Raikkonen to lead Fiat’s WRC challenge?

Raikkonen to lead Fiat's WRC challenge?Kimi Raikkonen is rumoured to be leaving Ferrari at the end of the season to compete in the 2010 World Rally Championship.

The rumours are strengthened by the fact that both Fiat and Volkswagen have confirmed they will be entering the series next year. According to the Financial Times, Neil Duncanson, chairman of the TV company North One (who own the WRC series) has confirmed that Fiat and Volkswagen will be replacing Subaru and Suzuki.

Having tried his hand at WRC in a Fiat Punto earlier this year, it would not come as a shock to many if the Finnish driver chose to leave Ferrari a year early and make the move to WRB. Although Raikkonen is currently contracted to Ferrari until the end of 2010, many believe that the team may offer him a deal which would allow him to leave F1 and pave the way for Alonso to replace him. If rumours are to be believed, Ferrari have already offered the Spanish driver a £175 million contract to drive for Ferrari from 2010.

Raikkonen recently participated in Rally Finland. His Fiat Grande Punto suffered from engine trouble and although he eventually crashed out of the race, Raikkonen ended up finishing in 15th place and his performance was praised by many,