Mikko Hirvonen said he felt he had been able to 'keep learning' after securing a podium finish from a difficult weekend on Rally Germany.

The Citroen driver was able to clinch third place despite being unable to match the pace of the front-runners throughout, largely benefitting from the misfortune of others to work his way up the order having managed to keep his DS3 WRC on the road.

Although pleased with the end result, Hirvonen admitted that it hadn't been an easy weekend and said he needed more time in the car to become fully comfortable on asphalt.

"Before the start, I said that I would be happy to finish on the podium," he said. "I have to be pleased therefore to finish third, although the weekend was complicated for me. This rally was really difficult from start to finish, with very dirty roads. This is not the kind of conditions that I particularly like, but that's rallying!

"In many of the slower corners where we were cutting and there was gravel, I was afraid that the car would start to understeer or that we could hit the concrete or a rock. This is something I need to improve before the Rallye de France.

"[At the moment] I am just not confident enough. I just need to get more miles in the car."

Hirvonen remains second behind team-mate Sebastien Loeb in the standings.