Lappi applauds Citroen development despite withdrawal
Former Citroen driver, Esapekka Lappi has explained that development work on the team’s C3 WRC could have proven quite the difference in the 2020 World Rally Championship.
Lappi, who secured three third place finished in 2019 struggled early on with the new car, but was confident of the direction of the team.
“I think we could have done quite big steps (next year),” said Lappi.
“The aero update was working very well; for sure it would have helped a lot on the fast stages and fast rallies. The difference in time was quite big from the old aero.
“We also had some performance-related updates with a new engine, new geometry with some steering updates and some other things for the diffs.
“Like we saw when I got the diffs I wanted, it all clicked on gravel. I was positive we had a big improvement for next year.”
Team boss, Pierre Budar was also happy with the development for 2020, and were confident that the team would have been back on the pace.
“It was difficult to recover the time we lost at the beginning of the year, because we had new drivers, new engineers and they had to understand the car. They had to learn how to work together and make the priorities in the development,” Budar said.
“All this needed time at the start of the season and, of course, this time gave us some late advancement compared to other teams and, of course, we’ve not been able to recover this.
“But the progress we could see during the latest development tests. A better understanding and experience of the team race and data engineer on the car, they were quite new at the beginning of the season and now they have one more season (of experience).
“Altogether I’m quite sure we would have been much more in the fight next season, but that’s easy to say now…” he added.
The driver market uncertainty still rages on as several drivers, including Lappi, look to confirm their 2020 drives.