Lopez admits he's unlikely to remain with Citroen after 2016

Citroen's two-time WTCC champion Jose Maria Lopez has stated that it will be "difficult" to find a way to continue driving for the French manufacturer after it exits the series.

Citroen has recently confirmed that it will focus its efforts on the World Rally Championship starting with 2017, with its WTCC programme getting axed off.

And Lopez, who has become synonymous with the French manufacturer's WTCC efforts since its arrival in 2014, has been retained alongside Muller for Citroen's 2016 WTCC swansong.

"I have a one-year contract and we'll see what happens in 2017," Lopez told Motorsport.com. "We now know that Citroen will leave WTCC so for me it'll be difficult to stay with them.

"Unless they offer something, I don't know, for the moment they don't have another category. I won't be going rallying, it's not my speciality."

The Argentinian noted that, should he end up leaving the WTCC after 2016, he would be interested in exploring opportunities in the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours race, as well as the DTM series.

However, he also didn't rule out joining another WTCC team after Citroen's exit.

Grateful for opportunities

While Lopez previously indicated he would take some time off before negotiating a contract extension, he clarified that he always aimed to continue with Citroen.

"I didn't have to consider it," he said. "My idea was [for myself and the team] to stay together, we just had to arrive on an agreement and we had to wait a little bit longer because we wanted to finish the championship, to seal both championships.

"I am very happy to keep going with Citroen, it's a big family, such a great team, so for me it's a privilege."

His stint with Citroen so far has seen him break the WTCC record for most wins in a single season, with the Argentinian also elevating himself to fifth place on the series' all-time victory rankings.

But Lopez said it would be hard to continue setting new records in the WTCC, should he remain in the category without Citroen.

"A big part of what I achieved is because of the car I have," he noted. "It's been amazing for me. The car's been dominating for two years so it's much easier for us to do the job."

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Jose Maria Lopez
Teams Citroën World Touring Car team
Article type Breaking news