Motorsport.com understands Citroen Racing team principal Pierre Budar was engaged in high-level discussions with Citroen CEO Linda Jackson about the team’s future during and after a disappointing Rally Spain last month.
Speculation of Citroen’s third departure from the WRC in the series’ current era intensified with PSA’s announcement of a 2022/23 FIA World Endurance Championship return for Peugeot on Wednesday.
PSA’s other global motorsport commitment remains with DS competing in Formula E.
One Motorsport.com source said: “Citroen is out of rallying again, this is 99 percent sure.”
Citroen has run a two-car programme with the focus on Sebastien Ogier’s drivers’ title defence this season, but the power steering issue which ruled Ogier out of the lead in Spain last month also ended his hopes of a seventh world title.
An engine problem for teammate Esapekka Lappi compounded the squad’s Spanish misery by forcing the Finn into a terminal retirement form the Salou-based event.
In its three years of competition, the C3 WRC has garnered just six wins from 40 WRC starts.
At the height of its power, Citroen’s won 36 of 56 WRC rounds it contested in the C4 WRC. It also dominated both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships, winning 17 titles between 2003 and 2012.
Citroen’s departure from the WRC would leave Ogier clear to join Toyota for next season in place of Hyundai-bound Ott Tanak.
Lappi’s options are more restricted. He departed Toyota for Citroen 12 months ago and M-Sport Ford would appear to be his only option for 2020.
Source: Motorsport .com