Citroen's team manager Sven Smeets has admitted the success of its outgoing C4 WRC has piled more pressure on to the French team ahead of next year.
The C4 WRC was the sport's fourth most successful model of rally car ever built, behind the Lancia Delta, Subaru Impreza and Ford Focus. In four seasons it scored 36 rally wins, more than double the 16 victories managed by Ford in the same space of time. Now, however, Smeets is concerned by the weight of expectation on Citroen, given what the reigning manufacturer champion sees as a short lead time for its DS3 WRC.
"Everybody knows that normally [this success] has to stop," said Smeets. "Everybody has ups and downs, but we have had a lot of ups with the Xsara and the C4, now we have to work hard to continue that with the new car.
"Certainly, though, there is going to be a big pressure on everybody between now and the opening round in Sweden."