The door is open to Kimi Raikkonen's signing with Citroen in 2010 to becoming more than a temporary sabbatical from Formula One.
Olivier Quesnel, boss of the 30-year-old Finn's new employer, confirmed reports that the 2007 world champion is committed only for next year.
But the Citroen World Rally Team chief told France's Auto Hebdo: "We are not asking for the impossible for a first season, but it is clear that if he progresses and shows the right level then he could slot into the first team (in 2011)."
Quesnel is referring to the fact that Raikkonen, who won 18 grands prix from his 9 full seasons in F1, will drive for Citroen's junior team next year, as opposed to the premier outfit featuring multiple and reigning WRC champion Sebastien Loeb.
He added that if Raikkonen does not enjoy or thrive over a full season of rallying, "maybe he returns to F1".