Citroen WRC team's morale problem bigger than C3 WRC flaws

Citroen technical director Christophe Besse says an all-time confidence low is a bigger problem for its World Rally Championship programme than any technical issues on the C3 WRC

Citroen WRC team's morale problem bigger than C3 WRC flaws

The firm amassed 17 WRC titles in a decade, but has struggled to find form in its return this season.

Kris Meeke's Mexico success in March is Citroen's only win of the year and Besse said that is beginning to tell on the team.

"We have to give back confidence to everybody in the team, not just the drivers, but everybody," Besse told Autosport.

"The team is not used to being at that [low] level. It's difficult for everybody.

"The problem is to try to make everybody work together, because we have a lot of very able people in the team - it's not by mistakes that the team has won 17 world rally titles.

"These people in the team are not used to being wrong at the start of the season.

"I think if we manage to turn this [confidence] around then we can make quite a good result before the end of the year - the car's not as bad as the season has showed."

Besse admitted he is in a race against time to get the C3 on the pace for 2018.

"Discussing with the drivers, we don't have a big problem - it's not like something is hidden in the car and when you find it, everything is clear," he said.

"It's more a lot of things we have to improve, but this is the same in other teams. Maybe it's a bit more in our team.

"The only thing - and it's part of my job - is to understand which order we need to do things.

"We need to make the priorities with the car. What are those priorities? I don't know.

"The main problem is the inconsistency in the car.

"I'm sure this is not such a big technical problem, but it's causing the drivers to lose confidence - which makes it worse and worse.

"We are working a lot on the geometry and suspension. But we still have a lot of work to do.

"I hope we have passed halfway, but maybe not so far. It's a work in progress."

Besse must decide where to use Citroen's two remaining homologation jokers - a facility that allows significant change on the chassis without taking the car through a complete homologation process.

"We have two left for this year for the chassis and then five next year - but we can't use all five early in the year, we have to save some for later," Besse explained.

"We have to find the priority for these jokers and because this is homologation, you need to be certain about what you are doing.

"If we miss the March 1 date, then there are a lot of gravel rallies coming after that, so we have to be ready."

shares
comments
Rally Poland wants WRC calendar place back after losing to Turkey

Previous article

Rally Poland wants WRC calendar place back after losing to Turkey

Next article

Hyundai expands to four cars for Rally GB to boost WRC title bid

Hyundai expands to four cars for Rally GB to boost WRC title bid
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021