Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team boss looks back on 2017 season
YVES MATTON, CITROËN RACING TEAM PRINCIPAL:
What is your overall view of the 2017 season?
“In general terms, we have to be pleased with the quality of the competition offered by the WRC. The new generation of cars have more than lived up to expectations and we have seen exciting rallies from start to finish. It is a long time since four manufacturers and seven different drivers have won races in a single season! More than ever before, the World Rally Championship provides an excellent platform for a manufacturer looking to showcase its products. Having said that, the level of competition has gone up several notches this year and we have to acknowledge that. As regards Citroën Racing, we were pleased to win two rallies, in Mexico and Spain. That matches the target set by Citroën’s senior management at the start of the season. I’m not overlooking the very tough times we experienced in the middle of the season, but the work undertaken in the summer has led to some concrete results since then.”
What preparations are underway for 2018?
“Preparations began several months ago. In the design office, the workshop and in testing, the C3 WRC is permanently undergoing development. Some upgrades have already been introduced, others are undergoing approval, pending homologation. The technical team, led by Christophe Besse, has a clear vision of the areas in which we need to improve. The times set in Spain, Wales and Australia lead us to believe that our car is competitive. As regards the drivers, we will shortly announce our plans. It’ll be a matter of weeks, since preparations for the Rallye Monte-Carlo will begin in December. One thing I can confirm is that Sébastien Loeb will not be taking part in the opening round of the season. The fact that Monte starts just days after the Dakar Rally ends means that he wouldn’t be able to do himself justice.”