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    Muller joins Peugeot’s Le Mans Hypercar programme

    The 30-year-old Swiss was introduced by Peugeot on Thursday for its WEC programme with the 9X8 LMH within the wake of the affirmation of his departure from Audi after 9 seasons on Wednesday.

    The Swiss has successfully stuffed the berth within the two-car squad of 9X8s that has remained vacant since Kevin Magnussen opted to return to System 1 with the Haas group again in March.

    The official assertion from Peugeot Sport defined that he’ll start work on the take a look at and improvement of the 9X8 this yr, however Muller didn’t rule out becoming a member of the race line-up for this yr’s WEC finale at Bahrain in November.

    Muller said that his want to compete for total honours on the Le Mans 24 Hours defined his determination to depart Audi, which axed its return to top-line sportscar racing with a brand new LMDh prototype early this yr, and to subsequently be part of Peugeot.

    “My dream has been to compete at Le Mans for the general win for a few years and as soon as the contact got here up with Peugeot and I began to get to know the individuals a bit higher, I understood the corporate is dedicated to do nicely and win that factor,” stated Muller, who has raced for the Vector Sport LMP2 group within the WEC this yr alongside his Audi commitments.

    “I used to be instantly and motivated to hitch that group, and when the chance got here up, I wasn’t hesitating for very lengthy.”

    Muller defined that contact with Peugeot was made “about three months in the past” and that he had additionally been speaking to different producers that can be concerned in top-line sportscar racing subsequent yr when it grew to become clear that Audi wouldn’t be pushing on with its LMDh programme.

    “It sort of began off with the uncertainty about Audi’s LMDh undertaking to be sincere,” he stated.

    “My mid to long-term aim was to go to Le Mans and the unique plan was to do it with Audi and I sort of dedicated to that.

    “As soon as it grew to become clear that that plan wasn’t as watertight as I had hoped it was, I opened my ears and began to look left and proper.”

     

    Photograph by: Masahide Kamio

    Muller stated he rapidly got here to a “frequent understanding” with Audi and that they have been “splitting as associates with none laborious emotions”.

    Peugeot Sport director Olivier Jansonnie described Muller as “a gifted driver with a powerful file in a number of collection”.

    “He has pushed an LMP2 prototype this yr and demonstrated the form of velocity and consistency that Group Peugeot TotalEnergies appears for from its drivers,” he stated.

    Peugeots assertion on Tuesday confirmed that James Rossiter, who has raced the #94 Peugeot entry on the Monza and Fuji WEC rounds with Loic Duval and Gustavo Menezes, will proceed subsequent yr within the reserve, take a look at and simulator position for which he was introduced in 2021.

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    Muller stated he and Peugeot have been nonetheless within the “planning part” as to when he would get behind the wheel of the 9X8 for the primary time and whether or not that might embody a race outing at Bahrain.

    He defined that he has permission from Audi to drive the Peugeot this yr.

    Peugeot has outlined plans to check no less than as soon as between final weekend’s Fuji spherical and the Bahrain season finale.

    Muller, who may even race with Abt in System E subsequent season, stated he was assured that the FIA would keep away from clashes between the 2 world championships.

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