A proposito di Kimi

Articoli con tag “Citroën Junior Team

Habemus Papam, Kimi prosegue con Citroën!


Räikkönen prosegue in Citroën

La notizia che molti aspettavano è arrivata proprio nell’ultimo giorno disponibile prima della chiusura delle iscrizioni al Mondiale Rally. Kimi Räikkönen sarà al via della serie già dal primo appuntamento in Svezia dal 10 al 13 febbraio e lo farà al volante della DS3 Wrc. A darne la conferma il portavoce del pilota Riku Kuvaja ai microfoni di Tomi Tuominen della tv finlandese MTV3, “Abbiamo raggiunto l’accordo per dieci gare, ma è possibile che partecipi anche ad altre”.

Nonostante i tira e molla degli ultimi mesi e le voci che lo volevano una volta in Mini, un’altra in Ford e poi addirittura in Nascar, Kimi ha quindi firmato per un altro anno col team Junior della Citroën il cui nome sarà Ice1.

Stesso team e stesso co-equiper per lui che verrà ancora affiancato, nella sua seconda stagione nei traversi, da Kaj Lindström.

Da motorsport.motorionline.com


The Citroen Total World Rally Team has submitted a brace of entries for its factory DS3 WRCs that will be driven by Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier during the upcoming season.

The French make will also be represented by the new ICE 1 Racing squad headed by ex-Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen, while Norwegian Petter Solberg will drive in a fourth DS3 WRC.

Raikkonen’s entry was submitted shortly before this afternoon’s deadline and ends recent speculation that suggested the Finn would sit out the 2011 season following the death of his father prior to Christmas.

Da WRC.com


Raikkonen enters under Ice 1 title

Kimi Raikkonen’s 2011 World Rally Championship programme will run under the Ice 1 Racing name, as Citroen moves away from the Citroen Junior banner for its satellite entries.

The 2007 Formula 1 world champion’s entry for Rally Sweden in a new Citroen DS3 was finally confirmed earlier this week, and has been lodged under the new title.

Raikkonen’s fellow privateer DS3 WRC driver Petter Solberg has yet to firm up his team name for the season. Solberg is expected to be entered for the season-opening Rally of Sweden by Citroen under his own Petter Solberg World Rally Team name, but his team manager Ken Rees admitted nothing was confirmed beyond round one.

"For Mexico [round two] we’re not sure if we’ll stay as the Petter Solberg World Rally Team or move into some sort of Citroen team, this has still to be agreed," he said.

Citroen team principal Olivier Quesnel is keen not to retain the Citroen Junior Team name which has been used for the last two years.

"We don’t really need the Junior team name as we don’t have any junior drivers coming through there, so it will be changed," Quesnel said.

Da Autosport.com


Riguardo alla decisione di effettuare sinora solo 10 gare, il manager di Kimi ha dichiarato:

His manager Steve Robertson admitted his driver still has a lot to learn. "With Kimi’s limited experience, it may be better to do additional testing while the others are competing," he told Turun Sanomat.

Da espnf1.com



L’elenco dei partecipanti: http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/wrc/2011/Pages/2011_wrc.aspx


Sempre meno posti liberi nello Junior Team – 10/12/2010


Van Merksteijn gets Citroen WRC car

Dutch driver Peter van Merksteijn Jr will drive a factory-supported Citroen DS3 WRC in the 2011 World Rally Championship.

With Citroen having suggested that it will only run four DS3s next year, and Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier already committed to the two works cars, the van Merksteijn deal raises doubts about Petter Solberg and Kimi Raikkonen’s chances with Citroen.

Van Merksteijn’s father Peter van Merksteijn Sr will also compete in a DS3 on occasional events alongside his son’s 10-round programme. The younger Dutchman will join Loeb and Ogier for some tests as well.

“The last few year I was unable to free myself enough from my full business schedule to drive rallies, and when I drive I want to do that the right way or not at all,” said 28-year-old van Merksteijn, who has contested partial WRC programmes in Fords run by his family team since 2008.

“For 2011 I will be fully dedicated to the rally sport since I have been given the unique chance to drive a factory car.”

Da Autosport.com


Progetti per lo Junior Team 2011 – 26/11/2010


Four Citroen DS3 WRCs planned for Sweden
Citroen Racing boss Olivier Quesnel says he is confident that four of the French firm’s DS3 World Rally Cars will contest next year’s World Rally Championship opener in Sweden from February 10-13.
Although Citroen has long-since revealed the identity of its main team, with Sebastien Ogier joining seven-time champion Sebastien Loeb in a pair of DS3 WRCs, the line-up of its second squad has yet to be finalised and has been the subject of considerable speculation in recent weeks.
“We will have two teams next year but I can’t tell you who will be in the second team because we need to secure the budget first,” said Quesnel. “That means for Dani Sordo we would have to find 100 per cent of the budget if he was to continue with Citroen and that is very complicated. It is the same for Kimi Raikkonen.
Quesnel, who has spoken of his desire to include former world title-winner Petter Solberg in Citroen’s second team in 2011 after the Norwegian competed in a privately-run Citroen C4 WRC this season, says he has received several approaches from interested drivers.
“We have a lot of demand but we would prefer to have the drivers with the budget who are also very fast,” said Quesnel. “We would be very pleased with Kimi and Petter and I think they would have the priority but in the end we will see.
Last year, at this time, we didn’t have any customer so I am not worried. We will just have to wait but I am sure we will have two cars in the second team, even though it is quite complicated.”
Quesnel has confirmed that a maximum of four DS3 WRCs will compete in Sweden as part of a decision by Citroen not to make the car available to private customers in the first season of use.
Meanwhile Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson is still working on plans for up to 10 Fiesta RS WRCs to be ready in time for Rally Sweden. “We’re not there yet but it’s possible,” said Wilson.

Da WRC.com


Mini, una ‘poltrona’ per due – 25/11/2010


Raikkonen e Sordo sembrano vicini alla Mini

Entrambi potrebbero lasciare la Citroen per accasarsi alla Prodrive

Con l’ormai imminente rinuncia di Marcus Gronholm, sembra ormai delinearsi sempre di più il futuro della squadra Mini per la stagione 2011 del Mondiale Rally. Dopo aver messo sotto contratto Kris Meeke, la Prodrive è infatti vicinissima ad altri due piloti di alto livello: Dani Sordo e Kimi Raikkonen.
Lo spagnolo sembra essere arrivato al capolinea del suo rapporto con la Citroen, che per la prossima stagione gli ha preferito Sebastien Ogier per la squadra ufficiale. Inoltre per lui la Casa francese prevedeva solamente un programma parziale con lo Junior Team, per di più non remunerato.
Ecco quindi che per lui potrebbe essere più allettante l’ipotesi Mini, dove si parla comunque di un programma parziale, ma almeno all’interno di una squadra ufficiale e comunque con l’idea di entrare a far parte di quello che sarà un top team nel 2012.
Il discorso che riguarda Raikkonen invece è un pò diverso, anche se pure nel suo caso alla base ci sono problemi per il rinnovo contrattuale con la Citroen. Tuttavia, è più che altro l’ipotesi di poter attirare la sponsorizzazione della Red Bull a fare gola alla Prodrive piuttosto che le doti rallistiche dell’ex campione del mondo di Formula 1.
Kimi infatti è ancora legato al marchio della bibita energetica, che quindi potrebbe coprire parte del budget necessario per allestire la sua Countryman WRC. Il discorso però è più incentrato in ottica 2012, quando scadrà il contratto di sponsorizzazione in essere tra la Red Bull e la Citroen.
L’obiettivo è far diventare l’energy drink il main sponsor della Mini, facendo leva anche sul fatto che le vetture di serie del marcho vengono realizzate proprio in Austria, patria di Dietrich Mateschitz, patron della Red Bull. Ma non bisogna sottovalutare anche il fatto che le vetture promozionali di quest’ultima che spesso si incontrano per la strada sono tutte Mini.
Ormai comunque il tempo stringe, quindi nell’arco di pochi giorni o al massimo settimane ne sapremo di più…

Da Omnicorse.it


Lindström e il futuro di Kimi – 17/11/2010


Lindstrom tips Kimi to improve

Co-driver Kaj Lindstrom says Kimi Raikkonen’s revelation that his preferred option for 2011 is to remain in the World Rally Championship is great news for the ex-Formula One title-holder’s bid to establish himself at the forefront of the WRC.

Raikkonen rounded out his maiden world championship campaign on Wales Rally GB last week with an eighth-place finish on the rain-hit event, the fifth time this season that the Finn has scored points in his Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC.

After completing the final stage of the event, Raikkonen told wrc.com that he wants to stay in the WRC. “I have two options [for next year],” said the 31-year-old. “The first option would be to stay in rally and hopefully we can do this.”

Despite his impressive start to his rallying career following his switch from Formula One at the end of 2009, Raikkonen’s future in the sport remains unclear. He has yet to finalise a drive for next year and a return to Grand Prix racing is still a possibility for 2011.

Lindstrom, who navigated Raikkonen on all 11 WRC events his countryman started this season, said a second term in rallying will trigger an improvement in form for his driver.

“It will still be another learning year getting to the top but if he stays he’ll get more experience and can only improve,” said Lindstrom. “Apart from what happened in Spain [when Raikkonen crashed in shakedown and failed to start the event], everything has gone more or less like we expected it would go knowing that he is on a junior level on the rally and there are things to learn.

“For me [his result on Rally GB] is a good finish because it was a difficult rally but he made it well with no mistakes.”

Raikkonen, who scored a total of 25 points to finish 10th in the final drivers’ standings, added: “It’s nice to end my first season in the WRC with a points finish,” he said. “This was one of the most difficult rallies that I competed on, mostly because of the grip changing all the time. The roads were really slippery, but it’s always been a question of trying to work out exactly how slippery they are. Like everything else, this has been a completely new experience for me but I am pleased how it went.”

Da WRC.com


Rally del Galles, quarta giornata – 14/11/2010


 

Commento dopo la SS18: Raikkonen is through the stage. “We took it very easy this morning. We had a gearbox problem in the second stage, but no other problems.”


 

Commento dopo la SS19: “We are bit lucky with the weather. Quite slippy some places.”

Commento dopo la SS20: “Many mistakes, so we eight. Some options for next year.”


KIMI IN WALES 2010, FINAL REPORT.

So this is where the remarkable WRC journey ends for Kimi Raikkonen in 2010, after 11 rallies contested and five points finishes, making a total of 25 points and 10th in the drivers’ championship at the end of his debut season.

In just one year, the 2007 Formula One World Champion has become the fifth most prolific points-scorer in the illustrious history of the Citroen C4 WRC: a car that has claimed more than 600 fastest stage times throughout its four seasons of competition, one of which was set by Kimi on the Rallye Deutschland in August.

Kimi has made a bit of rally history, becoming the only Formula 1 World Champion to score World Rally Championship points or set a fastest stage time. This year, the Finn also took his very first rally win, at a national event in France, and visited new countries that ranged from Mexico to Bulgaria. It’s been an incredible story that has captured the imagination of the entire motorsport world.

Kimi is known as the Iceman because nothing bothers him: especially not a brand new challenge that would send most people running for cover. He is well known for being fearless in the car but he is just as determined out of it, having taken on the biggest bet of his career thanks to Red Bull. Nobody has ever tried to switch full-time from Formula One to rally before, but there and again not everybody is like the Iceman….

The learning curve has been so steep that it is practically vertical, and Rally Great Britain was one of the most complicated events of the year thanks to rain, wind, mud, fog and even a small cyclone called Carmen: a bad weather front that has swept across northern Europe.

Nonetheless, Kimi did not make a single serious mistake on any of the 20 gravel stages and 359 competitive kilometres, to eventually finish in a points-scoring eighth.

“It’s been a really good rally and it’s nice to end my first season in the World Rally Championship with a points finish,” he said. “This has definitely been the most challenging year of my career and Britain was one of the most difficult rallies that I competed on, mostly because of the grip changing all the time. The roads were really slippery, but it’s always been a question of trying to work out exactly how slippery they are. Like everything else, this has been a completely new experience for me. Looking back on it, this season has been more or less as I expected it to be: we’ve made a few mistakes but we’ve also learned a lot. The stages in Wales are really nice, but as always you need experience to be really quick on them. Generally speaking I’m happy with the progress we’ve made on this rally and I’ve had a lot of fun as well, so I’m very grateful to Red Bull and Citroen Racing for all the opportunities that we’ve enjoyed this year.”

A key part of Raikkonen’s swift adaptation to a completely new discipline has been his co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, a former winner of the Monte Carlo Rally, who has been alongside the Iceman since Kimi first started rallying for fun last year.

Before then, Lindstrom sat alongside four-time World Rally Champion Tommi Makinen and he sees a lot in common between the two Finnish legends.

“They certainly have the same determination and natural speed,” said Lindstrom. “For somebody with so little experience, Kimi has taken everything in his stride and made a lot of progress on both gravel and asphalt, as well as with the pace notes. It’s clear how much he has improved and there’s plenty more still to come. On this event Kimi has been really impressive with no mistakes at all, so it’s been a great way to finish the season.”

——-

Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström had a slightly more troubled start to the day because of an electronic problem in the gearshift command at the end of Margam Park 1 (SS18). Apart from this small setback, the Finn was able to continue making progress. “The stages are as difficult as ever,” he said. “Even though the conditions are slightly better today, the roads are still extremely slippery.”
By ending the rally in eighth position, Kimi racked up his fifth points finish of the year. “We were expecting this to be a tricky season,” he said. “I made some mistakes but I also learned a lot this year and I had fun driving the Citroën C4 WRC. I would like to carry on: this is my preferred option for 2011.”
Team manager Benoit Nogier concluded: “We had no specific fixed objective at the start of the year. Our goal was to help Sébastien Ogier show his potential so that he could get a factory seat. We fulfilled that target over the course of the year and this remains our biggest satisfaction. The other objective was to allow Kimi Räikkönen to find out all about the World Rally Championship. He was able to learn at his own pace and I think that this first year has given him the desire to continue in the WRC. So once more, it was mission accomplished. Speaking generally, the team always did a good job in what was its third season of the World Rally Championship. Third place in the final rankings is a great reward for us. It shows the ability of our team to make the most of a reliable and competitive car. We’ve got a very good structure in place now, so we will be doing everything we can to continue this adventure in 2011.”

Da RedBullRally.com


Rally del Galles, terza giornata – 13/11/2010


Commento dopo la SS8: Kimi Räikkönen/Kaj Lindström “Very slippy, conditions difficult. This is the first time I have driven on mud and slippy stuff like this, and it is a big challenge.”

Commento dopo la SS10: Kimi Räikkönen/Kaj Lindström “It was OK, but like every stage today it was very slippery.”

Commento dopo la SS11: Kimi Räikkönen/Kaj Lindström “It was OK, I drove the last stage in good rthytm.”


 

Commento dopo la SS12: Kimi Räikkönen/Kaj Lindström “It’s drier than in the morning, but we have broken left front damper.”


 

RED BULL ON STAGE – KIMI R. IN WALES, DAY 2

Kimi Raikkonen may have won 18 Grands Prix and a Formula One World Championship, but one thing that the Red Bull driver hasn’t done yet is sell 100 million records worldwide. The route during day two of the Rally Great Britain ran close to Pontypridd, the hometown of legendary Welsh crooner Tom Jones.

It’s true that Kimi knows a lot of famous people. He’s never been a close personal friend of Elvis Presley’s though, and neither has he ever lived in a house formerly owned by Dean Martin. Tom Jones has done all these things, being the 24th most successful artist in the world – ahead of Prince, the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and Tina Turner.

So Kimi is definitely resigned to not being the biggest superstar in Wales this weekend. Instead, his goal is firmly to get to the finish of one of the most tricky and specialised events of the year. From the very beginning, the Iceman has been in the top 10, and today he did another solid job to make up two more places and end the second day in eighth.

Rally Great Britain is made up of gravel stages that are extremely inconsistent, with the grip alternating between slippery and non-existent. To make matters even more complicated, there were several sections of asphalt on today’s stages, which soon turned into a skating rink.

Sensibly the Red Bull driver decided to take it easy and concentrate on scoring points at the end of the rally tomorrow, having steered clear of risks all day.

“I came into this rally knowing that it was going to be difficult, but I never actually thought that it would be this difficult,” said Kimi. “I suppose today I had a slightly better idea of what to expect so it was less surprising but still just as tricky as yesterday. When we are driving on asphalt with gravel tyres there’s really no grip at all. But in other places, there is more grip than you think. To do well here you need a lot of experience, which is why we are just driving at our own pace and not taking any risks. I’m enjoying myself though and learning more all the time. The stages are really nice but hard to predict – a bit like the weather here!”

Kimi’s co-driver Kaj Lindstrom knows all about the weather in Wales, having finished on the podium of the Rally Great Britain in the past. There won’t be a podium this time, but Kaj was still impressed. “Considering his level of experience, which is zero here, Kimi approached the stages in a very sensible way. We said before the start that we wanted to get to the end of the event in the points and so far we are on track. Of course we can’t take anything for granted because tomorrow’s stages are probably even more difficult than today’s. But so far, we’re on the right road and that is the main thing.”

Da RedBullRally.com


On slippery Welsh roads, Dani Sordo and Diego Vallejo finished the second day of the Rally Great Britain in fifth overall. Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström gained two places today and are now eighth.
With the storm system named Carmen having passed overhead, the weather in Wales was milder today – with even some sunshine. But despite these sunny spells, the roads remained extremely slippery throughout the day.
[…] Kimi Räikkönen started 10th this morning and made an increasing amount of progress throughout the opening loop of stages. “The first three stages went very well,” reported the Finn. “We had a good pace I think. The final stage of the loop was a bit more complicated and so I chose to be a little more careful. On the second run, we’ll see if we can increase our pace slightly and continue the progress we’ve made.”
Kimi was competitive throughout the afternoon but he was forced to negotiate Halfway 2 (SS15) with a badly adjusted lamp pod. “I couldn’t see far enough ahead and I wasn’t able to drive the stage as I would have wanted,” he said. “Halfway is a particularly difficult stage. On the other stages we were able to set a few good times, so I’m happy enough with what we have achieved today.”
On the final stage of the day, in Cardiff Bay, Kimi was fourth-fastest overall. “There’s another difficult day ahead of us tomorrow, with a very long stage that we will drive twice,” pointed out the Finn. “We need to carry on like this and try to get close to the frontrunners.”
Team manager Benoît Nogier concluded: […] “As for Kimi Raikkonen, we can only be satisfied with the level of performance that he has shown today. He’s made no mistakes and was sometimes quicker than Matthew Wilson, as well as getting closer and closer to Henning Solberg.”

Da RedBullRally.com


Rally del Galles, seconda giornata – 12/11/2010


Commento dopo la SS2: RÄIKKÖNEN K. / LINDSTRÖM K. “Very slippery. Not so muddy, but very slippery.”



Sordo and Räikkönen brave the Welsh storm

[…]

In the second Citroën Junior Team C4 WRC, Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström end the day 10th after a sensible rally so far.

The Rally Great Britain got underway in the midst of an autumn storm, named ‘Carmen’ by
meteorologists. Heavy rain and winds of up to 100kph, which forced the local authorities to take exceptional measures, accompanied the crews as they started the rally yesterday night.
As the rain fell, Dani Sordo and Kimi Raikkonen put on a great show at the Cardiff spectator
superspecial, which took place on Thursday evening in front of huge crowds. The Spaniard set the thirdfastest time behind Loeb and Ogier while the Finn was sixth overall on the short asphalt test in Cardiff Bay.
The Citroën C4 WRCs left parc fermé this morning at 0600. The crews were heading towards Llanidloes, in the centre of Wales, for two runs over the loop of three stages that made up the day’s competitive action.

[…]

Kimi Räikkönen was also struck by the constantly changing levels of grip. “I actually thought that the roads would be a lot more muddy,” he said. “But they’re certainly very slippery.”
At the end of the first loop of gravel stages, Dani Sordo was fifth overall while Kimi Räikkönen was 10th.

[…]

Kimi Räikkönen showed more and more performance as the rally went on and consolidated his position in the top 10. “It was very difficult to judge the amount of grip,” he said. “Some places, for example, looked slippery but in fact offered quite a lot of grip. I’m still lacking a lot of experience in these conditions. My driving is improving bit by bit. We’re heading in the right direction…”
Team manager Benoît Nogier concluded: “Our opening day has fitted in perfectly with the objective of ensuring that our two Citroën C4 WRCs finish in the points, so that the Citroën Junior Team can claim third place in the World Championship rankings. Dani was able to put in some very significant performances throughout the day. It’s a shame that he lost time with a spin. His new goal now is to come back at Hirvonen and stay in front of Latvala. Kimi Räikkönen has not made a single mistake throughout the rally so far and he has set some interesting split times. It’s all very promising for the rest of the
event.”

Da RedBullRally.com


Anteprima RedBull Rally del Galles – 06/11/2010


KIMI R. AND THE CITROËN JUNIOR TEAM, PREVIEW WALES

With the new World Rally Car regulations coming in for next year, the Citroën C4 WRC will end its career on the Rally Great Britain, the final round of the 2010 FIA World Rally Championship.

Dani Sordo/Diego Vallejo and Kimi Räikkönen/Kaj Lindström will represent the Citroën Junior Team, with the aim of sealing third place in the manufacturers’ championship.
Rally Great Britain is the 13th round of the year and one of the iconic events of the World Rally Championship.
It traditionally rounds off the season, although this year both the drivers’ and the manufacturers’ titles have already been decided. But the Citroën Junior Team is still aiming to secure third place in the manufacturers’ title race (which has already been won by the Citroën Total World Rally Team*) while both Dani Sordo and Kimi Räikkönen have the chance to improve their final position in the drivers’ rankings.
[…] Having scored 21 points, Kimi Räikkönen is currently 10th in the World Championship following the 10 rallies that he has taken part in. The Finn will be back on gravel in Wales: a surface on which he scored points in Jordan, Turkey and Portugal.
“We knew that our first learning year would be a bit like this,” pointed out Kimi. “Like any driver starting off in a completely new discipline that is as specialised as rallying, I’ve had my ups and downs. I imagine that Wales will be no different. We’re going to work hard during the recce. We need to make sure that we set off at a decent pace and then gradually reduce the gap to the frontrunners as the rally goes on. Our rivals will have more experience than us on these roads, although Kaj knows some of the stages. If that means that we can keep making the pace notes in the same way as before, it’s definitely a small bonus.”
The rally route has changed slightly compared to last year. A new superspecial stage (Cardiff Bay) will kick off the action on Thursday night. The first day is a repeat of 2009. But the second day returns to some older stages such as Radnor Forest, which was last used in 1999. On the final day, the Resolfen and Margam Park stages are also slightly modified.

Da RedBullRally.com


Ancora sul mercato rally e sull’incidente nello shakedown – 02/11/2010


Da Autosprint n.44 del 2/11/2010:


Futuro di Kimi, il cerchio si stringe.


Da MTV3.fi

Traduzione:

Steve Robertson ha confermato a MTV3 di essere in trattativa per il suo protetto per un contratto nei rally anche per la prossima stagione. Il ritorno in F1 è un’opzione chiusa, almeno per quanto riguarda il 2011.

- “Non stiamo più cercando posti in F1. Kimi sembra essere più concentrato nei rally in questo momento”, ha detto Robertson.

Dunque Kimi ha chiuso con la F1?

- “Mai dire mai, ma al momento lo sguardo non è rivolto alla F1”, ha dichiarato Robertson.

- “Nulla è stato ancora deciso. Ve lo diremo quando avremo qualcosa da annunciare. Al momento nulla è stato firmato. Stiamo negoziando con diversi team ma non posso entrare più nel dettaglio”, ha concluso Robertson.


Raikkonen rules out F1 return in 2011

Kimi Raikkonen’s management team has confirmed that the Finn is no longer looking at Formula 1 race options for next season, as the World Rally Championship is where he wants to stay in 2011.

Speaking to Finnish television station MTV3, Steve Roberston admitted Raikkonen wants to remain where he is.

"We’re no longer looking at opportunities in F1. Kimi seems to be focused on rallying at the moment," said Robertson.

He refused to rule out a longer-term return to Formula 1 or racing for the 30-year old, adding: "Never say never, but right now our eye is not on F1.

"Nothing’s been decided yet [for the WRC]. We’ll let you know when there is something to say. At the moment nothing has been signed. We’re talking to several teams."

In recent days, there has been increased speculation that Citroen will find a solution to keep Raikkonen in its Junior team with the 2007 F1 world champion taking money from a personal sponsorship deal from Red Bull, which is expected to be considerably lower than the £5m he is rumoured to have been paid by the Austrian firm this season.

Beyond Citroen, Mini remains an option for Raikkonen, but the limited programme of 2011 events and the high level of car development would not suit his experience or desire to be driving all the time at the moment.

A seat alongside Ken Block at the Monster Ford World Rally Team is another option, but there are funding issues for the American-based outfit.

Block admitted running with Raikkonen would offer great potential exposure for both Monster and DC Shoes, but he added a decision on a potential second driver may not be taken until early next year.

The final option for Raikkonen is a season away from rallying, with a possible return when there is likely to be more manufacturer interest in 2012.

Da Autosport.com


Voci e prospettive per il 2011… – 24/09/2010


Raikkonen weighs up 2011 options

Former Grand Prix Champion Kimi Raikkonen has to choose between a number of options for 2011 – both within rallying and Formula One.

Raikkonen has shown encouraging progress throughout his debut season in the World Rally Championship with Red Bull and the Citroen Junior Team, but his best result of the year so far remains fifth place on the Rally of Turkey back in April.

Now Raikkonen has been linked with other options for next year, both in rallying and Formula One. Neither Raikkonen nor Red Bull are ruling out an extension to the Finn’s one-year WRC deal with the Citroen Junior Team, although Red Bull’s plans are fluid pending confirmation of its sponsorship agreement with Citroen.

One intriguing possibility is for Raikkonen to switch energy drinks allegiance and move to the Monster World Rally Team alongside Ken Block next year in a Ford Fiesta WRC. Raikkonen and Block have struck up a good rapport, and Monster bosses believe that the maverick Raikkonen would fit their brand image perfectly.

Raikkonen has also had an approach from MINI, although his drive there would be a commercial deal – which could again be linked to Red Bull.

Renault’s Formula One team is additionally in discussion with the 30-year-old about his services for next year, with the French squad being Raikkonen’s only realistic option on the F1 grid next year.

Finally, a third possibility exists of Raikkonen either taking a sabbatical or retiring from motorsport totally – as he considered at this time last year when his future was uncertain.

Nonetheless the Finn says that he is no hurry to make up his mind – and that his preferred option would be to stay in the World Rally Championship. “I’m enjoying it so far, but I’ve not made up my mind what I’m doing yet,” said Raikkonen. “Quite soon I hope I will know but there is no rush.”

Da WRC.com



Da Autosprint del 21 settembre 2010:

 


Rally del Giappone, commenti fine giornata – 11/09/2010


Raikkonen makes experience pay

Former Grand Prix champion Kimi Raikkonen has been encouraged by his performance on the second day of the Rally Japan – and he says that the experience gained on the tricky gravel roads will stand him in good stead for the future.

Raikkonen started the day 10th and ended it eighth, having set eighth-fastest time on all of the day’s eight stages bar one – where he was sixth. The Finn steered clear of mistakes and is now targeting his fifth points finish from the nine WRC rallies that he has contested to date this year.

“For me, the main thing is that the consistency is coming,” said Raikkonen, who drives for the Citroen Junior Team. “Today we were able to go at a good pace and keep the same sort of gap to the guys in front, even though they were all pushing very hard. It helped me to have some experience of the roads: until yesterday we had not driven on gravel for more than a month, and the second passage through the stages is always much easier.”

The 30-year-old reported no mechanical problems, but was also pleased that he had remained error-free throughout the rally so far. “If we can get to the end with no mistakes at all, then that would be very positive,” he added. “OK, it would be nice to be closer to the front but you have to be patient. I need to learn and that takes time.”

The 2007 Formula One World Champion is also hoping that the experience gained in Japan will help him on the season-closing Rally Great Britain. “Maybe there will be some things in common,” he concluded. “The surface could be quite similar, but I don’t really know. In any case it’s good to have this experience of driving on soft gravel.”

Da WRC.com



RED BULL ON STAGE – RALLY JAPAN, DAY 2
Japan seems to love motorsport but hate horsepower. While Red Bull’s Kimi Raikkonen and the other World Rally Championship competitors power down the stages in Hokkaido, many of the spectators watching them will drive home in cars that have about a sixth of the horsepower of Kimi’s Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC.
The Japanese ‘kei car’ regulations are designed to encourage mini cars to ease space on crowded roads by offering important tax advantages. It’s no surprise that they have become incredibly popular, with nearly two million of them sold last year. At a maximum of 3.4 metres long, they are about a metre shorter than Kimi’s rally car – but many of them also have four-wheel drive and turbochargers at their disposal, just like Kimi.
Mini cars have to make use of every bit of technology available to get the most out of their permitted 660cc engines. Luckily, Kimi had considerably more power at his disposal as he tackled the eight demanding stages that made up the second day of Rally Japan: only the ninth World Championship event of his brief career to date in the C4 WRC.
Having started the day in a point-scoring 10th place, Kimi made the most of the experience he had gained over the previous day to move up to eighth. For the flying Finn, it is all about gaining knowledge of some of the trickiest stages that he will face all year. Showing his consistency he set eighth-quickest time on all the stages today apart from one, where he was classified sixth.
“I’m pleased with the way that things have gone today, especially because the guys in front of me have really been pushing hard, if you look at the gaps at the top,” said Kimi, the winner of the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix. “We’ve made no mistakes today and we’ve kept a consistent pace, which is the only way we are going to learn. My target before this rally was just to get to the finish and take away as much knowledge as I can, and so far I would say that we are on course to achieve this goal. The car has been really good today too: we were able just to concentrate on our driving and we learned a lot. Of course there is still some way to go, but if we can finish in this position tomorrow I will be quite happy.”
Co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, who has been with Kimi ever since the former Grand Prix champion made his rally debut last year, added: “Today was actually much better than yesterday because we definitely benefited from the experience of driving on these roads after not being on gravel for more than a month. The gaps to the people in front of us have come down consistently, and that’s what we’re going to keep working on.”
Kimi has steered clear of mistakes all day but tomorrow it will be even more important for him to have a clean run over the eight stages that remain, as there is no service halt in between them. It’s a tough task that needs drivers to stay cool – so it’s just as well that Kimi is the Iceman…

Da RedBullRally.com



Rai2, Intervista a Monza a Markku Alen sulla carriera di Kimi rallysta: http://www.mediafire.com/?k2e44eqhkt6rb5e

Studio Sport, report della giornata di Kimi in Giappone: http://www.mediafire.com/?13xkg06x4e86565



[…] Increasing their pace from the first day, Kimi Raikkonen and Kaj Lindstrom gained two places to climb to eighth overall.

[…] 

Kimi Raikkonen benefited from Matthew Wilson’s retirement in the morning to make up a place in the overall classification. Then the Finn grew in confidence to overhaul Federico Villagra. By the end of SS12, he was up to eighth. “I’ve had a good feeling with the car since yesterday’s lunchtime service, so we’re not making any more adjustments to the set-up,” said Kimi. “Now our aim is to keep on going like this. We have to keep trying to improve our times all the way to the end.”

[…]

Kimi Raikkonen reinforced his position by putting together a string of eighth-fastest stage times, keeping consistently with 1.8 seconds per kilometre of the leader. “As always, the second run through the stages was easier for me,” he concluded. “Experience counts for a lot on these roads. I’m very pleased with my driving. Now we need to continue like this!”

[…]

Team Manager Benoit Nogier concluded:  “Kimi has driven one of his best days on gravel of the entire season. That’s another source of big satisfaction for us. The target is to continue like this, with the same consistent performance from both our drivers and our C4 WRCs!”

Da Motorsport.com



Kimi Räikkönen: exclusive interview

At the end of the second day of the Rally Japan – the first time that Kimi Räikkönen had been in a rally car on gravel for more than a month – the flying Finn shared his thoughts exclusively with us…

What do you make of your Rally Japan so far?
“It’s been good actually, better than I expected. I always thought that this was going to be one of the most difficult rallies of the year and I was certainly right about that, but the main thing is that we’ve not made any mistakes and we’ve stayed consistent. We ended the first day 10th and now we’re eighth, which is not bad for someone with no real experience. It would obviously be nice to be closer to the front, but we need to be patient: we have to learn and that is always going to take time.”

Have you eaten any sushi yet?
“Actually I eat sushi all the time; it’s one of my favourite things. So I probably don’t eat any more sushi in Japan than I do back home in Europe… but I think it’s better here. It depends where you go. Like most things.

What will you remember most about Japan?
“From this rally, lots of very narrow and complicated roads. Generally, probably the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix, which I won. That was a bit of a crazy race: there was rain in qualifying and that meant that we were down in 16th or 17th on the grid. Conditions for the race were much better and we were able to make our way up to the front, but it was only on the last lap that I could overtake Giancarlo Fisichella, who was leading, and win the race. That was a nice memory. I don’t think that I’m going to be winning anything here in Japan this time!”

Are you getting bored of people asking you what you’re going to do next year yet?
“I always get bored by those sorts of questions! There’s always lots of talking about this sort of thing, especially at this time of year. But actually I still haven’t decided yet because there are a few options to look at. When the time is right I will decide.”

You’ve got three more rallies left this year after this one: France and Spain on asphalt and Great Britain on gravel. Which one are you looking forward to most?
“Really I am looking forward to all of them, because what I like about rallying is that every event is different. You get more variety than Formula One because everything changes all the time, which is why it is so difficult for a beginner. But I think Rally Catalunya in Spain should be good for us, from what I hear. People tell me that the roads are fast and quite open, more like a racing circuit. And maybe France could be good too, as it is new for everyone. But I’m sure Britain will be quite a tough event for us – a bit like Japan!”

Da RedBull.com


RedBull Citroen Junior Team, anteprima rally del Giappone


[…]

Kimi Räikkönen has been used to making the trip to Japan throughout his Formula One career, winning the Japanese Grand Prix in 2005, but the gravel stages on the island of Hokkaido are going to be all new to him.
Kimi finished in the points on his last outing, the all-asphalt Rallye Deutschland, and also set the first fastest stage time of his short WRC career to date. He said: “We’ve not been testing since we finished the Rallye Deutschland. When we get to Japan, I’m going to have to get straight back into the rhythm again. I’m expecting it to be a very tricky event for us. From what I’ve heard, the Rally Japan is particularly complex. And it’s sure to be even more complicated for a beginner like me.”

The Finn has been in the points on four occasions from the eight starts he has taken this year, but his objectives remain unchanged. “My targets are exactly the same,” he confirmed. “From the first few stages in Japan we will be able to see the pace we can run at. But once more the main thing will be to be there at the end of the rally.”

[…]

Da RallyBuzz.com



Q&A con Benoit Nogier

For Kimi Räikkönen, will the target be any different to the previous rallies?
“Kimi is making progress from rally to rally and he is getting closer to the performance of other drivers who have a lot more experience than him. His most recent performances underline the improvements he has made and he is becoming increasingly more consistent. In Japan we will be competing against other crews who don’t have a huge amount of past experience on this route, which is relatively new. If Kimi could repeat the same sort of performance that he has put in on the other rallies that are new to everyone this year, like Turkey or Bulgaria, this would be a great outcome.”

Da RallyBuzz.com



The place: Japan. The year: 2005. The Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, nearly 1000 kilometres south of Rally Japan’s base in Sapporo, was once the scene of one of Kimi Raikkonen’s most breath-taking Formula One victories.

After a wet qualifying session, Kimi started the race from 17th on the grid. He then worked his spectacular way through the field to overtake the leader on the final lap. It was just like Days of Thunder.

Kimi is going to need another Hollywood-style performance this weekend in Japan now that he has switched to rallying, but he is realistic enough to know that there will be no fairytale victory this time. In fact, just getting to the end of the notoriously tough and specialised stages of Rally Japan will be a triumph in itself.

The challenge is enormous: there will be mud and slippery braking areas, over roads so fast and narrow that no mistake goes unpunished. For an absolute beginner – and this will only be Kimi’s ninth WRC event in the Red Bull Citroen C4 WRC – Japan is one of the hardest rallies to master. The weather rarely helps: after all, the island of Hokkaido is a skiing area that is on the same latitude as Siberia. Sunglasses probably won’t be necessary this weekend.

“It’s certainly going to be very different to the Japanese Grand Prix, which is my only other experience of Japan!” said Kimi. “We’ve got to be really careful here: it sounds so easy to make a mistake, and also the grip level is meant to be quite inconsistent – which is not an easy thing to get used to, particularly when you come from a circuit racing background. When we won the Japanese Grand Prix in 2005 it was certainly tough, but there’s no doubt that this is going to be even tougher. Apart from that I don’t really know what to expect, so our priority is to get to the end. When you have rallies that are as specialised as this one, it becomes even more important to have experience of the roads.”

Precision is the name of the game in Japan, and one person who can certainly help Kimi with this is the man sat alongside him: co-driver Kaj Lindstrom. Kaj has competed on Rally Japan just once before, but he is aiming to make sure that none of his slickly delivered pace notes get lost in translation on the stages around Sapporo.

“I think this is going to be one of the most difficult rallies that we face all year,” said Kaj. “It’s also a great opportunity for us though to build on the work that we’ve done with the pace notes, which have to be absolutely exact in Japan. Getting the notes right is always one of the hardest things for any racing driver to get used to and Kimi has been doing really well. On the last rally we set our first fastest stage time together, so it’s a good sign that things are moving in the right direction.”

The action for Kimi on Rally Japan already gets underway tomorrow night (Tuesday) when he will race an electric go-kart capable of 130kph at a Red Bull event in the Sapporo Dome, which hosted the football World Cup back in 2002. Now the famous Dome is home to Sapporo’s football team, as well as the unusually named Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters baseball squad…

Da RedBullRally.com


Citroen Junior Team, anteprima rally del Giappone


[…]

Kimi Räikkönen has been used to making the trip to Japan throughout his Formula One career, winning the Japanese Grand Prix in 2005, but the gravel stages on the island of Hokkaido are going to be all new to him.
Kimi finished in the points on his last outing, the all-asphalt Rallye Deutschland, and also set the first fastest stage time of his short WRC career to date. He said: “We’ve not been testing since we finished the Rallye Deutschland. When we get to Japan, I’m going to have to get straight back into the rhythm again. I’m expecting it to be a very tricky event for us. From what I’ve heard, the Rally Japan is particularly complex. And it’s sure to be even more complicated for a beginner like me.”

The Finn has been in the points on four occasions from the eight starts he has taken this year, but his objectives remain unchanged. “My targets are exactly the same,” he confirmed. “From the first few stages in Japan we will be able to see the pace we can run at. But once more the main thing will be to be there at the end of the rally.”

[…]

Da RallyBuzz.com



Q&A con Benoit Nogier

For Kimi Räikkönen, will the target be any different to the previous rallies?
“Kimi is making progress from rally to rally and he is getting closer to the performance of other drivers who have a lot more experience than him. His most recent performances underline the improvements he has made and he is becoming increasingly more consistent. In Japan we will be competing against other crews who don’t have a huge amount of past experience on this route, which is relatively new. If Kimi could repeat the same sort of performance that he has put in on the other rallies that are new to everyone this year, like Turkey or Bulgaria, this would be a great outcome.”

Da RallyBuzz.com


Rally di Germania, commenti post gara – 22/08/2010


CITROËN JUNIOR TEAM, ADAC RALLYE DEUTSCHLAND – DAY 3

At the end of a perfectly-controlled Rallye Deutschland, the Citroën Junior Team scores a podium for the first time on an asphalt FIA World Rally Championship event. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia are third behind the two factory Citroën C4 WRCs. Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström finish seventh, having claimed their first fastest stage time in the WRC!
On the third and final day of the rally, there were 85.69 competitive kilometres on the menu. As the cars were getting underway, at 0615, some light rain fell on Trier. Nonetheless, the roads remained dry throughout the morning.

[…]
Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström started the final day with a set-up that was a little too soft. “I overhot two junctions and we lost a lot of time,” recounted the Finn. The crew continued to push hard right up to the end, setting their first fastest stage time on the final Circus Maximus Trier stage (SS19).
“I’m disappointed at having made the mistake in the morning that cost us a place, ” said Räikkönen. “But I enjoyed the stages on Saturday and Sunday. We’re continuing to rack up experience and that’s very important.”
Team manager Benoit Nogier concluded: […] Measuring it on his terms, Kimi did virtually just as well. His mistake this morning cost him a place, but we are all delighted with his fastest stage time, which is a real morale booster. Now we’re keen to get over to France, for the next asphalt rally that is going to be an unknown quantity for all the competitors.”

Da RedBullRally.com


STRONG FINISH FOR KIMI IN GERMANY

After three tough days of the Rallye Deutschland, all the crews can sit back, relax, and enjoy a beer. Germany is the right place to do it: only the Czechs and the Irish drink more beer than the Germans. Last year, the average German drank 115.8 litres of beer while the Finns, for example, could only manage 85 litres each. At the bottom of the list is India, whose inhabitants on average drink just 0.6 litres of beer over the course of one year.
If you look at average alcohol consumption, per head, all over the world though there is one clear winner – and that, surprisingly, is Luxembourg. Conveniently, the tiny state is located less than half an hour away from Trier, the home of the Rallye Deutschland, so everybody is assured of a good party tonight.
Kimi Raikkonen has plenty of other reasons to be cheerful, after claiming his first ever fastest stage time on the final stage of the rally. Kimi blasted through the ‘Circus Maximus’ superspecial stage faster than anyone else, in front of thousands of fans in Trier city centre. In the shadow of Roman remains where chariots once raced, Kimi showed that he is still king of the circuits.
Not only that but he enjoyed a solid run to seventh place and six points on only his second-ever WRC asphalt rally, having missed out on sixth by less than four seconds. Germany was no typical asphalt event either: the event contains three very different days, ranging from narrow and twisty vineyard roads to rough concrete tracks that were originally designed for testing tanks. Rather than getting a chance to consolidate his knowledge of all the different surfaces, "the Iceman" was constantly thrust from one new situation into the next. As usual though, he absorbed it with the coolness he has become famous for – despite having to contend with a dramatic lack of experience compared to all the other drivers.
For example, Sebastien Loeb has now won the Rallye Deutschland exactly the same number of times (eight) that Kimi has driven a Citroen C4 World Rally Car on a WRC event!
"It goes to show that experience is important," says Kimi. "But that’s the objective for us this year: we want to build up the basic knowledge of how to be a rally driver. Some people might think it’s easy to go from Formula One to an asphalt rally, but it’s completely different: apart from maybe the superspecial stage, which is more like a racing track! The surfaces are changing all the time and that’s one of the most difficult things to get used to, along with the pace notes and all the different corners. But generally it’s been another very positive experience, and it was nice to win a stage as well."
Kimi’s path wasn’t entirely smooth: he had an overshoot this morning and found that the set-up wasn’t perfect for his requirements. But the 2007 Formula One World Champion can be very pleased with his work at the end of the Rallye Deutschland as he avoided major mistakes and learnt several important lessons that will be crucial for the future.
Co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, who has been alongside Kimi since he made his rally debut last year, was also pleased by the progress that the duo made by improving their times consistently. "We are on the right road: with every rally we get better but we are climbing a very steep learning curve," he pointed out. "The pace notes we made here were really good: unfortunately we had a couple of small mistakes that cost us what would have been a comfortable sixth place, but it’s just one of those things that comes with experience. For our first time here, we can definitely be happy – and we can also celebrate winning a stage."
So now the crew can take a well-earned beer. ‘Prost!’ as they say in Germany (and they don’t mean the French racing driver)…

Da RallyBuzz.com


Da Autosprint n. 34 di questa settimana:


Rally di Germania, anteprima team Citroën Red Bull Junior – 13/08/2010


The Rallye Deutschland, the second asphalt round of this season, has been eagerly awaited by the Citroën Junior Team. Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia make a return to the cockpit of the number 7 C4 WRC and their aim is to consolidate the potential that they showed in Bulgaria.

Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström, who naturally feel comfortable on asphalt, have exactly the same objective.
After a very encouraging performance in Bulgaria, the Citroën Junior Team is hoping to do even better on a rally that contains quite different types of asphalt. “Everyone in the team has very good memories of our trip to Bulgaria,” commented team manager Benoit Nogier. “Kimi, who had so much to learn this year, showed just what he is capable of on his first asphalt World Championship Rally and Sébastien was very competitive too. However, the Rally Bulgaria was new for everyone.

In Germany, we will be up against drivers with plenty of experience of the terrain. So the objective we have fixed for our drivers is not to make any mistakes. I’m sure that our C4 WRCs are capable of some excellent results.”

[…]

Kimi Räikkönen has been comfortable with the Citroën C4 WRC on asphalt since he first drove it, and now he will have a new playing field on the challenging stages that run along the shores of the Mosel River.
“This will be another new rally for me,” commented Kimi. “On my first asphalt rally with the Citroën C4 WRC, I had a good feeling immediately. The most important thing is for me to get used to driving a WRC car on this surface. From my past experience I can say that I find driving on asphalt a bit more natural, but driving a rally car is still a completely different thing to any form of circuit racing.”
Kaj Lindström, who has been alongside the former Grand Prix champion since he made his rally debut, is also feeling optimistic. “We’re making progress on each rally, which is essential for us this year,” he concluded. “Our performance in Bulgaria, on our first asphalt rally, was the most impressive we have put in since the start of the season and I know that there is still plenty more to come from Kimi.”

Da RedBullRally.com


Bilancio di metà stagione, intervista a Kimi – 02/08/2010


Kimi’s mid-term report

Now that the World Rally Championship season is more than halfway over, we caught up with Finnish star Kimi Raikkonen to see how he rates his progress up to now…

What do you think of your results so far this year?
“I’d say that our results are what we expected; or maybe slightly better than we expected. When we came into this year, we knew that it was not going to be easy and it would take us some time to adapt and of course this has been the case.

If you consider that everyone else has got so much more experience than us and we had not even done five rallies before the start of the year, it’s not too bad.

Sweden was a tricky event for us to start the year with as the grip kept on changing but then we found it a bit more normal on gravel in Mexico. Jordan was a really tricky rally but we were very pleased to take our first points, and then we had Turkey where we finished fifth, which was a great result.

After Turkey we missed Rally New Zealand and then we had Portugal, which was difficult for us because it took a little bit of time to get into the rhythm again. When we went to Bulgaria I had a good feeling on asphalt and if we had not had an accident, then I think we could have been in the top five.”

How about Finland?
“Actually, Finland was the same sort of story as Bulgaria: some good bits and some bad bits. But it would have been top eight and not top five.”

So how many marks would you give yourself out of 10?
“I’m not sure: I would say maybe five? Because some bits have been good and some other bits have been not so good but in the end it was all more or less what I was expecting. OK, maybe we have done a bit better than I was expecting, so I could give myself five and a half or six?”

Making pace notes has been a big challenge. How is that going?
“That’s probably one of the hardest things for me. Even when I was in Formula One I never really liked it when engineers were talking to me over the radio when I was driving the car in the circuit. Now though it is part of the job. There is probably more speed to come from me through improving the pace notes than there is in any other area.”

Rallying is a slightly mad sport. Does it ever scare you?
“No, there is nothing that I am scared of in a rally car: it is just a very different style of driving. In the end you have to trust your co-driver and your pace notes because this is part of the skill of rallying.

Having said that, when you go off on a circuit, you normally go off into a gravel trap or a tyre wall. When you go off in rallying there are trees. There is no room for mistakes, and although I am making a few all the time, this is one of the things that attracts me to rallying. If it was easy, then everybody would do it.”

Have your targets changed at all this year?
“No, not really. I just want to gradually improve and learn everything you need to succeed in rallying. It’s unrealistic to expect much more in your first year as rallying is all about experience.

The chances are that I’m not going to be able to win anything this year but if I could have one or two more results in the top five then that would be really good. But I think it’s going to be tough…”

Da RedBull.com


Rally di Bulgaria, giorno 2 – 10/07/2010


Räikkönen restarts for day two

Red Bull driver Kimi Raikkonen has restarted the second day of Rally Bulgaria as the Citroen Junior Team managed to fix his C4 WRC after he rolled off the road on SS4 yesterday.

The team worked flat-out to repair what was largely cosmetic damage to the Citroen, allowing the Finn to return under the superally regulations for the longest day of the Borovets-based event.

"It was just one of those things," said Raikkonen. "I’m here to learn, and sometimes you learn the hard way. Before the accident though, I’d been having a really good time and we were pushing hard: in fact we were fastest on the first two split times. Then unfortunately we went off, this can happen when you’re trying.

"It’s good to be back as we need the experience and hopefully we can keep on pushing and set some quick times."

Raikkonen starts day two ninth on the road.

Da Autosport.com

Räikkönen: practice makes perfect

Although Kimi Raikkonen says that it’s hard to motivate himself under super rally conditions, the Finn has promised to make the most of the opportunity to accumulate more kilometres on asphalt.

Having re-joined the Rally Bulgaria this morning after an off on the fourth stage yesterday, Raikkonen is currently 20th. On the opening stage this morning he was fifth fastest, while on the second stage he was eighth fastest.

“The motivation is not the same if you are not fighting at the front,” he pointed out. “You don’t push so much when the conditions are tricky. But it’s very important that we were able to start the rally again today. At the moment, it’s all about testing for us. We need to get back our confidence and then hopefully we can set some quick times.”

Weather conditions this afternoon in Bulgaria look set to be mixed with a high chance of rain. Like most of the WRC crews, Raikkonen has chosen Pirelli’s soft option PZero tyres for the afternoon loop of three stages.

Following overnight repairs to his Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC, Raikkonen reported no mechanical problems.

Da Maxrally.com



 
 

Q & A: Räikkönen on Rally Bulgaria

Kimi Raikkonen lived up to predictions that he would be more comfortable rallying on asphalt and producing his best World Rally Championship performance so far on day one in Bulgaria – only to crash on the final stage.

He restarted for leg two and afterwards told AUTOSPORT how the day had gone and reflected on his Friday incident.

Q. How was the second day?

Kimi Raikkonen: It was okay. In the morning it was not so much pushing after yesterday. But today, the last two stages this afternoon we pushed harder. The choice of tyres this afternoon wasn’t the best choice, but it was okay.

Q. What’s the goal for tomorrow?

KR: We will try to make the top 10, but maybe Henning [Solberg] is too far away.

Q. How is the feeling with the car?

KR: It’s okay. It’s more or less back to where we were yesterday, like I said, we attacked in the last two stages.

Q. How hard is it to gain confidence after the crash?

KR: It’s not a problem. It was just my mistake, so it’s not really like we did something stupid. I was a bit too fast in the braking and couldn’t stop – it wasn’t anything big. I was just the wrong way ’round [upside down] and in a ditch.

Then I didn’t push so much in the morning because I lost, not confidence, but we didn’t really have any call [to push]. Then in the afternoon we changed the car a bit, it felt good and the speed was more like yesterday. The soft tyres weren’t the best, but it was okay.

Q. Was the car moving about on the soft tyre?

KR: Yes. When they are worn down they are a little bit better, but for sure the hard tyre would have been faster this afternoon. But for us we can try things for the future this afternoon.

Q. Is the car running perfectly after the crash?

KR: Yes, we didn’t damage anything on the technical side. It was only the roof and the corner, it’s only really the looks – the chassis and everything was completely fine. The wheels were straight, it looked worse than it was.

Q. And before the crash, the two split times were pretty special…

KR: Yes, it was okay, but once you go off you lose a bit. If we hadn’t gone off, for sure we would have pushed harder this morning. That happens sometimes when you try to go fast.

Q. You have used more soft tyres than anybody else in this rally, why is that?

KR: We tried it, but it wasn’t the best option in the first stage in the second loop yesterday, but then in the second stage it worked quite well. This morning it was wet and we had to use it. This afternoon there was a small chance of rain so we just took it to try how it works, but looking afterwards in this kind of condition the hard tyre works better.

Da Autosport.com



Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia and Kimi Raikkonen / Kaj Lindstrom have all accumulated valuable asphalt experience and made progress up the leaderboard on the second day of the Rally Bulgaria. The French crew has rejoined the leading quartet, while the two Finns still have a chance of scoring some points.
The first day of the Bulgaria Rally turned out to be a long one for the Citroen Junior Team. After Kimi Raikkonen and Kaj Lindstrom went off the road on SS4 the number eight Citroen C4 WRC eventually made it back to the service park at 21:23. Eight mechanics the maximum number permitted under the current rules then set to work so that the 2007 Formula One World Champion would be able to re- start the rally on Saturday. The job was wrapped up within the 2h45min allowed by the rules and the car finally went into parc ferme at 23:55. After a short night with first service scheduled for 06:15 both cars were able to start the second day.
"The entire team did a great job," pointed out Kimi Raikkonen. "This morning my Citroen C4 WRC was as good as new and we were able to drive at our usual speed in order to accumulate all the kilometres that we need to make progress."
Faced with uncertain weather conditions at the start of the day, the Citroen Junior Team chose to fit soft- compound Pirelli PZero tyres. "That was the best option," said team manager Benoit Nogier. "We were able to rely on the information from the weather forecast, our safety crews and the data collected during testing to make the right decision." […]

Kimi Raikkonen also climbed up the leaderboard to reach 14th overnight. "On the last two stages I pushed a bit more on soft tyres," said Raikkonen. "Tomorrow we’ll try to get back into the top 10 even though I think we’re a bit far off still. It’s going to be interesting, whatever happens!"
Benoit Nogier concluded: "It’s been a long day that started off with SupeRally for Kimi. We first had to put the car back to perfect working order and I’d like to thank the entire team for an excellent job. From a sporting point of view we made some good tyre choices thanks to our solid preparations before coming out here. It’s great to see that we are making the most of all the work we have done in the past. Sebastien needs to carry on just as he has been doing, while keeping one eye on the future, while Kimi has a bit of a challenge on his hands to make it into the points. To be honest it will be tricky, but he is feeling more and more comfortable with the car."

Da RallyBuzz.com



Kimi Raikkonen switched from Formula One to the World Rally Championship because he wanted to experience something different. His wish has finally come true. On day two of the Rally Bulgaria, there were several differences that he noticed between Grand Prix racing and rallying. For example, in no particular order:
1. There are no goats on the circuit in Formula One
2. A Grand Prix has never been held in a ski resort
3. There are considerably fewer than 43 cars on the grid in Formula One
4. You don’t get the chance to re-start a Grand Prix after landing upside down
5. The alarm clock rarely goes off at 5am on a GP race weekend
6. A motorhome is just a truck in the WRC: not a small building
7. Changing a gearbox on a Formula One car takes longer than 12 minutes
8. You never see a woolly hat in an F1 paddock, unless it’s made by Prada
9. Formula One mechanics do not generally use a hammer to repair their cars
10. Not many F1 spectators are called Miroslav and own a pig farm near Dolna Banya
These were just a few of the basic differences that Kimi took on board throughout the second day of the all-asphalt rally, based in Borovets. Doubtless there are more new things that he will discover over the course of the year.
After a great job from the Citroen Junior Team to fix Kimi’s Red Bull-backed C4 WRC, which visited the Bulgarian scenery yesterday, the Iceman concentrated on building his confidence back up today and testing in preparation for the asphalt rallies still to come.
Kimi overcame tricky roads, variable temperatures, and challenging stages to set times that were in the top eight all day: a great achievement for somebody contesting their first World Championship asphalt rally.
Kimi commented: "It’s not been so easy for me, because when you’re not fighting for the top places then there’s obviously not the same motivation. But in the end it was important for us to have the experience and the time in the car, so it’s been a good day and I’ve enjoyed myself. We started quite far down in the order so the roads were dirty a lot of the time, but this is also part of rallying. In general though I’ve liked the stages today because they had a nice rhythm to them. Tomorrow there are four more stages and it’s another good opportunity to learn some more. We need all the time in the car that we can get, so this is our main focus here."
Kimi’s co-driver Kaj Lindstrom is also visiting Bulgaria for the first time, and he was equally pleased with the progress that Kimi made today. "It’s all about getting the experience," he pointed out. "We’ve had no problems at all and we’ve been working on every aspect of the job, such as the pace notes. It’s actually very easy to forget that this is only Kimi’s first asphalt rally in the World Championship. By the time we finish we will have nearly doubled our experience on asphalt in this car, so we’re improving all the time."
Picture text:"Rallying? I love it. Especially all the early mornings. That’s the best bit."

Da Rallybuzz.com


Rally di Bulgaria, shakedown – 08/07/2010


I tempi: http://www.rallybulgaria.com/fce/001/0030/files/Shakedown_Results.pdf

1. Petter Solberg 1:39.4

2. Dani Sordo 1:39.8

3. Sebastien Ogier 1.39.9

4. Kimi Raikkonen e Sebastien Loeb 1.40.5

[…] Former Formula One champion and WRC newcomer Kimi Raikkonen underlined his skill on asphalt by sharing the fourth fastest time – 1m 40.5s – with six times World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb.
"He’s more comfortable on the tarmac, that’s for sure," commented Raikkonen’s co-driver Kaj Lindstrom. "There was a delay at the start before our first run, so we lost all the heat from the tyres, but things got better from there. He went well at our pre-event test and we’ve done a good time here. I’m excited about this rally…"
"He is certainly very fast on tarmac," acknowledged Loeb. "I think the most difficult part for him will be to be fast on the first loop – with only two passes on the recce. But his first pass today was okay, so we’ll see tomorrow. It’s certainly going to be interesting. Asked whether he thought the Finn could be a serious threat this weekend, Loeb said: ‘I hope not.” […]

Da WRC.com



Kimi’s postcard from Bulgaria

After the shakedown on the Rally Bulgaria, which is new to the WRC this year, Kimi Raikkonen spoke exclusively to Redbull.com about his thoughts on the rally, Bulgarian cuisine, getting back to asphalt… and Formula One.

RB: Kimi, how much easier is it going to be for you on asphalt as opposed to gravel? Asphalt is sort of more your thing…
KR: “Well that’s true enough. But rallying is still so new to me that this makes almost no difference. I’m still more unfamiliar with rallying than I am familiar with asphalt, if you see what I mean. In fact, it’s only my first asphalt rally in the WRC. So it’s not easy.”

RB: But you did one practice rally before, the Rally della Lanterna in Italy last month, and you were quick there. In fact you were leading for most of it. So that must have been very encouraging…
KR: Yes it’s true that this was a good experience and it was nice to lead a rally for the first time. But really, Bulgaria will be very different as a rally and also there will be many more tough competitors than there were on the Lanterna Rally. I didn’t notice Sebastien Loeb there for a start! So let’s not jump to any big conclusions.

RB: What’s the Bulgaria Rally like?
KR:
“Very difficult actually. It’s obviously asphalt, but some of the asphalt is quite old and broken up. You have some very quick parts that are almost like a racing circuit but also some very slow and twisty parts. One of the biggest problems is that you have plants and small trees very close to the side of the road and this means that you cannot see through the corners; most of them are blind. Then you have the weather that can change a lot, today it was raining like hell in the afternoon for example but over the weekend I heard from someone that it could be nearly 30 degrees. You just don’t know. If this was a racing circuit, I suppose it would be like the old Nürburgring Nordschliefe!

RB: Speaking of racing, what are your thoughts on the Formula One season so far? Have you been following it?
KR: “A little bit but not so much to be honest. From what I can see it will come down to a battle between the Red Bulls and the McLarens, particularly Lewis Hamilton, who I think has been very strong so far this year. The Red Bull has been the quickest car but unfortunately it has had a bit of unreliability and that has cost some points. If this is sorted for the rest of the season then it should be a very good fight.”

RB: What about your own future: any further thoughts?
KR: “Not really. I’m just enjoying doing what I’m doing for now but soon I need to think about what I’m doing next year, probably after Rally Finland next month. I’m actually in no hurry and I don’t miss Formula One. If the right opportunity came along then you never know but also rallying is a sport that is all about experience and maybe it would be a shame not to continue to use the experience that I have built up so far in this sport.”

RB: What do you think of Bulgaria as a place?
KR: “It’s quite nice although the food is not so good! The rally is based in Borovets, which is a skiing resort. I love winter sports so I have a good feeling. Hopefully I’ll have the same good feeling on Sunday night..”

Da RedBull.com


Test in Francia per Kimi – 18/06/2010


Grosse semaine pour Citroën qui menait deux séances d’essais de front : une avec le team officiel et une avec le junior team. C’est dans le Tarn que l’équipe a poursuivi sa préparation aux rallyes asphaltes après sa participation au Lanterna en Italie. Les spéciales mise à disposition par l’organisation, toujours aussi efficace, ont permis au junior team de préparer la Bulgarie avec des conditions de route proche du terrain de la prochaine manche du championnat. Ogier et Raikkonen ont utilisé la C4, toute bleue, louée par PH à Felice Re lors du Lanterna. Sébastien Ogier a pris le volant mardi et mercredi. Les conditions météo étaient humides, le pilote de Gap a testé la limite en partant en tête à queue. Hier et aujourd’hui, Raikkonen a pris place à bord de la C4. Le finlandais a aligné les chronos avec un style très agressif. Sans cesse à l’attaque, Il a pu profiter de températures chaudes pour effectuer de meilleurs chronos qu’Ogier sur la même spéciale. Souvent à la limite, Kimi semble plus à l’aise sur cette surface après son bon résultat au Lanterna. Alors qu’on se pose la question sur l’avenir de Raikkonen : WRC encore ou retour en F1? On a pu constater que le finlandais semblait bien s’intéresser à la nouvelle donne WRC pour 2011…

Da WRC is free.fr


Rally della Lanterna, Kimi secondo sfiora la vittoria!


Vittoria per Sébastien Ogier al Rally della Lanterna

Il francese ha superato Kimi Räikkönen all’ultima Prova Speciale

Vittoria sul filo di lana per Sebastien Ogier al Rally della Lanterna, che con la sua Citroen WRC batte il compagno di squadra Kimi Raikkonen rifilandogli 8"1 all’ultima prova.
Era il terzo passaggio della giornata sulla PS Torriglia, e se la prima volta Raikkonen aveva battuto Ogier di 11", nel secondo passaggio era stato quest’ultimo a vincere, rifilando 3"4 al finlandese.
Al via del terzo passaggio l’ex Campione del Mondo di Formula 1 si presentava con 2"4 di vantaggio su Ogier e tutta la pressione di aver comandato la gara sin dalla PS4 (proprio il primo passaggio a Torriglia), avendo anche un vantaggio di 28" sul compagno di marca. Vantaggio che però si è costantemente assottigliato fino ad arrivare a quei due striminziti secondi prima dell’ultima prova.
Ma Ogier non ha lasciato giù nulla e così è sfumata sui 9,35 km della PS9 la possibilità per Kimi Raikkonen di raggiungere la prima vittoria in un rally, anche se è chiaro che aver battagliato così a lungo e così bene con uno che un Rally mondiale lo ha già vinto, lascia molto ben sperare per Kimi in vista delle prossime prove mondiali su asfalto.

Da Omnicorse.it

Video da N1 (Rai2): http://www.mediafire.com/?mmqzmdumz4o + http://www.mediafire.com/?enzammzjenc

Video da Grandprix: http://www.mediafire.com/?0myemnj2fij



Räikkönen finishes an impressive second on Lanterna Rally as Ogier wins

Kimi Raikkonen clinched second place in his Citroen C4 WRC on the 2010 Rally della Lanterna, after a close battle with team-mate, and eventual winner, Sebastien Ogier.

The Finn held a two second lead heading into the final stage, but he just couldn’t do enough to fend off the rapid Frenchman who won by 5.7 seconds.

Ogier had been 30 seconds behind Raikkonen after four stages, but reeled him in during the afternoon and evening loops.

At the finish, Raikkonen said: "It was a great rally. Unfortunately we lost the first place in the last stage, but for us it was the first time we drove the car on tarmac and we gained a lot of experience.

"We didn’t lose to such a bad guy [Ogier]," Raikkonen joked. "It was a nice rally and good learning."

Ogier said: "Kimi was very fast today and it was very difficult to catch him because this morning we made a wrong tyre choice and lost 30 seconds.

"I can complement him [Raikkonen] because he did a very good rally for his first time on tarmac [in the Citroen C4 WRC]."

The Lanterna Rally was the first asphalt event that Kimi Raikkonen had contested in a World Rally Car, it also marked the first time he had posted a stage win, led a rally outright and finished on the podium.

The Citroen Junior Team were contesting the Genoa based event as preparation for the upcoming tarmac surfaced WRC Rally Bulgaria.

Da Rallybuzz.com


Rally della Lanterna, seconda giornata – 12/06/2010


Kimi in testa al termine delle prove del mattino!

Räikkönen leads Lanterna Rally

Citroen Junior Team driver Kimi Raikkonen is leading his first asphalt rally, after four stages of the Rally della Lanterna in northern Italy. Raikkonen currently leads his team mate Sebastien Ogier – the winner of the Portugal Rally two weeks ago – by nearly half a minute.

The team is using the small national event close to Genoa to prepare for the forthcoming asphalt rounds of the World Rally Championship, starting in Bulgaria at the beginning of next month. Raikkonen’s best result on the World Rally Championship so far is fifth in Turkey – but he had never driven his Citroen C4 WRC in full asphalt configuration until this weekend’s event.

Ogier, in the other Citroen reported no major problems, but he struggled for grip in the damp conditions. The weather is expected to remain variable for the rest of the rally, which finishes tonight.

Raikkonen’s co-driver Kaj Lindstrom said: “Up to now everything has gone well; very well in fact. But there’s still a very long way to go, so it’s best that we stay calm.”

Da MaxRally.com




Rally della Lanterna, prima giornata – 11/06/2010


Prova Speciale 1: Räikkönen secondo, a due decimi da Ogier!



[…] Grandi star della giornata e di questa edizione della gara genovese i due piloti dello Junior Team Citroen abituali frequentatori del Campionato del Mondo, ovvero Kimi Raikkonen e Sebastien Ogier. Con le loro Citroen C4 il francese ed il finnico non si sono risparmiati, compiendo numerosi passaggi per affinare il setup delle loro vetture sul fondo asfaltato. La squadra transalpina è infatti presente a Genova per svolgere importanti test su strade catramate in vista delle prossime gare asfaltate del Campionato del Mondo.

Entrambi i piloti sono soddisfatti dopo la mattinata di prove ed hanno particolarmente gradito le strade dell’entroterra genovesi, giudicate sia da Ogier che da Raikkonen tecniche ed impegnative, degne del Mondiale. Un banco di prova dunque davvero importante per la Citroen, che qui a Genova schiera anche una terza vettura per Felice Re. […]

Da Sevenpress.com



Räikkönen: "Il Rally della Lanterna è una gara difficile"

“Ho trovato lo shakedown molto simile alle prove speciali, per cui ho potuto provare le regolazioni della C4. Il rally della Lanterna è una gara difficile che sarà un ottimo test in vista del Rally di Bulgaria”, ha spiegato Kimi Raikkonen, uno dei protagonisti annunciati del Rally della Lanterna.

Da Primocanalesport.it



RALLY DELLA LANTERNA – Anteprima
Ogier si nasconde

Undicesimo: non desiderare la gomma d’altri. Sébastien Ogier non conosce le tavole della legge dei rally e quelle di Felice Re le vorrebbe: “Stamani allo shakedown – fa il francese – Felice mi ha fatto fare un giro con la sua C4 e le Pirelli che usa abitualmente, e ho avuto la conferma che sono proprio un’altra cosa rispetto a quelle che abbiamo nel mondiale e che io avrò acnhe in questa incursione nel genovese”.
Si, vabbé, ma l’etichetta del gran favorito gli resta incollata addosso. Anche se il ragazzo delle Alte Alpi gioca a nascondersi: “La fate facile, voi”, butta lì con un sorriso. Con un sorriso aggiunge: “Da quello che ho visto, questo è un rally non facile e gli avversari lo conoscono meglio di me…”. Il suo compagno di squadra, Kimi Raikkonen, sta ancora più abbottonato: ricorda che la sua presenza è finalizzata solo a fargli prendere confidenza con la vuerrecì della Doppia Spiga sulle strade catramate e osserva che, per farlo, dovrà badare soprattutto a non commettere errori.

Da Italiaracing.net


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