Hirvonen: We need to go back to the drawing board

Citroen ace in search of answers to the pace of his Volkswagen rival

By Franck Drui

12 March 2013 - 17:10
Hirvonen: We need to go back to (...)

Mikko Hirvonen has acknowledged that he and his Citroen team have hard work ahead if they are to challenge Volkswagen’s Sebastien Ogier for this year’s drivers’ title.

Hirvonen drove his DS3 to second position on Rally Mexico but the Finn was a distant 3m28.9s behind Ogier, who took victory on the Polo R’s gravel debut.

On the stages Hirvonen was rarely able to match the pace of his French rival, winning just two tests compared to Ogier’s tally of 16. Ogier now heads the drivers’ standings on 74 points, with Hirvonen third on 30.

After the podium ceremony in Leon, Hirvonen said he was relieved to get a top-three result after a lacklustre start to his season in Monte-Carlo, and losing any chance of a decent finish in a crash on Rally Sweden.

“It looks like Volkswagen has raised the game and we have to fight hard,” said Hirvonen. “We have to work even harder now, I am sure we can improve everything. I am still sliding a little too much and losing time. Without the power with the altitude you lose even more time like this.”

“I was maybe a bit sleepy in the first stage on Friday but, after that, I was quite pleased with my driving. But I was not able to match Seb’s pace so we have to go back to the drawing board again.”

“We always want to fight for the win. People know I have been in this position many times and we will try again,” he added.



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