Hirvonen admits he lacks confidence

Autosport

Mikko Hirvonen is pinning his Monte Carlo Rally hopes on significant set-up changes after struggling for confidence through the first part of the event.

The Finn is 2m29.7s behind his rally-leading Citroen team-mate Sebastien Loeb.

Having started leg two in fourth, Hirvonen slipped to fifth on Thursday morning's last stage when Evgeny Novikov passed him.

"I just can't find the confidence," said Hirvonen. "It's OK for some time and then we get some split times and I see I'm behind so I push harder and it gets worse.

"It's tough. I have had the car like Seb and Dani [Sordo] so far, but now have to change it.

"I didn't want to make the big change, but we must because otherwise the other guys behind are just going to catch up and pass us."

Citroen's technical director Xavier Mestelan-Pinon said the team would do all it could to revitalise Hirvonen.

"We have to find the solution for Mikko, it's our job," said Mestelan-Pinon.

"We have been working already during the rally for this, of course we have, but now we have made more changes in the suspension.

"It's not good for the driver not to have the confidence; the fastest way is to keep to the line and when they start to drive the car more sideways then more time - and more confidence - is lost."

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