Sunday, October 3, 2010

Räikkönen explains retirement decision

Kimi Räikkönen has elected not to re-start the final day of the Rallye de France-Alsace in order to save his car for the Catalunya Rally in three weeks' time

The former Grand Prix Champion had a torrid time yesterday, sliding off the road on two occasions and dropping just out of the top 50 overall.

Although the car was recovered back to service undamaged after his second off on SS15, Räikkönen decided that it was best not to re-start the final day, consisting just of two runs over a military camp stage and superspecial stage, in order not to risk going off again and damaging his Citroën C4 WRC.

Due to his road position, the Finn struggled with all the mud on the road left by previous cars cutting the corners, and he felt that this would be a major problem on the final leg today - particularly with all the big cuts anticipated on the Bitche Camp military stage.

“I don't think we’re going to learn much more under these conditions, so the sensible decision is to save the car for the Catalunya Rally, which I'm really looking forward to,” said Räikkönen.

“I don’t want to risk going off again. In some places, you could hardly see the asphalt here with all the mud and gravel on the road. The car did not sustain any damage during either of our two incidents yesterday, but obviously when you are running so far down the order you don’t have exactly the same motivation and that makes things quite difficult. We still learned a lot though and it has been really useful to have had this experience.”

Räikkönen’s next outing will be the Catalunya Rally from 22-24 October. Before then, he will test his car at the Citroën Junior Team’s nominated test base in France next week.

Source: WRC

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