With F1 taking a four-week break over summer, Ferrari s Kimi Raikkonen decided to take the time off as a chance to compete in Rally Finland. Raikkonen has competed in several rallies recently, however this is the first time that the Finn has driven in a World Rally Championship event.
Driving an Abarth Punto S2000, Raikkonen had a good first day. “The car is performing well,â€ he commented at the end of day one. “The notes are the biggest challenge in this rally because you must have total faith in them.â€
Day two was not as successful as his Punto hit mechanical issues first, Raikkonen s engine suffered from a power loss and then a suspension spring broke. Despite the issues, Raikkonen continued on until the final stage of day two of Rally Finland when he crashed out. Raikkonen went into a corner too wide and his Punto came off the gravel and rolled into a ditch. The accident saw Raikkonen retire however he was classified as 15th overall an impressive achievement given that this was his first time in a WRC event.
“I knew that place but I came in with too wide a line,â€ Raikkonen said.
“I thought we were going to go wide but then, unfortunately, there were a lot of rocks and when I hit them the car went over.
“But it was good fun and nobody got hurt. It s part of rallying!â€
Raikkonen s rallying antics recently have started rumours that the Finn may not see the 2010 Formula One championship, swapping F1 for rallying instead.
“I am still in F1,â€ Kimi commented. “I still have one more year on my contract so everything is open but it is nice to be a part of it here. I am in no hurry.
“I like learning different things so if I have no testing and the time, then I will do more rallies. I enjoy it and there is no harm in it.â€