ben treston

The Citroen Championship Conundrum

wrc-rally-mexico-2011-51

It has been a while since my last blog entry due to very hectic filming schedules, but I thought it best to raise an important point as we enter the final third of the WRC 2011 season.

The old hand or the rookie?

This is a major question that Citroen Racing are going to have to answer soon, as they are starting to run into a sticky situation that was exacerbated in Rally Germany this year, with the upstart Sebastien Ogier taking victory from the sure-bet Sebastien Loeb.

Admittedly, the decision of who to let win the event was written off when to everyone’s surprise Sebastien Loeb had a puncture on the last stage on Saturday - therefore negating the effect of team orders as to who was to slow and let the other pass. Before this happened though, the expression on Ogier’s face when interviewed at the stage end was clear to see. He was told to slow down - and he didn’t.

It seemed like a dream team. Two Sebs - both raised from the same FFSA stable and devastatingly quick, and fast to learn and adapt. Both French in a French team. However late last year it was now becoming apparent that the student no longer thought of himself as the student anymore, he wanted to be an equal.

This mentality (and the fact that it is believed there was no “number one” driver status agreed) means that you have two drivers looking to best each other on every stage at every event. Great for spectators, great for television - but a nightmare for the team.

Although trying to play down the tension before rally Australia, Citroen really does have a tricky game to play here. A seven times world champion proving how good he really still is, versus the new kid who looks to be the next seven times world champion.

To be honest, I love the tension, and the drama. Sebastien vs. Sebastien? Bring it on.