Can’t say I’m particularly impressed with either party.
I think it’s a mistake by Hirvonen. If he wants a World Championship, he’s not going to get one at Citroen while Loeb is still there because he simply won’t be allowed to. He’s become the Irvine/Barrichello/Massa of the WRC.
It would have been a much, much smarter move by Citroen to try and pick up a promising talent – someone who is fast, and will one day win championships, but won’t be an immediate threat to Loeb’s position. Mads Ostberg, Ott Tanak and Dennis Kuipers would all be good choices. But then, I suppose they did that with Ogier and he threatened Loeb in his first full season with the Citroen works team.
I can understand a team favouring a driver halfway through a season, particularly based on their results to date. But Citroen favour Loeb from the outset, and whoever teams up with him is expected to support him from the shakedown of the first rally to the power stage of the final round. And it’s not like McLaren, where everyone assumed Jenson Button would get thrashed by Hamilton – this is Citroen’s policy.
I hope Sebastien Ogier ends up Hirvonen’s seat alongside Latvala. That’s a team I can support.