Of Citroen and Kris Meeke. Storm in a tea cup or something more?


Being benched for a rally is an interesting development in anyone’s book. Particularly when it is your star driver – one that is going through a very public rough patch.

Kris Meeke (GBR) seen during the FIA World Rally Championship 2017 in Alghero, Italy on june 8, 2017 // Ivo Kivistik / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20170610-00261 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

Citroen aren’t used to losing or having a driver like Kris Meeke. In the past they had Sebastian Loeb but also before that with Jesus Puras and Phillippe Bugalski, Yvan Muller and Jose-Maria Lopez in the WTCC. They have always had drivers that are level headed and can make it to the end. And win.

Meeke is different to that. From the Colin McRae mould – more wild, more flamboyant but very, very fast. It makes for a curious fit.

This is not the time to be underperforming as a driver in the WRC. There are great driver waiting in the wings. We don’t know what the discussions were before this rally. Maybe he has just been red-carded for a rally. Maybe Yves Matton thinks this is the best way for Meeke. Lets not forget, if it wasn’t for Matton, Meeke would not have survived beyond Rally Australia in 2013. This is not Meeke’s first chance.

Kris Meeke (GB) performs during the FIA World Rally Championship 2017 in Leon, Mexico on March 12, 2017 // Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20170313-00028 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

Additionally, the car maybe bad but Meeke as lead driver would have been integral to the development of that car. Plus now with so many crashes, the bills are mounting. This may also lead to pressure from the Board who, with a little wild speculation, need a better outcome for their spend and may not have the love of the Anglo-driver-success that others in the English speaking world may possess.

From that respect it may be disingenuous to compare to M-Sport who never really expected to win before with Ott Tanak or Elfyn Evans – though this piece from WorldRallyBlog does raise some interesting points.  There could be more to it too – not just M-Sport vs Citroen, little team vis big team or England vs France. It is a complex situation and at the top, it is cut throat. Equally, this Rallysportmag article goes through the crashes and that Meeke has had just this year.

Saying all of that, I hope that this is part of a plan to get Kris back to his best. He should be there, he has the pace to he Champion, but if he can’t control it, can he be there?

The RacerViews info

By Sam Tickell, June 2017

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