Citroën says that although Carlos Sainz is considering retirement, the double world champion and winner of the recent Rally of Argentina is guaranteed a drive with the team in 2005.

Citroën says that although Carlos Sainz is considering retirement, the double world champion and winner of the recent Rally of Argentina is guaranteed a drive with the team in 2005.


CARtoday.com reported in June that the Spaniard, who took a record-breaking 26th career victory in last weekend’s rally, said that this year could be his last in the World Rally Championship, citing a growing unhappiness with the way in which the rules of the WRC were constantly in a state of flux.


"I hope this year we are in a transition season," he said. "We are having some new ideas - some are good, and some I don't think are working well. I think everyone needs to work together to make this sport better for everyone," Sainz said last month.


But Guy Frequelin, the manager of the world rally championship-leading French team, said on Monday: “Our team for next year is signed. We have Sebastien (Loeb) and Carlos. Carlos has the place in the team if he wants it. We will talk about his motivation for another year of driving in September.”


Sainz recently admitted that he still needed to think further about his decision, and was unlikely to make up his mind before September or October.


Should he decide to retire, Sainz’s departure could cause some upheaval in the driver market. Citroën has already targeted Ford's Markko Martin as a potential successor to Sainz and the Estonian is also said to be in talks with Peugeot and Subaru about his career in 2005 and beyond.