Raikkonen: Portugal proving tough

Red Bull driver Kimi Raikkonen has admitted the Rally of Portugal is turning out to be a bigger challenge than he expected

Raikkonen: Portugal proving tough

The Citroen C4 WRC-driving Finn is ninth overall on the Faro-based event, but almost six minutes down on the leader after this afternoon's first of three stages.

Ahead of the event, Raikkonen acknowledged that his fifth event with the Citroen Junior Team would be among the toughest - but it has exceeded his expectations.

"It is much more difficult here than on the previous rallies," said Raikkonen. "There are so many corners on the top of the crest and then the surface is changing a lot with the grip level changing too. It's the toughest of the year.

"I came here to find experience and that's what I'm doing. We're not going to take big risks, I want to learn."

Raikkonen's co-driver Kaj Lindstrom said he was pleased with his driver's progress between the morning and afternoon loops of stages.

"On Friday morning, maybe we were a little bit too safe," he said, "but we need time in the car. We didn't do New Zealand, we only did a small test before here and this is the first time Kimi has been to this event. His progress is coming, it's better in the afternoon.

"This is not an easy rally to come and learn, either. If it's the fast stuff, like Finland, it's no problem, he has the balls for that kind of stuff, but when it's a technical rally and quite slow, it's not so easy - especially with so many blind crests and things like this.

"I'm happy, though, he's listening to the notes, we've made good notes and everything is okay."

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