Citroen: Decision on full-time 2019 WRC return is in Loeb's hands

Citroen's chief executive officer Linda Jackson says any decision about whether Sebastien Loeb returns to the World Rally Championship full-time in 2019 remains entirely in the nine-time champion's hands

Citroen: Decision on full-time 2019 WRC return is in Loeb's hands

Loeb won a quarter of the stages on last weekend's Tour of Corsica, despite last competing on the island 10 years earlier and having been away from a full-time WRC programme since 2012.

The Frenchman was a frontrunner early on in Corsica, as he had been on last month's Rally Mexico, but lost his chance of fighting for victory on the second stage when he put his C3 in a ditch.

That forced Loeb into retirement on Friday, before he returned over the weekend to set the quickest time on three of Saturday's six stages.

Asked if she would consider chasing Loeb for a full-time WRC return in 2019, Jackson told Autosport: "You need to ask me that question later in the season.

"But that [a full-time return] would depend completely on Sebastien and his availability and what he wants to do."

Loeb's 2018 WRC programme is only set to involve one more event - Rally Catalunya in October - and, questioned about the potential for him to compete in Germany in August, Jackson added: "With Sebastien it's three rallies. It's his agenda and his diary."

Jackson said Loeb's speed in Mexico and Corsica vindicated the decision to give him Craig Breen's seat.

"We made the right choices at the start of this season," she said. "A lot of people asked, 'Is this the right thing to do?'

"I think we have shown that it seems to be working well."

She added that the nine-time champion's influence had been noticeable at Citroen.

"What you can see - and this starts from the very top with [team principal] Pierre Budar - is a real team spirit and a real calmness about the team," said Jackson.

"You can see the consistency, calmness and confidence and it's nice having the experience of Sebastien, the team can feed off this.

"Clearly, we still want results, but things happen and nobody was more gutted and upset than Sebastien himself."

Asked again about his availability for August's Rally Germany, Loeb maintained he would be on holiday.

"It's the summer," he told Autosport, "and it's still time for the beach.

"What happened in Corsica, it's frustrating.

"In the first stage the rhythm was good, I could fight and have fun and then finally everything stopped in the first corner of the second stage."

shares
comments
Todt denies having agenda against endurance tests in WRC events

Previous article

Todt denies having agenda against endurance tests in WRC events

Next article

Ken Block to make first WRC start in four years on Rally Catalunya

Ken Block to make first WRC start in four years on Rally Catalunya
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb
Author David Evans
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

WRC
May 13, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021