Team Principal at Citroen Racing, Yves Matton, was relaxed as he answered questions from the media at the Autosport International Show.
“For sure the job we have done during the summer showed that we have improved the level of the car on each surface,” he said.
“Last year we saw since the beginning of the season that the car had the right pace on some surfaces, but not everywhere.
“Our second place in Germany, in quite tricky asphalt conditions, and the win in Spain showed that the car is now really going in the good way. I’m quite confident that the drivers will be able to fight in every rally for some top places.”
He was asked what technical changes have been made for the 2018 car?
“The main evolutions are primarily on reliability. Last year we had some problems since the beginning of the season on some parts that gave troubles.
“The main recent work was done on the suspension and the geometry of the car. Some parts have been mainly on the car before, but some new parts mainly for Monte Carlo.
“We will have some new parts for use after Monte Carlo, things we are testing now, parts to improve the car on gravel.”
Yves Matton is confident of an improved performance from Citroen in 2018. Photo: Martin Holmes
“We know that Mads in Sweden has the right pace. He is very reliable on that rally and he can also bring us all his knowledge about this kind of rally. It will be interesting for us.”
Any chances for him to drive your Citroen C3 R5?
“For sure if (our work together) goes more global, he will be involved in some R5 things. We know that he has been is involved in some R5 drives in the past.”
A lot of people are disappointed that Craig Breen is not doing all the rallies. What was the philosophy behind that?
“The fact is that we are not always able to run two cars. To have Sebastien Loeb back in the World Rally Championship has a great interest for Citroen, and also for the championship. The only solution was to take three rallies away from Craig.”
Nine-time World Rally Champion, Sebastian Loeb. will contest rounds of the 2018 WRC in Citroen's C3 WRC.
What is the latest information about Daniel Elena after his accident on Dakar?
“I had a call with him this morning. He hurt his back. It will take some time to heal, it is something where you can do nothing but wait. The doctors told him he will be okay for Mexico.”
And what about the chance for you to be the new Director of Rallies for the FIA?
“I have no idea yet. I am speaking with them. If nothing happens I will stay with Citroen.”
Finally, any other ongoing work?
“The main thing for us outside the World Rally Championship and the World Rally Car will be the launch of the C3 R5, and the involvement of Stephane Lefebvre in the championship as a driver who can show the potential of the car.
“It is still not decided which rally will be the first one, due to the fact we have first to finalise the homologation date.”
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