Christmas is still eight months away, but Kimi Raikkonen had a useful present of his first four World Rally Championship points on the last event in Jordan, and heads to Istanbul for the Rally of Turkey hoping for a repeat.
With the event being run on an entirely new route this year, Raikkonen starts on a relatively level playing field for the first time in his short rally career, as none of the other drivers have ever seen the all-new stages either. The difference is that this will still only be Kimi's third-ever gravel rally with the Citroen C4 WRC, but the 'Iceman' has never been scared of tackling major hurdles.
"I suppose it's good that I like challenges, because this is going to be another big one for me," he said, "I actually thought that Jordan was the most difficult rally we have seen so far, but I don't really have any idea what this one is going to be like.
"In Jordan, we were able to find a safe pace, which might not have been the most exciting thing in the world, but at least it meant that we finished the rally and were able to score points. In Turkey, we're just going to have to see what sort of feeling we have with the stages and decide what is possible then. The priority is to finish, particularly because it's a completely new event and you have to get to know the stages. But, of course, I'm a competitive person so I always want to do the best that I can."
Occupying the Finn's right-hand seat, as always, will be co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, responsible for reading out the notes to guide Raikkonen around the complex Turkish stages. The veteran is also in the dark with regards to experience of the new Turkish routes, but expects his driver to be competitive.
"I don't really know what we can expect, but the information I have suggests that the stages are quite fast and wide, and I think this should suit Kimi well," Lindstrom said before heading off to Istanbul, "The only concern that we have is the risk of rain - it's the same for everyone but, if it does rain, then the surfaces are sure to become extremely slippery, which will not be so nice. We need to do a good job in the recce, then we can make a plan for the rest of the event."