M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson has paid tribute to Mikko Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen after their final WRC event.
Hirvonen and Lehtinen brought the curtain down on their careers in style last weekend, finishing second
on Wales Rally GB in their M-Sport-run Fiesta RS WRC car.
“It is such a pleasure to see Mikko and Jarmo end their careers with such a positive result,” said Wilson. “It is hard to put into words, but I can certainly say that they have made a lasting impression on the team. They are liked by everyone and will be dearly missed.
“All of us were immensely proud to see him take such a result away from what has been a very special weekend.”
Sebastien Ogier and Volkswagen boss Jost Capito echoed those sentiments: “I want to thank Mikko and Jarmo,” Capito stated. “I was at Ford in 2006 and 2007 when we won the world [manufacturers'] titles and those were great seasons.
"I was also there when Mikko won his first event in Australia, that was really emotional and it is something I will never forget – I hope it is the same for those guys as well.
“I learned a lot from them and I hope they learned something from me too. It was a great time of my life, and I wish them all the best for the future. I am sure we are going to see them again.”
“I would also like to take the chance to say one goodbye to Mikko and Jarmo and to wish them to enjoy the rest of their lives as much as they have enjoyed the last 13 years [in the WRC] – I am sure we see you again soon!” Ogier added.
“I am [also] delighted for them that they ended their final WRC rally on the podium. They have had a great career, and we will miss driving against them.”