After days of speculation, Citroen has officially confirmed that it has agreed a deal which will see Kimi Raikkonen move to the World Rally Championship for the 2010 season.
Raikkonen, who found himself without a drive in F1 after being released from his contract with Ferrari ahead of schedule, will join the Citroen Junior Team next season with backing from Red Bull and will team-up with former Junior World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier.
The pair will contest twelve of the 13 events on the calendar, with the only exception being Rally New Zealand. Raikkonen will be partnered in his C4 WRC by Kaj Lindstrom, who previously sat alongside Tommi Makinen and was co-driver for the Finn during his WRC debut in Finland earlier this year.
“I always wanted to compete in rally, especially in the World Rally Championship at some point in my career,” Raikkonen said. “Thanks to Red Bull, I have the opportunity to drive the best car of the series with the Citroen C4. This is a new but very exciting challenge.
“For the moment we have a one-year contract and we will see how it goes for the future. I am really looking forward to testing the car and taking the start of the first rally.”
Citroen Racing director Olivier Quesnel was also delighted to announce the deal for Raikkonen to move into the WRC and was pleased to see Red Bull expand its involvement with the Citroen programme beyond the main manufacturer cars of Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo.
"Red Bull's commitment and energy are a perfect fit for Citroen's ongoing thirst for victory. We will continue to count on Sébastien and Dani to defend our world titles in 2010, and we will also be prolonging our association with Sebastien Ogier who showed outstanding potential this year.
“Last but not least, it is with immense joy that we welcome Kimi Raikkonen to our ranks. We are very proud that he has chosen Citroen. In addition to the confirmation of these four crews, we will hopefully be able to announce other programmes over the coming weeks."