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Rally Finland - Pre-event press conference

We have made some small changes, just small things which are different with the car, which will mean less mistakes with the back end of the car when we are attacking. It is really good now and we can push hard. We need some victories - and less mistakes. We have made some [mistakes], but hopefully we have no more.

Q:
You haven't won this event. Can you do it this year?

Petter Solberg:
These guys will go hard, but this is a fantastic rally. People here know how to organise a rally for the people and I hope on this rally we can fight for the victory. Even with this strange starting number [13th]...

Q:
You tested last week, how did it go and are you happy with the results?

Petter Solberg:
At the test it worked really well. In shakedown and qualifying, everything went well. It is lucky that we're not going first to choose the position. The Ford guys have been the first to choose on almost every rally, but here it was Citroën. It is not easy. It will be very interesting to see the pace tomorrow.

Q:
Ouninpohja returns to its former glory, you hold the record for the stage from 2004. How much will you defend that this weekend?

Petter Solberg:
For sure. I don't know if Mikko has the balls to do it!

Mikko Hirvonen:
Do you want to check?

Petter Solberg:
It is a fantastic stage and I have the record. I am not sure how the cars and tyres can compare, but sure they will all be trying and I will try myself also. It is a crazy stage. When we did the recce I thought the road was more straight...

Q:
Are you now number one in the team as you have a chance of the Drivers title?

Petter Solberg:
My plan here was not to win or fight for the Championship, if I'm in the top three then good - the plan is to win the rallies. If we do that then we can fight for the Championship. I have enough podiums, I want wins. It will be a tough weekend, but I'm not going to hold back.

Q:
Ford has a new livery, tell us about that.

Petter Solberg:
We have something from Ford Motorsport, they brand all the cars around the world [like this] - it is cool.

Q:
Mikko, happy birthday for yesterday! First time in Finland with the Citroën DS3, how are feeling about competing on the stages?

Mikko Hirvonen:
It is always nice to come here and have a rally in my hometown. It is really good and as always the stages are fantastic. The car is good and I'm not here to roll!

Q:
How does the car feel?

Mikko Hirvonen:
It feels very good. I didn't make any big changes in the test to make it work - it was just fine tuning and it was perfect. I'm sure the car is fast enough to fight for the win.

Q:
The past two years in Finland have not been kind; will there be a different approach this year?

Mikko Hirvonen:
For sure I won't go so fast from the start, but I can't give seconds away. On the first day, I'm not going to take big risks. In the last two years, the rally has been finished for me on those first two days. So, there won't be so many risks in Lahti, but then more of an attack in Jyvaskyla.

Q:
You have competed here many times now; does the pressure of a home event ease as time goes by?

Mikko Hirvonen:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mads Ostberg (NOR), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team
Chris Atkinson wins the Brakes Direct International Rally of Queensland - and takes the Pacific Cup for the second year running
Petter Solberg (NOR) Chris Patterson (GBR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS WRC

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