Rally

Citroen won’t be part of World Rally Championship hybrid era in 2022

While Citroen’s immediate World Rally Championship future remains unclear, Autosport has learned it will definitely not be part of the series’ hybrid era in 2022.

It is understood that Citroen could pull out of the WRC with immediate effect, with its 2020 programme currently under review.

Citroen has previously taken a sabbatical from the WRC to prepare for new regulations, which raised the possibility that any exit now might be temporary and to allow it to hit the ground running when hybrids are adopted.

But a spokesperson for parent company PSA Motorsport confirmed Citroen will not be part of the WRC’s next generation because the group will be prioritising Formula E and the World Endurance Championship.

“PSA Motorsport has confirmed Peugeot’s World Endurance Championship programme,” said the spokesperson.

“Our Formula E commitment [with DS] will continue and we will not run three electric-hybrid programmes.

“Citroen will not be in WRC from 2022, this is sure.

“For what happens now, there is no more news. We wait and see.

“It’s sure that Citroen’s customer programme with the C3 R5 will continue.”

PSA confirmed to Autosport earlier on Friday that it was in negotiations with lead driver Sebastien Ogier about 2020. His contract with Citroen covers next season, which he intends to be his last in the WRC.

“Regarding the WRC, there are indeed discussions with Sebastien Ogier about his participation in 2020,” said the spokesperson.

“At this stage, to mention the different hypothesis would be speculation. We will come back to you very soon.”

Ogier has been linked with a Toyota move regardless of whether Citroen continues.

The news that Citroen will be gone by the end of 2021 at the latest will confirm the company – and PSA’s – longest time away from the top tier of the WRC since 1986, when Citroen canned its Group B BX 4TC and Peugeot’s 205 T16 E2 was lost in the move to Group A.

While it remains to be seen whether Citroen’s WRC departure comes next month or next year, the three remaining WRC manufacturers are all actively working towards 2022 and hybrid technology.

Firm regulations for the new era are expected from the FIA by the end of next month.

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