You could forgive Yvan Muller for being, at the very least, mildly irked. After all, nobody likes to be beaten by a newcomer - and certainly not by one with equal equipment. Not least when your own palmares includes four world championships with two different manufacturers, usually claimed from a position of almost total on-track dominance.
But that's the scenario Muller found himself in last year when Jose Maria Lopez, also driving one of Citroen's new C-Elysees, usurped the number one spot while Muller's relatively modest total of four race wins left him a distant second in the title standings.
In 2013 six wins and a consistent run of podiums had been enough for Muller to secure his fourth world title in relatively humble circumstances, a Chevrolet privately entered by former works team RML. Such is the new era of the World Touring Car Championship, one of tight competition and marginal gains.