Earlier this month, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler confirmed Nico Müller and Nyck de Vries as their driver lineup ahead of the Marrakesh Rookie Test. Editor Andrea Perilli caught up with the Swiss to discuss his debut at the wheel of the Formula E car.
With little speculation or rumour about the drivers that would get behind the wheel for the rookie test, Audi went straightforward to become the first team to confirm its driver line-up.
DTM star Nico Müller and adroit junior formulas driver Nyck de Vries will test the Audi e-tron FE04 on January 14th 2018. While the Dutchman has recently finished his first Formula 2 season, the rookie test will be Müller's first time driving a formula car since 2013, when he raced in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.
The Swiss is no stranger to one of Formula E's main characteristics: street circuits. In fact, his first DTM victory came in the famous German street course of Norisring.
“There’s no room for errors and an additional bit of precision in your driving is needed. You need to approach the limit very carefully or you end up destroying your car”, told Just Electric.
“The boost of adrenaline I get when I am going on a qualifying lap around a street course is addictive!”. In spite of the notorious differences existing between the cars he drives in the DTM and the Formula E car, being acquainted with street circuits could be an advantage for him.
As Formula E is an innovative series within, not only in single seaters, but also in the large world of motor racing, testing the electric machine is a new challenge for the 25 year-old. “It will be a whole new experience. Especially the energy management during a race stint is something I’m excited to see how I’ll get to cope with”.
Müller's eagerness to drive the Audi e-tron FE04 does not limit to how energy management works.
“Having that one lap shot with 'qualifying power' is surely going to be a fun challenge too as you try to nail a perfect lap out of the blue with very limited practice on that amount of 'juice' before”, he conveys enthusiastically.
When testing at the Marrakesh street circuit, Müller will share the paddock with faces he knows pretty well from the German touring car championship. From the series' current grid, the Swiss has raced against da Costa, Engel, Mortara, and Rosenqvist, as well as driving for DTM's ABT team in the last two seasons. In addition to this, Bruno Spengler will be at the rookie test at the wheel of the Andretti car.
“Knowing many of the other guys will be fun during the test day. But in general, it isn’t very important”, he answers when asked about the importance of having people he knows in this new venture. Aside from DTM, Müller has competed against other drivers who now integrate the current grid of the fully-electric championship, like Evans or Vergne.
“It might only help in certain situations: For example, when you are racing someone on track you have competed against before, you could estimate how aggressive or defensive he’s going to be. But in the end, no matter if you know your competitor or not, you’ll try to beat him out on track with everything you’ve got!”.
As we approach the Marrakesh Rookie Test, more lineups will be confirmed along the way. Müller's fruitful career in junior series and his DTM results make of him a driver to keep an eye on next January.
Photo credits: Audi Communications Motorsport