Drivers: Mikko Hirvonen
(BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team), Petter Solberg
(Petter Solberg MSN), Sebastien Loeb
(Citroen Total World Rally Team) and Dani Sordo (Citroen Total World Rally Team)
Mikko, you come to Spain in the lead of the Championship by five points. Citroën has dominated this event for the past five years – what is the realistic hope for you and Ford this weekend?
I'm glad I'm in a position to fight until the end. With two rallies to go, it's nothing. Anything can happen. I'll try for second and we'll see. I haven't been strong enough previously and Friday here has been a difficult day for me [in the past].
How much preparation has gone into this weekend in terms of tarmac training?
It's been the same as in previous years. We did our normal test and some training with a guy in the UK. It was just for one day, it gives me the chance to get my head into tarmac, just getting my thoughts again to driving on tarmac – we'll see on Friday if it's been beneficial.
Team Principal Malcolm Wilson calls you the 'Ice Man' because you are cool under pressure – do you agree and do you feel the pressure mounting?
It's really… I don't know. That's the first time I have heard of that. I'm from Finland, it's pretty cold with snow and ice… I don't feel the pressure. Anything can happen. It's been really good all year. I don't know how I do it, but the position doesn't bother me at all.
On Ford's press release there's a quote saying you feel you have proved things to yourself this year. What did you mean?
I have had a lot of experiences through this year. I have showed to myself that I can be fast enough. That's it.
Petter, was it tough to miss out on competing in Australia?
Definitely. It's not good fun to stay at home and see the guys enjoying great roads. But that's part of the game. We have to look forward and look towards next year. I was working while I was at home, I was planning these two rallies [Catalunya and GB] and it takes a lot of work.
This will be the first time you get to drive the C4 competitively – what is your aim position-wise?
The car is great. I have tested it for two days. Many years ago, I sat in a car like that. It takes time to get the rhythm. I haven't driven a tarmac rally since Corsica last year – it's coming. I hope to improve my speed through the weekend and then we will see what happens on Sunday.
You will be nominated for Manufacturer points with the Citroën Junior Team at Rally GB – do you believe you have the car now to go out and win that event?