Räikkönen: Trees instead of gravel pits
It's hard to believe but nonetheless true – Kimi Räikkönen is now half way through his debut season in the WRC. The Finnish driver is satisfied with his progress so far. "Things have gone much as I expected," he says. "Maybe even a little better." On a scale from 1 to 10, he would give himself a 5. "Or possibly a 5.5 or a 6?"
As a racing driver, Räikkönen obviously wants more – after all, he is accustomed to winning races and titles from his Formula One days. "This year, the chances are quite high that I won't win anything at all."
Probably the most difficult adjustment he has had to make is to the fact that he is constantly being talked to in his Citroen by co-driver Kaj Lindström. "In Formula One, I used to hate it when the engineers contacted me by radio when I was out on the track," he recalls. Ferrari know that to their cost. In his final year, Räikkönen would yell back: "Don't talk to me when I'm half way round a corner!"
Räikkönen doesn't know the meaning of fear, but all the same: "When you fly off a Grand Prix circuit, you take a trip through a gravel pit or crash into a tyre wall. But when you fly off track in a rally, you're heading for trees." Räikkönen has had intimate experience of this several times already this year. "There is no room for mistakes – though I keep making them. That's what I like about rally driving. If it were easier, anyone could do it."