Dani Sordo gave an interview to a Spanish radio station SER yesterday. WRF thinks it must be nice to live in a country where rallying is on the agenda of radio stations, but we digress…
While we and many others believe that Sordo is a shoe-in at Volkswagen, the man himself is reported to have said that he has been in contact with Citroën about filling in for his former team-mate, Sébastien Loeb, whenever the 9-time champion is having one of his weekends off in 2013.
Sordo rose through the junior ranks at the wheel of Citroën’s Saxo and C2 machines, then partnered Loeb in 2006 when the Citroën WRC programme was farmed out to Kronos. He remained part of the squad when Citroën Racing returned to the fray in 2007 and acted as the team Number 2 until the end of the 2010 season.
Although he has never won an event at the top level, Sordo has a strong record of getting the car home to the finish and, at Citroën, that has resulted in a podium finish more often than not. After he was pushed out of the French squad by its young prodigy Sébastien Ogier in 2011, Sordo moved to Prodrive’s MINI project as de facto team leader – although he was pressed hard by team-mate Kris Meeke.
Citroën Racing is understood to be looking for a reliable points scorer to fill in for Loeb and give assistance to Mikko Hirvonen’s title bid in 2013. Sordo is a known quantity and popular with the team so it would make sense from their perspective – but not neccessarily from Sordo’s.
In his radio interview, Sordo hinted that the main bone of contention is over how many events he might drive if he were to return to the French squad.
Loeb has declared that he will contest five events, leaving eight for whoever’s in the car for the rest of the season. Sordo has stated that he will accept being put on the ‘sub’s bench’ for a maximum of two events only. The maths is pretty easy… if Loeb sticks to his programme of five events, there’s a shortfall of three rallies in what Sordo will accept.
Here at WRF, we believe that Sordo will ultimately choose to join Ogier at Volkswagen – and perhaps introducing the idea of a Citroën drive might help get the small print of his contract written the way he wants it (i.e. without a clause stating that he will automatically defer to the Frenchman).
The Spaniard turns 30 next year and after two years of frustration at MINI will want the chance to contest a full season, thereby leaving the part-time drive at Citroën to his former MINI team-mate Meeke, who tested impressively for the reigning world champions in Italy a couple of weeks ago.