Loeb: Raikkonen will succeed in WRC

Six-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb has given his fellow Citroen driver Kimi Raikkonen a vote of confidence ahead of the Finn's competitive debut in a C4 WRC on this week's Arctic Rally

Loeb: Raikkonen will succeed in WRC

Loeb says there is no doubting the former Formula 1 champion's speed and added that he expected him to be competitive this season.

Raikkonen will get an early taste of the pace of a WRC round when he goes head-to-head with Loeb's number two Dani Sordo on the Rovaniemi-based event, which starts tomorrow.

"It's very difficult to say straight away how he will get on," said Loeb. "What we can look at is what he did on Rally Finland last year, when he was close to the pace in the Group N class - this was very good.

"It's easy to see he can drive the car, there's no doubting he's a very good driver. He's a Finn, he has been brought up on slippery surfaces and I'm sure he was playing around on them for a long time, it's natural that he will be good like the other Finnish drivers."

The Arctic Rally will be a continuation of the two-day test which Raikkonen conducted at the end of last week, close to Jyvaskyla in central Finland. The event includes 12 stages and finishes on Saturday afternoon.

Raikkonen said: "I got to know the C4 a little bit during a test session close to the Citroen Racing workshops. This rally is a very good opportunity for me to work with the team in competitive conditions and continue my learning curve with the car. I took part in this rally last year with [co-driver] Kaj [Lindstrom] and as the route is largely the same I think that could help us a bit."

Citroen Racing Technologies team manager Benoit Nogier, the man who will run Raikkonen's C4 this season, added: "This experience will be as useful to the team as it will be to the individual crews. Kimi will drive a C4 WRC in identical specification to the one that he will race over the rest of the season.

"Similarly, the crew of technicians in Rovaniemi will remain on his car for the remainder of the year."

shares
comments
Hirvonen hurt by back issues in '09

Previous article

Hirvonen hurt by back issues in '09

Next article

Q & A: Loeb on Raikkonen

Q & A: Loeb on Raikkonen
Load comments
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Plus

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Plus

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Plus

How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021