Kimi Raikkonen insisted he has learned a valuable lesson on Rally Portugal following his second outing the new Citroen DS3 WRC.
The Finn had missed the previous round of the year in Mexico so Portugal marked his first appearance on gravel in the car, with his only previous experience coming on the snow of Sweden; where he finished in eighth place.
The former F1 title winner lost time with a puncture on the opening day and then found himself caught up in the dust of rival driver on Saturday, but suffered no further problems as he clinched seventh and he said he was happy with his performance through the weekend.
“Apart from a puncture on Friday afternoon and a bit of time lost in the dust of another competitor yesterday, we had a rally with no problems. We learnt a lot about the Citroen DS3 WRC on our first gravel rally with this new car.
“As the stages went on, we made progress with the set-up and I think my driving has improved as well throughout the three days. It's been a valuable lesson and I hope to pick up my pace on the next rally.”
Citroen Racing Technologies chief Benoit Nogier was also pleased with Raikkonen's performance which he insisted boded well for the future.
“Kimi Raikkonen drove a consistent rally,” he said. “He already showed his reliability in Sweden and he continued that pattern here. Having found a better set-up at the end of the first day, he made a lot of progress. That's very encouraging for the future.”