ALR 2010: Raikkonen finishes 58th overall, 2nd in category

From Autosport.com | Citroen-WRC.com | Rallybuzz.com

Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed a trouble-free run through the second and
final day of the Arctic Rally to reach the finish in his first event in a
Citroen WRC car.

Any hopes of a result for the Red Bull-backed Citroen Junior team
driver went out of the window when he crashed off the road for 30
minutes on the second stage yesterday, but the 2007 Formula 1 world
champion said he was happy with the progress he made through today’s six
stages.

"Things didn’t exactly get off to the best start as we went off the
road during the second stage," said Raikkonen. "But luckily there was no
mechanical damage and I was able to continue in the rally.

"From there it got a lot better for me and we were much more
consistent. We put a few more kilometres under our belt, which was vital
to help us continue learning the C4 WRC. As well as being pleased by
our performances I was also pleased by the way we were able to work with
the team. We developed our set-up in the right direction and now we are
going to continue our work in order to arrive in Sweden in the
strongest possible position."

Citroen team manager Benoit Nogier was pleased with how Raikkonen
recovered after his accident. The Finn was within 0.8s per kilometre of
fellow Citroen driver Dani Sordo’s pace.

"He was quickly able to put his mishap at the start of the rally
behind him and get to the end of a complex event, whilst improving at
the same pace as Dani," said Nogier.

Kimi Raikkonen put in an impressive performance, despite crashing on the first day, with a string of second fastest stage times throughout the event.

This was Raikkonen’s first time driving the Citroen C4 WRC in
competitive conditions and without yesterday’s crash, he would have
finished 6 minutes behind Sordo.

Raikkonen’s co-driver Kaj Lindstrom commented after SS9: "The
difference to Dani is now 0.9 seconds per kilometre.

"We know where the difference comes from, therefore it’s a relief. It
would be different if you had to think to yourself that you are going
damn fast but still be behind, that would be worrying.

"We are still setting the car up so Kimi doesn’t yet have 100%
confidence in how it behaves. It affects the way we go into corners. We
are braking early when there is ice because we don’t want to do anything
stupid, that’s where the differences in time come from. The notes will
also improve once we see how fast we can go," Lindstrom added to MTV3.

Kimi Raikkonen commented at the finish: "Once we get the car the way
we want it, it will be quite easy to go faster. I don’t think that it
will be terribly difficult to drive faster when I know myself that the
car is not going the way I want it to.

"This is the fifth rally for me so it’s not really something to worry
about. I learned quite a lot and it will be much better for Sweden. The
main thing was that we were able to get some kilometres behind us. It
doesn’t matter that we finished in a lowly position," he added.

Arctic Lapland Rally 2010 Results

1. Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (E) Citroen C4 WRC 1:38.29,1 (1. A18)

2. Kosti Katajamäki/Lasse Hirvijärvi (FIN) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X
+6.07,7


3. Jarkko Miettinen/Mikko Lukka (FIN) Skoda Fabia S2000 +7.16,1


4. Juha Salo/Mika Stenberg (FIN) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +8.06,9


5. Kristian Sohlberg/Peter Flythström (FIN) Subaru Impreza WRX STI N15
+9.12,3


6. Ari Vihavainen/Antti Piira (FIN) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +9.40,6


7. Atte Alanen/Pasi Hedman (FIN) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +9.44,5


8. Tommi Luostarinen/Risto Pietiläinen (FIN) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
+9.48,9


9. Jukka Ketomäki/Kai Risberg (FIN) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +10.45,8


10. Marko Ipatti/Kari Kajula (FIN) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +10.46,9



Kimi’s engineer praises his work

Courtesy of Nicole

Cedric Mazenq ja Kimi Räikkönen (Kuva: GEPA pictures/Tony Welam/Red
 Bull Photofiles)

Kimi Räikkönen’s race
engineer in Citroen’s junior team, Cedric Mazenq, is grateful for Kimi’s
very detailed feedback when it comes to setting up the rally car.

Räikkönen himself is used to setting up the car into every small detail
in F1.

"He sees many details because he is used to doing a detailed work in
F1. He can help the team to improve the car," Mazenq told MTV3 of the
first impression he got about Räikkönen.

Citroen-team offered several different setups for the Arctic-rally that
Räikkönen could try out so that the Iceman gets experience of what kind
of setups are the best for him.

"This rally was a test for Kimi. It’s a continuance of the test we
drove in Jyväskylä last week. This rally’s goal was to find the setups
he could begin with in Sweden’s rally," Mazenq emphasises in the
Arctic-rally’s service park.

Arctic-rally’s purpose was to make a car for Kimi that he could drive as
easily as possible.

"For him the most important thing in the beginning is that he learns to
trust the car. This is a whole new world for him. We will do our best
to help him learn about the car, routes and pace notes. There is a lot
of differences between rally and F1 but he has taken this with an open
mind," Mazenq tells.


"Räikkönen seventh or eighth in WRC rally”
Courtesy of Leijona

MTV3’s rally-expert Tommi Tuominen estimates that based on the
Arctic-rally Kimi Räikkönen has a chance to reach last of the points in
WRC rally.

Points are distributed for the race’s eight best drivers.

"Kimi was consistently one second slower per kilometer compared to Dani
Sordo. In my opinion that is very good pace," Tuominen judges
Räikkönen’s performance.

If Kimi loses the same one second per kilometer in a WRC-race, it will
accumulate in a 320 km long rally to little over 5 minutes difference to
Sordo. Difference to the top is even bigger because Sordo loses to the
top-drivers in WRC-rally a couple of tenths per kilometer.

"With that you are competing for a world championship point, even two.
In Sweden Kimi can drive in his first rally for a WC-point. It is not
that far away," Tuominen estimates.

Tuominen followed Räikkönen’s driving on Saturday in Jyrhämäjärvi’s
special stage.

"There was this kind of double crossing at midway of the stage. You
could see a clear difference in driving compared to Sordo. Sordo braked
and then went through with throttle and then a small acceleration and
brake and again throttle. Kimi had more of these kinds of executions in
these two curves, Tuominen told about what he saw."


Kimi’s manager: Rally is very, very different
Courtesy of Leijona
Steve Robertson, kuva: Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva

"I must say that for me this is very, very different. The F1 paddock is
completely different than here. This is of course not WRC rally yet. I’m
waiting to get to those races," Robertson said to MTV3.



Robertson highlight that Räikkönen could have continued in F1 if had
wanted.



"Transferring to rally was Kimi’s decision. We had opportunities to
make a deal with a couple F1-teams after he quit at Ferrari but that
didn’t happen. Kimi made it very clear that if he doesn’t get into
particular F1-teams he wants to investigate other options. We got a good
chance from Red Bull and Citroen in rally and Kimi announced that he
wants to do it."



Räikkönen’s next years series decision is going to be affected by the
experiences in rally in the beginning of the year and the the situation
on free driver places in F1.



"Kimi will look at how things progress in WRC rally until the middle of the
season. Then we look what options there are open in F1. If he likes the rally, then he will continue there. If he continues in the WRC
series, is championship a long-term goal," Robertson says.


Cold ride for Robertson

Courtesy of Leijona


Kimi Räikkönen’s manager Steve Robertson arrived from his home Dubai,
which had 28 degrees of heat, to the arctic cold Lapland. He got a cold
ride also from his protégé’s initial difficulties in Lapland-rally.



What did it feel like when you heard that Kimi had driven out?



"We have to remember that this is Kimi’s first day in his rally-career.
When you go to an entirely new class – like from F1 to rally – everyone
certainly understand better after this how different it is – from
driving style onwards."



"Kimi knows how much work it is to understand notes and make them in
the best way. It’s a map where he now navigates. He has all the
experience from F1 but it doesn’t help when you must suddenly do notes
to places which experienced drivers have gone through already thousands
times. It is not easy when there is no baseline to compare with."



"Kimi is certainly a natural talent in every way but it takes its time
that he starts to understand the rally-world completely. And it doesn’t
help that he’s a F1 champion. That’s why he is all the time in the
spotlight and he can’t hide anywhere when he’s trying to adapt to these
challenges. Kimi needs time but let’s wait when he adjusts his own
things. I’m certain that he will become super-competitive by the middle
of the season and he is an entirely different Kimi than he is now,"
Robertson assured



But what if these kind of crashes happen again?



"Everything doesn’t always to according to plans. It’s not easy for
Kimi, but the learning phase has to be gone through. But it’s certain
that this kind of set-back does not make Kimi any less determined about
the fact that he will become very competitive also in WRC,"
Robertson concluded.


Mark Arnall: F1 regulations changed to Kimi’s disadvantage last season.

Courtesy of Nicole


"The driver’s weight was important in F1 because of the KERS drvice. We
did a lot of work to make Kimi smaller because he was 2-3 kg overweight
after KERS was put in. Some bigger drivers had even more difficulties," Kimi’s trainer told MTV3.



In rally Räikkönen is weighed together with Kaj Lindstrom.



"The minimum weight is 150 kg. We are a little above it. We are more or
less where we should be," Arnall said.



"Driving rally is more easier on Kimi because he doesn’t have to put up
with the same G-forces as in F1. The driving position is quite
different so the muscles work in a different way. We will change the
training according to which parts work more than before and which less,"
Arnall tells.



"In rally you sit in the car more than in F1 with pace notes and
transitions. The rally car bumps the driver up and down more than a
F1 car. That kind of bumping strains the lower back," Arnall continues.


      

      

      

 

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7 responses

  1. Anna

    Heheheee thank you so much for putting up all this stuff about Kimi!He looks so happy :):) I’m sure he’ll do amazing this year.13 days until WRC Sweden!!!

    January 30, 2010 at 8:06 pm

  2. KRS Evenstar

    I’m sure he will too Anna :) With so little rally experience, it’s not too bad at all. And he wasn’t even at his best (car settings and etc) He can only get better.Wallpaper! > http://cid-a01a464bbc0e816c.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Wallpapers/Iceman.jpg

    January 31, 2010 at 1:35 am

  3. Pekka2

    Thank you so much putting this stuff here. I found couple of photos of Kimi from here:http://www.mtv3.fi/ohjelmat/sivusto2008.shtml/viihde/f1_backstage/taustaa_uutiset?1045455There is a little girl asking Kimi’s autograph. Very nice pictures :)An other thing came to my mind. In mtv3.fi website, there are these Lex Hollo columns, where "Lex Hollo" is writing current topics in Finnish sport. When Ferrari announced, that Kimi will leave, he wrote this column:http://blogit.mtv3.fi/lexhollo/2009/10/01/alonson-tissit/Title of that colum "Alonson tissit" means in english "Alonso’s tits". That was very funny column, maybe it has been here all ready…

    January 31, 2010 at 3:14 pm

  4. Michael

    just to let you all know if you weren’t aware its the WRC launch day on Tuesday 2nd feb in Paris

    January 31, 2010 at 3:56 pm

  5. Slaw

    hey everyone;) , it’s great to see Kimi happy ,on many photos and videos he smiles more than in F1 so for sure in rallys is best atmosphere like he said many times :)Pekka nice photo with this little girl ,Kimi is always nice for his fans :DThanks for all stuff Saima ;-)

    January 31, 2010 at 9:39 pm

  6. Trixie

    Thanks for all the posts and links to Kimi’s Arctic Rally adventures, or rather, mis-adventure at the start! Can anyone shed any light on the trophy that both Kimi & Kaj were photographed with ? I thought with the crash, they didn’t finish too well…?Really appreciate all the contribution as we don’t get coverage of the Lapland Rally downunder! Thanks.

    February 1, 2010 at 1:10 pm

  7. KRS Evenstar

    Hiya Trixie, yes I find it confusing at times…actually all the time haha, but Kimi received the 2nd place trophy as he came 2nd of his class (the other guy who was infront of Kimi, and behind leader Sordo, couldn’t finish so that’s why Kimi came 2nd rather than 3rd). Kimi finished 58th overall.

    February 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm

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