Monte Carlo shows Citroen needs "complete change"

Kris Meeke says his Monte Carlo Rally powerstage win does not hide the fact the Citroen WRC outfit needs things to "completely change" to win the event again.

Monte Carlo shows Citroen needs "complete change"
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Thierry Neuville, Hyundai Motorsport, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai Motorsport, Kris Meeke, Citroën World Rally Team
Craig Breen, Scott Martin, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Craig Breen, Scott Martin, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Craig Breen, Scott Martin, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team

Meeke finished fourth overall in the WRC season opener following a final-stage off for Toyota's Esapekka Lappi. He won the powerstage to end the rally joint third in the championship, one point behind second-placed Ott Tanak.

He said that was slightly deceptive after a disappointing event in which he was "nowhere" on pace.

"This is an incredible start to the season," said Meeke. "We're close to second, but we go to Sweden fourth on the road, that's great.

"But only in Monte Carlo can you come away with a result like this after being nowhere in terms of pace.

"We were possibly the slowest car there apart from [Bryan] Bouffier and that's no disrespect to him, it's his first time in a [new] car.

"It's been a very painful weekend, things need to completely change if we ever want to win this rally."

Meeke finished on the Monte podium in 2014 and had frontrunning pace in '15 and '16 against Sebastien Loeb and Sebasbien Ogier respectively.

Like last year, Meeke struggled when the C3 was running in asphalt trim on low-grip surfaces, but improved in the dry.

"We'll take the 17 points and put this behind us," he said. "But reality bites, we can't let this cloud an awful performance and we can't arrive at the Monte Carlo Rally and have this happen again.

"We've had to be clever on this rally. It's boring to be clever, but it works sometimes - it's just taken me 30-odd years to work that one out."

Meeke's teammate Craig Breen was ninth after a frustrating event that started with him following Meeke off the road on the opening stage.

A freak brake problem all Friday morning then left him first on the road in the worst of the conditions on Saturday.

"We have won some points and fourth is particularly good for Kris," said new Citroen team principal Pierre Budar after his first rally in charge.

"We didn't expect to lose our chance straight away in the first two stages that was frustrating, so we are very happy to recover this on the last day.

"We have made some set-up [improvements] for the snow and wet Tarmac, but Kris' feeling was much better on the dry - we have work to do when the grip is less."

shares
comments
Hyundai must avoid "panic" after tough Monte Carlo

Previous article

Hyundai must avoid "panic" after tough Monte Carlo

Next article

Toyota now "very confident" about WRC title challenge

Toyota now "very confident" about WRC title challenge
Load comments
How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Prime

How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Prime

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Prime

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win.

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Prime

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

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 survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama 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 WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

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 Prime

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