Citroen Racing have left the FIA World Rally Championship and have remarkably blamed Sebastien Ogier’s exit from the team as part of the reason for it.
Talk had been rife in recent weeks of the French manufacturer quitting the series either at the end of this season or before the introduction of the hybrid rules in 2022 and the French team have confirmed it’ll now leave with immediate effect.
Incredibly, in a statement released by the team on Twitter, they appear to blame Ogier’s decision to leave halfway through his two-year deal as to why they’ve chose to leave after the end of this season.
The statement read: “Following the decision of @SebOgier to leave Citroën Racing after 2019 World Rally Championship season, @Citroen decided to withdraw from its @OfficialWRC programme in 2020 due to the absence of a first-class driver available for 2020 season.”
The six-time champion has often been critical of the C3’s performance throughout this season as he and teammate Esapekka Lappi often struggled with the car as he ultimately lost out to Ott Tänak in his battle for a seventh straight title.
Citroen’s time with the development of the C3 has often been questioned, with the French team choosing to sit out the vast majority of the 2016 season in order to focus on the preparation of the new car the following year.
Their plan however didn’t work; they finished last in the Manufacturers standings on their return and have repeatedly struggled to compete consistently at the top ever since, event with Ogier behind the wheel this year.
Another factor in the decision appears to be that sister company Peugeot will return to the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2022, meaning that it’ll be the WEC and Formula E DS Racing projects going forwards for the French manufacturer.