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Rally Sweden - Post-event press conference

Honestly once we got into the rally we started to feel reasonable confidence. We knew we had the pace and we knew these guys could do the job. Today was nothing like what it has been for the last six months.

Q:
What have you thought of Mads' performance this weekend?

MW:
These are the two experts; Mikko and Jari and they've already commented on how well he's driven but it's been a big step for Mads. He's been really consistent and coped with a lot of pressure yesterday and then of course put a bit of pressure on Mikko today. I don't really thank him for that, but I have to say he's done a fantastic drive and he deserves to be where he is.

Q:
It's a great result Malcolm but now we move to Mexico where the results haven't been as good in the past. How will you prepare, and do you think you can get over what happened last year?

MW:
We hope so. We know where we struggled last year and of course it's a completely different car, completely different technical regulations. The biggest thing that affected us there in the past was altitude but let's say we are making some plans so hopefully we won't be in that situation again. You can't draw a lot from this rally but certainly on the high-speed stuff the car seems to be very, very good. We will go back and debrief. There are more improvements to be made and it's very quickly back to the drawing board to keep improving during the season.

Q:
Jari-Matti how much are you looking forward to the next round in Mexico?

J-ML:
I'm looking forward to Mexico and being back on a gravel surface. We had a difficult rally in Mexico last year because of the altitude, but generally we have a completely different philosophy with this car. We have six gears and the engine is working more with the revs, when it was working with the torque last year. I have a good feeling we will have a good car over there and I really want to go there and do well.

Q:
Mads, is this just a one-off or are we going to see Mads being a force to be reckoned with?

MO:
I definitely hope it won't be my last podium finish and hopefully not the last time I set some pressure on Mikko either. It's been good this weekend and I really enjoyed the Fiesta. It's possible to do some good results during the whole of the season but we are doing some rallies this year that we haven't done before. But we feel quite confident in ourselves, in the car and in our team so I hope we can fight for good positions on the next events as well. It's Mexico next and I can't hope for the same thing we have done here, but we go to Mexico to learn about the rally and more about the car on gravel and we will see on the next events after that when we come to more familiar ground when I hope it will be possible to do some good results again.

Q:
Mikko, first win of the year but we were in this position last year. Are you going to change your approach to this season and do anything differently than you did last year?

MH:
I don't know. I'm not really thinking what is going to be happening in Mexico. For some reason I always seem to be first on the road there and I know how difficult it is going to be. But like Jari-Matti said we still have a lot of testing to do and I'm really looking forward to going over there with the Fiesta. You never know how it's going to be but I hope we can get a good result. There are no thoughts or pressure, we're just going to try and do a good result again.



Question from the floor:


Q: Martin Holmes, Martin Holmes Rallying, UK.
Mikko, two rallies in a Fiesta and two wins. Can you tell us how the World Rally Car Fiesta compares to the Super 2000 Fiesta?

MH:
One has a turbo engine…! For me the biggest difference is the engine. There's a little bit more torque than in the S2000 car and more power as well. That's the biggest difference. The gearbox is a bit different but not that much. Things happen a little bit faster but otherwise the handling is the same.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Mads Ostberg (NOR), Subaru Impreza WRC 08
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC,  BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC,  BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

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