Kimi Räikkönen hopes to compete in Rally Finland
Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen is hoping to return to the World Rally Championship for his home round of the series, Rally Finland in August.
Raikkonen departed the WRC last season, having spent two years driving a factory-specification Citroen.
The Jyvaskyla-based Rally Finland is the event Raikkonen has most experience, having competed there for the last three years. His best result was ninth last time out.
Raikkonen could compete in Finland, as the event runs the week after the Hungarian GP at the start of the Formula 1 season’s summer break.
Lotus is, however, likely to be understandably reluctant to let Raikkonen compete in Finland, having lost its star driver Robert Kubica when he crashed a Skoda Fabia S2000 ahead of the start of the 2011 season.
Raikkonen said: "I’d like to do Rally Finland this season as it fits with the calendar but you’ll have to ask the team if it fits in my contract."
Raikkonen, whose best WRC result was a fifth place in Turkey in 2010, admitted the WRC was tougher than he expected ‘ but said he would be back.
He added: "I knew [rallying] was tough as I’d done some before but it’s different at the highest level. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Of course, I wanted to do better. But I’m not finished. I want to go back, whether for my career or after I don’t know.
"Formula 1 and rallying are two completely different sports. In rallying everything is different. Okay, you have the pace notes but you don’t know for sure what’s around the next corner."
Sogno già infranto però.
Lotus Formula 1 team denies Kimi Raikkonen permission to contest Rally Finland
Kimi Raikkonen will not be allowed to take part in Rally Finland later this year, AUTOSPORT has learned, with his team bosses unwilling to release him from his commitments to the Lotus Formula 1 team.
The former world champion had sought clearance to make a one-off return to the WRC, even though it is understood his F1 contract forbids him from taking part in rallying.
However, following talks between Raikkonen and his boss Eric Boullier in Monaco, he was informed that the memory Robert Kubica’s rally crash last year meant the team was not prepared to allow him to compete.
Boullier told AUTOSPORT: "I sat down with Kimi earlier today and we talked about it.
"His contract does not allow him to go rallying and, after what happened with Robert, this team could not let him do it.
"He fully understands the situation, so the matter is closed now."
Kubica was badly injured in an Italian rally crash in February last year, shortly after the first pre-season F1 test. His injuries forced him out for the season and there remain doubts about whether or not he will be able to make an F1 return.
Raikkonen competed in the WRC in 2010 and ’11 before deciding to come back to F1 for this season.
Kimi: a potential unfulfilled
By returning to Formula One following two seasons in the World Rally Championship the itch has been scratched for Kimi Raikkonen – but to what extent that has provided relief remains to be seen.
Ousted (but still paid for) by Ferrari at the end of 2009, he explained that the circumstances were finally right for him to get a few answers to some questions he had been asking himself for a while: would his sublime natural talent and his inherent speed translate just as fluently to rally stages as it did to a race track?
Circuit racing came as naturally to Kimi as breathing: when he made his Formula One debut, he only had 23 car races behind him – a fact that caused some consternation among his colleagues.
“I wanted to try rallying; I don’t have to be so serious about it,” says Raikkonen. “I was always curious to know if I could stay on the road and keep pushing. It was very different from Formula One.”
His detractors would say that it proved to be too different, but Kimi knew what to expect.
“On a circuit you know every inch of it and it doesn’t really change from lap to lap. You do exactly the same things every time. On a rally everything is different. There are no corners that are the same: even a right 2 will not be the same corner as the next right 2. Of course you have much less margin for error.”
In the end, two years was never really going to be enough to make it to the top: as his co-driver Kaj Lindstrom warned him, this was going to be a three-year project or longer. People will say that Sebastien Loeb or Sebastien Ogier were instantly quick in a World Rally Car for the first time, but they conveniently forget the thousands of stage kilometres that will have been driven on national rallies and in testing, as well as the inherent ease that these drivers have with pace notes.
Given that Kimi never even liked engineers talking to him over the radio in Formula One, and that the sum of his rallying experience now puts him roughly where Jari-Matti Latvala was when he was 20, the Iceman’s results have been pretty impressive, with consistent top six finishes this year.
Extrapolating the trajectory of his learning curve, next year he could well have been in a position to challenge for podiums, with the chance of a win perhaps coming in 2013.
The highs were his fifth place on Turkey – only his fourth WRC event – and a debut stage win on the Circus Maximus superspecial in Germany; the lows included the shakedown accident that put him out of RallyRACC-Rally de Espana last year and a banal road section accident that curtailed his activities in France.
Whatever you think about Kimi, it’s impossible to deny that his star quality has made a huge impact on the World Rally Championship and that he’s finally answered his own question. Yes he can do it – but it’s hardly the work of a moment.
Da YLE.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Latvala: They put way too much pressure on Kimi
According to Latvala they put way too much pressure on Räikkönen in the rally-circles.
- Kimi brought the genre a lot of media-visibility and a lot of new fans. Even many reporters who had never before followed rally started to follow it, Latvala said to YLE Urheilu.
- When Kimi came to rally they put way too much pressure on him. Little by little he started to relax but the expectations placed on him were way too hard.
According to Latvala the Iceman’s motivation seemed to go downhill during the autumn.
- Let’s just say that I started to notice how Kimi’s motivation towards rallying started to take off during the last races. Maybe him not being satisfied with the results and his F1-thoughts had something to do with it.
Da Elisa.net, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
"Räikkönen drove completely reasonable times"
They believe that Kimi Räikkönen’s rallying career is over for now when he is seriously negotiating about a comeback to F1. Kimi drove in WRC for only two seasons but the difference to the top has been several minutes. His best result is Rally Turkey in 2010 when he came in 5th.
SWRC-serie’s world champion from this year, Juho Hänninen with Skoda, was often faster than Räikkönen although Räikkönen drove in a class higher with a WRC-car. Still Hänninen thinks that Räikkönen’s performances in rally were good.
- I think that it was a realistic result. Maybe the majority expected more and I bet Kimi himself also expected more, however Kimi realised pretty quickly that it isn’t that easy. Still he made good times especially when driving a stage for the second time since he remembered them better. That’s when he drove completely reasonable times, Hänninen told Sport Content.
Hänninen reminded that rallying requires a lot of training and that it takes several years to develop into a top driver.
- Nobody can succeed in this without practice, Hänninen said.
It was fun while it lasted, but the adventure is over – Kimi Raikkonen is leaving the forests and heading back to Formula 1 with Renault, or rather Lotus, as the team becomes in 2012.
Two years ago, it had all seemed so promising. The world knew Raikkonen was ultra-rapid but had lost motivation in F1. It was the politics and the sponsor pressure that he appeared to have tired of, not the driving, and he loved dabbling in rallying on the side. The World Rally Championship gave him a chance to get back to pure driving, in a more laidback atmosphere in which he could thrive in time – especially with Citroen, Red Bull and Kaj Lindstrom behind him.
It wasn’t just going to be good for Kimi’s morale either: the arrival of such a big name was a massive publicity bonus for the WRC and saw a huge number of hitherto disinterested new fans heading to the stages or tuning in to Rally Radio to follow Raikkonen’s rise to the top in his new challenge.
Except it didn’t quite work out like that. Inevitably Raikkonen was some way off Citroen Junior team-mate Sebastien Ogier’s pace in 2010, and inevitably he went off the road a lot as he got to grips with such a different discipline. But this was nothing that time, patience and mileage couldn’t fix, especially as there were flashes of promising speed along the way.
Time was what the WRC and Raikkonen marriage did not have, though. It wasn’t far into 2011 before it became clear that his heart was elsewhere. There were rallies skipped (missing Australia meant his Ice 1 team was kicked out of the standings) and events not rejoined under superally even when it was easily possible and the extra mileage would’ve been so beneficial. It was the extra-curricular outings that were most telling, though. Whereas once rallying had been Raikkonen’s release from the drudgery of F1, now he was popping up in NASCAR Trucks and Peugeot LMP1 cars as an escape from the WRC – and also becoming pivotal to the F1 driver market. Even as he did so, his stage times got a little better, and his demeanour with fans and the WRC media became slightly more open (by Iceman standards), hinting at what might have been.
So farewell and good luck, Kimi. We would’ve loved to see you stick around, give rallying a proper chance and really hone your skills, but it was better to have had you with us for two years than not at all.
Lindström: "F1 is Kimi’s world"
To Kaj Lindström the news about the return to F1 did not come as a surprise.
Lindström doesn’t want to specify when Kimi told him about his decision. Lindström didn’t try to talk the F1-champion out of it.
- It was Kimi’s decision, I respect it. Great that he got a good contract, Lindström said to Iltalehti.
According to Lindström Räikkönen would have had a chance to go forward in rally if he had decided to continue in the sport. Lindström has earlier talked about rally as at least a 4-year project if the goal is to succeed. The co-driver doesn’t fret though that the cooperation ended.
- We went year at a time, that was clear from the start. You don’t instantly jump to the top. There was two great and sweet years. It was nice to work and drive with Kimi, Lindström thanked.
"Kimi will do fine"
Although Räikkönen was believed to enjoy himself better in rally’s more barren environment than in F1’s society, according to Lindström that is not exactly the case.
- F1 is his world. I think he might be more comfortable there.
Lindström learned to know Räikkönen during the two years. That’s why he’s going to follow next F1-season with a special interest, with "very different feelings".
Predictions about success he is not going to give though.
- I had to compare the sports for two years until boredom, although I have never sat in a F1-car, so it’s difficult to comment on that. The driver at least is talented, so I’m pretty sure he’ll do fine, Lindström laughed.
Da iltalehti.fi, traduzione Leijona@F1CoffeForum
Räikkönen still has hunger for rally
How is it Kimi Räikkönen, would it be time for podiums next year if your career would happen to continue in WRC?
- The top of five goes fast but I guess I would develop if I would still drive for one more season. It’s difficult to say what results I would achieve. I guess the level would go up and the speed would go forward, Räikkönen speculated in the service park in Builth Wells.
- We have improved all the time. It’s important. If I would want to drive the same speed as the top, then I would have to test a lot and drive all the time. Yet we haven’t gone into this so that we would be driving with the taste of blood in the mouth, Räikkönen reminds.
- I do everything I can but I have to know myself where we are. It’s not wise to go and do something stupid, Räikkönen describes his rally speed.
No disappointment, own fault
- Muddy braking in downhill, from where the car slided into a soft bank. The driving line was wide and there was too much mud, Räikkönen thinks. Nothing new from F1 -There are no contracts or plans for next season, Räikkönen says.
Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström got the car back on the road with the help of spectators, but the journey ended quickly. The power transmission got too severe hits in the off, so it wasn’t possible to continue.
- It doesn’t disappoint me, my own fault, Räikkönen said.
Then is it possible that your career continues in rally next season?
-Of course. I have enjoyed myself here.
- Muddy braking in downhill, from where the car slided into a soft bank. The driving line was wide and there was too much mud, Räikkönen thinks.
Nothing new from F1
-There are no contracts or plans for next season, Räikkönen says.
Da MTV3.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForumUfficiale
Kimi about future plans: "We are chatting with many places"
- I don’t have any plans. Lets see what happens and what we do, Räikkönen summed up.
According to Räikkönen he doesn’t have any timetable for his future decisions.
Rally is also one of the options.
- I’ve liked it here. I wouldn’t have been here if I didn’t.
Räikkönen admitted earlier this week that he has been in contact with Williams but emphasized that there is nothing concrete.
- We always chat to many places and negotiate, but until there is a contract it’s useless to talk about them.
According to his own words, Kaj Lindström is just as unaware of Räikkönen’s future as everybody else.
- I don’t think anyone knows it. The master hasn’t decided yet. Last year we agreed about this year in December, Lindström reminded.
Da iltalehti.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForumUfficiale
SS12: 09:42 Raikkonen stopped in SS12
GPS tracking data indicates that Kimi Raikkonen has come to a halt before the third split point.
Räikkönen and Solberg retire in Wales
Video da MTV3: http://www.mediafire.com/?u07vwa9ah9555n6
Kimi Raikkonen and Petter Solberg won’t take any further part on Wales Rally GB following their exits from the world championship finale this morning.
Raikkonen suffered a light roll in his Citroen DS3 WRC on the opening Hafren test, while Solberg stopped prior to the run when a broken fuel pipe ignited a small fire in his similar Citroen.
Ex-Formula One world champion Raikkonen and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, who were sixth overall prior to their exit, managed to regain the road after the roll following the intervention of a number of spectators. However, the damage sustained meant they failed to complete the 32.14.kilometre test.
SS4: RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "It was bit slippery in some places. I wasn’t driving very well."
SS11: RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "We thought we had a puncture, but there is something with the steering."
Da MTV3.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForumUfficiale
Räikkönen: The driving is better
Räikkönen was happy that compared to F1 he had a roof over his head now.
- You don’t get very wet here. It’s of course a different world.
- Oh well, the driving was better. That last stage was just completely foggy, I hardly saw anything. It also rained quite a lot on the other stages.
- It’s a new day tomorrow, lets see.
They rumour Räikkönen made his decision to quit his rallying career already in rally Finland, after being frustrated in his own inability to improve. Officially the man doesn’t say anything about next year, or if we will see him in rally Wales again.
- It’s difficult to say, I have no decisions about next year, Räikkönen grunted.
Da iltalehti.fi, traduzione di Nicole@KRForumUfficiale
Kimi’s lights went off
According to Kaj Lindström Rally Wales is one of Räikkönen’s favorite rallies.
- Kimi liked this rally last year also. This is a difficult race but the more challenging, the more he likes it, Lindström told.
The opening day proceeded without any problems but then on the 3rd SS Räikkönen and Lindström got into a scary situation when the lights suddenly went off in the dark.
- We lost there because we had to brake on a straight.
According to Lindström Räikkönen was in a good mood.
- Hopefully he is that tomorrow too although he has to wake up early, Lindström laughed.
The alarm clock woke up the duo at 5 a.m. this morning. According to Linström Kimi isn’t used to early mornings.
- But if you aren’t a morning person, then you just aren’t.
1. OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:31.2
=1. MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:31.2
3. LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:32.1
4. SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:32.2
=5. OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:32.5
=5. LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:32.5
=5. WILSON. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:32.5
=8. HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:32.8
=8. RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:32.8
10. BLOCK. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:33.4
11. H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:33.9
=12. KUIPERS. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:34.4
=12. P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:34.4
=12. PROKOP. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:34.4
15. NOVIKOV. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:34.7
16. TANAK. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:34.8
17. ARAUJO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:35.2
(19). VAN MERKSTEIJN JR. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:36.2
(23). OLIVEIRA. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:39.3
Questo martedì, Kimi Räikkönen ha effettuato un test per il prossimo Rally di Gran Bretagna nel Tarn.
Una sola giornata per il finlandese che è stato raggiunto da Luca Pedersoli, campione d’Italia su asfalto quest’anno e che potrebbe ottenere una nuova WRC…
Con un avvenire completamente incerto nei rally, Räikkönen ha effettuato forse le sue ultime prove a bordo di una WRC…
Da Autosprint n. 43 del 25/10/2011
Kimi’s exit caused by fuel leak
Citroen Racing Technologies’ boss Benoit Nogier has confirmed that a fuel leak caused Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement from RallyRACC-Rally de Espana on Friday morning.
Raikkonen, Formula One world champion in 2007, was fighting back from the time lost on the dust-coated opening stage when he stopped on stage three.
“We had a problem with a fuel leak and he had to stop in the stage,” said Nogier. “It was a very, very small leak but we lost a lot of fuel. It was something almost invisible and it was really difficult to find what the problem was.”
Nogier, who said a full analysis of the fuel leak problem would take place in order to establish the precise cause, confirmed Raikkonen’s Citroen DS3 WRC had briefly caught fire although there was little damage as a result of this.
Raikkonen elected not to restart under SupeRally rules this morning, even though his car had been repaired.
“Kimi took the decision to keep the car for the next rally, the last event of the season, which will be very important,” said Nogier. “We prefer not to take any risks to keep the full potential for the next rally.”
SS1: 08:28 Raikkonen and Henning Solberg through SS1
Kimi Raikkonen and Henning Solberg reach the end of SS1, both having dropped time in the hanging dust. Raikkonen sets a time of 16m 40s, while Solberg stops the clock at 16m 0.5s.
SS2: 09:44 Raikkonen completes SS2
Citroen DS3 WRC privateer Kimi Raikkonen sets a time of 24m 59.3s on SS2, dropping 1m 9.9s to stage leader Sebastien Ogier.
SS3: 11:07 Raikkonen stops in stage
Kimi Raikkonen’s privateer Citroen DS3 WRC has stopped almost 14km into SS3. [..] Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen is back on the move. […] Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen has stopped again mid-stage.
P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:08.5
VILLAGRA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:08.7
OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:08.9
LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:08.9
H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:08.9
HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:09.0
LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:09.1
OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:09.1
SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 2:09.4
MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 2:10.7
AL QASSIMI. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:11.1
WILSON. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:11.3
NOVIKOV. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:11.6
ARAUJO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 2:12.7
BLOCK. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:13.1
RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:13.9
KUIPERS. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:14.0
VAN MERKSTEIJN JR. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:15.0
OLIVEIRA. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 2:17.1
[…] “Five cars have been prepared in our workshops for this rally”, explain Benoît Nogier, the man in charge of the Versailles-Satory based team. “In addition to the four race-prepared DS3 WRCs, a fifth was made available for a test session this week.”
Kimi Räikkönen (ICE1 Racing) racked up six consecutives top-10 finishes in the early part of the season, and the Finn is tackling Rally Spain full of ambition: “Kimi’s potential is increasing in leaps and bounds. In Rally France he could have finished in the first five. By tacking advantage of a good starting position on the first day, and with the speed he’s already shown on dry tarmac he could achieve a very good result”.
Kimi Räikkönen opts not to restart the Rally of France for day two
Kimi Raikkonen has joined fellow Citroen DS3 WRC driver Sebastien Loeb on the official retirements list from the Rally of France – the Finn is on his way home to Geneva after his road accident this morning.
Raikkonen was sidelined with suspension damage after he hit the back of Henning Solberg’s Ford Fiesta RS WRC on the way to stage three. The team says the damage could have been repaired, but it was felt there was no point when the penalties would have ruled out any chance of a top result.
Team manager Benoit Nogier said: "It’s over, Kimi has gone [home]. The damage was not so bad, but he preferred to stop. That’s it. This is very disappointing."
Nogier added that Raikkonen’s early pace on the Alsace event, running inside the top 10, was looking positive for the rest of the rally.
"We could have made a good result here," he said. "The times on the first stages were good."
Raikkonen will contest the final two rounds of the World Rally Championship in Spain and Britain as expected.
Kimi Räikkönen says his Rally of France road section shunt was a ‘stupid accident’
Kimi Raikkonen’s Ice 1 Racing team manager Benoit Nogier said the Finn described his exit from the opening day of Rally de France as a "stupid accident."
Raikkonen explained his crash, when the Citroen driver hit the back of Henning Solberg’s Ford on the road section to stage three, when he arrived back in service in Strasbourg earlier today.
Nogier said: "Henning had passed Kimi on the road section. They were both weaving to warm up their tyres, but Kimi had to go back past Henning because he was going to start the stage before him.
"Henning had stopped weaving and was in a straight line to the right side of the road. Kimi thought he had left the space for him to pass him, so he went by. Just as he was passing him, Henning braked hard to try and warm up the brakes."
It was at that point that the front-right corner of Raikkonen’s Citroen made contact with the left-rear of the Solberg Fiesta. The collision broke the suspension on the DS3 and put Raikkonen in a ditch on the left hand side of the road.
"Kimi said Henning got straight out of the car and apologised, saying he hadn’t seen him at all," continued Nogier. "Kimi said it was just a stupid accident, one of those things. He said Henning should get in the car and go drive the stage. It was one of those bizarre accidents."
SS1: 07:13 Raikkonen survives brush with a ditch
Kimi Raikkonen completes SS1 in 5m52.3s, 10.6s adrift of Loeb, having collected some grass during a brief excursion into a ditch: “It was okay. One braking was very slippery and we went off the road a little bit.”
SS3: 09:00 Raikkonen misses SS3 start
Kimi Raikkonen has not finished SS3 and reports form the stage indicate that he did not arrive at the start.
Räikkönen crashes out of Rally France before start of SS3
Kimi Raikkonen has retired from Rally de France after crashing before the start of the third stage this morning.
The Finn had been running in ninth place after the first two stages of the Alsace event, but the Citroen driver is reported to have dropped his DS3 WRC into a ditch while warming his tyres up prior to SS3, the longest stage of the rally.
There has been speculation that Raikkonen was avoiding another competitor when he went off the road. The impact is believed to have damaged the suspension and ended his participation in the event.
The 22-mile Pays d’Ormont test has taken its toll on this year’s Rally de France, with Sebastien Loeb stopping with mechanical trouble and both factory Fords of Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala going off the road, but making it to the end.
[…] Former Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen retired on the road section heading to stage three when a bizarre collision with Henning Solberg forced him into a ditch and retirement. Solberg was able to carry on, albeit with a dent on the left-hand side of his Fiesta. He is 12th overall, one place behind Super 2000 World Rally Championship leader Ott Tanak, who profited when rival Juho Hanninen suffered a puncture on his Skoda Fabia on stage three.
[…] Henning Solberg was seventh with ex-Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen eighth on his return to the WRC after missing the previous round in Australia. Matthew Wilson, in an M-Sport Stobart Fiesta and Mikko Hirvonen rounded out the top 10.
Here are the Shakedown times of the leading WRC crews:
1. LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:47.1
=2. OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:47.3
=2. SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:47.3
4. LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:47.9
5. P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:48.1
6. MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:48.2
7. H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:48.3
8. RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:48.5
9. WILSON. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:48.6
10. HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:48.9
11. OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:49.0
=12. VAN MERKSTEIJN JR. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:49.7
=12. ARAUJO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:49.7
14. KUIPERS. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:49.8
15. OLIVEIRA. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:51.9
16. CAMPANA. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:52.8
17. AL QASSIMI. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:53.1
18. BLOCK. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:53.8
18. NOVIKOV. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1.58.7
Kimi gets to grips with French asphalt
Kimi Raikkonen – who is of course better known as the Iceman – is planning to use his illustrious circuit racing experience on the Rallye de France this weekend, which unlike last year, is expected to be hot and dry.
The 2007 Formula One World Champion had a successful shakedown to finish eighth overall, less than a second behind the two factory Citroens of Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier. And he thinks that the cleaner road conditions this year should help him to a strong result.
“Generally, everything feels a lot easier this year,” said Raikkonen, who retired from the 2010 event after sliding off at low speed on a slippery left-hand corner. “The car was good in the shakedown and the weather conditions seem to be a lot more stable, so I think it could help us as it’s more normal driving.”
The famous poles on some of the stages, designed to stop cars cutting corners and dragging mud onto the road, also mean that the surface will be much more like a grand prix track, rather than the gravelly skating rink that caught out Raikkonen last year.
“I think it’s good: a tarmac rally should be a tarmac rally,” said his co-driver Kaj Lindstrom. “Last year it was terrible: you could hardly see the road for all the mud in some places."
Kimi Räikkönen’s team excluded from World Rally Championship standings
Kimi Raikkonen’s Ice 1 Racing team has been excluded from the classification of the World Rally Championship for not contesting this week’s Rally Australia.
The former Formula 1 world champion elected not to travel to Coffs Harbour for the 10th round of the WRC and, once the event got underway last night, the stewards of the meeting made their decision – which will cost Raikkonen €16,200 (£14,000).
The officials’ statement said: "Having considered the provisions of the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship Sporting Regulations and specifically article 7.3.8, the stewards decide to require the team Ice 1 Racing to pay the entry fee to the organisers of the 2011 Rally Australia, to pay the FIA a fine equal to the amount of the registration fee being €16,000 to exclude Ice1 Racing from the classification of the championship."
Raikkonen’s Ice1 Racing team is classified as a WRC Team and, as such, is bound to compete in the rallies nominated at the start of the season. Raikkonen had to nominate seven events, two of which had to be outside of Europe. He competed in Jordan earlier this year, but failing to make the start in Australia contravened the regulations.
The Finn had already contested six WRC rounds this season and was holding eighth place with 34 points. Raikkonen will be permitted to enter any of the remaining three rallies he wants to, but Ice 1 will not be included in the end of season classification.
In Raikkonen’s absence, the stewards’ decision was accepted by team manager Benoit Nogier.
Da TS.fi, traduzione Nicole@KRForum Ufficiale
Räikkönen maintained the driver’s points
Kimi Räikkönen’s ICE1 Racing -team was excluded from the teams WRC-serie on Friday. Räikkönen was 5th in this serie with 48 points.
The judges in Rally Australia registered that Räikkönen had skipped the race and according to the rules the team doesn’t fill the requirement to participate in at least two remote rallies outside Europe anymore.
Räikkönen has skipped Australia, Mexico, Sardinia and Argentina. From the remote rallies he has only taken part in Rally Jordan. After Australia he has France, Catalynia and Great-Britain left.
Australia was in Räikkönen’s original WRC-schedule but he decided to change his plans after Rally Finland. Instead of a rally trip Kimi has been on a holiday with his wife Jenni.
The hosts in Rally Australia gave Räikkönen a penalty since he didn’t show up there to race. The sum is the registration fee (16.200 euros). On top of that FIA gave the driver a penalty of the same amount.
In WRC the racing for Manufacturer’s championship is not the same as it is in F1. The price-money is remarkably smaller. That’s why even losing the 5th place isn’t such a big deal for Räikkönen financially.
What is special is that Räikkönen’s one-car -team has more WC-points than the driver has. ICE1 Racing had time to gather 48 points whereas Räikkönen is 8th in the driver’s serie with 34 points. The difference is only due to the fact that in some rallies all teams haven’t got any WC-points.
The penalty from Rally Australia concerns only the teams WC-serie. Therefore Räikkönen is still 8th in the driver’s serie. According to his original plan, Räikkönen will drive normally the three last WRC-rallies in the serie and think after that what he will be doing in 2012.
Räikkönen’s team hit with penalty
Kimi Raikkonen’s ICE 1 Racing will play no further part in the battle for the World Rally Championship manufacturers’ title following its exclusion from the series due to its no show on Rally Australia.
The Citroen Racing Technologies-managed operation had contested six rounds of this year’s world championship with Raikkonen at the wheel of a DS3 WRC, scoring manufacturers’ points on each occasion. Heading to Rally Australia, the squad was fifth in the table with 48 points.
ICE 1 had lodged an entry for ex-Formula One world champion Raikkonen and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom for Rally Australia but notified organisers that it wouldn’t be taking part on the Coffs Harbour-based round due to logistical and organisational difficulties. Its failure to take part was in contravention of article 7.3.8 of the WRC’s sporting regulations.
A decision taken by the Rally Australia stewards on Thursday ordered the Finnish-backed team to pay the entry fee to the event organisers and a fine of 16,200 Euros to the FIA, motorsport’s world governing body. It also excluded ICE 1 from the classification of the manufacturers’ championship.
Despite the punishment, Raikkonen is still committed to the WRC with this entry already submitted for round 11, Rally de France Alsace, which takes place from 28 September-2 October. He is also due to contest the rounds in Spain and Great Britain.
Da Autosprint n.37
Kimi Räikkönen a rischio multa e annullamento del Campionato Costruttori
Creando il team Ice1Racing, Kimi Räikkönen si è iscritto questa stagione anche come squadra WRC, uno stato che, contrariamente a quello dei costruttori veri e propri, permette di non disputare tutti i rally del campionato del mondo. Ciononostante è tenuto a rispettare rigide regole, regole che ha infranto non presentandosi al via del rally d’Australia questa settimana.
L’articolo 7.3.1 del regolamento sportivo del campionato del mondo rally stabilisce che una squadra WRC “s’impegna a partecipare ad almeno 7 rally, di cui 2 fuori dall’Europa con una o due vetture della stessa marca.” E’ ciò che aveva previsto Kimi Räikkönen all’inizio della stagione, la Giordania e l’Australia apparivano sul suo programma, ma il finlandese ha recentemente cambiato idea: si era iscritto per la prova australiana, ma poi ha deciso di non affrontare la trasferta.
Räikkönen prevede di disputare le prossime tre gare rimanenti, ma nessuna di queste è fuori dall’Europa. L’ex campione del mondo di Formula 1 finisce dunque vittima di una multa e di un annullamento del campionato Costruttori, così come stabilisce l’articolo 7.3.8 dello stesso regolamento: “Chi non partecipasse a una prova del campionato già stabilita, si vedrà infliggere una multa pari alla somma del diritto d’iscrizione (16.200 euro) e dovrà pagare ad ogni organizzatore della prova designata il diritto di prenotazione dovuto per la prova non corsa e non figurerà nella classifica del campionato”.
“Kimi è del tutto consapevole della situazione. Per quanto ne so non influirà sul resto della stagione”, afferma Jarmo Mahonen, Presidente della Commissione degli Sport Meccanici per la Federazione Internazionale dell’Automobile (FIA) al giornale finlandese YLE.
Al momento, Kimi Räikkönen ha saltato i Rally del Messico, d’Italia e d’Argentina. Se partecipa come previsto agli ultimi tre appuntamenti della stagione, avrà disputato nove prove WRC questa stagione. Attualmente figura all’ottavo posto del campionato Piloti con 34 punti e al quinto posto del campionato Costruttori con 48 punti.
Traduzione, da rallye.automoto365.com
Räikkönen to skip Rally Australia
Ice Man changes plans and will focus on remaining three WRC events of 2011
ICE 1 Racing’s Kimi Raikkonen to set to skip Rally Australia next month – despite having originally intended to tackle the event when his programme was announced at the start of the season.
Logistical and organisational difficulties mean that Raikkonen is now going to miss the Coffs Coast-based event, which takes place from 8-11 September on mainly gravel stages. Since switching to the WRC in 2010, the Finn has tended to miss the long-haul events, with the exception of Mexico, Japan and Jordan.
With Raikkonen’s programme depending largely on sponsorship input this year after energy drinks giant Red Bull scaled back its involvement compared to last season, less budget has been available for the 2007 Formula One world champion to use for tests and events.
Last year Raikkonen contested 12 rounds, missing only Rally New Zealand during the first half of the year, but also competed on some smaller regional rallies as tests. This season he will have entered nine world championship rallies, with a best result so far of sixth in Jordan (compared with fifth in Turkey last year).
However, his time difference to the frontrunners has improved considerably compared to the two seconds per kilometre he was lacking at the start of the 2010 season, and in Germany last week he showed himself capable of setting top six stage times, even on the most demanding tests such as Arena Panzerplatte – where he was fifth-quickest on Saturday evening.
After missing Australia, Raikkonen will compete in France, Spain and Great Britain: all rallies that he has entered before (although he was forced to miss the Catalunya round last year following a shakedown accident).
The 31-year-old Finn is yet to finalise his plans for next season, but has not ruled out the possibility of a full WRC campaign in 2012. Other possibilities in the frame include a return to Formula One or an extended NASCAR programme.
Raikkonen finished sixth on last week’s ADAC Rallye Deutschland. He’s currently eighth in the drivers’ standings, six points behind M-Sport Stobart driver Matthew Wilson.
SS15: 07:36 Raikkonen completes SS15
Citroen DS3 WRC driver Kimi Raikkonen reaches the end of the first stage of the day in 12m 29.9s. "It’s better than yesterday and the day before. I took it quite easy. We don’t have much to gain."
SS16: 08:20 Raikkonen and Henning Solberg through SS16
Kimi Raikkonen completes SS16 with a time of 9m 34.2s as he manages his advantage over Henning Solberg, who drops a further 17s in the battle for seventh. "The handbrake didn’t work," says Solberg to explain a spin.
RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "I’m trying to keep the gap between me and Henning."
SS17 – 10:55 Henning Solberg, Raikkonen complete SS17 (Audio http://www.mediafire.com/?e0go4ux66tyxcr3)
The fight for seventh is reinvigorated as Henning Solberg beats Kimi Raikkonen by 28.7s on SS17. Raikkonen’s margin is slashed to 15.3s with two stages to run.
RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. FL tyre puncture "We didn’t touch anything, I don’t konow. Nine km from here."
SS18: 11:34 Raikkonen through SS18 (Audio: http://www.mediafire.com/?wqr03r5dy1cdqn4)
Kimi Raikkonen completes SS18 and looks set to maintain his advantage to Henning Solberg in the fight for seventh. "Conditions are tricky, but we’ll see how it goes on the Power Stage. We’ll try to do something."
RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "Conditions were tricky here. We try to do something on Powerstage."
SS19: 13:30 Raikkonen through SS19 (Audio: http://www.mediafire.com/?hvg59i2hy4s24gb)
Having won this stage last year, Kimi Raikkonen reaches the end of the Power Stage with a time of 3m 25.5s to finish in a fine sixth position despite collecting a front-left puncture on the final test. "I got the puncture when we went over the curb. Last year we could drive over them. I’ve learned that I shouldn’t come here anymore! Too many mistakes. I didn’t drive many well this weekend."
RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. FL wheel puncture "I had not very good luck on this rally."
SS9 – 09:51 Raikkonen completes SS9
Citroen privateer Kimi Raikkonen stops the clock at 8m 52.9s on SS9, the seventh fastest time so far.
SS10 – 10:41 Raikkonen passes Henning Solberg for seventh (Audio http://www.mediafire.com/?czwulpbd9uyy6zv)
Kimi Raikkonen now leads Henning Solberg by 7s having outpaced the Finn in SS10 by 8.5s. "It’s a it better but I’m driving very bad today, so I’m not happy. Hopefully it’ll get better."
RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "I was driving very bad today. This one was better."
Commento di Studio Sport:
SS11 (Audio http://www.mediafire.com/?03qrjqfpt0di3m7) - 14:38 Raikkonen slows on SS11
Citroen DS3 WRC driver Kimi Raikkonen drops 17.2s on SS11 and loses seventh position to Henning Solberg. "At the beginning we hit a bump and the car lost power. We also spun halfway through."
SS12: RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "Car was OK. I had spin now, not good."
15:52 Raikkonen closes on Henning Solberg (Audio: http://www.mediafire.com/?u7jahbddyjtxjtr)
Citroen privateer Kimi Raikkonen closes on seventh-placed man Henning Solberg by 1.6s to cut the deficit to 2.1s. "The car was okay. I had a little spin and we’re losing ten seconds every time."
SS13: 16:54 Raikkonen quick through SS13
Kimi Raikkonen betters Henning Solberg by 1.1s on SS13 to reduce the deficit in the battle for seventh position to just 1.0s.
SS14 (Audio http://www.mediafire.com/?xkkur9jf3k77zne)
RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "Better to stay home than go to this rally. Lot of mistakes today. Hopefully tomorrow will be another day."
Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen sets a strong time of 20m 11.7s. "My driving has been very bad," said Raikkonen. "This stage was okay. Maybe it would have been better to stay at home for this rally."
Räikkönen craves good luck in Germany
Ex-Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen says a lack of good fortune has held him back on the opening day of ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
Raikkonen, who is eighth overnight in the ICE 1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC he shares with co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, took the only stage win of his World Rally Championship career to date on the Circus Maximus stage in Germany last year. But he’s yet to enjoy the same kind of success on the Trier-based round in 2011.
“Germany has been a bit unlucky for me so far,” said Raikkonen. “It’s hard to compare it with last year, because the car and the conditions are completely different. This morning I was on the wrong tyres and then in the afternoon I had a spin. But if you take away those things then it would not have been so bad, so I hope we can get better tomorrow.”
Raikkonen lost more than a minute on the rain-hit stage two alone, but revealed that he had come very close to taking the same bold tyre choice as the factory Citroens, with a mixture of hard and soft tyres. In the end he opted for the hard tyres exclusively, leaving him struggling for grip.
“We thought about doing the same; we probably should have done it,” he added. “Sure, it would be hard to know how the car might handle like that as we never tested it, but it probably would have been OK.”
Raikkonen’s best result so far this year is sixth overall in Jordan, which he believes he stands a chance of matching in Germany. “We need to be a bit lucky with that, but the feeling with the car is very good,” he concluded.
The Finn’s only other delay occurred on stage five when he carried too much speed into a right-hand bend and slid into a wooden fence. The impact damaged his driver’s side door, which kept flying open during the stage.
SS1 (Audio http://www.mediafire.com/?fhq5py3k5zbf519 ): Raikkonen, meanwhile, stops the clock at 14m 21.5s, the seventh fastest so far. "We spun in the third corner. Very slippery."
SS2: RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. "Second stage we spun on first corner, tyres were too hard."
SS3: "On the first stage we spun, on the second we had the wrong tyres but the last one was a little bit better," said the Finn.
SS4 (Audio http://www.mediafire.com/?0i5b2n2hpdtdm5i): Kimi Raikkonen sets the fourth quickest time so far on SS4: "The morning was difficult, I was not driving well. Hopefully I can do better now."
SS6 (Audio http://www.mediafire.com/?3bf3l366k995ef6)
RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. FL doors smashed "On previous one we were too fast in right hander, slide and destroy the doors."
[…] Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen’s Citroen shows signs of damage on its left-hand side following an impact on the previous stage; he sets a time of 12m 27.9s. "I was a little bit too fast in a right-hander and there was a fence. We slid into it and broke the door."