F1 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen was able to re-start Rally Bulgaria this morning under the SupeRally following his off on Friday.
Raikkonen, who had been running well and was fourth overall, went out in the final stage yesterday, less than eight kilometres from the finish, when he rolled his Citroen C4 WRC car. Despite quite a heavy landing, Raikkonen and co-driver, Kaj Lindstrom both walked away unhurt.
The car was later returned to the service area, where it was repaired so that the former Ferrari and McLaren F1 man could re-join the fold.
"It was just one of those things," said Raikkonen, prior
to confirmation that he could SupeRally. "I'm here to learn, and sometimes you learn the hard way.
"Before then though, I'd been having a really good time and we were pushing hard: in fact we were fastest on the first two split times. Then unfortunately we went off: this can happen when you're trying.
"I really hope that the team can fix the car and that we can be back again tomorrow, as we need the experience and hopefully we can keep on pushing and set some quick times."
"We went off on a slow corner after 19 kilometres," added Lindstrom, when asked about the incident. "We just slid towards the outside of the corner, went off the road, and landed on our roof. We were able to get out of the car straight away. Hopefully, we can start the rally again tomorrow."
Citroen Junior Team manager Benoit Nogier meanwhile was impressed with Kimi, despite his error late on. Indeed the Finn, who is taking in his first World Rally Championship event this weekend on asphalt, had set two fifth fastest times and one sixth prior to his mistake. He will re-start in 26th position.
"Kimi's times are remarkable for his first day on asphalt. He should be able to re-start the rally tomorrow and rack up more kilometres that will be useful for the rest of the season," Nogier summed-up.