Mikko Hirvonen may be seeking further success as the M-Sport World Rally Team gears up for this week's Rally Italia Sardegna, but the Finn knows that it will be no easy ride on the Mediterranean island.

The sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship provides a favoured hunting ground for the veteran M-Sport driver, and the team has its sights firmly set on a strong result, but Hirvonen acknowledges that Sardinia's rugged mountains, ancient forests and unspoiled rural terrain not make it ideal rallying territory, but provide hidden dangers ready to catch out the unwary driver.

"This is an event that I enjoy so I hope that we can secure another strong result next week," Hirvonen said, "I know that we have the pace; we just need to ensure that we avoid any mistakes and pull everything together.

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"The stages are also very fast and narrow - which I like - but there are a lot of obstacles that you need to watch out for. There are a lot of rocks on the side of the road, and if it's hot, it can be hard on the tyres so you need to ensure that you look after them."

Having secured six top-two finishes in Sardinia - including a win in 2012 - Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen are regarded as one of the boldest partnerships in the championship. Having made an uncharacteristic mistake on the previous outing in Argentina, the pairing came back fighting. Fearless through the tricky conditions that blighted the final day's rallying, they looked to be in a league of their own; taking more than half a minute out of their nearest rivals through a single fog-plagued stage.

"It's a tricky event, but I've done well here in the past," Hirvonen continued, "The roads are really technical and, in some ways, you could compare it to Mexico or Portugal, although the grip levels are a little different.

"The biggest difference is the view of the road. It's difficult to read the stages and see which way the road is going which inevitably makes your recce and pace-notes all the more important. Thankfully, I'm really confident in my notes and that should hopefully play to our advantage."