Kris Meeke questions Citroen’s support after nonsense decision

Citroen Rally Driver Kris Meeke has seen his season come crashing down around him – but it’ll take more than bad luck to stop the Brit.

In any Motorsport, a driver is only as “safe” as the results that they can put on the table. The pressure is immense, and the line between a failure in driver performance and being hamstrung by technical issues can often become blurred – emerging through the ordeal with the will to still climb into a car and give it their all often becomes a test of attrition between the driver and the circumstances.

In the case of Citroen’s Kris Meeke, the pressure has piled on, but the British Rallycar driver refuses to be beaten down by the spell of bad performances that he’s suffered over the last three races. Meeke has already gone above and beyond in demonstrating his capability to operate a vehicle in Rally conditions, but having crashed out of races three times consecutively did not bode well for the Brit, and he saw himself benched.

Now, before his return to Rally in Finland, Meeke has opted to open up regarding his thoughts on the situation. His candor may earn the ire of Citroen, but one can’t help but think what was going through their heads after they decided to bench a driver who had positioned himself in the top three finishes of nearly every race since his first tour inside of a C3 WRC.

“It’s a frustrating and difficult situation. It’s certainly not a situation I expected, but it is what it is. I’m happy be back in Finland, but it’s frustrating to arrive here with the feeling we have now. To fight at the front on this rally, you need to arrive with absolutely no doubt in anything around you, [you need] to have pure commitment and to do what you want to do and I think it’s fair to say that’s not the case this year.

There’s not been one rally this year where I’ve not been able to set competitive times, but everybody’s developed this big story that there’s something massively wrong. We’ve had certain issues with different problems on different rallies; we’ve had reliability issues and I’ve made mistakes and we’ve had times when the car’s become inconsistent.

I don’t feel in the perfect environment to go and do what did last year, but that’s not to say one kilometer into the shakedown stage, that feeling won’t come.”

It’s not unheard of to see a team bench a driver after a spout of bad results, but something about the way Citroen handled the entire ordeal with Meeke makes one think of it as an undoubtedly knee-jerk reaction.
Finland will mark a turning point for Meeke. If bad luck were to strike again and he finds himself in the ditch, crashed-out once more, no amount of past consistency will be able to dissuade Citroen from the feeling that one of their stars has begun to dim a bit.