Audi has built a reputation over the years for maintaining exceptionally long relationships with its drivers: 13 years with Tom Kristensen, nine years with Alan McNish, and more than 15 years with Dindo Capello, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro.
Its driver and a constructor titles in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship reinforced the idea that one should expect the status quo in Audi’s driver lineup for 2014.
There is, however, steadily growing speculation that Nico Mueller, a 21-year-old Swiss driver, could join the German manufacturer’s lineup next year.
Mueller has evolved over several single-seater series, having won the Swiss Formula Renault 2.0 Championship in 2009 before moving on to GP3 in 2010-11 and Formula Renault 3.5 since 2012, including a fifth place finish this year with two victories.
He recently tested GP2 cars at Yas Marina Circuit for Aren International and Racing Engineering. Mueller also tested an Audi A4 DTM car this past spring in addition to an RS 5 DTM alongside Lucas Di Grassi this fall.
Those tests led Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass to say, “Nico is a promising young driver whose career we have followed with great interest for some years now.
“We have gotten to know him. He is very professional and has the potential to join the Audi team,” Gass told DTMLive.com.
A position with the Audi DTM team for 2014 appeared possible until Motorsport-Total.com offered a different perspective.
In September, the German site reported Audi’s intention to offer an LMP1 test to the Swiss driver. Then last week, another German site, Motorsport-Magazin.com, said that an agreement had been reached for 2014.
Although unconfirmed, it appears Mueller could be part of Audi’s 2014 LMP1 lineup, either with a race seat or as a test or reserve driver.
The German manufacturer has yet to commit to its driver lineup for next year.