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Hirvonen: I'm ready for lead Citroen role

Mikko Hirvonen confident of his ability to lead Citroen into the 2013 WRC season

Mikko Hirvonen says he feels ready to lead Citroen in 2013 after bringing his first season with the team to a close in Spain last weekend.

The Finn clinched his tenth podium finish of the season with a third place behind team-mate Sebastien Loeb and former Ford team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala.

Hirvonen was already secure in second place in the standings prior to the event and he will now aim to emulate Loeb in challenging for the crown with the Frenchman standing down from his full-time drive for 2013.

Speaking after the Spanish event, Hirvonen said he felt he had settled in well with his new team this year and was now ready to lead Citroen into a new era without the man who has taken it to multiple titles over the past decade.

“It's been what I expected,” he said of his 2012 campaign. “I'm never happy until I'm winning. There's still room to improve, but I set some goals and we got them. I wanted to help the team win the manufacturers', we got that and I wanted be as close to Seb on as many rallies as possible and I wanted the gravel pace to be good. As well as this, I feel I have settled well in the team and I'm happy.

“I feel really, really good [about being team leader in 2013]. On gravel I am sure I'm ready for the fight.

“It's going to be quite a different season, with Jari-Matti and Sebastien Ogier in a new team with VW – it's going to be exciting to see the pace of the new car and I'm really happy to be part of such a strong team. I'm going to be ready and I'm really looking forward to it.”



Related Pictures

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Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
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DafyddLarcombe

November 19, 2012 4:24 PM

I thnk it will deffinately be a very close fight next year, when you think Mikko seems to be a little off the pace in the DS3, The Polo is also reputed to be a little behind in terms of pace, but VW have the fastest Two drivers, then you have Mads who will probably be in the M-Sport 1st Team with a full testing schedule and that should unlock the extra speed required to fight for outright wins Then you have the young Guns like Tanak / Novikov etc who will probably be popping up on the podium here and there, I dont think next season will be Dull in any way, there will probably be plenty of big fights for the Top Positions

MKD - Unregistered

November 19, 2012 9:16 PM

With Sordo in the team Citroen is well set to defend its manufacturers title but it all is going to depend on the progress that VW will make throughout the year with the car. Latvala needs to drive completely different than this year if he is about to win some titles.



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