Sweden Excited Over Kimi’s Arrival

Written by Juhani Roiha, From TurunSanomat.fi | Translation courtesy of Nicole | Edited by KRS

Sweden Rally Fans Are Enthusiastic Over Kimi’s Arrival

Sweden’s car industry is living it’s toughest season in the midst of
the global financial crisis. They have also lacked the best attraction
in rally.

In the middle of this misery the organisers of Sweden’s Rally got a
fax confirming that Kimi Räikkönen will take part in it – on Tuesday
which was the deadline for registration.

"A Superfax that Sweden’s Rally loves – Räikkönen participates in
the rally!”, was the headline the next day in Nya Wermlands-Tidningen’s
magazine in Karlstad where the rally is held.

"The sport couldn’t be better now
that F1 Champion Kimi Räikkönen takes part in Sweden’s Rally on
Värmland’s winter roads," Swedish rally champion Björn Waldegård sums
his feelings up to TS.

67-year old Björn Waldegård became a champion in year 1979. Only one other Swede has achieved the same – Stig Blomqvist in 1984.

Nowadays Waldegård feeds forest deers on his farm in Roslagen,
Norrtälje’s Rimbo, during his freetime. Waldegård actively takes part in rally, as for example the rally commentator
in Eurosport. At the moment Waldegård is busy with Dakar-rally.

"I have never met Kimi Räikkönen but I’m going to look him up in Sweden’s Rally so that I can talk with him," Waldegård says.

Kimi will bring the whole rally sport back to life

According to Waldegård Räikkönen will effectively crush the
prejudice that thinks F1 would be something bigger than rally in
motorsport glory.

"Rally is a fantastic part of motorsport. And now that Kimi
Räikkönen is coming to race in Sweden it is something much more better,"
he says.

According to Waldegård Räikkönen’s participation will bring the
whole rally sport back to life, which according to him is in a pretty
bad shape today.

"A lot has to do with the lack of competition which again has to
do with Marcus Grönholm quitting a few years ago. But he also loves
Sweden’s Rally and will drive there with Räikkönen," Waldegård says.

"It’s completely fantastic that two Finnish motorsportmen – I hope
you forgive my expression – love Sweden in this case almost more than
Finland," Björn Waldegård says.

Autosprint Magazine Interview
Translation courtesy of TaniaS

Q: Kimi, what do you think of the C4
after your first test? How did you feel? He was your very first time
ever driving a World Rally Car…

KR: "The car is very good. I’ve immediately found a great feeling and I
was very impressed by how it reacts to adjustments. Sure, it’s quite
different from any other rally car I had driven before! Even if I
didn’t know it, I enjoyed, I had fun and learned a lot of things."

All the experts have pointed out
that your main problem, apart from that you don’t know the routes, will
be learning to listen to the navigator, establishing with him a proper
system of writing notes…

KR: "I’m constantly learning about the notes and I’m working hard with
Kaj (Lindstrom, the former navigator of Tommi Makinen who’s following
Raikkonen in his rally adventure as a shadow). He has a lot of
experience and knowledge, and so he is a big help for me. It’s
important to have the right notes and I am particularly pleased to have
Kaj by my side helping me. He gives me confidence."

What do you expect for the season
going to begin with the Rally of Sweden? Do you think you can
immediately aim at success or your season will be just to have an

KR: "I’m preparing to face a great challenge for me. I have no experience
of world rallying… Of course I always want to win, but in this case,
you must be realistic: I have no other goal than doing my best. Let me
see where I will be at the end of season!"

After the last year races what do you think of Kimi Raikkonen as a rally driver?

KR: "Better to leave to others the comments on my performances."

Have you got a model to follow among the big rally drivers of yesterday and today?

KR: "No, I haven’t a model to follow. But I have the same respect and
consideration for the top rally drivers like that I have for the best
drivers in F1."

What kind of opportunities are the participation of Kimi Raikkonen and, even more occasionally, of Valentino Rossi, for rally?

KR: "For this sport they are a good thing. And I’d love to see Valentino racing in the WRC."

The question that everyone would ask: why did you go from F1 to rally?

KR: "I’ve always been interested in competing in the WRC soon or later,
and at some point in my career I was offered this excellent opportunity
by the Red Bull. So, why not?"

Is your choice permanent or it may
be that one day we’ll see you again in F1? Fernando Alonso said at the
Ferrari meeting at Madonna di Campiglio you’re a natural talent and it
is a shame to see you go away…

KR: "I have not closed the doors to F1. I spent nine years of my life in
this sport and I really have some good memories. I will make a decision
in the middle of this year. Then I’ll decide whether to stay and
compete in the rally or return to F1 Grand Prix."

10 thoughts on “Sweden Excited Over Kimi’s Arrival

  1. Good interviews thanks for positng themI really hope Kimi stays with the wrc past 2010!


  2. Also another treat from Nicole, very interesting predictions about Kimi’s abilities in the different WRC routes and conditions: Mikko Hirvonen (MH) and Jari-Matti Latvala (J-ML) comment on how they think Kimi will do this year rally by rally (taken from VM Paper Edition)————————————————–1/13: Sweden’s WRC-rally10.-14.2.Driving surface: ice/snowMH:- Sweden is good and maybe even the best possible place for Kimi to start his WRC-season. The roads are fast and the snow benches forgive small errors – especially if there is enough of snow on the stage.- 4-5 minutes behind the lead. (5th in 2008)J-ML:- Sweden will be a good start for Kimi. He will already have a fresh experience from Arctic rally. But Kimi has to go fast if he is going to do well. If he is about 1,0-1,5 seconds per kilometer behind the lead it is a very good result.- 6 minutes behind the lead. (6th in 2008)2/13: Mexico’s WRC-rally3.-7.3.Driving surface: gravelMH:- Mexico might be the most difficult race for Kimi. If he dares to go fast, controls his car and makes it to the finish line without making mistakes it’s a great result for a newbie.- 6 minutes behind the lead. (6th in 2008)J-ML:- Mexico is probably the most difficult rally for Kimi. You need experience there.- 10 minutes behind the lead. (7th in 2008)3/13: Jordania’s WRC-rally31.3-4.4Driving surface: gravelMH:- Jordania might suit Kimi well because of the good grip. If his setups are in order you just brake and turn into the corner on Jordania’s roads, that’s why he could get very close to the lead there.- 4 minutes behind the lead. (3rd in 2008)J-ML:- The route could be difficult for Kimi because of the way the tyres get worn out.- 10-12 minutes behind the lead (5th in 2008)4/13: Turkey’s WRC-rally14.-18.4Driving surface: gravelMH:- Because the area is new to everyone it also makes Kimi’s chances better.- 4 minutes behind the lead (8th in 2008)J-ML:- Kimi is probably in a good speed in Turkey and gets closer to the lead.- 8 minutes behind the lead (8th in 2008)5/13: New Zealand’s WRC-rally5.-9.5Driving surface: gravelMH:- If Kimi drives the rally I’m sure he will enjoy the experience.- 4 minutes behind the lead (6th in 2008)J-ML:- If Kimi drives the rally I’m sure he will enjoy the experience.- 10 minutes behind the lead (10th in 2008)6/13: Portugal’s WRC-rally27.-20.5.Driving surface: gravelMH:- I think that by Portugal Kimi has learned how to drive on gravel.- 3-4 minutes behind the lead (5th in 2009)J-ML:- This could be a very difficult race for Kimi. Kimi has a top co-driver and his significance will be highlighted in Portugal.- 10 minutes behind the lead (7th in 2009)7/13: Bulgaria’s WRC-rally7.-10.7Driving surface: tarmacMH:- I expect a good result from Kimi in Bulgaria because we are all on the same line (new race).- 4 minutes behind the lead (4th)J-ML:- Bulgaria could be one of the best races for Kimi because nobody has any earlier experience from there and I’m sure Kimi drives well on tarmac.- 5 minutes behind the lead (5th)8/13: Finland’s WRC-rally29.-31.7Driving surface: gravelMH:- Finland’s rally can be difficult for Kimi although he has some experience from it. It’s difficult to drive a WRC-car on Mid-Finland’s superfast gravel roads really fast. The car has to be perfectly set-up and he has to be able to trust it 100%, otherwise the difference to the lead grows by minutes.- 5 minutes behind the lead (7th in 2009)J-ML:- Finland’s rally will be Kimi’s second but it’s not easy to succeed in Mid-Finland with a WRC-car.- 6 minutes behind the lead (8th in 2009)9/13: Germany’s WRC-rally18.-22.8Driving surface: tarmacMH:- Second tarmac-rally for Kimi. If it doesn’t rain the result can be good but if it rains it’s interesting to see how Kimi controls the constant traction changes.- 4 minutes behind the lead (6th in 2008)J-ML:- It could be a difficult race for Kimi although the surface is tarmac. Audi’s DTM-champion Mattias Ekström drove there a couple of years ago and he was in great troubles because of the constantly changing traction.- 9 minutes behind the lead (13th in 2008)10/13: Japan’s WRC-rally8.-12.9Driving surface: gravelMH:- Japan might be the best gravel rally of the season for Kimi. When he has got some experience I believe that he will make a good result there.- 4-5 minutes behind the lead (5th in 2008)J-ML:- Japan might be a good race for Kimi. Although he has no experience of this race it doesn’t necessarily matter much.- 7 minutes behind the lead (7th in 2008)11/13: France WRC-rally29.9.-3.10Driving surface: tarmacMH:- This race could be the best race of the season for Kimi. He already has experience in driving and making pace notes so he could even drive for the podium.- 2-3 minutes behind the lead (podium)J-ML:- Kimi will improve here after Germany’s race but he will still be minutes behind the lead.- 9 minutes behind the lead12/13: Spain’s WRC-rally20.-24.10Driving surface: tarmacMH:- I believe that Kimi feels at home on Catalonia’s tarmac where he can drive on the line and boldly cut.- 2-3 minutes behind the lead (he will fight for the podium)J-ML:- Last year the stage was precisely the same as it was the year before and if this trend continues it will bring difficulties for Kimi because others know the stage almost by memory.- 8 minutes behind the lead (8th in 2009)13/13: Britain’s WRC-rally10.-14.11Driving surface: gravelMH:- Wales can be more difficult for Kimi because here you need experience in order to succeed.- 6 minutes behind the lead (5th in 2009)J-ML:- Because of the difficult driving conditions I predict that Wales isn’t any easy rally for Kimi. It’s more than slippery.- 8 minutes behind the lead (7th in 2009)————————————————–


  3. @Michael: I agree with ya! We’ll see how his first year goes and then if it’s really good then I’m sure he’ll stay, it’s his dream to be rally champ now. But y’never know with Kimi…


  4. Great interview from hirvonen and latvala, very interesting to see their thoughts!!


  5. Hi have you seen the news on the Red Bull site about Kimi in the Arctic Rally.Its here in case you haven’t: http://www.redbull.com/cs/Satellite/en_INT/Article/Dani-and-Rami-join-Kimi-in-Rovaniemi-021242810052076?p=1242745950125Anyway I wish Red Bull would hurry up and do a profile thing for Kimi on their website. It would be really nice!


  6. Definately an exciting line-up, even more test put up to Kimi to see how he does against Sordo. Thanks for the link Anna!


  7. Kimi F1 doors still open http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/formula-1-news/226445/raikkonen-f1-doors-still-open/Red Bull team and Kimi doing good in partnership…


  8. Hey Lowie, yeah that Autosprint interview is posted above, hehe 😛


  9. great chance for Kimi to enjoy himself with Rami :)))) and I’m sure he’ll take it really seriuosly also because it’s his very first test with c4!so cute Juustu and his brother (Julius??), adorable little boys! :))))))


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