26 August 2013
Rallye Deutschland: My performance could have been better, admits Hirvonen
Mikko Hirvonen back on rostrum for first time since Portugal, but not happy with his pace
Citroen driver Mikko Hirvonen has conceded his performance could have been better on Rallye Deutschland, even if he did finish on the podium.
Hirvonen put in a solid drive over the four-days and ran in the top-five throughout. However he never had the pace to challenge for the win, and ultimately only took third after Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala both dropped out of contention.
He did keep it on the road though, unlike Ogier and Latvala, and had no moments, and combined with Dani Sordo's win in the sister DS3 WRC, Citroen now moves right back into contention in the Manufacturers' Championship, cutting the gap to Volkswagen from 55 points to just 26.
“It could be better, like many times on tarmac,” Hirvonen replied at the finish, when asked about his form during the ninth round in the 2013 World Rally Championship. “Some days, at the beginning, the pace was really good, but then we were dropping out of the pace of the guys in front.
“In the end, here we are on the podium again and I am happy to get these points and happy for Dani and the whole team. It was important to get these points and we are back in the fight for the manufacturers' title again.”
“[But] when you are not really right there [in terms of speed], you want to try a little bit, but it is not like being in the fight. I need to improve my driving on asphalt, I still have to learn,” he added.
Hirvonen is now looking forward to Rally Australia next month and getting back on his preferred surface, gravel.
“It is good to go back there. It is a nice rally with nice stages, a bit like in Finland. I always have a good feeling on this rally,” he continued.
“Above all [though], I'm pleased that Dani has finally won his first WRC rally [here]. Of all the WRC drivers, he's the one who deserves it the most!
"[But] it'll be my turn to win in Australia!” he concluded.
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