Sebastian Vettel could be the next Formula One driver to sample life on the loose after expressing an interest in the World Rally Championship during a visit to the weekend's WRC round in Finland.
The Red Bull Racing star was a guest of the similarly-sponsored Citroen team - which, ironically, could see its lead driver, Sebastien Loeb, make his F1 debut with RBR sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso before the end of the year - and revealed that he would not discount following Kimi Raikkonen's example and contesting a round of the series.
“This is my first time at the World Rally Championship and it's been fascinating," the German told the official WRC website after spending time spectating on the stages, "It is high speed and it's nice to be out at the stages to watch it - although, unfortunately, I'm not driving!
“It is nearly as quick as F1, but with no run off and on gravel. I was able to get some advice from Sebastien, and there is no one better. I have plenty to do in F1 but, who knows.... maybe one day I will compete in the WRC. I wouldn't mind doing some drives in the future.”
Raikkonen's WRC debut, meanwhile, ended in ignominy after the Ferrari star rolled his Abarth Grande Punto S2000 entry into a ditch on Vaarinmaja, the final stage of day two. The Finn narrowly missed the Subaru of Mads Ostberg, which had crashed in the same place moments earlier but, with the car apparently beyond repair, exited the event. Neither Raikkonen or co-driver Kaj Lindstrom were injured in the accident, which ended a run that had seen the 2007 F1 world champion running 15th overall, and third in Group N, despite having to contend with a damaged engine - a performance which impressed five-time world champion Loeb.
"I think he did really well," the Frenchman told a press conference, "He was about a second per kilometre [slower than Juho] Hänninen and the other best drivers and, in Finland, that is a very good performance.
Ford drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala shared Loeb's assessment of the Finn's debut, which followed just a handful of tarmac rally outings in Italy.
"I have the same thoughts as Sébastien," event winner Hirvonen commented, "I think he did really well, considering he has only ever done two rallies with pace notes before. He was setting really good times."
Latvala also referred to Raikkonen's lack of experience before tackling one of the world's toughest rallies.
"He did really well considering," the Finn noted, "Okay, he went off the road, but even I had a little moment in the same place. It is not an easy corner, and these things can happen."