Citroen boss Yves Matton says he will have to think “hard” now about the team's line-up for 2017 in the wake of Craig Breen's sensational third place finish last weekend on Rally Finland.
Breen ran in the top-seven throughout and despite coming under pressure from the likes of DMACK's Ott Tanak and Hyundai's Thierry Neuville, withstood the onslaught in fine fashion. Indeed the Irishman secured his first WRC stage win in the penultimate test as he battled to keep Neuville behind and retain third, and all this in only his fifth event in a World Rally Car.
Asked if the rostrum result has strengthened Breen's chances of being part of Citroen's line-up in 2017, with Rally Finland winner, Kris Meeke already confirmed, Matton replied: “We will have to think hard about this.
“He [Breen] showed me in only three rallies that his potential is really high. But he still has some rallies to do this year - and okay, we start the time to think about drivers for next year, but I think it's more between me and our drivers [which also includes 2014 Junior and WRC3 champion Stephane Lefebvre].”
Meanwhile, Matton conceded that he never expected the PH Sport-run Citroen DS3 WRCs of Meeke and Breen to finish 1-3 in Finland.
“No, for sure, before the start of the rally, never [did I think this would happen]. We knew that Kris has done very well in the past here and that his potential was very high. We know that Craig had also done a very good rally in Poland and I was confident he could be fast here in Finland, but to be fast and efficient is quite a bit more difficult. He showed that he was able to do it this weekend and it was a perfect weekend for us,” Matton added.
“For sure our car is not the newest one and all the team and engineers, with only one testing day for the rally, did a really, really good job.”