Work to do for Ogier and Citroen if they want to challenge
Sebastien Ogier admits there is work to do to improve the Citroen C3 WRC ahead of the 2019 WRC season.
The six-time world champion, who has re-joined the French manufacturer after seven seasons away, has been busy getting to grips with the C3 as part of his preparations for next month’s Rallye Monte-Carlo (24-27 January).
He drove the car for two days on gravel in Portugal at the end of November and completed two days of asphalt testing in the French Alps last week.
Ogier is bidding to turn the C3 WRC – a car that has won three WRC events since it was launched at the beginning of 2017 – into a machine that can consistently challenge at the front in 2019.
Speaking during his asphalt test in the south of France, he said: “There is definitely work. I think it’s normal that when you swap cars you see differences. You see positives and also some negatives.
“There are always differences you need to adapt and some you probably can improve. That’s what we are working on already.”
One of the most significant discoveries Ogier made during testing is the need to improve the C3’s performance in a variety of conditions.
“There are things that need to be changed better to my taste,” the 35-year-old explained. “I think this car definitely showed some great speed in some conditions last year.
“But I think what’s missing, if you check the results and my impression, is maybe the car has to be able to be fast in more conditions. That’s what we need to improve.”
Having won four world titles with Volkswagen and two with the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, Ogier’s target is to add to his haul of 44 WRC victories with Citroën in 2019.
He acknowledged it’s likely to take time to get into his stride – but he’s relishing the first round battle that lies ahead in Monte-Carlo.
He added: “I am the one that’s changed teams and the others are staying where they are. That gives them the chance to be perfectly ready to start the next season. But for me I probably won’t be yet 100% or completely happy with my new car.
“Of course, I expect it to be challenging. But that’s also a motivation for me.”