Citroen boss Yves Matton has insisted he remains confident Mikko Hirvonen and Dani Sordo can produce wins this season for the team, despite the fact neither delivered again on Rally Argentina.
Although Citroen still won in South America, thanks to Sebastien Loeb, who was returning for his third of four 2013 WRC events with the DS3 WRC, his team-mates weren't so impressive after more misfortune.
Indeed Hirvonen had to settle for sixth, following a puncture and electrical problems on Friday [see separate story
], while Sordo finished ninth having dropped out of contention early on after rolling his car when co-driver, Carlos del Barrio got distracted and called the wrong pace-note [see separate story
Speaking at the finish, Matton said the issue with Hirvonen and Sordo is not speed, but rather consistency – and a lack of it.
“My overriding sense is that the rally confirmed that the performances of the Citroen DS3 WRC have progressed,” Matton stated following the fifth round in the 2013 World Rally Championship. “We have done a lot of work since Rally Mexico and that work has been repaid with the win. Obviously, an essential part of the win is Seb himself, who was back to his brilliant best despite missing the last few rallies.
“But I'd like to mention our other drivers too: after Dani in Portugal, Mikko showed this weekend that he was in contention to win the rally. They both still lack a bit of consistency to turn their good form into results. [But] we're all going to work towards achieving just that.”
But is he confident they win like Loeb did in Argentina and in Monte Carlo?
“Yes [I am],” Matton added.
“They showed that there is pace in Portugal and Mikko here [too]. But they need some more consistency to win a rally,” he reiterated.
“I'm confident that they will feel better with the car. It seems that the work we did after Mexico brings a lot of effects on the car.
“We are very close and [I am] confident that we can come back [and challenge Volkswagen in the Manufacturers' and Sebastien Ogier in the Drivers' Championship]. This weekend we were really good but I hope we can come [on] more rally after rally [now],” Matton concluded.