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Acropolis Rally - Pre-event press conference

I don't remember the name of the stage, but it goes downhill in the middle. It's very fast and narrow and rough – it's on Saturday, I think. I think that stage will be one of the most difficult.

Q:
Mikko, you are currently third in the Championship just three points adrift of Petter Solberg, what are your thoughts on your season so far?

Mikko Hirvonen:
It's looking pretty good. My pace is getting better and better in the team and that's important – I have to try and do that in all the rallies.

Q:
Are you still learning the car?

Mikko Hirvonen:
Some things, maybe. I change the car a little bit more – even in Argentina there were some sections where I wasn't so strong. At the end of the day, it's just a car with a steering wheel and pedals. We drive it…

Q:
Tell me about the Qualifying Stage this morning, you almost had a spin – things didn't quite go to plan?

Mikko Hirvonen:
That was exactly my plan…

Q:
And your position on the road?

Mikko Hirvonen:
It's tenth, I think. Or is it ninth? It's ninth or tenth [It is ninth – Ed].

Q:
How was the recce?

Mikko Hirvonen:
For Friday and Sunday, the conditions are better than last year – but Saturday is very rough. There is still the Acropolis Rally spirit in this rally and that comes on Saturday, when you need to be a little bit careful.

Q:
We saw team orders in Argentina, when the gap between you and Sebastien Loeb was very small. How do you avoid that this time?

Mikko Hirvonen:
I will do the same as what I did in Argentina. I was happy to show the pace and be up there on that rally and I want to do the same on this one.

Q:
Nasser, this year is the first time for the collaboration between Qatar and Citroen. It is also the first year we see you in a world rally car. How have you adapted and how do you feel it is going so far?

Nasser Al-Attiyah:
I am really so happy to move the biggest step and the team is fantastic. I learn a lot with the team. For me, it's not easy. The speed compared to S2000 or Group N is completely different. But every race we are better and we try to find our pace, but everything is going very well.

Q:
What do you think of Friday, with no main service, just remotes?

Nasser Al-Attiyah:
This is a very difficult rally. For me, my opinion is that the speed doesn't mean anything on the Acropolis – you need to watch many, many things. It's a long rally and long liaisons and if anything happens it's game over. We need to be careful, we need to always be on the road. In some places we push and some places we are careful.

Q:
Will the weather change things, if it rains?

Nasser Al-Attiyah:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Evgeny Novikov (RUS) Dmitry Chumak (RUS), Ford Fiesta WRC
Nasser Al-Attiyah (QA) Giovanni Bernacchini (ITA), Citroen DS3 WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Ford World Rally Team

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