KIMI FINISHES RALLY GREAT BRITAIN IN THE POINTS So this is where the remarkable WRC journey ends for Kimi Raikkonen in 2010, after 11 rallies contested and five points finishes, making a total of 25 points and 10th in the drivers' championship...
KIMI FINISHES RALLY GREAT BRITAIN IN THE POINTS
So this is where the remarkable WRC journey ends for Kimi Raikkonen in 2010, after 11 rallies contested and five points finishes, making a total of 25 points and 10th in the drivers' championship at the end of his debut season.
In just one year, the 2007 Formula One World Champion has become the fifth most prolific points-scorer in the illustrious history of the Citroen C4 WRC: a car that has claimed more than 600 fastest stage times throughout its four seasons of competition, one of which was set by Kimi on the Rallye Deutschland in August.
Kimi has made a bit of rally history, becoming the only Formula 1 World Champion to score World Rally Championship points or set a fastest stage time. This year, the Finn also took his very first rally win, at a national event in France, and visited new countries that ranged from Mexico to Bulgaria. It's been an incredible story that has captured the imagination of the entire motorsport world.
Kimi is known as the Iceman because nothing bothers him: especially not a brand new challenge that would send most people running for cover. He is well known for being fearless in the car but he is just as determined out of it, having taken on the biggest bet of his career thanks to Red Bull. Nobody has ever tried to switch full-time from Formula One to rally before, but there and again not everybody is like the Iceman....
The learning curve has been so steep that it is practically vertical, and Rally Great Britain was one of the most complicated events of the year thanks to rain, wind, mud, fog and even a small cyclone called Carmen: a bad weather front that has swept across northern Europe.
Nonetheless, Kimi did not make a single serious mistake on any of the 20 gravel stages and 359 competitive kilometres, to eventually finish in a points-scoring eighth.
"It's been a really good rally and it's nice to end my first season in the World Rally Championship with a points finish," he said. "This has definitely been the most challenging year of my career and Britain was one of the most difficult rallies that I competed on, mostly because of the grip changing all the time. The roads were really slippery, but it's always been a question of trying to work out exactly how slippery they are. Like everything else, this has been a completely new experience for me. Looking back on it, 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. The stages in Wales are really nice, but as always you need experience to be really quick on them. Generally speaking I'm happy with the progress we've made on this rally 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."
A key part of Raikkonen's swift adaptation to a completely new discipline has been his co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, a former winner of the Monte Carlo Rally, who has been alongside the Iceman since Kimi first started rallying for fun last year.
Before then, Lindstrom sat alongside four-time World Rally Champion Tommi Makinen and he sees a lot in common between the two Finnish legends.
"They certainly have the same determination and natural speed," said Lindstrom. "For somebody with so little experience, Kimi has taken everything in his stride and made a lot of progress on both gravel and asphalt, as well as with the pace notes. It's clear how much he has improved and there's plenty more still to come. On this event Kimi has been really impressive with no mistakes at all, so it's been a great way to finish the season."
-source: red bull