Citroen team principal Yves Matton was cagey on Sunday when quizzed if Dani Sordo's victory on Rallye Deutschland will be enough to ensure the Spaniard is retained for 2014.
Sordo's future has been the subject of much speculation after Citroen
took the decision post-Finland to replace him with Kris Meeke
on next month's Rally Australia.
His drive in Germany, however, was the perfect response, and the fact he has now scored more points than team-mate, Mikko Hirvonen
– who also has yet to win this season it is worth pointing out - and is one place higher in the 2013 WRC Drivers' Championship, will also do his cause no harm.
“It is an important point, for sure, but it is only one of the points,” Matton told reporters in Germany when asked how critical Sordo's win is for his chances for 2014. “When you sign somebody, you want him to win, but there are other factors playing a role here.”
“I don't know [when we will make a decision about our driver line-up for next year], I can't say it yet,” Matton added. “I have always said that we start to work on it after Germany. For me, this first event on tarmac was very important. It is difficult to say how much time it will take. I am not alone in this game.”
Matton was, however, pleased with the way Sordo drove in Germany, a result that ensured Citroen
maintained its unbeaten run on the event, claiming its 13th consecutive win in Trier and its 12th on the trot since the rally joined the WRC back in 2002.
“The rally was very long and very difficult. Having won here in Germany so many times, there was a lot of pressure, with everybody expecting us to win again. Now, we have done it - and it was also a special moment because it is Dani's first victory,” Matton continued.
“He did exactly what I expected from him. In Finland, it was really difficult for him. When we signed him, the plan was to let him score his first win with us and the idea was to win on tarmac. For him, the start of the rally was not so easy because of his road position, but his speed was getting better and better. On Saturday, he impressed me. He was fast in the dry in the morning and also fast in the rain in the afternoon.”
Citroen is now back in contention in the fight for the Manufacturers' following its 1-3 result in Germany, much to Matton's delight: “We are coming back,” he remarked. “Now, we are again at 26 points [behind] with two rallies remaining on gravel and two on asphalt. It is still possible [for us to win it and beat Volkswagen]. After Finland, it was different, but now, I am happy that we are able to fight for the title.”
“[Overall] it's a great day for the entire team. Dani has competed in so many rallies with us that we are particularly pleased to have supported him in winning a round of the World Championship.
"This win also shows that the DS3 WRC can win without Sebastien Loeb. We were right not to give up; we'll be pushing hard in the final part of the season and have every intention of fighting our corner right to the end!” Matton concluded.