Mikko Hirvonen said he was pleased with a fourth place finish on Rally Sweden after an improved showing in the second round of the World Rally Championship season.

The Finn had endured a trying return to the M-Sport team in Monte Carlo but was closer to the pace in the Swedish snow at the wheel of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

Although unable to push for a place on the podium, Hirvonen brought his car to the finish in fourth place for his first points finish of the season.

"It's been a tough rally, but I think that we did a good job in the end," he said. "After the first split, I backed off completely. We had so many moments in those first five kilometres and I understood straight away that if I wanted to fight at the top I would risk not finishing at all, and that wasn't something I was willing to do this weekend.

"We're not quite back up to the pace that I was hoping for, but it was not too bad. Some sections were really good so I think that gives us a good base to build on and hopefully when we get back to gravel we can be even faster."

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Team boss Malcolm Wilson said he was pleased to see Hirvonen back amongst the scorers and said he was expecting more from the Finn in the gravel events to come.

"It is great to see Mikko getting a solid result after the disappointment of Monte-Carlo," he said. "It was also good to see his pace getting back to what we are used to seeing from him and the extra point in the Power Stage shows that he still has it in him.

"He's got a strong platform to build on now as we head into the gravel events."