8 – Kimi Raikkonen
Many people might have expected more from Kimi Raikkonen this year, but those that did have little understanding of just how big a challenge the Finn faced switching from F1 to the World Rally Championship.
The difference between the two is night and day - and when the former Ferrari and McLaren man started his new adventure he had only done a handful of rallies and only one with the Citroen C4 WRC.
Despite that though, he scored on only his third outing in the 2010 World Rally Championship, when he was eighth in Jordan.
He then followed that up with a fifth in Turkey – what would turn out to be his best result of the season – and a tenth in Portugal, a very solid three-event run.
While he would only take two more points finishes - with a seventh in Germany, including his very first stage win, albeit on the 4.37 km event ending super special and an eighth in GB, which he admitted was probably the toughest round of the season, he didn't disgrace himself.
Yes, he did have a number of offs and failed to finish in Mexico, Japan and France and his over-exuberance got the better of him in Spain, when he binned it in the pre-event shakedown. But at least that showed he was really going for it and if he does continue in 2011, he should be able to put this year's experience to good use.
“This has definitely been the most challenging year of my career and Britain was one of the most difficult rallies I competed on, mostly because of the changing grip all the time,” Kimi said after the finale in Wales. “Like everything else, this has been a completely new experience for me.
“Looking back on 2010, this season has been more or less as I expected it to be: we've made a few mistakes but we've also learned a lot.
“Generally speaking I'm happy with the progress we've made... and I've had a lot of fun as well, so I'm very grateful to Red Bull and Citroen Racing for all the opportunities that we've enjoyed this year."
Statistics – Kimi Raikkonen:
Citroen Junior Team
Citroen C4 WRC
12 (out of 13)*
* Did not start in Spain following a crash in the pre-event shakedown
Crash.net's Top 10 World Rally drivers' of 2010:
8. Kimi Raikkonen
9. Armindo Araujo (Wild Card)
10. Xavier Pons (Wild Card)
Honourable mention: Aaron Burkart (for winning the J-WRC – just!)
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