Citroen group principal Pierre Budar has defined the explanations for the lack of Abu Dhabi funding that may restrict the group to a two-car 2019 World Rally Championship line-up.
Abu Dhabi has been one of many main backers of Citroen’s WRC effort since 2013, in a deal that has concerned Khalid Al-Qassimi contesting partial campaigns in one in all its World Rally Automobiles.
Citroen had signed WRC champion Sebastien Ogier from M-Sport and Esapekka Lappi from Toyota as its most important 2019 line-up, however the continuation of the Abu Dhabi deal was essential to its hopes of operating a 3rd automotive.
The extra entry would have allowed it to proceed sometimes operating WRC legend Sebastien Loeb and was additionally key to 2018 drivers Craig Breen and Mads Ostberg’s hopes of staying at Citroen.
When preliminary photos emerged from Ogier’s first check in a C3 WRC final week, there was anticipation that the Abu Dhabi deal was nonetheless on as its decals have been nonetheless current on the automotive.
However by that afternoon the deal was off and the stickers have been eliminated.
“The connection stopped after six years as a result of Abu Dhabi Racing and its authorities should do some research on what’s going on of their funding,” Budar advised Autosport.
He admitted he had hoped Loeb’s Rally Spain win – Citroen’s solely triumph of one other robust WRC season – may assist hold Abu Dhabi on board.
“After the end in Spain, we had some hope that it will proceed, but in addition Sheikh Khalid tell us that it was potential it will cease,” Budar added.
“The primary impression for us shall be on the variety of automobiles we run in 2019.
“With out the partnership of Abu Dhabi, will probably be harder to have a 3rd automotive. To date we will solely affirm two automobiles for Citroen Racing.
“It was a situation to have a partnership with Abu Dhabi to get a 3rd automotive, so sure will probably be way more difficult to get that automotive until we get one other associate.”
Budar believes it stays probably Abu Dhabi shall be again with Citroen, following its analysis, in 2020.
Requested how he felt about not seeing Loeb in a Citroen subsequent yr, Budar replied: “In fact, it is one thing troublesome for us.
“However we needed to be ready for that so long as it was undecided for us to get a 3rd automotive.
“In the intervening time it is fairly troublesome to verify a 3rd automotive primarily based on the most recent resolution. Let’s work and we are going to see afterward.”