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Rally de Portugal - Post-event press conference

We say Portugal was an event where we prove we can fight and I would forbid anybody to say it's been easy! It hasn't at all. We proved the team is working well. I will let Jost [Capito] answer the question about the future and the Championship… For me now, I have my little song. This is for me driver… 'hard as a rock'!

Q:
Mikko, congratulations on second position. It now puts you into second position in the Drivers' Championship. How do you feel the weekend went?

Mikko Hirvonen:
It was a tough weekend for us. We wanted to fight harder, but we didn't. I tried to push hard, maybe we were overdriving – maybe the rhythm wasn't the best. With Jari-Matti's problem we got second, but that's not what we came here for, but it is what we got.

Q:
Do you feel you've made a step since Mexico?

Mikko Hirvonen:
Yeah, we have made a step with some areas of the car, but we have never changed the car so much [during one event] – in places like suspension.

Q:
What work has been done since Mexico?

Mikko Hirvonen:
Roll bars, springs, dampers, I can't say I found the solution; in some places the car is really, really good, but in the fast we are losing more time – we need to improve there.

Q:
You inherited second when Jari-Matti hit trouble this morning, did you think you could possibly challenge for the win when you heard Ogier was suffering to?

Mikko Hirvonen:
I didn't believe the splits were correct when I got Seb's [split], he was 20 or something behind and then Jari was 30 or something behind. I thought something funny was going on. I didn't know what happened. Jari was unlucky, but we had no problems – it was a good rally from that side.

Q:
With the weight of the team points resting on your shoulders did you feel under too much pressure to push too much?

Mikko Hirvonen:
There was not the pressure from the team, I was really pushing hard and not thinking of taking points for the team. Even on the last stage, I pushed like hell, but still lost eight seconds or something. We need to find more solutions and I need to try to be better.

Q:
Jarmo, do you see the improvement from Mexico?

Jarmo Lehtinen:
I have the same feeling [as Hirvonen], in some sectors we improve. When it is technical, slow and twisty, sometimes we are equal, sometimes even a bit quicker, but as soon as the road opens we are beginning to lose. It's overdriving and when this happens, you lose. You make one mistake, run a little bit wide, lose the speed and it's hard to get it back on the high-speed road.

Q:
Can you come back and challenge again?

Jarmo Lehtinen:
I believe so, yes. We did quite a big step between Mexico and here. The surface is also changing a little bit, we will have a sandy event coming and then something different in Greece. We will be closer in Argentina, I'm not sure if we fight for victory.

Q:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Anttila (FIN), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Citroen DS3 WRC, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport
Podium, Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F), Volkswagen Polo WRC, Volkswagen Motorsport, winners

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