crashes on Arctic Rally
Finland’s 2007 Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen has crashed on his
first competitive event driving for the Citroen Junior World Rally Team.
Raikkonen was placed second overall in the Arctic Lapland Rally when his
car left the road and crashed into a tree on the event’s second stage,
the 23km Aittajärvi.
Kimi and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom were
unhurt in the incident, but their C4 World Rally Car sustained damage to
its right-hand front corner. With help from spectators the pair
eventually got the car back on the road and underway again, but the
episode cost them more than 20 minutes and could bring an end to their
The team is hoping that once the car is repaired, Raikkonen will be able
to continue in today’s competition, or re-start on Saturday.
Raikkonen and Lindstrom are tackling the winter event, the opening round
of the Finnish championship, as a warm-up before their WRC campaign
kicks off in Sweden on 11 February.
It is the first competitive outing for the duo in the Citroen C4 World
Rally Car they will campaign this season. However it’s not a new event
for the pair, who made their rally debut together there in 2009,
finishing 13th in a Fiat Abarth Grande Punto S2000.
Before the crash, Raikkonen had got off to a good start. In perfect
snowy conditions, and in a temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius, he
recorded the second fastest time though Friday’s opening stage, the
11.27km Rantasipi Pohjanhovi / Mäntyvaara. The only man to beat him – by
a margin of 5.5sec – was his fellow Citroen C4 driver, Dani Sordo, who
is also using the event as a pre-season test.
After two stages, Sordo, now the sole World Rally Car driver in the
predominantly Group N field, leads the rally by 26.1sec from the
Estonian, Ott Tanak.
Kimi able to continue rally
Organisers initially reported that Raikkonen was out of his
first competitive rally in his new Citroen C4 WRC. But Raikkonen and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom then summoned the help of
spectators to return to the C4 WRC to the road and continued to the end
of the test, albeit 31 minutes slower than rally leader and fellow
Citroen driver Dani Sordo.
Raikkonen then drove through the third stage and has now made it back
to the service area in Rovaniemi, although the Red Bull driver incurred
time penalties getting to stage three.
The Citroen Racing team replaced the radiator and oil cooler along
with bodywork at the front and rear of the C4 WRC in the 20-minute
service. Raikkonen left service seven minutes late, which is expected to
add a further 1m10s of penalties to his overall total.
Lindstrom said: "We went off the road and lost some minutes in the
stage and then some penalties for arriving late."
Reason of crash
Courtesy of LadyFeanor
"The reason of the crash was because Kimi heard or interprented Kaj’s
notes wrong: the turn had been marked with the note "three", but Kimi
had reacted like it would have been "five". Because of this, they
arrived to the turn with way too much speed."
(Follow the latest news and live timings in the KRS forum)
Kimi: It was my own fault
Courtesy of Leijona
"The place wasn’t difficult, it just went out of control. The car was
stuck from the bottom to a snowbank and it didn’t move anywhere. First I tried with Kaj with our own shovels for 15 minutes, but then there came people
with huge shovels and the car was moved".
Because the car remained technically intact, will Räikkönen continue the
rally in testing spirit.
"We will continue the race, it is nice to drive the car and everything
Press Conference (YLE)
Translations courtesy of Leijona
Interviewer (I): Kimi Räikkönen, your career’s
first WRC-race ahead of you, be honest, are you nervous at all?
Kimi (KR): I don’t know, I’m not nervous but of course you don’t really
know what to expect. I’ve driven a couple of rallies but with a little
bit different equipment. It’s fun to see how we do.
I: There has been experts speculating a lot about what Kimi can reach,
but what does the driver say himself?
KR: Well I don’t have any information on that since we have not driven
at all against anyone. Today we drove with Sordo for the first time the
same stint and with the same car but there is still a lot to be learnt,
especially doing notes and listening to notes is the most difficult that
you dare to drive with them as fast as you can.
I: What kind of show is the Iceman going to put up [for the reporters
KR: (laughs) Well let’s see, like I said it is pretty difficult to
predict anything and of course we haven’t had the chance to drive with
the car that much but it’s a different thing when you have to go fast on
the race right away. And there’s not so much experience with this car,
last year we have driven stints but they’re not on top of memory so we
were at the same position last year when we could drive a little bit
before the race. Of course some more testing would help but let’s see
what happens and let’s try to stay on the road and get kilometres under
the belt and improve the pace.
I: Sebastien Loeb mentioned on one of his interviews that Kimi Räikkönen
in 2011 as team-mate would be an interesting alternative. How do you
KR: (laughs) Well it’s pointless to think what happens next year when we
haven’t driven any kilometres in races yet and there is time to happen
all kinds of stuff within this year. But like I said let’s do our best
and see if the pace is enough and that will give some kind of direction
on what will happen next year.
Kimi suprises: snow doesn’t fit the Iceman!
Kimi Räikkönen doesn’t enjoy the wintry conditions at least not behind a
"I have driven the most in snow with a rally car but in my opinion snow
is the most difficult surface. There you have to be pretty accurately
on the clean driving lane because otherwise there will be a lot of
action. On snow it is the most difficult to do notes and keep the car on
the road," Räikkönen admits to MTV3.
In Arctic-rally, which is driven in Rovaniemi’s snowy roads on Friday
and Thursday, Räikkönen’s WRC-car has wider tires than the N-group’s
drivers’, which makes Räikkönen’s job difficult since the WRC-tires
won’t fit the narrow lanes properly at the special stage that is driven
for the second time.
The WRC-series start at the middle of February at Sweden’s snow but
Räikkönen is waiting to get to other surfaces already.
"I have driven one rally on sand and I’ve tested there somewhat. On
tarmac and sand you can search for driving lanes a little bit. Tarmac is
certainly natural for me. There you can read [the road] with your eyes
In WRC the tarmac-rallies are placed on the second half of the season.
"Fortunately there is a couple of races driven before the
tarmac-rallies come. If we would have learnt something before that," Kimi
Kimi Räikkönen’s team-mate in Citroen, Daniel Sordo, doesn’t believe
that Räikkönen will reach wins in this years WRC-series.
"If Kimi wins this year a race in WRC-rally, it will be something
unbelievable. Maybe he can reach the top 6 rank," Sordo says to MTV3.
On Friday and Saturday in Finnish Championship rally Räikkönen has
instead a full possibility even for a win because only Sordo is driving a
fresh WRC-car in Rovaniemi in addition to Raikkonen.
"If Kimi wins here, then he wins. It would be a good start for him. I
will however try to win this rally. He has a good chance because he has
experience from last year and the rally is driven on snow," Sordo says.
Sordo doesn’t yet know Räikkönen’s strengths.
"Kimi is a new acquaintance for me. I don’t know where he is as his
fastest. Maybe he will do really well also with a WRC-car but he might
have problems with the notes. As long as he gets some experience from
them, he is of course really fast."
Read how Raikkonen compares his cars
Under Arctic-rally Kimi Räikkönen compared his current Citroen C4
WRC-car to his last year’s rally-car which was Super 2000 -class’ Fiat
Abarth Grande Punto.
In WRC-Citroen there is 315 horsepower turbo-engine whereas in Super
2000-car there is a 280 horsepower engine.
"In WRC-car there is a much better chassis and more power but you can’t
feel the extra speed because the car is that much better to drive.
WRC-car stays on the road more easily and goes better in places which
feel fast for S2000 when there is jumps and bumps. Althought the speed
increases, you don’t feel that much quicker," Kimi analyzed to MTV3.