Citroen team boss Yves Matton admits that the French manufacturer will adopt a 'different aim' for the 2014 World Rally Championship on the back of a challenging campaign this season.
Having secured backing from Abu Dhabi for its programme this year, Citroen went into the season aiming to fight for championship honours despite the loss of nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, who elected to only compete in four events as he turns his focus towards his circuit activities.
While Loeb won twice, and Dani Sordo opened his WRC account in Germany, Citroen finished a distant second to Volkswagen in the Manufacturers' Championship and failed to get a driver in the top three of the championship for the first time since joining the series full-time back in 2003.
Speaking to Crash.net
during the season finale in Wales, team boss Matton admitted that 2013 had failed to deliver the expected results, even though there were some positives to take away from the campaign.
“We expected to win a [WRC] title this season which hasn't been the case, and obviously that is disappointing,” he said. “However, that is only one way to look at it, and there are some things that have happened that we are happy with.
“We helped Dani to get his first which was one of the aims that we had, we won the WRC2 title with Robert [Kubica] and have had a good return on the media side of things, which is important for us as it shows Citroen are still interesting people. Of course, we will try to do better next year.”
Doubts currently exist about the make-up of the Citroen line-up for 2014, with Mikko Hirvonen now widely expected to return to M-Sport but the likes of Sordo, Kubica, Kris Meeke and Mads Ostberg having previously been mentioned as options for next year
during the Rally de Espana weekend.
Pushed on what he was hoping for from next season, Matton downplayed the chances of challenging for championship honours and said the initial aim would be to simply try and challenge for rally victories.
“Our aim next year will be a bit different,” he said. “The first aim will be to win some rallies and to try and bring some new talent to the World Rally Championship. I cannot say for the moment that will be in a position at the start of the season to fight for the titles, but we will see.
“As always, we will try to do our best and see how our new talents perform, and will try to score as many points as we can.”