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Thread: Citroen WRT

  1. #881
    Senior Member nafpaktos's Avatar
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    bring back acropolis rally to wrc calendar

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  3. #882
    Senior Member Rally Power's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mknight View Post
    Well in at least two articles after Germany Matton said how focused they were only on getting Ogier and that it was the reason why they let Mikkelsen go.
    If they now don't get Ogier either it will be one more item on the list of his fails this year. Let's list the main ones:
    1. Didn't get any of the 3 VW drivers (and said he was not interested in Latvala or Mikkelsen at all), now out of those 3:
    - Ogier won the championship
    - Latvala was 4th, while Citroen main driver will be 6th or 7th
    - Mikkelsen was taken into the team 6 months later and first after he came changes on the car were made, he also gave the team one of the 3 podiums
    Meanwhile out of his 3 drivers, one driver got 8 crashes in 11 rallies, another got 4 crashes in 7 rallies and has only shown decent speed in a single rally
    2. Came with a twitchy car on gravel after a year of preparation
    3. Arrived in Monte and Sweden "without a good setup" (his own words)
    4. His coaching of Meeke after Corsica "Kris should focus on getting single rally wins and not on championship", resulted in 4 DNFs with multiple destroyed cars and his main driver benched.
    I really do wonder how he convinces his bosses that he is the right man for the job.
    Yep, there’s no doubt Citroen WRC situation is hard to understand, but is Matton the only one to blame?

    Citroen (for sure not Matton) decided to quit WTCC (where they dominated, having a much bigger budget than competition) to focus on WRC. Without delays, they started, under new tech chief Fregosi supervision, the C3 design, testing and developing with Meeke as an experienced driver and the other two already used to the team. All reports during 2016 tests indicated the car potential was great and all drivers seemed happy. So, why bother to sign Ogier?

    Then ’17 season started and the team fall apart: the car ends to be a piece of junk; Fregosi is totally lost; Meeke goes into Kamikaze mode; Breen struggles to get into top 5; Lefebvre is a waste and Matton starts to sound desperate...Fregosi is fired, Meeke is send to rest, Mikkelsen is called to give a hand (mainly to prove the car is a crap) but he’s not kept as all current drivers will be somehow maintaned in 2018 and Ogier becomes Citroen only option for a new sign, according to Matton. At the same time Loeb unexpectedly resurfaces, with the team (Mrs. Jackson included) saying he can run some events next year...

    Now, despite PSA being Europe’s 2nd largest manu and Abu Dhabi wealthy support, the word is they have no budget to hire Ogier...honestly, we’ll we ever know what the heck is going on and who’s really in charge?
    Last edited by Rally Power; 2nd November 2017 at 19:22.
    Rally addict since 1982

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  5. #883
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    Most likely not, but there are a few things Matton cloud totally be blamed for:

    1. The 3 drivers were arguably not the best choice to develop a completely new car
    - Breen and Lefevbre had minimal experience in WRC car at that point.
    - Meeke drove DS3 a lot, Mini for 1 year (not exactly epic car) and then S11 Impreza in the old days. He might not be very good at developing/setup (bringing DS3 to pre-event tests multiple times for comparison). Then again he might be very good but the development team did not listen to him (also some indications of that)... then this lack of communication is also Matton's fault.

    There should have been some experienced driver to help with development (for example Hirvonen, P. Solberg .... or Loeb!), I have not heard of anyone doing that.

    2. Matton refused to let Ogier even test the C3 in 2016
    My theory on that is that Matton though C3 was epic, but did no have money for Ogier and though the car was so good that his lineup is enough. This would kind of reinforce point 1.
    That means over-confidence. Surely even if he would not sign for them Ogier would give them some feedback relative to 2017 Polo. and if he was so impressed he'd sing with lower salary anyway?

    3. What happened after Germany - If he lets Mikkelsen go to focus on Ogier he better be damn sure that he gets him. That does not seem to be the case.

  6. #884
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    I think if they had let Loeb drive it near the start, most of this rubbish could have been avoided. If he had fed back that it was too nervous and hard to drive I am sure he would have been believed, and they would have acted on the issues quicker. From the outside it looks like they believed the engineer over the drivers until Mikkelsen had a go in it and said it was crap. It was only then that things started to happen.

    I don't know what to think about the budget stuff, I'm not sure I believe that they don't have any or why quit the WTCC and come to WRC? makes no sense.

  7. #885
    Senior Member AnttiL's Avatar
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    https://www.facebook.com/mwmsports/p...91829974349942

    Citroën-hopes were crushed when the team was forced to run only two factory cars in 2018 and one under PH-Sport.
    Interesting...

  8. #886
    Senior Member er88's Avatar
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    It sounds like Meeke wasn't listened to during the testing and development phase as much as he should've been (obviously that doesn't excuse some of his crashes). Matton has already admitted they took some big risks in engineering and development (maybe things they learned from their wtcc time?), and it has now backfired (his words). Meeke has also spoken about how he wanted another experienced driver alongside him during the testing program but that didn't happen either, and it took them until Andreas came in to reinforce how undrivable the car was, before they finally made some much needed changes (changes that Meeke said he'd been pushing for since before the season started).

    It's like they were being so tight with the budget and didn't want to make changes to the car until they were sure the car needed it, hence finally hiring Mikkelsen for a few rallies (despite the fact he should've been in the team over Lefebrve anyway). Or they just didn't trust Meeke at all, and if that's the case, why let him be main test driver? They should've just let Loeb do the majority of that work if they didn't have faith in what Meeke was telling them. It's hard to tell if it's complete arrogance from Matton that his way and only his way is correct (so much so he ignores drivers feedback and his own eyes), or if his hands have been tied massively with the budget and the risks taken in engineering and development were made to save money (and not necessarily to try and find that extra bit of performance).

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  9. #887
    Senior Member er88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnttiL View Post
    If true that's depressing. A year of that and then they'll be leaving in 2019. You have to question why they'd leave wtcc where they were dominating, and return to the WRC and piss about with this half arsed approach? This is/was the greatest team in WRC history but they have certainly tried hard since their return to look the exact opposite.

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  10. #888
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    I can't make much sense of that blog tbh.

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  12. #889
    Senior Member Rally Power's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnttiL View Post
    https://www.facebook.com/mwmsports/p...91829974349942
    "Citroën-hopes were crushed when the team was forced to run only two factory cars in 2018 and one under PH-Sport."
    Interesting...
    If we believe that in every rumour there’s a bit of truth, eventually this PH Sport story may not be the confirmation of Citroen’s debacle (like the Finn journo suggests) but quite the opposite.

    At same point of this ‘novel’, the clash between Abu Dhabi and red Bull come out; apparently there’s a RB partial ban in the Emirates and to get the third C3 under PH Sport assistance (basically only using PHS name) could make everybody happy: Ogier and Meeke on the Citroen/RB main cars and Al Qassimi/Breen sharing the Abu Dhabi one.

    Btw, a similar arrangement was done on Al Qassimi cross country runs (including the Dakar): he got a 2008 from Peugeot but it was run under a PH Sport entry.

    This may sound as silly wishfully thinking, but Citroen needs Ogier and the WRC needs Citroen so, fingers crossed!
    Rally addict since 1982

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  14. #890
    Senior Member Rally Power's Avatar
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    L’Equipe says Citroen didn’t offer enough money to Ogier but Matton has simply said the “demanded resources” weren’t fulfilled and talks have ended some days ago (Autohebdo).

    Probably we’ll never know what went wrong but it’s hard to believe that money was the real issue; Citroen Racing is part of Europe’s second largest car group and they know pretty well how much it takes to win at WRC level.

    Maybe Ogier was asking for too many changes in Citroen Racing structure; maybe the Red Bull/Abu Dhabi clash was impossible to fix (although it won’t prevent Al Qassimi to enter next Dakar on a last spec Peugeot); maybe Loeb’s sudden reappearance didn’t make Ogier happy; one thing is sure: Citroen missed their best change to get back to a winning path. That’s a shame.
    Rally addict since 1982

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