Friday | 08 Aug 2014

Hesitancy cost Hirvonen at home

Mikko Hirvonen has blamed his disappointing Neste Oil Rally Finland result on too much hesitancy behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

The M-Sport World Rally Team driver had targeted a podium finish at his home event in a bid to kick-start his season. But a spin on the first day meant he lost confidence heading into day two. He eventually finished fifth overall, 2m 49.7s off Jari-Matti Latvala’s rally-winning pace.

“At the beginning of the rally I was really happy with the way we were driving and fighting. We were quite close to the top on a few stages and we could really attack every corner,” he explained. “But then we had a small mistake and I didn’t have the feeling again like I did on Friday.

“When you start to hesitate a bit like I did on Saturday morning, against the top guys, you just can’t afford to do it. Your commitment really disappears and you lose straight away. Everyone is pulling away all the time.”

Hirvonen sits fifth in the drivers’ championship after Finland and he is now hoping that a change in surface will bring about a change in his fortunes. Three of the next four rallies are driven on asphalt. The first of these is ADAC Rallye Deutschland (21-24 August).

“Germany is going to be a totally different kind of rally,” he said. “We have some new tyres coming and it’s going to be really exciting testing for that rally because we’ll have to understand and learn about the tyres. We will see how it goes over there.”

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