

Bird was also on a charge up the grid but caused the collision with Mueller just after the Sainte-Dévote corner. As a result, the Jaguar pilot was hit with a five-second time penalty after the E-Prix and given another penalty point, taking his total up to five in the past 12 months.

"It was clear that I was going to defend my position. I held the inside line. After we started breaking, Bird tried to put the nose up the inside by releasing the brake a bit. If I had opened up, I would have been heading straight into the wall. So there was no choice anymore. I had to try and make the apex, and he hit me with his front wheel on my rear wheel. It's clear, and he got a penalty for it, but ABT CUPRA got a big penalty in terms of the damage bill.

"It's nothing personal. I respect him a lot. He's normally a very fair and hard racer out there. I guess there's also some frustration building within himself when you have a season where you seem to have a competitive package, but things don't go your way. Maybe that's what pushes you into moves like this."

Although Mueller was out after his contact with Bird, he'd also been lapping the Monaco streets without a front wing for some time.


"I lost it in the Loews hairpin in one of the traffic jams there," he confessed. "Keeping your nose clean is very difficult, and I didn't quite manage. I missed that front wing a bit, especially when the race was flat out at the end. I struggled a lot with missing downforce. I didn't make my life easier, but luckily we were quite good on energy in this race. That's what saved me, and I think what could have kept us in that position until then, but Sam had other plans."