F1 »

Raikkonen WRC switch 'more than a rumour', admits Citroën chief

The speculation linking 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen to the World Rally Championship (WRC) with Citroën in 2010 has reached fever pitch after the French manufacturer's team boss Olivier Quesnel admitted it is 'more than a rumour - it is a real possibility'...
Speculation that 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen will be competing in the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2010 is 'more than a rumour', Citroën Total World Rally Team chief Olivier Quesnel has confessed – as sources hint that a deal has now already been done.

Ever since it was officially confirmed that he was being shown the door by Ferrari in favour of Fernando Alonso – and the possibility of a return to former employers McLaren-Mercedes foundered due to a failure to agree financial terms – it has been widely expected that Raikkonen will be going rallying next year, either as an F1 sabbatical or else as a full-time career switch.

Whilst the Finn's name has also been linked to the second seat at Mercedes Grand Prix alongside ex-Williams ace Nico Rosberg in 2010, he himself has denied any such talk – as many now anticipate a move to Citroën as part of the multiple title-winning French manufacturer's junior team. Quesnel has done little to dampen those suggestions.

“It is not signed and I have never even spoken with Raikkonen on the telephone,” the Frenchman told Radio-France, “but it is more than a rumour; it is a real possibility.”

He went on to describe Raikkonen's WRC debut in an S2000-spec FIAT Abarth Grande Punto on his home event, Rally Finland during the mid-summer F1 break, as 'amazing' – and he waxed lyrical about the 30-year-old's talent behind the wheel, describing him as an 'incredible driver' who 'did not become [F1] world champion by accident'.

Quesnel also confirmed that should Raikkonen indeed join Citroën's WRC attack in 2010, it would be as a member of the marque's 'junior team' rather than alongside reigning six-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb in the factory effort – but he would still have the same full-spec C4 at his disposal.

What's more, Finnish broadcaster MTV3 reports that the 18-time grand prix-winner has already come to a deal with Citroën – but his spokesman Riku Kuvaja insisted that 'no decisions one way or another' have been taken and that 'all options remain on the table'.

Earlier this week, Ford WRC star Mikko Hirvonen warned Raikkonen against making the move on a short-term basis, reasoning that 'preparing to drive with pace notes is a difficult case for him and almost all the rallies will be unknown to Kimi in advance' and contending that 'it's difficult to imagine that he could succeed, at least in his first season' [see separate story – click here].



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008, German F1 Grand Prix, Hockenheim, 18th-20th, July, 2008
Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05.
25.11.2014.
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F14-T.
25.11.2014.
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F14-T.
25.11.2014.
Spike Goddard (AUS) Sahara Force India F1 Team Test Driver.
25.11.2014.
The McLaren MP4-29 of Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver is recovered back to the pits on the back of a truck.
25.11.2014.
Will Stevens (GBR), Caterham F1 Team 
25.11.2014.
Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05.
25.11.2014.
Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 rear suspension sensor detail.
25.11.2014.
Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05.
25.11.2014.
Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes AMG F1 Team 
25.11.2014.
Charles Pic (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Third Driver.
25.11.2014.
Jolyon Palmer (GBR), Force India F1 
25.11.2014.
Jolyon Palmer (GBR), Force India F1 
25.11.2014.
Lotus F1 E22 thanks their 100,000 Instagram followers.
25.11.2014.
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Scuderia Ferrari 
25.11.2014.
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Scuderia Ferrari 
25.11.2014.
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Scuderia Ferrari 
25.11.2014.

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Chris - Unregistered

December 01, 2009 3:23 PM

Fill your boots Kimi. You'll be most welcome. However, this could be a further blow to the 5 year plan as it's someone else to finish ahead of '60 WRC starts one 4th place to show for it' Matt Wilson.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.