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Rally-Kimi has still wax in "note-ears"
Turun Sanomat 14.2 2010 21:56:35

Like expected the F1-champion Kimi Räikkönen got a lot of homework from his first learning-course in WRC-rally world.

There is still wax in his "note-ear" and thus the driving accuracy on a stage is still in search mode. Because of Swedish rally Räikkönen understands even better how accurately you have to make notes for different stages.

- I had some pretty bad notes for couple of stages and I couldn't drive the way I wanted. That's how the outcome is resolved. If the notes are completely right, you can go a lot faster. But you can learn that only through experience and fortunately you get it all the time by itself along the way, Räikkönen summed up.

Co-driver Kaj Lindström says that you can learn making notes even at home.

- It progresses when Kimi goes with the car to for example visit the grocery store and thinks over the notes to each part of the road while driving. You just have to use time and ponder what I have to know in each spot.

- From this rally some good knowledge was attained when we noticed that something is missing from the note-aspect. Now there were spots where the braking points were too early, Lindstöm explains.

- But the overall performance from Kimi was indeed positive. The weak routine grew and the car was starting to fit the hands.

Räikkönen's main goal was fulfilled when Citroen made it to the finish. The end result was 30th positions and difference to the winner Mikko Hirvonen was prolonged to 38 minutes and 37 seconds.

- There were some stupid mistakes. We went from walking-speed to a snow-bank and were stuck there. Those mistakes could have been left undone but it's normal and part of rally, Räikkönen said.

Surprised by conditions

Before the rally Räikkönen said that he has no idea of his own pace compared to others. Now that information was accumulated.

- Of course they went fast. But this must have been one of the most difficult rallies where I had so much to learn.

Saturday's second to last stage was the best for Räikkönen, where he was the sixth fastest.

- The same snippet would have gone well also on the first round in the morning but because of a bad note I drove to a snow-bank on the last curve, Räikkönen remarked.

- It was easier all the time when the special stages were driven the second time.

Was the weekend more difficult than what you could prepare yourself?

- I didn't have big expectations at this point. I knew that it will be difficult but it surprised me how difficult certain places were. The situations happen in rally all of a sudden. When you have no experience from this, you don't really know what to do when there comes deep tracks or a lot of snow on the road.

Räikkönen was able to show his speed. In seven special stages out of 21 he was in top 10 and in seven others he was the 11th fastest.

Without getting stuck in a snow-bank Räikkönen would have been in top 10 and thus gotten a point right away.

- Kimi is learning this with a tough attitude and motivation. It tells a lot that when we were stuck in the snow-bank, Kimi took a shovel to his hand and decided to dig the car out of there himself, Lindström thanks.

Gravel-test in France

Next Saturday in France Räikkönen and Lindström are testing their Citroen for the first time on a gravel-road. Week after that they move over to the mainland of America where the second rally is driven in Mexico's gravel.

- When I have not driven one meter on gravel with this car and I have never even visited the country, it is difficult to say anything beforehand. But because of the experience I got in Jyväskylä with my own car I believe that on gravel it is certainly easier than it was now on snow, Räikkönen ponders.

Turun Sanomat, Karlstad


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