Kimi’s Column: Rally Sweden review


Ruts, spins – and banks Swedish Rally was my first world championship rally with WRC car.
Well, we finished the rally in one piece. It was the target and it was
the most positive thing to achieve from the weekend.

Obviously, I made a couple of silly mistakes that I could have lived
without. We paid heavily for those and it badly hurt our result.

The Swedish Rally is a very demanding race. The roads are covered with
snowy ice. If you come out of the ruts, there is soft snow and you spin
easily. Then you get snow all over the car, cannot see anything – and so
you hit the snow bank.

That’s what happened to us. We went there with walking speed, but stuck
on the soft snow bank. Then I had to take the spade and start digging
the car out of the snow.

Well, that’s one thing you have to experience in a rally. It’s normal
and I know that those who now are the leaders, have had their share of
shovelling, too. I guess, not even Sibelius started by composing the
Finlandia first.

All in all the Swedish Rally offered us a very interesting weekend.
Okay, perhaps we had some expectations and, for sure, the pressure was
there, while we started the rally. It was difficult, but it feels good that
it’s done now.

Every single mile I’ll get under my belt with this car is very important
for me now. The more I’ll find the good feeling with the car, the
better it goes. Even now from time to time I started to feel better and I
got along with the car better and better.

While we do the stages for the second time, obviously, it helps and
makes it a little bit easier.

After our “hiccups” in the beginning, we decided not to seek some better
set-ups. We went to Sebastien Loeb’s set-up and started to learn to
drive the car with it. I just focused on baseline driving and keeping
the car on the road.

After getting used to how the car handled, it was easier – although the
circumstances were changing all the time. At least, next time I know the
car better and then we can ask more from the car, too.

It felt good to have some good times. For sure, I experienced once more
how important it is to get the pace notes exactly right. When the note
is ok, it’s so much easier to go fast. There were some places, my notes
were wrong – and there we suffered the most.

I said already before going to Sweden, this rally on snow will be a very
difficult race to start the season. Obviously, I have not done a single
metre with this car on gravel or on asphalt, but I bet it’s not going
to be more difficult, at the very least.

Now we focus on the next rally. It’s Mexico and it’s the first rally on
gravel. We’ll have one day of testing with the car in France. Then it’s
Viva la Mexico and it will thrilling to see my co-driver Kaj Lindstrom
with a sombrero on.


16 responses

  1. KRS Evenstar

    Finnish version translated by Nicole:——————————Kimi Swedish rally review in FinnishIN ONE PIECE TO THE FINISH LINEThe first ‘äm-äm’ with a WRC-car is now wrapped. The positive thing was that we got in one piece to the finish line.I could have lived without making a few stupid mistakes. This is how it went, if the car goes off the track you hit immediately soft snow and you spin. There was snow everywhere. Because we couldn’t see out at all we hit the snowbank – and got stuck in it.It meant a shovel-job. You have to dig. It’s normal and it’s part of rallying. We know afterall that even those who now drive in the lead have also had to do some shoveling at some stage. I don’t think Sibelius started with composing Finlandia right away.All and all Sweden was an interesting weekend. Okay, maybe I didn’t have any expectations but the pressure was hard when we took off. It was a bit difficult but it’s good that it’s now behind.Every race is important at this stage. The more I get to drive this car the better I become. It already started to feel like it fit my hand better.It relaxed after that. Because we drove the same stages twice it was already a bit easier to remember them.Because we had problems in the beginning we decided that we don’t even start to look for setups. We just took Loeb’s setups and learned to drive with them. We concentrated on basic driving at this point and on staying on the road.By doing that we got used to what the car does. Now it did this. When you know next time better what it does you can also ask more from the car.Of course driving out is always frustrating. You just had to pick up yourself again and again. It’s the same at the track too. Racing is never so easy that you just show up, jump in the car and start winning.It was cool when a few stages went okay. The notes are decisive. When the note is completely right it’s completely different to drive fast than if it’s even a bit wrong. There was a few spots where my notes didn’t hit at all.I told already beforehand that starting the serie on Sweden’s snow is probably the most difficult place of all places. I haven’t drove this car flat out with other chassis but I guess that it won’t be more difficult when we go on gravel.If we are in rally next year I bet that we will go completely differently in Sweden. Now we concentrate on the next race – Mexico and gravel.We will have time to drive one test with Kaitsu in France before we go there far away. After that it will be Viva la Mexico. It’s going to be cool to see Kaitsu with a sombrero… ———————–


    February 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm

  2. Leila

    Hi Saima, Did you see the cool video on Kimi’s web-site? I liked it very much. :))


    February 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm

  3. KRS Evenstar

    Yeah! I posted it in the previous blog lol I wish they showed more though, the video was short and only showed the opening stage pretty much.


    February 16, 2010 at 4:42 pm

  4. KRS Evenstar

    Saw this on PF1 forum :)Kimi interviewed by Russian journo:————————————–translated by googleAt the rally of Sweden was not a single journalist who would not try to take one of the only exclusive interview for his magazine in Kimi Raikkonen.Pilot team Citroen Junior Team Kimi Raikkonen whole race trying to abandon the formal interview at the finish dopov and ran away from reporters in the service park in the tent Citroen.You will not believe, but journalists WRC overnight become a real paparazzi, running for Kimi to service park.And then the question arose as to talk with Kimi, not to arouse his negative emotions?Three days Lina Arnautova photographed Raikkonen, cute smile, without asking anything and just wishing him luck in the service park, in the tent and Citroen launches dopa.Mechanics Kimi told that after the Formula 1, he is deeply mistrustful of the press, rumors and paparazzi. By the way, the team he explained that at the finish of total 3 dopa asked questions mainly about the route, but Kimi has not yet adapted.The same information appeared that Kaj Lindstrom not only co-driver Kimi, but his press attache. I need to start a conversation with it.The decision was made right: at the finish of the rally Lina went to the car Raikkonen from the navigator and asked Kay to answer some questions for the Russian fans. Cai, affability, came out of the car, suggesting Lina to take his place and talk with Kimi.In Russia, you have a lot of fans and all, of course, interested in the question, as you adaptirueshsya to rally?It was a very good experience for me. It seems to me, I get to know the car, got a new experience with the transcript. I am glad that we have successfully completed the rally.Is there a difference in the atmosphere during the rally and at the stage of "Formula-1"?The atmosphere is totally different! Here, different everything! This is a completely different world!What was most difficult for you at this rally?Not a very good start of the race, I made mistakes, could not find the style of driving. But then roll in more and more, and I became more confident. It is very difficult to go on the transcript. I have mixed feelings on what you are not alone in the car. But I liked it very much.Kaj Lindstrom (through the open door): Kimi quickly progresses, it greatly impressed me. He shows excellent speed – he is somewhere inside. He’s still a show!And the fans? Not such crazy, as in Formula One?Fans – this is the fans. The same crazy, like everywhere else! You from Russia? Russia – a very big country and I am glad that I have there are fans who have experienced and rooting for me, like in Formula 1, and in the rally. Tell them – thanks … ——————————


    February 17, 2010 at 12:26 pm

  5. Leila

    Thanks Saima, I saw the video here also… The first time I missed it. Thank you also for the article. First I thought you knew also Russian. ;))


    February 17, 2010 at 12:46 pm

  6. YUSS

    Wow lots of updates about Kimi’s 1st Rally for Citroen. And his result is very encouraging. Same as Kimi, I’m trying hard to understand the WRC. I was trying to find out the race time ( I only know the date) of Sweden but failed therefore I missed. Is there any website showing the schedule of each race & the website to watch online?


    February 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm

  7. KRS Evenstar

    Yuss, you can check here for the timetable: will show the Mexico one soon. The times shown are in the local of wherever the rally is being held.Also, rallybuzz website is handy and informative, they usually post rally previews including the schedules: can’t watch rally online anywhere I don’t think, apart from a couple live streams (which aren’t very good anyway, I never bothered with them lol). Thankfully, you can follow the rally live on the WRC radio: country broadcasts the WRC live, only highlight programmes are shown, here’s a list of the channels which cover it: are provided on WRC’s and MotorsTV youtube channels:🙂


    February 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm

  8. YUSS

    Saima thank you very much for the information. By the way how long is each rally race/SS take normally? I’m still quite blur about this because I never watch a rally :)I have been following Kimi’s updates from your space whenever I’m online, again thanks for keep updating us about Kimi’s news. Really appreate your effort. It has been a great source for us who has been following. Unfortunately I was not able to connect to internet because the phone line was not working on 14 & 15 Feb in my hometown. Therefore I couldn’t find out how is Kimi doing in Sweden on the same day… sigh… hahaha…


    February 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm

  9. Yumi

    Mexico is not only hats and tequila . it´s a cliché that I dont like very much as a mexican.. Anyway..I hope to be there.. with lucky I will take some photos and video. and obvioulsly support Kimi..


    February 17, 2010 at 9:50 pm

  10. KRS Evenstar

    Haha, yeah, most countries have their cliches. Good luck if you’re going to the rally Yumi :)Here’s the rally mexico schedule, from their official website:


    February 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm

  11. Michael

    its snowing and raining on some of the mexico stages apparantely!!also we get to see for the first time ken block!


    February 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm

  12. KRS Evenstar

    Yeah, all the hype and media attention will be around Ken this time lol


    February 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm

  13. Michael

    yeah! we’re going to see some fun between them two!


    February 18, 2010 at 8:31 pm

  14. sandeep

    Saima,Would you be creating highlight videos for rallies too???


    February 19, 2010 at 10:18 pm

  15. KRS Evenstar

    Hi Sandeep! Er, unfortunately no more videos from me. It was a tough decision but I find it fitting to end that phase now Kimi has finished with F1. But I am working on the final career tribute video which will come out in a few months.


    February 20, 2010 at 1:08 am

  16. kimister

    not a pretty good star at all for him and for us as a fans ):we whish him all the best for the future (:


    February 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s