Could Citroën Make A Play For F1?

The idea of Citroën making a play for a Formula 1 racing team may seem like a long shot to some, and indeed it probably is just that. However, it’s an idea worth considering now and then, particularly given that we know F1 is rumored to be experiencing “real” interest from various teams for 2021 expansion. 

Right now, this worldwide racing sport has 10 teams, and appears to be in a good place. However, moving up to 12 would not be unprecedented, and appears to be a real possibility. While we do not know which teams or manufacturers specifically may be in the mix, it’s not entirely far-fetched to wonder if Citroën might not get involved. 

For one thing, we should note that one or two unconventional manufacturer teams are finding success in Formula 1 (outside of the dominant forces like Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull). Most notably, Scuderia Toro Rosso is having an excellent 2019 campaign, with driver Pierre Gasly putting himself on the map as a regular contender. That’s not to say he’s topping podiums just yet, but if you look at recent results and sports bookie listings for upcoming races, you’ll see his name just below the biggest in the sports. He’ll have fairly good odds for top-five finishes moving forward, driving for a team that most casual fans may not even recognize.

Another thing to consider, which will be more apparent to people who are already fans of Citroën, is that the company wouldn’t exactly be new to competitive racing, even if F1 represents a different challenge. Citroën has essentially dominated World Rally Championships so far this century, which suggests there’s a competitive infrastructure in place. That doesn’t mean there wouldn’t need to be new teams in place to take on F1, from engineers, to financiers, to drivers, but while the name Citroën may seem incongruous with F1 at the moment, it’s worth pointing out that it’s not at all an odd fit for competition. 

Lastly, we should note that there have actually been some very light rumors about Peugeot involvement, which could provide an in-road for a degree of participation from Citroën. A couple years ago, a concept F1 livery for Peugeot made the rounds, sparking some to wonder if something similar could actually make it into the sport sometime soon. To be clear, this is not a suggestion that there are actually talks between Peugeot and F1, but suffice it to say Peugeot seems closer than Citroën, on its own, to getting back in the game. 

Because both are still owned by PSA, this could “conceivably” open the door. A PSA-run Peugeot-Citroën Formula 1 team sounds like a long shot, but not an all-out fantasy. And if Formula 1 is indeed looking to expand to 12 teams, this would be a really fun one to see.

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