Yvan Muller, the newly-crowned World Touring Car champion, says the controversial manner of his title triumph will not take anything away from the success he has enjoyed this season
The Chevrolet driver was awarded the crown after the FIA International Court of Appeal disqualified the BMW duo of Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx from the Okayama round of the WTCC for using a non-homologated sequential gearbox.
Their disqualification means that Priaulx cannot close down the points gap to Muller in the title chase over this weekend's final event in Macau.
Although Muller conceded on Wednesday that the feeling of his triumph was very different from capturing the title on-track, he says he still has every reason to be happy.
"Of course it is not the same if you win after or during a race, but at the same time the championship is not decided just on that result," Muller told AUTOSPORT in Macau.
"I was leader of the championship since the first race. I built my points difference to second place all season and, before coming here, I had a 37-point advantage. That is the biggest gap there ever was in WTCC. So, with that gap, it was an impossible mission for the others although mathematically it was still possible.
"I didn't ask for this [FIA decision]. That is BMW's problem, not mine. I was ready to fight here, and we fought during 12 meetings anyway."
Muller says the intensity of the weekend will be different now that there is not a title at stake, but he still thinks there is enough reason to focus on the job in hand.
"For sure the pressure is off but there is still the manufacturers' title to win," he said. "Now I have to find back my motivation to do a result and maybe to help Rob Huff to do a podium in the drivers' championship.
"But I've had a fantastic season. It was my first season with Chevrolet, and in my first race I had my first victory with them.
"We improved during the whole year the relationship between myself and the team. It got better and better every meeting, and my relationship with the team kept going up."
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