Good job in vain
Well, it was the shortest rally for me this year, while we managed to do only two special stages in day one. Obviously, it left a bad taste in my mouth.
What a shame, it happened that way. For sure, those roads are really great for rallying. We managed to get the pace notes in places, as well. It was a rally to enjoy. But this is motor racing. What can you do?
The fateful place for us was on a road section from stage two to stage three. We had our turn to start before Henning Solberg. But he was there in front of us on the road. He seemed to warm up his tires and his breaks. Then, suddendly, he hit the brakes and stopped there. Probably he didn’t look at the mirrors at all.
There was nothing to do for us. Obviously, there was no place to go, so we crashed to the rear of his car.
The rear of Solberg’s car didn’t get any bad damage, but it was different case for us. The front of our car was ruined and it was au revoir for this rallye de France.
I have done now twenty WRC rallies. There has happened quite a lot, but the French experience was again very much different compared to others. Everything can happen, that’s a reality I very well know.
Now it’s time to look forward to the next challenge. It’s the Rally of Spain in a few weeks time. We will have a test session and, obviously, we can improve the car again. Last year we didn’t learn that much of Spanish roads, so it’s like a brand new rally for us.
Dal Blog di Turrini
Secondo fonti mediorientali, la Williams sarebbe vicina ad un grosso accordo si sponsorizzazione con una grande banca di Doha.
I petrodollari, tanti,servirebbero per pagare l’ingaggio di Kimi Raikkonen.
Secondo un quotidiano di Helsinki, il Santo Bevitore avrebbe accettato la proposta della Williams, ricevuta via Qatar la garanzia che il suo stipendio non sarebbe comunque inferiore a quello degli altri top driver in circolazione (Vecchio Zio escluso: Schumi continua ad essere il meglio pagato).
C’è chi arriva a sostenere, fonti britanniche, che Raikkonen avrebbe già realizzato il servizio fotografico con la livrea Williams. Boh. […]
Da Autosprint n.40 del 04/10/2011:
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."
Refreshed to France
It was a six weeks’ break for me. It was a really refreshing time. Obviously six weeks without driving gives you such a desire to come back to the car and really go for it again.
I have such a relaxed and nice feeling to have this rally. Let’s hope this feeling helps us to a good result, too.
Last week we tested the car with Kaj Lindström in France. It was one day without any problems. Everything went well and it was just great to go fast with WRC car on those roads.
Obviously, I’ve got the proper touch to the car on tarmac. Most of all I enjoyed the nice feeling I’ve got in the car. More or less we are ready for the tricky challenge this weekend offers.
Well, I had a break, but it didn’t mean just chilling out. I’ve done consistent physical training in the meanwhile and I really feel good.
Last year back in Rallye de France it was wet and dirty most of the time. It didn’t feel that much like a tarmac challenge. It was more like a question to survive and keep the car safely on those roads. Cutting the corners was happening all over the place. Doing that made the roads very, very slippery.
We have managed to improve our performances in every rally this season compared to our debut year. Obviously, that is the target in Rallye de France, too. While it goes according to our plan, we should get a fistful of some nice points again.
Now we’ve done the pace notes. It’s time start. The target is the same like always: to get quickly to the good rhytm and then try to get every stage right without any major mistakes. By clinching it, you finish this rally with a good result as well, I presume.
The car is now at its best. This is now the start for the last period of this season. There are three rallies left to get the job done well.
So far the season has been ok. The rally is difficult, but every time you gain some more experience. For sure, we have not been going backwards!