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Crash.net EXCLUSIVE: Q&A: Mikko Hirvonen

TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH MIKKO HIRVONEN: CLICK HERE


Mikko Hirvonen will be hoping to go all the way this year having finished runner-up to Sebastien Loeb in 2008. Here

Crash.net Radio's Rob Wilkins speaks to the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team number one and gets his thoughts ahead of the new season, which kicks off this week with the Rally Ireland...


Crash.net:
Mikko, how are you feeling going into the new WRC season?

Mikko Hirvonen:
The feeling is really good. It's been a quite a long break so I actually can't wait to get to Ireland and start driving again.

Crash.net:
Will it be strange to start the year in Ireland as opposed to Monte Carlo?

MH:
Yeah it is actually. It has always started in Monte Carlo so it feels a bit strange to go to Ireland, but I think the feeling is that Ireland could be even more difficult than Monte Carlo has been in recent years. It's definitely going to be a difficult start.

Crash.net:
Twelve months ago you took over as the number one driver at the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team. How much more confident do you feel now ahead of Rally Ireland?

MH:
I definitely feel more confident; if you just think of the title fight. I didn't really know what to fully expect last year - what I could actually do - but then I saw that I was able to stay in the title fight for quite a long time. It wasn't quite enough, but I think I learnt what I need to do to if I want to be able to beat Sebastien.

Crash.net:
Were you happy with how last year went overall?

MH:
Of course it's always disappointing to lose in the end, but overall I'm really happy with how it went. I had good speed in some rallies and was really consistent. All I need to do now is just be a bit more crazy - and win more rallies, then hopefully we can do it.

Crash.net:
There was no Rally Ireland last year, but you finished fourth in 2007. What is it like as an event?

MH:
It's very difficult and should be even more difficult now it is in January, when there will be some black ice in places. It is so narrow and fast. Also lots of cars pull mud on the road and everything… it's going to be a difficult start to the year.

Crash.net:
Have you done any pre-event testing yet? Are there any changes to the car for Ireland?

MH:
No, we're going to do it next week [January 19-23 - Ed]. I think there are not going to be so many changes made to the car this year, with the world economy and then how the rules are changing in rallying, we are looking ahead as well. So just fine tuning. It's been two years since we ran in Ireland so maybe there is something we can improve.

Crash.net:
Citroen and Sebastien Loeb are usually very, very good on asphalt, as is Seb's team-mate, Dani Sordo. Does that worry you?

MH:
by Rob Wilkins


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Ford Focus RS WRC 07
David Llewellin and Harri Toivonen. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Metro 6R4. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Metro 6R4 celebrations. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Metro 6R4 celebrations. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Elfyn Evans chats to Rob Wilkins. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Roy Edwards. `Brian Stubbings Spirit of Rallyday` award winner. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Harri Toivonen. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Mitsubishi R5 launch. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Mitsubishi R5 launch. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Mitsubishi R5 launch. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Terry Kaby. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Howard Davies and Tony Mason. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Mikko Hirvonen`s 2010 Monte Carlo winning Ford Fiesta S2000. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Harri Toivonen. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Gwyndaf and Elfyn Evans and Howard Davies. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Gwyndaf Evans. MML Sports Mitsubishi WRC05. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]
Gwyndaf Evans. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: Andy Crayford - Crayfordmedia.com]

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