World Touring Car champion Yvan Muller believes it will be 'very hard' for him to defend his title next year following regulation changes designed to even up the field
The Frenchman is unhappy with the FIA's decision to reduce the turbo boost pressure of his SEAT Leon Tdi - and thinks it will be enough to hamper SEAT's efforts to win another title.
Speaking exclusively to autosport.com, Muller said: "Unfortunately the FIA has reduced the turbo (pressure), and honestly that is not normal because the BMW was most of the time quicker than us. We can prove it with the sector times, and we are penalised.
"We just won the championship because we did a real team effort. Many times a BMW was better than us in the first two sectors, but the driver made a mistake in the third sector and this is why we win.
"Many times (Augusto) Farfus does the pole or the best in the warm up, which proves the car can do it. So I am a bit worried and it will be hard.
"If the rules stay like this, it will be very hard for any diesel SEAT to be at the level to win the championship. Maybe we can be at a better level by next season, but we don't have much money to do testing. I think it will be hard, but everything is possible."
Although unhappy about the turbo decision, Muller is supportive of the other rule changes that have been made. In particular he thinks that the new success ballast system - which is based on each car's average speed rather than individual drivers' - and the Formula One-style knock-out qualifying system will improve the championship.
"I think the new weight penalty system is a good thing," Muller added. "We will have to see how it will be in action, but the idea is quite good.
"Sometimes people don't understand why a driver can be on pole one day and 12th another day, so it's quite good that it is more of an average of the cars. The change to qualifying will make it even more exciting. That is a good move as well."
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