Raikkonen On The Verge Of Signing World Rally Deal
Kimi Raikkonen is said to be on the verge of signing a lucrative deal for a season of racing in the World Rally Championship.
The Finnish driver parted company with Ferrari at the end of the season to make way for Fernando Alonso. Taking a £10million pay out across 2010 for not contuing in F1 for a season, Raikkonen’s sabbatical year seems to be taking him to gravel and sand as opposed to another circuit racing series.
The 2007 champion has tried his hand at rally driving before.
The deal is understood to be backed by Red Bull sponsorship, and would see Raikkonen driving the latest Citroen C4 machinery, which has propelled Sebastian Loeb to another World Championship in the sport last season. The Red Bull backing really does seem to cement the theory that in 2011 Raikkonen will make a shock move to the Red Bull Racing F1 team to partner Sebastian Vettel in place of Mark Webber.
It was published on a website tonight that Raikkonen “is understood to be ready to sign a deal”.
Former WRC champion Petter Solberg told WRC.com this evening; “With the proper practice, planning, and testing I think he will adapt quickly,”
“He’s a very, very good driver, and once he’s learned the basics, like how to work with pace notes, I think he will surprise many people.
“If he’s in a decent World Rally Car next season I think he could finish between third and fifth on some rallies,” Solberg predicted for the Finn’s maiden season. “The fact is, if you can drive, you can drive.
“You have to be on the case and you need some balls,” he added.