Citroen driver Sebastien Loeb says this morning's snowy conditions on Rally Sweden have left any early comparisons between the new Citroen and Ford World Rally Cars unreliable.
Ford remains unbeaten on all four stages of the Karlstad-based event so far, with the DS3 WRC yet to win a stage at the highest level. Running first on the road, Loeb has been hit hard in his efforts to demonstrate the abilities of his new car.
"The conditions are worse than I thought they would be," he said. "The snow is too deep for the studs, so we are just surfing on top of the snow."
It was a similar story for the DS3 WRCs farther back. Loeb is running ninth at the moment, with Sebastien Ogier one place ahead and Petter Solberg third. The fourth and final Citroen in the event is Kimi Raikkonen's 11th-placed car.
"It's difficult to say anything about our car against the Fiesta in these conditions, it's too difficult," said Loeb. "Maybe it would have been better when we had the old tires, the narrow tire with the longer stud – that would have helped [with the comparison]."
Mads Ostberg leads the event for Ford, with factory Fiesta driver Mikko Hirvonen second. Hirvonen was happier to make a comparison, saying: "We're 1-2 at the moment – that works for me!"
The conditions at the event are expected to improve this afternoon. The snow has stopped falling and has been replaced by blue skies, which are expected to last until the end of the rally.