Citroen team boss Yves Matton has praised Mikko Hirvonen
for his 'professionalism' after the Finn secured fourth place on the opening round of the WRC season in Monte Carlo.
The season opener marked Hirvonen's first event at the wheel of the Citroen
DS3 WRC after his switch from Ford over the winter.
Challenging conditions on the opening two days of the event saw Hirvonen drop away from the leaders as he got used to his new surroundings but the man who finished second in the title race last season ultimately secured three fastest stage times en-route to fourth.
Having picked up vital championship points as a result, Matton said he was pleased with Hirvonen's performance and said he had done exactly what the team asked.
“Mikko did what we asked of him: make it to the finish in a good position,” he said. “He took it step by step, but his three fastest stage times showed that he was getting to grips with the car. He gave himself the time he needed and that demonstrates his professionalism.”
Hirvonen himself said he was pleased with the result after an event that was far from an easy introduction to the DS3.
“It wasn't the easiest rally for a first race in a new car, but I am pleased with the result,” he said. “The two days we had snow were particularly difficult. On tarmac, I was more comfortable and I was able to set some good times. I had to take it easy, avoid making mistakes and focus on getting to the finish to score some points. That's exactly what we did.
“I can't wait now to be in Sweden, I am really looking forward to racing there.”