A lot of eyes in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2013 are looking at the likes of Kevin Magnussen, Antonio Felix da Costa and Stoffel Vandoorne up front, but there is a young upstart from Switzerland called Nico Müller who is also very quick and talented. His win at the recent Monaco race showed just how fast, precise & consistent he can be.
Müller started his open-wheeled career back in 2008 in his native Switzerland, driving for Jenzer Motorsport in the Swiss Formula Renault 2.0 series. He won once during his maiden season on his way to a creditible fifth in the standings. He also debuted in the Italian Formula Renault 2.0 series during the year.
In 2009, he joined the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series, with minimal success, a lone podium all to show for his season. However back in Switzerland, he dominated his home series, winning nine races out of twelve and the championship comfortably. He finished second in the other three races!
He advanced to the GP3 series in 2010, again with Jenzer Motorsport, and won twice during the year, in Valencia & Hungary. He finished a creditable third in the championship that year, and remained with the team for 2011. However he slipped to fourth in the final standings, winning only the once at Silverstone.
He finally left the Jenzer Motorsport set-up for 2012, joining instead the International Draco Racing team in the Formula Renault 3.5 series. In the more powerful cars, he used 2012 as a year of learning the car and the series, and finished ninth in the championship with a solitary podium finish at the Nurburgring.
The team kept him on for this year, and he hasn’t disappointed. Four points paying finishes so far for Müller, including his impressive pole & win on the streets of Monaco see’s him sit fourth in the championship at present, and you cannot rule out further wins for the Swiss driver who is improving all the time. He is still only 21 years old, still plenty of time for his career to blossom still further.
If I was an Formula 1 team owner, I’d take a serious look at Müller to join their young driver’s programme. I for one expect him to reach F1 in the future. He’s got both age and talent on his side. Switzerland hasn’t had a rich vein of talent in F1 before, the last being Sebastian Buemi a few years back, but Müller is certainly the best placed Swiss driver to advance to the top level of motorsport.