Kris Meeke could have pressured Ogier for Monte Carlo win - Citroen

Citroen team boss Yves Matton believes Kris Meeke would have pushed World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier all the way to the wire in last weekend's Monte Carlo Rally

Meeke, who was vying to become the first British driver since Vic Elford in 1968 to win in the French Alps, retired from the lead fight after a rock tore the sumpguard off the bottom of his car and punched a hole in the gearbox on Saturday afternoon.

By then he was 26 seconds behind Ogier, who he had swapped the lead with through the first day, but Matton believes the pace of Meeke's team-mate Stephane Lefebvre shows there would have been a further twist.

"Kris was taking the super-soft tyre in Sisteron," Matton told Autosport.

"We saw how quick Stephane [who was fourth fastest] was on these tyres. I think Kris would have come through and brought the gap to Ogier down to 10 or 15 seconds.

"It would still have been difficult [to win], but he would have been right in the fight to the finish.

"He would have brought more pressure to Sebastien and then who knows what can happen."

Meeke was more doubtful, pointing out that Ogier would have had more of an advantage in the clear and dry conditions of Sunday morning.

"Whether or not we could have taken the fight to Seb, we'll never know," he said.

"It's fair to say he still looked to have a bit more.

"And, let's not forget, the final day was always a bit more of a Tarmac rally and trying to take that time out of him in those conditions would have been hard.

"Having said all of that, when you're on the Monte and you're 26s off the lead, then you're always going to be in with a shout."

Previous article Volkswagen WRC team stands by Jari-Matti Latvala after incident
Next article Latvala is a victim of blame culture