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Q&A: Mikko Hirvonen – Citroen

Well now of course I have to say the Citroen DS3 is miles ahead, so much better! [laughs] But to be honest the cars are very different. Just the idea how the teams are thinking in terms of building a rally car, there is big differences. Okay, I needed to get to know the [DS3 WRC] car a bit at first and not really change my driving style, but get use to it. But I really love the Citroen. It has been unbelievably strong and reliable this year. Not a single thing so far in rallies has happened to slow us down. All I need to do is adjust the car. It is turning so well and now we have been working on the car it is a lot more precise for me - and at high speed too.

Crash.net:
What is your target for Rally GB this weekend?

Mikko Hirvonen:
As you said, I haven't got my first win yet, so for sure I am aiming for that.

Crash.net:
Are you looking forward to Rally GB and how will you approach it?

Mikko Hirvonen:
It has always been quite flat-out right from the start with all those fast stages. I think that is how I have to start and we just have to see what the weather does. It is strange now when it has actually been quite dusty in the stages - that is something you don't see in GB so often. But I am sure it will rain. Then it will be a normal Rally GB!

Crash.net:
Beyond GB, how are you going to tackle the events in France, Italy and Spain?

Mikko Hirvonen:
Flat out. I think in this rally we have a chance to secure the manufacturers' title and okay, I would really like to win the rally, but I really hope we can secure the manufacturers' title as well. I think Spain and France will be really important rallies for me. I really want to do well on tarmac and if we can secure the manufacturers' here, I can do whatever I want on those tarmac rallies and I'd really like that. I hope this event goes well and then I can really charge on those rallies at the end of the season.

Crash.net:
Looking to 2013, do you think you have what it takes to push and mount a title bid?

Mikko Hirvonen:
I think so. I have one year [almost] behind me now with Citroen. I have learned a lot. I know which areas to improve and I have a lot more under my belt for next year. I just need to push a bit harder all the way from the start and who knows how it is going to be. I think we should be ready to fight for the title.

Crash.net:
How important will the consistency be again next year?

Mikko Hirvonen:
I have to keep that for sure. I need to get all the points like I have done so far. I need to be really, really consistent again - that has always been my strongest point, but by itself it is not enough. I need to win more rallies as well.

Crash.net:
How big a threat will Volkswagen be in 2013 and should Citroen and Ford be worried?

Mikko Hirvonen:
It is difficult to say. It looks like they have all the money and the budget to do really well. They are well prepared. They have done a lot of testing this year and they have good drivers. On paper it looks really good and they should be ready. But still everything has to work together and it is not guaranteed they will be straight away on top. It will be very interesting at the start of the season to see how they get on.

Crash.net:
Final question, the WRC still has no promoter - are you surprised that situation still hasn't been resolved?

Mikko Hirvonen:
I don't know... luckily it is not my problem to have to think about and try and find a solution. But it is something which has to be solved and I really hope all those things are solved for next year. It is really important for rallying to find a promoter.


by Rob Wilkins



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Citroen DS3 WRC

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