Are we in for another season of the Citroen in the WTCC?
The answer is not one many fans had hoped to hear ... Probably not. Citroen has shown no signs of slowing down and have even upped their assault from three full-time entries to four now. Outside the factory team, Loeb is also entering a Citroen with Mehdi Bennani at the helm.
17 of the 24 races run last year were won by the French manufacturer on their way to a 1-2-3 result in the driver championship standings. It goes without saying that they also obliterated their rivals in the constructors championship.
Despite efforts by the series and the technical minds on rival teams, they have been unable to fully bridge the gap to Citroen, World Touring Car fan's version of the Mercedes AMG F1 team. What makes this fleet so formidable is not just the outstanding machines, but the talented men wheeling them who rarely make errors.
A powerful driver roster
Sebastian Loeb, a nine-time WRC champion and 78x winner. Yvan Muller, a four-time WTCC champion and 41x winner in the series. Jose Maria Lopez, who won 10 races and the overall title in his debut season last year. And finally we have Ma Ging Hua, who won his his second ever WTCC start in 2014, making history as the first Chinese driver to win an FIA championship event.
Hoping to overhaul them, Honda stands above the rest as the top challenger, but they won't be able to take Citroen head-on in order to win this title. They have to capitalize on every mistake and be impeccable themselves. Making the most out of those second races is crucial as well. Of the seven races Citroen failed to win last year, six of them were those second races where the grid is shuffled.
And just a final note, here's a look at the starting order for the opening round today: Lopez (Citroen), Muller (Citroen), Loeb (Citroen), Qing Hua (Citroen).
An ominous start for other teams to what appears to be another season of the Citroen in the making.