Hirvonen not blaming Citroen for loss

Hirvonen not blaming team


The Finn moved into the lead of the WRC with his dominant Rally of Portugal success, but the exclusion of his DS3 WRC for clutch and turbocharger irregularities mean he drops from first to fourth in the race for this year's drivers' championship.

Hirvonen, who led the standings for 10 hours on Sunday night, told AUTOSPORT: "I am very disappointed, obviously.

"You have to understand these things happen and move on. The team has done a lot for me already, so there is no anger - there's no point to anything like that. It's a shame."

Following the demise of his Citroen team-mate Sebastien Loeb and his chief Ford rivals Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg on last week's Faro-based Rally of Portugal, Hirvonen went on to dominate the event, winning by more than a minute from Ford privateer Mads Ostberg, who inherited a maiden WRC win when the Citroen was thrown out.

"We'd had a good week and nearly got some good points from there," said Hirvonen. "Sometimes these things do happen and for us, this time, it wasn't supposed to happen. There's nothing we can do about this, except for be more careful in the future and just move on."

The Finn added that the loss of his first win with Citroen made him all the more determined to take to the top step of the podium again - and stay there this time.

"For sure this makes me more determined," he said. "I want to get out there again and really start the fight again. That's all we can do and that's what we're going to do. We win as a team together and we lose together, we are a team and that's it."

Hirvonen now heads to the WRC next round in Argentina at the end of April trailing championship leader and team-mate Loeb by 16 points.

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