Kimi Raikkonen has made it to the end of the opening day of the
Arctic Rally in Finland, but the former Ferrari star has set his sights
firmly on improving his pace tomorrow.
The Red Bull Citroen Junior Team driver suffered a fraught morning on
the Rovaniemi-based event after crashing on the second stage, where he
dropped more than half an hour in a ditch.
Citroen fixed his C4 WRC at the ensuing service allowing the 2007
Formula 1 champion a clear run through the afternoon’s three stages. Due
to his morning shunt, his overall position in the Finnish Rally
Championship event has not yet been clarified.
Raikkonen’s co-driver Kaj Lindstrom said: "The afternoon has been
good. Kimi is back on top of the car after the problem this morning.
We’ve been just under a second per kilometre slower than Dani [Sordo],
who’s leading the event. The focus for me tomorrow will be to get that
gap down to half a second per kilometre."
Raikkonen, who was second quickest to Sordo on all three of this
afternoon’s stages, made adjustments to the C4 WRC at service ahead of
the final stage in northern Finland this evening. He adjusted the
suspension on the car to assist turn-in to corners, while also working
to help with traction at the back of the car.
Sordo remains clear at the head of the field.
"It’s been good," he said. "I’m driving the car at about the same
sort of pace I would drive during a test. Sometimes, when the road is
nicer and I have some more confidence, I am pushing a little bit more.
It’s good, though, I’m enjoying it."
There are six further stages tomorrow, with three of those repeated.
Kimi Räikkönen took the blame on himself for driving out during the second stage.
Courtesy of Nicole
"I heard the note wrong and we drove into the snow bank because of it,"
Räikkönen admitted to MTV3.
It cost Kimi about half an hour.
"There was a tree, about as thick as a leg, and we went through it.
Those things happen. That’s why we came here, so that we could screw up everything that can be screwed up and learn
from that. So that we wouldn’t have to do the same mistakes in the
upcoming races," Räikkönen said.
On the dark stage Räikköen had problems with visibility.
"It was difficult because it was snowing so I didn’t see well. Our
lights were a bit too high."
"On one stage the crossroad went a bit far and we had to back."
Räikkönen has been about one second per kilometer behind Dani Sordo on
stages without problems.
"I see it myself, that I pump up quite a lot and hustle this and that
but the times are pretty OK. I think it will start to go better. I could
probably go faster if I would drive seriously but the main thing is
that we could learn all different things. We can destroy this car now,"
Rami Räikkönen blamed Kimi for his own crash because he used Kimi’s pace notes from last year.
"Kimi can blame himself for the car’s condition," he joked.
Rami Räikkönen’s Fiat car rolled over three times.
"I had a speed of 172 km/h," Rami said.
The window from the driver’s side was broken and Rami got a cut in his
nose. He had to drive a long way without his window in -15 degrees.
"100km without a window," Rami said.
Does the car have bad karma when Kimi drove out the same way in Jyskälä?
"Well, let’s see how it goes tomorrow," Rami grinned.