Citroën Racing quit the WRC, blame Sébastien Ogier - Team VVV
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  • #70213
    Alan BoistonAlan Boiston
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    Surprising news today that Citroën Racing were to quit WRC with immediate effect, surprising still that their reason for leaving would be blamed soley on the loss of driver Sébastien Ogier. An announcement that would appear rash, emotionally charged and highly unprofessional. It is nonsense that any single employee should have any form of power as to bring an entire company down when they change roles. But rather than reveal the real reasons, be it performance related or financially motivated, they have gone to route of blaming a driver. It’s always a shame when a company can aim so low as to dredge the gutter, and this announcement from Citroën Racing has scrapped the bottom of the barrel. Of all of my years covering motorsport, I’ve never heard anything quite like it and sadly the memories and heritage of the Citroën Racing rally brand are forever going to be tarnished by this moment.

    What do you reckon are their reasons for leaving?

    #71073
    Ninja-BadgerNinja-Badger
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    I don’t think its too outlandish to say its because of Ogier’s departure.
    There may have been a possibility of Citroen remaining in WRC if they had managed to convince a top driver to take a seat.

    But as it was, Citroen were unable to convince any notable drivers to stay or join, and that was the final nail in the coffin.

    After all, without a top driver, you lack someone who can get most out of the car, lack feedback for development, lack someone for the team to get behind (less moral), and lack the clout when trying to lure sponsors.

    As for how they got into this position. It looks like management is the cause. Despite a promising car there were some decisions that seemed odd.
    Not taking advantage of VW’s exit, when you had the likes of Andreas Mikkelsen dropping to WRC2.
    As for having Kris Meeke as the #1 driver… I really like the guy. I get he was part of the car’s development. And he’s fast. But… he’s not someone I’d put all my hopes on.
    While someone who pushes all the time is great to watch; there are drivers who are just as fast, but with more composure, and finish rallies. And with that, I don’t think Kris needed the added weight of a manufacturer on his shoulders.
    Then throughout the season, the continued swapping round of drivers made the team look like they were scrambling around.

    Meanwhile Toyota appeared to enter with a far more stable footing. And had continued on to taking championships.

    Citroen were unable to capitalize on VW’s exit, when others did. And now Hyundai/Toyota are the targets for drivers wanting to compete at the top. Leaving Citroen with the scraps. And that’s probably not how Citroen wants their team to be seen.
    They’d be entering their 5th season, a point where they needed to be aiming for championships, and as it stood, that wasn’t possible. And with nothing on the horizon to signify any major change for them, they decided to leave, rather than just enter to make up the numbers.

    #71117
    Alan BoistonAlan Boiston
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    Points: 499
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    There are literally hundreds of drivers that don’t get the chance to race at top levels simply because they don’t bring the funding. For a team like Citroen that’s shouldn’t be an issue, nor is finding a driver.

    Kris has always put himself under too much pressure, but that is also down to management. You have to inspire your drivers and make them feel part of the team, rather than ruling with fear and threats. With a structure like that, it is not surprising that Sébastien Ogier moved on. So, bad management of drivers, this is a Citroen issue.

    It’s about the whole team, management comes from the top. Car development is obviously behind and with a difficult car, drivers are more likely to cross limits merely through desperation. Citroen have no one to blame but themselves and will never recover until they take this on board and have a clear out of management.

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