Kimi Raikkonen's fraught World Rally Championship campaign took another twist ahead of the Rally de Espana - and won't have helped his chances of continuing in the sport next season.
Already thought likely to lose the backing of Red Bull and, with it, his seat in the four-car Citroen squad, the Finn may see other doors close as a result of an accident in the shakedown for this weekend's mixed surface event which, while not injuring either himself or co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, left his C4 WRC beyond immediate repair. Ironically, the roll came on the sort of tarmac section thought to suit his previous circuit racing ability.
According to reports, Raikkonen was making his first pass through the 3km stage when he clipped the inside of a left-hand corner and rolled into a bank on the other side of the road. Although the car came to rest back on its wheels, and was able to be driven back to the service park, its roll cage was too extensively damaged for the Citroen Junior Team to consider repairing it in time for the start of the event on Friday morning.
"I don't know the rally at all, but the route doesn't look like any race circuit I've ever seen, although I've heard some people say it's similar!" he joked before starting the recce, "This year it's going to be completely different too as the first day is gravel. But I think it's quite nice to have the variety on this event, even though gravel is not our strongest surface.
"In the end, we'll just do our best and try not to make any mistakes, which has been our goal since the start of the year. It should be a very interesting rally that teaches us a lot, but I don't think we should have expectations that are too high. If we can be near the top six then that would be great, but the main thing is just to get to the end. If you go like crazy on the first day and go off, then you don't learn anything. And that's why I'm here - to learn."