Meeke speaks out over lack of support from Citroen

Returning WRC star Kris Meeke has spoken out about a lack of support from certain quarters of his Citroen team and the absence of the kind of feeling he needed to win last year’s Rally Finland.

Meeke speaks out over lack of support from Citroen
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
The car of Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën C3 WRC, Citroën World Rally Team

Despite Meeke running in the top three on every WRC round he has started in a C3 WRC, Citroen dropped the Rally Mexico winner for Rally Poland after he crashed at the last three rallies.

Meeke has talked for the first time about the frustration his team’s decision caused him.

“It’s a frustrating and difficult situation,” he said. “It’s certainly not a situation I expected, but it is what it is. I’m happy be back in Finland, but it’s frustrating to arrive here with the feeling we have now.

"To fight at the front on this rally, you need to arrive with absolutely no doubt in anything around you, [you need] to have pure commitment and to do what you want to do and I think it’s fair to say that’s not the case this year.

“I don’t feel in the perfect environment to go and do what did last year, but that’s not to say one kilometre into the shakedown stage, that feeling won’t come.”

Asked if he felt supported in the Citroen team, the Northern Irishman replied: “If you’re dropped for an event then there are certain people in the structure that don’t give you the support; that’s fine, I’m here working for Citroen.

"If they feel I’m not doing a good enough job and they want to do what they done, then that’s fine – I’ll go with it. I’ll continue to do what I’m here to do to the best of my ability.”

Meeke admitted he was bemused by the way the story of his season had grown.

“There’s not been one rally this year where I’ve not been able to set competitive times,” he said, “but everybody’s developed this big story that there’s something massively wrong.

"We’ve had certain issues with different problems on different rallies; we’ve had reliability issues and I’ve made mistakes and we’ve had times when the car’s become inconsistent.

“This hasn’t been one rally to the next, but one stage to the next. We seen in Sardinia Craig [Breen, teammate] was near enough [a] fastest time on one stage and then him and Andreas [Mikkelsen] were not able to do it and were plus one minute on the next one.”

No change in style

Meeke admitted a conservative approach wasn’t his style and he wouldn’t be changing that style in Finland this week.

“I’ve had no instruction [about how to drive the rally],” he said. “What can I say? I’m not here to come home in the top 10, shake everybody’s hand and go home with everybody thinking I’m happy.”

As much as missing the last round in Poland undermined his confidence, Meeke admitted a wash-out of a test didn’t help matters either.

“The weather was horrendous in the test,” he said. “We had really, really heavy rain on both days and that made conditions so inconsistent and so difficult to get the feeling in the car. Maybe that’s what’s causing my lack of confidence.”

Team boss welcomes his return

Citroen team principal Yves Matton said he was happy to see Meeke back leading the team in Jyvasklyla.

He told Motorsport.com: “It’s very good to have him back. He won here last year and we know Kris is always at a high pace on this kind of event.

"There is no target for Kris this week, we want him to do the best he can. It’s up to him to do the best he can to bring back the best information for the future.”

Asked if he would prefer Meeke to crash out of the lead on Sunday morning or come home fifth, Matton replied: “Both would be bad. I would prefer for him to be leading on Saturday night and then finish on the podium, but I don’t say where.

“To be fifth would show a rally not at such a good pace and that would not be so interesting.”

shares
comments
Loeb to make Citroen WRC return for testing
Previous article

Loeb to make Citroen WRC return for testing

Next article

Finland WRC: Tanak grabs early lead for M-Sport

Finland WRC: Tanak grabs early lead for M-Sport
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Prime

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Prime

How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Prime

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Prime

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Prime

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Motorsport.com went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021