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 Post subject: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 15:11  
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Maybe it's good to have a separate topic for the WRC-drivers too. I'll start with Mikko Hirvonen and an interview by Lex Hollo from MTV3 right before the WRC-season 2010 started:

You have the victory of the legendary Monte Carlo in your pocket now, I assume that the experiences were at least mainly positive?

- Absolutely. It has always been kind of a special rally and a legendary race. Really cool sceneries and a challenging race for the drivers. This felt much more like an opening race than Sweden probably will feel like. It was extremely great to win the race even though it has no WRC-rally status.

Should it have?

- Absolutely if you ask me, they have such long traditions and a great history. But obviously they don't want to be in the WRC-calendar themself.

It was your first race with Ford Fiesta S2000, how did the car you will drive next season feel like?

- It was okay. The chassis and the basic stuff are in order so it seems good. The S2000 -machine isn't exactly a cannon but the engine will change with the turbo so it seems to be good. The suspension, engine and power transmission are really good, I had some problems with the steering and some small electrical issues but we have time to get them fixed. The ability to perform was good, it came as a small surprise that the rally car was so ready. They put it together with a horrible hurry. The car was even easier to drive than I imagined before the race.

A year ago you were really doubtful and sceptic, even negative, about these Super 2000 -cars, have you changed your mind?

- You get an interesting and even competition with them but it isn't yet unbelievably flashing. There should definitely be the turbos so that the serie would be more flashy.

How does it feel to drive those night stages, the last two stages were during midnight?

- It was fun for a change, I would want more of stages like that in the WRC-serie. It measured how well the drivers can hang on and also their endurance, it suited me really well. I think that we will drive some stages in the dark during the WRC-serie. A prolonged day would of course be extremely hard but it would also separate the drivers.

It's two weeks before the WRC-serie starts, do you feel that "oh no, does it starts already" or "do I still have to wait two weeks"?

- Without doubt it's more like do I still have to wait two weeks. I would have wanted to start the WRC-serie immediately after Wales. I have more energy than ever before. We have been thinking more than before what we could do better this season.

Well what is done better then?

- We have to win more rallies than before and act accordingly. I have to have courage to make my own decisions. An example from last season: In Norway when it was really tight between Loeb and me, I was thinking on Saturday if the car should be changed but I didn't have the courage to change it so it wouldn't take a turn for worse. We had the guts to change the car on Sunday and damn it worked really well. We started to catch Loeb but it was already too late for that. They are small things like these that you face during the journey. You have to trust in your own feeling and react courageously during the races.

What kind of a time was this period between Wales (the last race) and Sweden, did you get some rest?

- There has been an awful lot of PR-gigs, award-events and other program. We even raced in some small races in China and Bologna. I got to keep a vacation only from Christmas to New year but it didn't bother me at all. Like I said, I have more energy than ever before.

There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm and new kind of self-confidence in your talks and your being than before, do you feel that you have changed somehow?

- I have got self-confidence more and more, the faith in beating Loeb has only grown stronger. Even Loeb confessed after last season that he was put really tight and it only increases my own determination. I believe that I am stronger than ever before this season.

You are not the biggest fan of strategies and team orders, the fact last season was though that with one team order in Corsica you would now be the world champion, how much have you chewed that matter inside your head?

- I have left it behind me already. One has to remember that in Corsica the situation was completely different and we weren't thinking about the championship. Citroen tricked a lot with team orders during the whole season and played the points into Loeb's bag, we have to be more precise and rude in that matter. If you got to do it then you have to do it.

You are now officially Ford's driver number 1, will this change your attitude in any way? There might be more team orders in your favour than before.

- Oh well, it doesn't exactly make the job easier. Once we see how the season proceeds, these matters can be of more significance. It doesn't affect me in any way.

Sebastien Loeb is a bit like the Germany of rally meaning forst you kick the ball for some time and in the end Germany and Loeb always wins, have you at any stage been hit by despair with this currently valid fact?

- Not really, it's more the other way around. The faith has become stronger because we have got closer year by year and I have a personal growing confidence that I will beat Loeb. I didn't feel any despair last season when Loeb won five rallies in a row. I knew all the time that with a perfect preparation we can beat him and we did have some extra problems in each five races.

The media buzz has been concentrated on Räikkönen instead of you and Loeb and it will probably also be concentrated on him in the opening race, is this a good or a bad thing for you?

- It doesn't have a big significance but it most definitely doesn't disturb me. It can be a good thing too if they let you be more than before. It's only a good thing if the reporters are running after Kimi.

Are you fed up with the fact that you have been asked question after question about Räikkönen during the last months?

- No I'm not fed up with that, I have tried to give very emptying answers. It's only a positive thing that there has been that much discussion and that the matter awakens the general interest. It is definitely benefiting the whole rally sport.

All teams seem to focus more on developing the car for next season than they do on this season, will this season be a transition-year in WRC?

- Absolutely not. We at least test as much as we can this season. We aren't allowed to classify any new parts for this season anymore but we can play a lot with suspensions and locks and we will develop just as we did before. I believe that everyone else does the same.

There will be four races on tarmac this season while there were only two last season, this must show in your testing program in some way?

- Yes of course, we try to get more into testing on tarmac than before. We will have our normal tests on gravel too but on gravel we know our own car much better so it's not a significant matter.

A lay person thinks of course straight away that your possibilities compared to Loeb will weaken when there won't be as many races on gravel, is it so?

- Maybe the challenge will be bigger in the endseason but it doesn't horrify me. We have talked and acknowledged for many years that we have to get a better pace on tarmac. And every year we have been a little better in that. This year we hope and believe that we will take one more huge step closer to that.

Do you think it's a good thing that this season you can during one stage be driving both on gravel and tarmac, is it a good or a bad thing?

- Mostly it will make the tyre-choices tricky but it's not that problematic if the setup is made for gravel when there's more gravel. Cyprus was much more difficult last season when we drove on gravel one day and on tarmac the other day.

The opening race in Sweden will be the most interesting WRC-rally for ages now that Räikkönen makes his debut and now that even Marcus Grönholm is taking part with a competitive machinery, what are your expectations for that race?

- We try to take the opening victory but I bet Loeb will go fast. If Marcus succeeds in any comeback it will be in Sweden, he knows the race and the stages so unbelievably well.

Do you think that Bosse still has the pace? Could the man still tour the WRC-serie?

- I believe that he will be fighting for the victory especially in Sweden. I haven't talked with him for a while, we talked before christmas the last time and he seemed to be filled with enthusiasm. But I still don't believe that Marcus would have the energy to tour the whole WRC-serie.

Which races will be the most decisive when thinking of the championship?

- I haven't thought about it that way. I've sometimes made a mistake thinking that we are especially strong in certain races. And of course those races have gone down my b***. You can't go to any race with loose wrists, every race is equally important. Of course the row of races on tarmac in the endseason will be a huge challenge for us.

Do you think differently about winning the championship now than for example last year at the same time? Is it more important to you now?

- Maybe the attitude has changed year by year. A couple of years ago when Marcus retired I imagined that we will barely be able to stay in the fight and it went that way. Last year we knew that we had a possibility to be really close to the championship and that proved to be the right estimation. Now my thoughts are a damn more strong - now we take the championship. You are hungry every year and the hunger just keeps growing bigger and bigger.

Can you also send your greetings to Sebastien Loeb...

- Let's hope that he has done his homework well. Otherwise he will be second.

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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 16:01  
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Thanks Nicole!!!!!!!! :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 17:14  
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Wow wolfie. Thanks. Nice Interview. Very much Humble.

Go Hirvonen Go..

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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 18:08  
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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 18:09  
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I'm REALLY sorry for posting something so old, which I read last year when I first entered on his site. It really gives you an insight into his character.
Mikko Hirvonen: Game is not over yet...

Now I really can say that its' been a while since I wrote a column for you fans - sorry about that :(... As third of the season is behind of us I'm sitting in a airplane heading towards Rally Argentina and now I have time to surprise myself and write few thoughts for you.

Loeb 4 - rest of the world 0. This is what the game seems in everyones' eyes - And thats' the truth. Loeb has won all four rallyes of the season. Lots of people say he's easily won those event. It appars so even in f.ex in Norway we managed to give him a good fight. Lots of people say he's going to be a Champion again. He might be, BUT GODDAMNIT the season is not over yet. If we would give up now we should quit the season and start over in next year. I say no, no, no and no - game is not over yet.

I'm not even try to say you that I'm not banging my head to wall after eeach event as it happens that Loeb has been one step faster than us. However in this season this has been the case, but I haven't lost my believe for the fact that I can win him. Setbacks comes and goes but we'll always been able to survive from them and keep going. Yes there has been moments when I have had to take a deep breath and start over again. Still my goal is nothing less than being a World Rally Champion - The title which we'll be rallying for as long as its' possible.

Before the season got started I told everyone that I had to pick up my speed and raise the limit to be able to beat Loeb - And that's also very true. For the fact that we're not done so might be the reason that we haven't went off and retired the events. People have lots of opinions about my speed - However I won't comment those thoughts, but here's my version: Taking risks is not easy thing to do. You have to take them in right time. It would be stupid to rally with ultimate speed for every corner of the stage and try not to avoid crashing out. I think taking risks in some corners and in some sections in the stage is wise - you just have to decide where to take them.

If someone still says after Rally Portugal that Loeb is rallying with major luck to keep his car with four wheels. He also had his moments and believe me he has used lots of his season luck as he's rallying with maximum speed. We had also few moments in Rally Portugal and without luck we wouldn't made it through. Luck or not our journey continued. It seems like the more we've been rallying with competitive speed we've managed to survive from craziest moments. When rallying with full speed you'll get skills to be able to keep your car on the stage no matter how wild moments you have. This is how things goes - risks are taken in lots of sections.

For the spectators its' very hard to explain how fast you have to be and how many risks you have to take when you rally top special stage times. Sadly the starting position has lots of effect for the times - and it sucks pretty bad :(. But when being on podium on each four rallyes of the season tells you that the season has so far gone pretty good - and with that fact you have to live with. I absolutely want to welcome back the reversed starting position. I would mean that for the top drivers the tactics and complains about stage conditions would be left away. Even I say this it wouldn't mean that I would use tactics when necessary. Ofcourse I will do so if I see it helping us to gain victory. And believe me I will do anything for the victory.

There are always lots of small things which could be used to explain how things went wrong this time. There has always been and always will be these moments - So what? You won't win anything by explaining. If again I'm second it means that someone took the job better than me. However still I will to give my best and make things better than in previous round. It might be the case that after Rally Argentina I'm banging my head to the wall, but the battle for the Championship still goes on - Quitting is not an option.

And by the way I had a experience of driving with normal rally cross Ford Escort car. I must say that my friends had build a good car again. In May 1st I'll be entering in Finnish rally cross event with that car. It's going to be hellowa fun! BR. Mikko Hirvonen.

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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 20:01  
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Thank you Lucian, never too late to post an article like that :thumbsup:

Boudica, thanks for the picture :thumbsup:

Mikko Hirvonen keeps his own blog in MTV3. Quite interesting what he has to say about the tactics :O

Mexico Review

PUTTING IN A NEW GEAR

Rally Mexico was a huge disappointment. It's no use to circle around the fact. We knew to expect a tough race but we weren't prepared for Citroen's complete dominance. In one word it was confusing.

We held a long meeting after the race but couldn't find the final explanation. The difference came from many different factors. I guessed in my last blog that Citroen's engine which has higher revs will give them an advantage. That combined with the French team's six-notch gearbox proved out to be a damn well working package. Yet that isn't still the whole explanation.

I chatted with Sebastien Loeb after the race. He was also surprised over the dominance his team had. The Champion figured that one reason might be Citroen's chassis. In the earlier Rally Mexico two years ago Citroen used a more stiff suspension. Back then we were able to give them a clearly better resistance. Now Citroen used a soft suspension and the difference was already unreasonable. I had ended up with the same analysis during the weekend as Loeb. The difference is explainable with many different things that together made the French team superior.

Loeb didn't come to brag with his big victory after the race, he just wondered what happened with us. We wondered about that for some time together but both of us know that we won't see the same dominance in the next race. Mexico was a huge disappointment for us but it's already history. I had enough of bad situations in the race so I have reason to be satisfied with these points. I could have retired many times.

Jari-Matti Latvala had to let me overtake him in the end of the race. It wasn't nice for either one of us but unfortunately it's the name of the game. Jari-Matti drove a great race in Mexico aswell as in Sweden fulfilling perfectly the team's wishes. We still lead the constructor's championship which is really important for the team.

We drove in Jordan two years ago for the first time and we used tactics with the next day's starting orders. I predict that we will see the same thing now too. But I don't believe that Ford would be beaten like in Mexico. In Jordan we drive in a normal latitude so Citroen doesn't get any advantage from their engines. One thing is for sure, it will be warm and the tyres will be put on trial.

We go to Jordan to win. There is no reason why it wouldn't be possible. I still trust in our car and in myself. During the path to a Champion you meet difficulties. You have to learn from them, not start worrying about them.

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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 20:06  
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Jordan review

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

I already thought that the constant tactics that has come to stay in WRC would have reached the top. I imagined that at least it can't get any new forms. I don't imagine that anymore. In Jordan the tactics changed from laughable to insane.

Sebastian Ogier's race and very possible podium was sacrificed for Sebastien Loeb when the youngster was artificially put to sweep the road for the Champion. Ford answered by tricking me to sweep the road for Jari-Matti Latvala. It's not Loeb's and not even Citroen's fault, it's the stupid regulations.

The insanity of the situation is best described by Loeb admitting in an early interview during the race that he no longer has any comprehension over what is going on in the race. Well neither had we and most certainly neither had the viewers. There's only one conclusion to make after Jordan's mess: Enough is enough!

We talked with Loeb, Latvala, Dani Sordo and Petter Solberg many times during the weekend about what we could do. We soon found a mutual view, decided to write it down and take our suggestion to FIA. We want to change the regulations about the driving order. The basic principal is a model where the driver always needs to be the fastest.

We propose that the fastest driver of each day gets to choose his starting order for the next day. The 2nd fastest would choose next, then the 3rd and so on. This could work with 10 or 15 fastest drivers. Also every driver would drive in the shakedown according to the championship-order with a one minute interval as some sort of a qualification. The fastest in shakedown would get to choose his starting order for the next day. This way the interest towards the shakedown would grow remarkably.

We wish that the new regulations would be taken into use already in Turkey. It is probably an over-optimistic wish. The pressure among the drivers is so big now that FIA has to evaluate the proposition properly and change the system. We can't go on like this anymore.

The current regulations weren't the only stupidity in Jordan. My retirement was completely unnecessary, completely incomprehensable and there's no sensible explanation for it. The place was easy and I wouldn't have gained any advantage by taking a shortcut. My concentration wasn't lost either. I have rarely done something like that so maybe it's a statistic blunder then. Still, going with the theme of my blog I say about stupid mistakes too: Enough is enough!

I have to dig out a real dude-attitude to my driving. Just put the foot straight and go with a big risk. If I go out then so be it. At least I have given it all I've got.

The championship battle isn't lost yet but achieving it did turn difficult, there's no point in denying that.

I usually don't worry about the past and I'm definitely not giving up the fight now either.

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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 20:08  
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For the guys :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2010, 13:24  
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Just found out from ralli.net Mikko Hirvonen was last summer in karting event at Hyvinkää, organised by Santander. :blink:
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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2010, 15:07  
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Wolfie wrote:
For the guys :lol:

Image


Oooh, that Mikko is a lucky guy!

Thanks Wolfie ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2010, 21:21  
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TwoHardCore wrote:
Wolfie wrote:
For the guys :lol:

Image


Oooh, that Mikko is a lucky guy!

Thanks Wolfie ;)


Welcome TwoHardCore :hug:

Good to know what kind of pictures to look for in the future too. They always have rally-girls at every event :cool:

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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2010, 21:23  
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Mikko actually looks a little uncomfortable there :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2010, 21:43  
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ish678 wrote:
Mikko actually looks a little uncomfortable there :lol:


You're right, Ish :lol:

He looks like :zz: :blush:

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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2010, 21:53  
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I can't really blame him though :lol:

And the chick on the right is stupidly tall - she's making him look like a little gnome :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Mikko Hirvonen
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2010, 10:11  
Muhahaha...he looks like he would like to ask: "Am I in danger or will I manage to get out here without getting hurt??"

:lol:
   
 
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