Kimi Raikkonen interview

Kimi Raikkonen interview

30.07.2009: Here's what the Ferrari F1 star had to say today, just hours before making his World Rally Championship debut in Finland. Why choose Rally Finland to make your WRC debut?

photo copyright Willy Weyens

Here's what the Ferrari F1 star had to say today, just hours before making his World Rally Championship debut in Finland.

Why choose Rally Finland to make your WRC debut?

"Why not? I guess. But there weren't really many choices. I am now on my summer break so I have time to do a rally, and it just so happened to be the Finnish rally. If it was some other rally at the same time then I would probably have done that.

Luckily enough for me I've been able to come here, to my home round. It is definitely the hardest rally, so I have heard. But it's also the nicest one. There is everything here; lots of people have come to watch, so it will be a nice new experience."

After contesting events on snow and asphalt this will be your first rally on gravel. How difficult has it been to adapt to the surface?

"I think this is more normal for me on gravel. The roads are a bit faster than on snow and the grip is good and the roads are a bit wider so we will see how we can do. We will try to finish the rally - I don’t know if we can win it or not but we will have fun."

Have you set yourself a specific target for this weekend - is there anybody you want to beat?

"Well, there are not so many similar [Super 2000 spec] cars to mine - one Fiat, a few Peugeots and one Skoda - but it would be nice to be close to them on some stages. I think after the first run, on the repeated stages, it will be easier for me. Then I can start to push a bit without many risks.

I will test my speed in places, when I think that the stage is a bit better for me, and if we get close to them then that’s fine. It doesn't matter what sport you do you always want to have a competition out of it. So it's hard to just drive about and not care about the times - it’s always going to happen automatically. We'll try to stay on the road and remain hopeful..."

Your car is prepared by Tommi Mäkinen Racing - has Tommi or your co-driver Kaj Lindstrom been giving you any advice ahead of this event?

"The notes here are really important for you to go fast and it is something completely different to what I am used to. All the top guys here drive at similar speed and the notes make a big difference. It just takes time to learn and sometimes you get it wrong and it is not easy to know exactly where to go on the jumps.

Hopefully we have the right notes and we shall have some fun, but I am responsible for the right notes."

Could we see you compete again at World level - is rallying just fun for you or could this be a future career?

"Yes definitely. I am still in F1 and still have one more year contract but everything is open and it is nice to be a part of it here. I am a bit too young to do nothing so I will see. It all depends on which way F1 is going. Nobody is exactly sure how it will be. I am in no hurry."

Will you be doing more rallies next year in the WRC?

"I don’t know. If I have the time then maybe. I like learning different things so if I have no testing, and the time, then I will do more rallies - I enjoy it and there is no harm in it."

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photo copyright by Willy Weyens


30.07.2009 / MaP

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