Rally Finland: I was aiming to fight for a podium – Hirvonen

Frustration for Mikko Hirvonen on Rally Finland as the M-Sport man finishes a distant fifth in his Fiesta RS WRC car
Mikko Hirvonen says he is "a bit disappointed" with how things turned out on Rally Finland as he was hoping to fight for a podium place.

Hirvonen never ran higher than fourth during the event and while he ended Friday in sixth, in the midst of a close scrap with Andreas Mikkelsen and Mads Ostberg, the Finn slipped back on Saturday morning.

He then hit a stray rock in the afternoon damaging the damper on his M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta RS WRC car and he lost further time.

He eventually finished in a distant P5, almost a minute off Mikkelsen and only really beating Ostberg because the Norwegian retired with rollcage damage.

“It's been a bit up and down and I'm a bit disappointed as we were aiming to be able to fight for the podium,” Hirvonen said.

“It wasn't so bad at the start of the rally and on Friday I was really happy with the way we were driving and where we were fighting.

“But then we made a small mistake and when that happens and you start to hesitate like how I did on Saturday, you just lose so much time. You really can't afford to do that around here. It has been a tough weekend.”

M-Sport team principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, added: “Mikko wasn't where he wanted to be this weekend.

"He was obviously a bit disappointed with the way things went on Saturday. He was in a great battle for fourth place but struggled to match the pace in the morning.

"He made some changes during [the mid-day] service and was ready to push [in the afternoon] but unfortunately he hit a rock which damaged the front-right suspension.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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)
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)

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August 05, 2014 12:27 PM

I feel bad for Mikko as this was his Big Chance to get back to his old best He looked committed and attacked very hard on every stage but the times just were not coming like he wanted them to You need to be very brave and very committed in Finland and there was no shortage in delivering either in abundance. Maybe M-Sport has just slipped a little behind Citroen and VW in Development The Result for Jari Matti was Incredible and it speaks volumes for the progress that Kris Meeke has clearly made that for a good while he was in front of Ogier and indeed finished less than minute behind the winner in 3rd place I was very pleased with how fast and controlled Meeks performance was.


August 07, 2014 12:30 PM

If young Elfyn keeps progressing like he has been, he could find himself posting times faster than poor Mikko by the end of the season. But I would love to see Mikko Re discover his old speed again I think the issue could be his frame of mind, possibly a lack of self belief that he can still set fastest times and win Rallies again. Either way I hope he doesn't continue to decline, I would much rather see him find his form and stick around in the WRC for a few more seasons yet I also feel bad for Malcolm as he is obviously finding it harder to attract a Big Sponsor with the Results that the Team have being getting lately, this allied to the fact that there is not exactly a line of talented Top Flight WRC Drivers looking to sign with M Sport for next year. Malcolm must be feeling pretty boxed into a corner wondering where the light is at the end of the tunnel right about now

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