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Hirvonen: I hoped Loeb battle would go on

Mikko Hirvonen says he will be sad to lose Sebastien Loeb as a full-time team-mate in WRC 2013
Mikko Hirvonen has admitted that he hoped to be able to do battle with Sebastien Loeb for longer as he prepares to partner the nine-time champion for the final time before he ends his full-time WRC career.

Although Loeb will be in action alongside Hirvonen on some events next year, the Frenchman will no longer fight for the title after electing not to contest the full season, with his focus moving on to other activities – including a possible switch to the World Touring Car Championship with Citroen for 2014.

With Loeb's departure, Hirvonen will go into next season as one of the favourites for the championship but the Finn admitted it was sad that he wouldn't be battling his team-mate for the crown.

“To be honest, I had hoped that the scrap with Sebastien would last longer,” he said ahead of this weekend's season finale and on the back of his first win for the team in Sardinia last time out. “I need this kind of contest, where there's just seconds between the leaders, to keep improving. When I have a big lead and just need to hold position, I can do that. I have been in that type of situation on enough occasions in the past to stay calm and focussed.

“I think that there will be more close contests in 2013, and there will undoubtedly be a new World Champion at the end of the year. This first win with Citroen helps me to visualise what I hope next season will look like.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Ogier collects his WRC champion`s trophy at the FIA Prizegiving in Doha
Sebastien Ogier and VW celebrate at the FIA Prizegiving
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)

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Crash - Unregistered

November 06, 2012 2:02 PM

@ DafyddLarcombe Although i agree with your comment, i'm not sure that Latvala is as good or as consistant as Ogier. Given the right car or if the VW is quick from the offset i thing Ogier would take off from where Loeb left off. I dont think anyone will ever match the raw speed, talent and consitancy that Loeb has shown since being in the WRC. He has beaten everyone who was anyone in the modern era!

DafyddLarcombe

November 06, 2012 12:49 PM

To put it Bluntly he is ******* dreaming !! Next year he will be battling with Ogier and Latvala in the new Polo, Never mind Petter and the rest of the guys, I know he is consistant and thats what may possbly allow him to lift the crown overall in 2013 but its a bit of an insult to all the other drivers that he thinks he will be leading individual Rallies and having huge gaps to the rest of the pack now that Loeb has called time on his Rally Career I dont think much will change for Mikko other than he may win a title, he wont be the dominating driver, but maybe ill be proven wrong



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