Kimi Raikkonen has admitted that he was to blame for the accident that ruled him out of this weekend's Rallye de Espana, and expressed his disappointment at missing out on an event that may, in part, have suited his circuit racing background.
Already a compact event, the Spanish round became even shorter for the former F1 champion when he damaged his car in the shakedown. The impact wasn't huge, but damaged his Citroen
C4 WRC's roll cage too badly for him to continue.
"It was just one of those stupid things that happens sometimes," the 'Iceman' admitted, "I just touched the bank and the car rolled. It's the sort of thing that, if you're lucky, you get away with it, but, on this occasion, there was something that damaged the roll cage on [co-driver] Kaj [Lindstrom]'s side of the car. We can't restart so that's the end of that."
The penultimate round of the season has been described as the closest that the World Rally Championship comes to circuit racing, but Raikkonen will now be watching on television after heading straight home to Switzerland. He had completed one run through the mixed-surface stage successfully, but clipped a bank on a left-hand corner halfway through the second run, just after the gravel finished and the asphalt began. The impact tipped his car over, and it rolled, damaging the roll cage just above co-driver Lindstrom's seat.
"It's a pity as I think it was a rally that might have suited us, but now we'll never know," the Finn sighed, "I'm obviously disappointed, but I've been around motorsport for long enough to know that disappointments are part of the game sometimes - it's how you deal with them that matters. Now I'm just looking forward to our next event and I'm going to concentrate on the future. That's always more interesting than the past."
Raikkonen's rallying future remains in doubt, amid rumours that Red Bull and Citroen
may be about to dispense with him. A rumoured return to F1 with Renault looks unlikely, leaving the Finn to hunt for alternative WRC employment, having been linked to the Monster Ford and Prodrive Mini teams.