Kris Meeke believes his third-place finish on Rallye Monte-Carlo marks a major step forward in his career as a full-time FIA World Rally Championship driver.
The 34-year-old failed to finish two rallies with Citroen last season and faced an uncertain future. But Citroen team principal Yves Matton showed faith in the Briton by handing him a full WRC programme in 2014.
Meeke, like his new team-mate Mads Ostberg, delivered a near-perfect performance in Rallye Monte-Carlo to finish in third place – just under two minutes behind Sebastien Ogier’s rally-winning pace.
“I think I’ve proven to everyone that I can drive a rally now,” Meeke said. “Last year when I got my opportunities I maybe forced the pace to make everyone aware that I was still capable.
“But I knew once I got my opportunity of a full season I could relax and make no mistakes. If I can do this rally with no mistakes, I can do any rally.”
Matton was pleased with the performance of both his drivers on Rallye Monte-Carlo. “I’m very happy, both Kris and Mads did a great job this weekend. Kris did 100% what I asked of him. He showed last year that he has the speed, but he had some points to work on for sure. But this is a great first step.”
Matton confirmed that Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle will be asked to deliver another sensible approach on the upcoming Swedish Rally – an event that Meeke has never contested before. Ostberg meanwhile, will be expected to use his snow experience to push for a podium finish.