Yvan Muller has rediscovered pleasure he had lost before retirement

Yvan Muller says he rediscovered the pleasure of racing during the 2018 World Touring Car Cup season, his first campaign since reversing his decision to retire

Yvan Muller has rediscovered pleasure he had lost before retirement

The four-time World Touring Car champion originally retired at the end of 2016, but made a one-off comeback with Volvo to assist Thed Bjork's WTCC title assault in '17 before making a full-time return to racing last year.

Muller finished runner-up to Gabriele Tarquini in the inaugural WTCR season and this year will front Cyan Racing's first season with Chinese make Lynk & Co, racing alongside Bjork, Andy Priaulx and Yann Ehrlacher.

Asked by Autosport about how long-term he plans to stay in the series, Muller said: "I will never do [something] like 2016 when I decided to give up.

"When I gave up, or when I retired in 2016, I really wanted not to be the one coming back [again].

"Unfortunately it didn't work, but when in 2018 I did the season, it was because I had an opportunity to have a sponsor to finance the season, but one of the conditions [was] I had to be in the car.

"So I did it. And, then, during the season, to my surprise I discovered I had pleasure to drive - even if it was a lot of work, I had pleasure.

"It was nice. And then when Cyan asked me if I want to continue, I said, 'OK'. I continue because I had pleasure.

"Maybe the year I stopped was a good thing for me, because at least I realised to be a racing driver is better. I had the pleasure I had lost for a few years."

Muller claimed 12 podiums, including three wins, on his full-time return to racing last year for his Yvan Muller Racing team, which ran customer Hyundai i30 Ns for himself and Bjork with the assistance of Cyan.

The Frenchman added the environment at Cyan was just as conducive to another title assault with the new car.

"The approach is not much different, because OK last year the team was in my name, it's not the case this year, but my role in the team is not only as a driver, [it's] also as an advisor," said Muller.

"The big difference is the work I have to do. I am less busy this year than I was last year, but in the philosophy of this year it is similar.

"Both titles are important. I believe for Lynk & Co it's more important [to win] the teams' championship. But of course we will try to fight for both.

"Last year, OK I did not win the drivers' title, but it was the first time I won the teams' title. For me, that was the main target."

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