F1 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen will be hoping for a change of fortune in Wales this week after a miserable run of events in Spain, France and Japan.

Raikkonen didn't even start in Spain a few weeks ago after crashing out in the recce and after also going off in France and Japan, the Finn will be keen to end his first full-year in the World Rally Championship on a relative high.

To date the Citroen Junoior Team man has scored 21 points - his best result, a fifth place in Turkey back in April. However with his future still not confirmed and rumours Red Bull are not too keen on backing the 'ice-man' for a second season in 2011, he will be out to try and demonstrate all that he has learned over the last twelve months.

Indeed while his first year in the WRC has been a bit mixed, Kimi is adamant he is happy he made the decision to turn his back on F1.

"Rallying is like a national sport in Finland: since I was a kid I followed it and I grew up with all these big names who were right at the front. So rallying is something that I always wanted to try," he explained, "it was not at all a sudden decision.

"At the end of last year the opportunity came up so I was very happy to take it. Our season has not gone entirely according to plan, but this is actually what I expected: it's completely normal when you are learning something so new. But I've really enjoyed it.

"Not so many people get the chance to compete at this level and I want to use all the lessons I have learned this year. I'm sure that Rally Great Britain is going to be a very tricky way to end the season because I hear that the grip is changing all the time and I know that the weather is going to be bad, but you learn more by pushing yourself to the limit. I'm looking forward to it a lot."

Raikkonen's co-driver Kaj Lindstrom meanwhile added that the aim this weekend will be to ensure they get through all three-days and reach the finish in Cardiff.

"A bit like Finland, rallying is really part of the local culture in Britain," Lindstrom continued. "There's always a really enthusiastic crowd of spectators, and wherever we go we get massive support.

"We will need it, as these are some of the most difficult stages of the year. If it rains the surfaces just turn into mud and it becomes almost impossibly slippery. Once more, the aim here is simply for us to get to the finish, so this will be the priority. We are here to learn and so we have to get through all of the stages," he summed-up.



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