Monday | 27 Jul 2015

Meeke downplays team boss criticism

Kris Meeke has responded to criticism of his recent WRC performances by Citroën team principal Yves Matton, saying he doesn't believe the results have been far off what was expected.

Matton vented his frustration with Meeke after 72nd LOTOS Rally Poland, saying his crashes there, and at the previous round in Sardinia, had effectively wiped out the positives of his victory in Argentina and put his place in the team next year in doubt.

But in an interview for this week's WRC Live Regroup Podcast, Meeke defended his recent form and said Argentina was always a special case.

"Nobody will take Argentina away from me, no matter what," he told presenter Becs Williams. "It was a high - albeit on a rally where VW had their worst week since they started. I remained realistic afterwards, and the following event in Portugal showed that. I believe in Portugal we nearly had a stronger rally than Argentina and we ended up fourth behind the three VWs. That showed the reality of where we were."

And while Meeke takes full responsibility for his opening day crash in Sardinia, he doesn't believe Poland, where he crashed on the shakedown, is in the same league.

"Sardinia was a big, big disappointment, and I think Yves' disappointment was evident," he said. "In Poland I had a good event, although the fact that we didn't do a pre-event test really handicapped us. We made a wrong tyre call, but without that we'd have been fighting with Hayden [Paddon], for what turned out to be fourth place. From my end, we had one blip in Sardinia, and that's that."

Back in the position of needing some decent results to secure his seat next year, Meeke denied he was feeling the pressure.

"To be honest, I've driven most of my career never having a secure future and it seems like that's the case again at the moment. So really it's no different - it's pretty much the norm. I'm always under pressure to get to the next rally and to do well, to get results to get another season. I've been through a lot harder times than this. At least I have a seat and a steering wheel to do a good job this year to prove that we can continue next year."

Hear the full interview in the latest edition of Regroup - it's in the podcast section now.

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