Raikkonen to get more testing

Kimi Raikkonen will test his Red Bull Citroen C4 WRC more over the second half of the season - with 10 days of running time in the car being set aside to get the Finn up to speed for the next seven rallies

Raikkonen to get more testing

Raikkonen ended last week's Rally of Portugal in 10th place, but Citroen Junior Team manager Benoit Nogier said it was tough to expect anything more from the largely inexperienced Finn. The former Formula 1 world champion has only just completed his seventh round of the World Rally Championship.

"He is at the finish in Portugal - this is the most important thing," said Nogier.

"After that, it was a bit less good than the Rally of Turkey [where he finished fifth], but definitely after a break of one and a half months it was hard to get the rhythm directly and also this rally was not new for the other drivers like it was for Kimi - and that's definitely a disadvantage for him. The Rally of Portugal is not an easy one to come and learn for the first time.

"We have more testing planned for the next part of the season. Of course, we have the Lanterna Rally coming up in Italy, which will be Kimi's first time on asphalt. And then we have another test for the gravel.

"We will have maybe 10 days of testing before the end of the season. He has a two-day test before Finland, one day and a half before Germany and two days before GB, two days before France, one or two before Catalunya, it's a lot of testing. This will help for sure."

Despite expectations that Raikkonen will be quicker once he gets onto a more familiar surface, Nogier added that it was unrealistic to expect Raikkonen to be faster on asphalt rallies because of his racing background.

"We know that, if we could compare F1 to a rally car, tarmac would be closer, but this is so different, it's too hard to say," he said.

Raikkonen admitted that his inexperience had proved particularly costly in Portugal.

"It's been a really tough weekend, but this is all part of the learning process," he said. "The other drivers have been to Portugal for the past three years, so it's hard to be on their pace. My only objective though was to finish the rally and gain more experience, so we have fulfilled our goal.

"The last day was particularly difficult, as the handling of the car did not feel right, so we decided to play it safe and make sure of a finish. Then we hit something on the side of the road just after the start of the first stage in the afternoon and that gave us a puncture, which cost us a lot of time."

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