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Pierre Budar, Citroen Racing’s Team Principal, was in Corsica and able to throw more light on the policies of the team of which he has now taken charge. To the outside world there seems to be little coherent policy in Citroen Racing’s challenge for the world championship this year. The team does not always run three cars, not always with the best available drivers, plans seem to be fluid, and there was constant speculation about Sebastien Loeb. And now the Chief Engineer, Christophe Besse, has left.
Pierre Budar. Photo: Martin Holmes

Pierre Budar. Photo: Martin Holmes

MH: Is this a serious attempt at the world championship, and how does he feel about that? Pierre Budar: Okay, we will see at the end of the year. Our aim is to compete in every rally with competitive cars, to be able to win, and so far I think we have been in this position for each race. Okay, we need to be performant and efficient. We have only two cars in Tour de Corse but we think both of these cars could win with the performance of the car and the performance of the drivers. We will see. MH: Is this flexibility of programme due to a shortage of funding in Citroen Racing? PB: We have a programme and a budget according to this programme. Of course we have been asked by our top management to be very efficient with the budget. We prefer to have only two cars sometimes, but two cars able to win. It’s better to have two cars able to win than three cars not able to win. MH: Is there pressure from inside the company to give Loeb more rallies, next year? PB: For the time being we have an agreement with Sebastien Loeb for this year for three rallies. He has his own programme with Peugeot in WRX, and this championship is his main programme for this year. We haven’t discussed anything for next year yet. We see. What can I tell you of that? Of course when you have a driver like Seb Loeb, the most performant rally driver in the world, if you ask me if I would like him in the team, I cannot say no. Of course.
Sebastien Loeb Corsica

Sebastien Loeb's 2019 plans are still undecided.

MH: Where does that leave Craig Breen and Mads Ostberg? PB: Craig will come back with us very soon, in Argentina, he will there. We are very pleased to see him again with us. He made a fantastic rally in Sweden. Very, very strong, very performant, there he is quick and consistent. He feels more and more comfortable in the car. So I am very optimistic to see Craig back in the car very soon. About Mads, we will tell you more very soon. We will see. The situations about Mads has not changed since after Sweden. We are discussing. It’s still on. MH: You seem to have more drivers than you can use. Is there any chance to have a second team in the World Rally Championship with World Rally Cars with Citroen? PB: For the time, that is not allowed. Regulations do not allow a second team. MH: When you arrived in your new position, you inherited a lot of decisions made by your predecessor, and of course the company had their own opinions. I guess your strongest challenge is trying to make it all work together? PB: Of course when you start a new job you have to deal with existing decisions. My job now is to prepare the future and see what can be improved very fast, short term. Already some have been made. MH: Hopefully you will have more influence when it comes to 2019? PB: For sure. Nothing is decided for 2019 so far. As you mention I will be in a position to have some influence over it.
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