Andreas Mikkelsen set for a longer stay in Citroen?

Andreas Mikkelsen set for a longer stay in Citroen?

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Andreas Mikkelsen did his first test with the Citroen C3 WRC. The Norwegian will take part in the next WRC round with the French team and the Italian rally probably will not be his last event with Citroen.

“When we asked Andreas to join us, for sure the intention was not for him to have one shot and then we say goodbye”, team principal Yves Matton explained to Autosport.

“We don’t want drivers to come to us just once. For the moment I don’t know (what the future holds). Car availability is difficult, we have a lot of demand on the cars. What we can say now is that we will take this step-by-step.”

Citroen runs a maximum of 4 cars in the this year’s world rally championship. The regular drivers are Kris Meeke and Craig Breen, Stephane Lefevbre on selected rounds and Khalid Al-Qassimi with a limited program. Matton took the first step towards changes by inviting Andreas Mikkelsen. The Norwegian will take Lefevbre’s place in Sardegna. The team principal insisted that the change is not some kind of sanction for the French rally driver. He also pointed out that Kris Meeke’s place is not in jeopardy, although that was more in connection with the British driver crash in Argentina.

„The target before the start was clear: bring back cars to the finish without problems. We wanted to take out the pressure. [Thus] I cannot be happy with what happened to Kris. But there is no reason why he won’t come back with the confidence he had some weeks ago and there is no question about his place in this time”, was Matton’s unconditional comment.

Andreas Mikkelsen will drive for Citroen in Italy and this rally probably will not be his last event with the French team

Still, doubts exists as Citroen’s WRC history is far too glorious for Yves Matton to let is crews continue making mistakes and crashing the expensive C3 WRCs. Mikkelsen’s management already confirmed to Autosport that Andreas will be available to the French team for the rest of the season.

“This is what I have been waiting for and looking for, the chance to be back at the top level”, said the driver himself.

“What’s important now is to be in the best position possible for next year. I tested the 2017 Polo last year and I have tested the Hyundai this season, so I have some experience of the cars.”

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