Kimi Raikkonen
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Tuesday, 27 June 2017
 
 
Kimi Raikkonen buoyed by WRC rally debut
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Former Formula 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen was encouraged by his World Rally Championship debut for Citroen despite finishing 30th in Sweden.

Kimi lost nearly half an hour when he slid into a snow bank on Friday, but was able to rejoin and set some promising stage times on his way to 30th overall.

Raikkonen said: "It was a really encouraging event, which allowed me to learn so much."

Ford's Hirvonen finished first, 42.3 seconds ahead of Raikkonen's team-mate Sebastien Loeb while Jari-Matti Latvala was third.

"We lost a bit in the snow bank on the first day, and we spun three times, but we got to the finish and we learned a lot," Raikkonen commented.

"We knew this was going to be a very difficult rally. We improved a bit all the time and that was our goal. Okay, I'm a bit disappointed to lose the time in the snow but that's a part of rallying."

The Finn thinks the gravel surface in Mexico will be easier for him to handle than the Swedish snow.

"For sure everything should be a bit easier on the gravel that I know from the past a little bit," said Raikkonen. "Everything I've done on snow before has always been a little bit tricky.

"We'll see how it goes in the test next week and hopefully we can improve in Mexico. We should be able to."

One of Raikkonen's targets is to make his pace notes more accurate.

"Of course it's much easier when you go second time [through the stages] but we had particularly good notes today and yesterday on some stages, and that makes a massive difference when you're not sure if the notes are completely right," he said.

Citroen boss Olivier Quesnel was quick to praise Raikkonen's efforts after a difficult weekend.

"We cannot ask too much of Kimi at this stage," he said.

"Sweden I think is the most difficult rally to start with, and everybody is looking at him and waiting for - I don't know what - but he couldn't give more than he has. "

 
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