10 Feb 08
Mikko Hirvonen says that while he came to Sweden hoping to win the rally, he is satisfied to leave with second place and the lead of the drivers’ championship instead.
In common with Sebastien Loeb, Hirvonen had the worst of the tricky road conditions on the opening day but soon settled into a comfortable second place. After Loeb’s crash, he quickly realised it was not worth taking risks to chase Latvala and was happy to settle for the points that promoted him into the championship lead.
"Jari-Matti and I may be two young lads in the Ford team but we proved that we can still take a 1-2 finish and showed how strong the team is," said Hirvonen. "I came here to win but Jari-Matti made it clear on Friday that he was the man of the rally so I had to settle for second. My consolation is that I've never led the championship before. I'm sure I will have more battles with Jari-Matti. I was frustrated I couldn't find a rhythm on Friday but then I eased my pace because I wanted to make sure of the points. I've always said that if I can't win this year, I must finish second and that's what I did."