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Spain - Pre-event press conference.

Drivers: Mikko Hirvonen (BP Ford Abu Dhabi), Dani Sordo (Citroen Total), Federico Villagra (Munchi's Ford) and Per-Gunnar Andersson (Suzuki).



Press conference:


Q:
In 2005 you claimed third here in a privately run Ford Focus, this rally must hold good memories from that - do you think that result was decisive in your career?

Mikko Hirvonen:
It's definitely a good memory from Rally Catalunya. It was my first podium and as a Finnish driver, nobody would really expect that. I was doing some rallies in a private car - it was a really important point in my career. It helped me get my seat in the future.

Q:
It's a big couple of weeks for you and the team as you try and get back on terms with Citroen. How did the test go for these final tarmac events? Do you think Ford can win here?

MH:
The test went very well. I was excited after the test, the car felt really, really good. But it's the Citroen and it's Dani [Sordo] and Sébastien [Loeb]; it's never going to be easy. I hope we can be up with them. I think we can win, but it's going to be really difficult to do.

Q:
Punctures spoiled the party for you in New Zealand and you have picked up quite a few over the events; is that going to make you more cautious when it comes to cutting here?

MH:
Maybe a little bit. The organisers have done a really good job here in the last couple of years in the way they have been re-surfacing the road. There are not so many places to cut. Before, in some places, you would have half a car off the road, but now it's not that much - in some places it's just about a wheel. Having no mousse means I'm going to be much more careful not to get any more punctures.

Q:
Sébastien Loeb now leads the Drivers' Championship by eight points, is the title fight slipping away?

MH:
After what happened in New Zealand it looks like it's slipping away. As long as it's mathematically possible, I'll keep trying to take time out of Sébastien. I'm sure we'll be strong in Japan and GB and I'm sure the fight's not going to end before then.

Q:
You've got Francois Duval in the team – has this helped you? Have you been swapping tips?

MH:
It's nice to get him in the car, to see if he has any new ideas and ways to go with the car. His driving style is so different to mine that I can't use his set-up, but there were some things he can help me with. We'll see tomorrow.

Q:
How much do you want to be crowned champion this year; how momentous would that be?

MH:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Ford Focus RS WRC 07
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
21.05.2017 - JEAN-MICHEL RAOUX (FRA) - THOMAS ESCARTEFIGUE (FRA) CITROEN DS3 WRC
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
21.05.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
21.05.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
21.05.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
21.05.2017 - Craig Breen (IRL)-Scott Martin (GBR) Citroen C3 WRC, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT

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