Hirvonen will head Citroen’s bid for WRC glory in 2013 and his past record - he’s been title runner-up on four occasions and has won 15 rallies - makes him a strong contender for top honours next term.
Ogier, meanwhile, will front Volkswagen’s debut in the World Rally Car class and while the French star admits the Polo R WRC won’t be a winner from the outset due to its lack of development, he’s determined to become a threat later in the season.
“I am sure Mikko will get a very good opportunity next year to fight for the championship because he will be the most experienced driver in the team and Citroen proved this year they are very performing and maybe [will have the best] package for next year,” Ogier told WRC.com. “But we will not give him the title that easily.
“We know it will be tough in the first year but my goal is to take good points at the beginning and try to stay in contact and quickly be able to disturb him. It will be a surprise if we are able to fight for the title next year so he is more the favourite but as long as you have a mathematical chance you have to believe in your chance.”