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Raikkonen 'open' to WRC switch

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen has revealed that he could quit F1 at the end of next season and that he is considering a switch to the World Rally Championship.

Raikkonen will make his debut in the WRC on the Neste Oil Rally Finland this week when he swaps his Ferrari F1 car for a Fiat Grande Punto Super 2000 - the same spec car as will be driven by Anton Alen.

The Finn, who took the runners-up spot in Hungary on Sunday, finishing 11.5 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton's McLaren-Mercedes, will be co-driven by the experienced Kaj Lindstrom, who formerly partnered multiple world rally champion Tommi Makinen.

"Yes definitely," Raikkonen replied on Thursday when asked if he could compete in the WRC again and if he might consider a future career in rallying. "I am still in F1 and still have one more year on my contract but everything is open and it is nice to be a part of it here. I am a bit too young to do nothing so I will see.

"It all depends on which way F1 is going. Nobody is exactly sure how it will be. I am in no hurry."

Asked if he will do any other World Rally Championship events next year, Raikkonen added that nothing has been decided, but time permitting, it is possible.

"I don't know, if I have the time then maybe," he continued. "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.

"I asked [Ferrari boss] Luca di Montezemolo first if it was okay [to do Rally Finland], but because Fiat has a Super 2000 car it was an easy choice. He knew I was interested so he let me do something in my spare time."

As for this weekend, the Finn noted that he is really looking forward to the event and making his debut on gravel.

"I have been here a few times but this is the first time I have seen the roads. They look very nice and we will see how it goes tomorrow," he continued. "But this is definitely an excellent rally and good experience for me. It looks like the weather will also be good so everything is ready for a great event.

"I think competing on gravel will be more normal for me [than the other rallies I have done on snow and asphalt]. The roads are a bit faster than on snow and the grip is good and the roads are a bit wider so we will see how we can do. We will try to finish the rally. I don't know if we can win it or not but we will have fun!

"The pacenotes however are the crucial thing. They are really important for you to go fast and it is something completely different to what I am used to. All the top guys here drive at similar speeds and the notes make a big difference.

"It just takes time to learn and sometimes you get it wrong and it is not easy to know exactly where to go on the jumps. Hopefully we have the right notes and we shall have some fun, but I am responsible for the right notes.

"[Overall] I just hope to get to the finish and match the same speeds as the other guys in my group."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60, Turkish F1, Istanbul Park, 5th-7th June, 2009
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60, Australian F1 Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, 27-29th, March, 2009
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60, Spanish F1 Grand Prix, Catalunya, 8th-10th, May, 2009
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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Alec X - Unregistered

July 30, 2009 5:30 PM

I'd love it if Kimi ran rings around MS. Some people are carrying on like its the second coming of Jesus. I think Kimi will deff walk away either this year or next. I'd love to see him do well in the WRC though.

REAL - Unregistered

July 30, 2009 6:42 PM

Sweet Kimi in rally. He has his championship and is quite happy. He should now go to the most skillful racing series which requires the most skill to compete on all surfaces. Lets remember, if Kimi didnt suffer technical problems at Germany and Spain in 07 he would have won the title fairly easy, McLaren's new found reliability helped them out. I already watch rally and this is even more of a reason to keep watching especially if someone as talented for F1 comes like Kimi who is a champion. Even Robert Kubica might to rally Polands!



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