Ford's motorsport chief Gerard Quinn says Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala will both start Rally Finland this evening with their sights set on victory on the eighth round of the World Rally Championship.
Last year, Latvala was under no illusions that winning this round of the WRC was not what was expected, but this time around Quinn said the only priority for the Ford team was to beat the Citroens.
"Team orders are really irrelevant," said Quinn. "Look at the manufacturers' title, it's close and we need to beat Citroen. Mikko is our number one driver, we've stated that from the start of the season, but we're not going to let team orders hinder us in our pursuit of the manufacturers' [title].
"We didn't do it in New Zealand, where Jari-Matti won and finished ahead of Mikko and we're not going to do it here in Finland. And it will be all the better if they are fighting for first and second place, a maximum points score is just what we need. I expect both drivers will be flat-out from the first stage this evening."
Despite Quinn's comments, Latvala said he would start the event with a podium finish in mind.
"I want the podium," said the Finn, who has started Finland seven times and finished four of them – with third place last season being his best result yet.
"I had a great test, I drove for 600 kilometers, it was the most I have ever driven on a test and the hardest I have worked. We found things with the car, the car does feel better for me now. I have to say, there was a little excitement at the start of the week, but I feel much better now that I have been behind the wheel at shakedown this morning. I'm ready now."
Ford starts Rally Finland 47 points behind Citroen.