Wednesday | 10 Sep 2014

Hirvonen answers his critics

Mikko Hirvonen has talked of his frustration at being unable to challenge for rally wins this season.

The Finn, 34, has won 15 WRC rallies in his career so far, but has made the podium only once in 2014, his first season back in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS.

Hirvonen’s two most recent rallies, in Finland and Germany, were particularly lacklustre, and two fifth places did little to answer critics who questioned his motivation. But talking to, Hirvonen insisted he was doing his best.

“In Germany, like in Finland, I was really happy in many places about my driving,” he said. “I think we are close to getting all we can out of the car, but for some reason I’m not able to do that all the time.

“In certain areas, for example in Finland, there were some stages where I felt we were absolutely on the limit, but that’s what it has to be like at the moment if we are able to fight for the podium places.”

Team boss Malcolm Wilson said he was ‘really disappointed’ with Hirvonen after Finland, and suggested that he wasn’t enjoying his driving – something Hirvonen denies.

He said: “I wouldn’t say I don’t enjoy driving - I do enjoy it, and going flat out in the forests, I enjoy that bit of course, but I would like to be fighting for the higher places. I want to be closer to the leaders, but the VW boys are making it really frustrating. That’s the big thing at the moment.”

Hirvonen denied that the speed of the Volkswagens would alter his approach to this week's Coates Hire Rally Australia – an event he has won three times before. 

“I’m as determined as ever to do well in Australia. “I will try to do my best with the car I have. That’s all I can do,” he said.

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