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Pre-event press conference: Germany.

Drivers: Mikko Hirvonen (BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team), Francois Duval (Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team), Petter Solberg (Subaru World Rally Team), Dani Sordo (Citroen Total World Rally Team)

Press conference:

Q:
We see a new evolution of the Ford Focus RS here in Germany Mikko. You tested it last week, how did it go?

Mikko Hirvonen:
It was okay, the test went well. The changes are very small. There are some new components in the engine and some changes in the weight distribution, but the rest is pretty much the same.

Q:
You were locked in a battle with Sebastien (Loeb) in Finland, and were pretty much in a rally by yourselves. Malcolm Wilson commented that he thought you had moved up a notch in terms of your performance – did you feel that?

MH:
It was a big fight indeed. In some places we were definitely faster than last year. I have to get used to such fights when I want to be Champion one year – maybe even this year.

Q:
You have yet to score a win on Tarmac; with Sébastien winning every event here since 2002 do you think it's time you had a bit of a look in now?

MH:
Sebastien has won since 2002, but it has to stop some year, and maybe we can stop him from winning this year.

Q:
You have safety crews this weekend and on all Tarmac events this season, giving you the latest information about the conditions in the stages. With such changeable conditions here, how important is that information to you?

MH:
It is very important, especially in Germany where conditions can changes really fast. When it rains, you have a lot of surface changes. There is talk about safety crews being abandoned for next year, but I really hope they don't do it. Abandoning them is not saving you a lot of money, only a few hotel nights. It is an important thing in terms of safety. Look at Formula One: when it rains, the safety car is out immediately and we have nothing. I think the safety crews are important.

Q:
With the Drivers' and the Manufacturers' Championships incredibly close, this could be a crucial weekend for Ford if they want to stay ahead; do you feel the pressure?

MH:
Actually, all the remaining rallies are very important now and we have to fight and do as well as we can. With three Tarmac rallies and three gravel rallies, anything is possible.

Q:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bjorn Waldegard shows Mikko Hirvonen around the Ford Escort RS1800. Goodwood Festival of Speed. July 2008 [Pic credit: FORD / worldrallypics.com]
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC &
Dani Sordo (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC &
Dani Sordo (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC &
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC
Dani Sordo (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC &
Dani Sordo (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC & Ott Tanak (EST) Ford Fiesta RS WRC

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