Kimi Raikkonen joins Citroen in WRC

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R??ikk??nen will drive a WRC Citroen in 2010

Kimi R??ikk??nen will drive for Citroen in the World Rally Championship in 2010.

He will drive a Red Bull-sponsored Citroen C4 – the car in which Sebastien Loeb has won the last three World Rally Champsionship titles.

Earlier this year he contested the Rally della Marca in Italy and the Finnish WRC round, driving a Fiat Abarth Grande Punto in each event and impressing with his speed in the second.

R??ikk??nen’s co-driver will be Kaj Lindstrom, who was co-driver for multiple WRC champion Tommi Makinen. They will contest 12 of the 13 WRC events, missing the New Zealand round.

The 2007 F1 champion has previously said he would take a sabbatical from F1 in 2010. But if he decides he prefers life in the WRC perhaps he might not return?

However the tie-up with Red Bull is likely to fuel speculation he could return with their F1 team in 2011 after Mark Webber’s current contract ends.

What do you think of R??ikk??nen’s move to the WRC? Will you be watching his progress in rallying?

Read more: Kimi Raikkonen to take sabbatical in 2010 as McLaren talks end (Updated)

Image (C) Citroen

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 79 comments on “Kimi Raikkonen joins Citroen in WRC”

    1. A sad day. I dont think there will be a competitive seat for Kimi to return to in 2011. I dont think Red Bull will be as good by then.

      Kimi should have penned a Mclaren or Merc contract, and taken what would have been a 2 euro million pay cut (he has enough in his account?).

      1. Maybe Kimi wanted to go rallying rather than stay in F1…?


        “I always wanted to compete in rally, especially in the World Rally Championship at some point in my career,” said Raikkonen. “Thanks to Red Bull, I have the opportunity to drive the best car of the series with the Citroen C4.

        “This is a new but very exciting challenge. For the moment we have a one-year contract and we will see how it goes for the future. I am really looking forward to testing the car and taking the start of the first rally.”

        1. Perhaps, but I think he’ll miss being on the circuits.

        2. but anyhow he has always been saying ,”I wouldn’t have turned up here if driving wasn’t much fun” now we noticed, he can’t stop driving, no matter if its f1 or wrc!

      2. I think rallying suits Kimi more than F1 does- less PR work and more fun driving. I imagine he’s getting paid good money by Citroen/ Red Bull on top of his Ferrari pay off

        1. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
          5th December 2009, 22:30

          Can’t imagine he’d make more money in rally than f1.
          Should be fasinating to see how well he does.

      3. I’m a Kimi fan, but I’m not shedding tears over this. The fact is, being a fast driver is not enough to be at the top in F1. Kimi is a lousy communicator, and he doesn’t build team spirit and devotion. Alonso is showing some ability to cultivate adoration from the Ferrari employees for him. I don’t think the Ferrari people were passionate about Kimi like they could have been if he had charmed them outside the cockpit.

        In order to be great, you have to play a hand in building a top team around you. Raikkonen doesn’t do that.

    2. I’ll definately be watching Kimi in rally.
      I think his f1 future just depends on rally. If he has a shot of winning the title there (he won’t do it in first year but if that goal does seem a possibility in the future) he could just stay there as he already has won the f1 title.
      We expect RBR to do well next year but nothing is guaranteed and with competition from Mclaren, Ferrari and Mercedes next year then RBR is an unknown in the long run. There are still too many questions but at least the speculation gives us something to think about in the off season (100 days and 2 hours to go :()

      1. It’s disappointing he’s not going to be in F1 – I would rather see him in a Campos or Sauber or Virgin (oo-er).

        But I’m very keen to see how he gets on in the WRC. I used to watch World Rally quite a bit when I was younger, but it’s been in the doldrums in recent years. It’s on Motors TV here in Britain next year and I’m sure they’ll do a good job of the broadcast.

        1. No more Dave coverage? Shame it won’t be on freeview next year.

        2. Aw gutted I can’t watch it then. Don’t have Motors TV. Good job I’m not a big Kimi fan!

        3. I will be watching a lot more WRC and significantly less F1 next year, as a result of this. We were going to have a tremendous 3-way battle w/ Kimi, Lewis and Alonso next year, if Kimi was in a McLaren or even in a Mercedes. Now it will be a 2-way affair and probably decided by car reliability to a great extent, since the cars are going to be equal and the drivers already are, more or less. Big loss for F1, could have been the best championship of this decade.

      2. Me too! I think this works for the WRC, it’ll definitely pull in more spectators. For Kimi, well, if it gets him excited about driving again it must be good.

        1. i loved f1, but now with kimi gone and some silly points system they’ve made, im really keen on rally now!

          my rally hero, solberg (who i;ve sipported since start of 2003) will hopefully be with kimi and ogier!

          I dont have motors tv AGHHH

    3. I am not really surprised, I personally think Kimi’s image suits rally much more than it does F1 – so in theory Kimi should be able to do well in rallying.

    4. I don’t think this is sad at all, he’s just doing what he wants to do not really caring about what people think. Let’s face it, if he really would’ve wanted to, he could’ve had a seat in F1. I’m sure McLaren would’ve picked Kimi ahead of Button for the same or less money.
      Of course Kimi is making a lot less than he could’ve made in F1, so it’s not about the money for him but from what he’s said he wants to have a go and see how well he can do in WRC.
      Imagine if he would manage to win a race, that would make him an absolute driving legend. Even if he does reasonably well it would make one of the most complete drivers in history. What he’s doing hasn’t been done before on this level.

      1. I’m sure McLaren would’ve picked Kimi ahead of Button for the same or less money

        But he turned down more money than Button got…

        1. And with his approx €17m from Ferrari on top of whatever Red Bull are paying him, if I’m not mistaken, Kimi will be earning more than any other driver in F1 in 2010.

          I fully agree with Michael K and Pedro, if Kimi eventually achieves WRC as well he will be a legend, one of the all-time greats.

          1. Jhonnie Siggie
            5th December 2009, 5:42

            He only gets the full payout if he takes the sabbatical. He will get a lower amount from ferrari since he has found employment.

            1. a sabbatical from f1 , wrc is allowed.

      2. You nailed it in the head there. It’s all about the challenge, and I have a lot of respect for what he is doing. If Kimi manages to win anything in the WRC after having already won an F1 title, he’ll be more of a legend than if he’d won another 1 or 2 F1 WDCs.

    5. Might as well get a head start and ask this question now, because I know I won’t find it on American TV! Are there any good streams so I can watch WRC online?

      1. try or one of those programs which allow you to watch TV through them. You’ll have to do a little research though.

      2. WRC can actually be found on american TV. I just discovered it on HD Theater (I think its channel 663 in my area.). So if you have digital cable, you’re good to go.

        1. Thank you so much, you’re my hero!

    6. I think the only way Raikkonen would come back to F1 is if next year in rallying went so badly he is put off it for good, which I doubt will happen.

      A year can be a long time in motorsport, just think of all the changes in F1 since this time last year and how some teams and drivers ranking has changed, and even if Raikkonen wanted to come back to F1 there may not be a top car available for him.

      I hope he does well in rallying, and I will probably pay more attention to rallying next year.

      Out of interest what other examples are there of F1 drivers going rallying full time or Rally drivers becoming F1 drivers, and how successful have they been, has anyone managed to win a Grand Prix and a World Championship Rally?

    7. Terry Fabulous
      4th December 2009, 10:12

      Genuinely surprised at this news. I though this was an elaborate plan to try and force Mercedes to pay for him!

      Anyway, good luck to him. I hope he enjoys this and does well.

    8. This is the end of Kimi’s F1 career in my opinion. The decision to go rallying in 2010 will put Kimi well off of the F1 radar next year, meaning his chances of getting a competitive car for 2011 are even smaller than his chances of securing a competitive drive for 2010 were.

      This time next year there will be loads of promising GP2 drivers looking for F1 drives, drivers like Hulkenberg and Senna may have impressed enough to be knocking on the doors of the competitive teams, and I don’t see Alonso, Massa, Lewis, Jenson, Vettel, Webber and Rosberg all driving so badly that they will loose their current “competitive” seats.

      Its a sad day.

      1. Ditto. I don’t think he will be back either, but I have had very bad luck recently in F1 predictions.

    9. It’s not a sad day. It’s a great day for the WRC.
      I’ll be watching Kimi next year as I love the WRC.
      I wish a few more different manufacturers would take part, but then maybe what happened in F1 will happen in WRC?

      1. I’ve never been a massive WRC fan- it doesn’t really suit TV too well. But if Raikkonen sticks around and perhaps even Rossi joins, it automatically becomes a far more interesting proposition to me.

        Who has the UK rights for WRC next season? If it stays on Dave it’s never going to be a huge draw. Perhaps the BBC could pick it up, show the super special stage live and a highlights package for the rest of the weekend?

        1. Agree the BBC should probably have it even if it isn’t on BBC1 or 2 but one of their others. Or Dave should show more of it not just an hour for each weekend and then top 10 crashes.

        2. Keith has mentioned above that it’ll be on MotorsTV next year.
          I watched it, or more likely the highlights, on Dave this year.
          The good thing is that the WRC web site has a lot more videos to watch from the rally than F1 does after a GP, due to the commercial rights.

    10. Good for him. Good luck!!!

    11. I think that he will be very successeful in WRC. Good luck for him

    12. So who gets the Mercedes seat?

    13. I will love to see him in F1 but next season I will follow him in WRC,hope he have a good season.Will he be teammate to Sebastien Loeb?That will fun to watch.

      If he is bonding with Red Bull than he may return with them in 2011 replacing Mark.But for now all the best.

    14. Great news!
      So, it isn’t all about money after all…
      His choice is logical, he wants to do something that makes him feel good, just like playing hockey, riding ski-doos or partying with his crew. One more thing: he’s a Finn, and that means that in Finland F1 drivers are just the guys who can’t drive good enough to tackle Ouninpohja. His massage: “I’m a F1 champion, and I’m bored…When overtaking is obsolete in F1, I can drive alone on the track-in WRC C4!”. Bravo Kimster!

      1. When overtaking is obsolete in F1, I can drive alone on the track-in WRC C4!

        ;o) Spot on!

    15. Good luck in there Kimi. But I think Sebastian Loeb will make mincemeat of him in the same car.

      I’ll miss him in F1, but I’m glad we got rid of his fanbois :)

      1. but I’m glad we got rid of his fanbois

        Don’t start that argument again. Did you not see the poll debate? :P
        I feel sorry for his fans if they can’t see him rally but at the same time it is also very good news. He gets t do his dream of rallying and be a ‘true’ racer who has competed in completely different categories.
        He may have been frustrating to watch and an absolute mystery in f1 but I really admire him for doing this and getting out of the f1 world he is used to. Best of luck to Kimi.

        1. Yes , if he does well I don’t think anyone will remain unimpressed. Have to wait and see…

    16. Prisoner Monkeys
      4th December 2009, 11:49

      Bye, Kimi. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    17. following your dreams is always the way forward, good luck to kimi! cant wait to watch WRC

    18. My thoughts? Vettel to Mercedes in 2011, replaced by Kimi at Red Bull.

      1. or Kimi to RBR in 2011 replacing Webber and Vettel to Mercedes in 2012. Then who for 2nd RBR seat?

        1. Kubica or Massa three4three? Bit too soon to have any clue. I can barely understand what is happening right now!

          1. Yeh Steph, it’s all very confusing now I wish a few more drivers get confirmed soon! And tbh I reckon Webber has another few years good racing in him, if this year’s anything to go by. Kubica maybe but Massa? thought you’d like to see him stay at Ferrari! :)

            1. I do want to see Massa stay at Ferrari but Kubica is probably going to go after his seat (obviously I back Massa to stay there just I’m covering the possibilities).
              Kubica could end up at Merc or stay with Renault/Prodive/Gravity depending on contract and what actually happens.
              I feel the same about Webber but it is just a question of whether he can hang on when some great drivers are on the market.

      1. Bye to Kimi but hello again Mp4! :)

      2. We’ve had our differences mp-4, but it’s good to see you here again.

      3. Hey, the guy who coments on f1around.

        I coment there as “The Stig”, but since this is a british blog, i thought someone already got that name :P

    19. I’ll be watching rallying too now he’s in it. following kimi’s progress of course.

    20. Sad to see him go, of course, but it is always better to do something you have an interest in and I respect that.

      Will definitely be watching rally to monitor his progress.

    21. Cant say I am sad to see him go. I did not always care for him but I do wish him the best in his new WRC.

    22. Excellent news. Less stress for everyone:

      – the drivers left in F1
      – F1 fans who don’t like Kimi
      – big name sponsors not keen on uninspiring sponsor-events

      and most importantly, for Kimi himself. And already everyone in WRC is welcoming him “into the flock”. Hirvonen apparently said if he wants some help getting up to speed with pace notes, he’d be willing to provide it.

    23. I think this suits him much better…..and I can watch Kimi in a Red Bull(nice).Unfortunately,I doubt we will see him back in Formula 1 :(

      Good luck Kimster….lets see what you can do in a rally car.

    24. I´ll have to admit it, I am a Kimi Raikkonen Fan…

      What saddens me is that, as much as I love rallying, I am brazilian. This means that I won´t get chance of watching any decent WRC broadcasting, sice here, in Brazil, the media and the general audience tend to ignore any sport that doesn´t feature a brazilian amongst winners/tittle contenders. In fact they always do that.

      Anyway, good luck to Kimi, he might be the only f1/WRC champion or even come back in 2011. Who knows what tomorrow brings?

    25. Mark Hitchcock
      4th December 2009, 17:52

      I’m surprised he’s been signed by such a major team. It’s like Ferrari or Mclaren signing a WRC driver just because they did a few tests and weren’t the slowest on track. Kimi may have been quite impressive in Finland….until he had a stupid crash. But that doesn’t mean he should take the place of a genuinely deserving young rally driver in a top team.
      No doubt he deserves a shot at rally because he was driving well until his crash, I just don’t see what he offers (other than the PR value of course) to Citroen that they couldn’t have got from an up-and-coming driver.

    26. Thank God this is the best news of the off season so far. let kimi go drive that god awful looking rally car, for the 2009 season it was very obvious that that’s what he wanted to do instead of driving an f1 car but on the other side of the coin he was boring as molasses puring as far as his on track performance. good riddance and i hope he pulls a proper schumi and now that he is gone he NEVER comes back to f1.

    27. What I should feel or say? As a finn myself i love rally ofcourse, its in own blood. But i was hoping to see Kimi in F1 because there is plenty a good finnish rally drivers but not so many good finnish F1 drivers.

      However I am proud for Kimi. He went for what he think is right for him and not for money. His driving in Neste Rally was amazing and top rally drivers said that as well. They were supprise for how fast he was able to learn to do notes and how fast he was on the track. Driving rallycar and F1 car are 2 complete different things.

      In F1 track is allways same but things can change very fast during to rally race( horses, cows, deers, camels, pigs, holes on the track etc.)

      I will miss Kimi in F1 but it will be very intresting to see he how he will copy different enviroment of Rally. I am sure he will enjoy it. Rally drivers are more relax than F1 drivers, less PR duties and he has more people around who he can talk finnish with as well.

      GOOD luck Kimi.

    28. Hmmm… Good, will watch more WRC next season, and really don’t have a team driver to follow in F1 anymore so…I’d be more upset if it didn’t look like F1 was going to become a pure spec series in the next 5yrs…

      Kimi, get a WRC Championship, then a 24hrs of LeMans championship :p

    29. Vic Elford went from rallying to GP. Won the Monte Carlo Rally and finished the GP. Only one to do so.

      Jim Clark almost won the RAC Rally. Moss took part in a number of rallies.

    30. Kimi has never been my favourite driver, but he’s exciting to watch, even if he isn’t the best interviewee.

      I’ll be trying to catch some WRC now that keith’s told us what channel to find it on (UK).

      If Kimi makes his career in rallying, it would be something special to become world champion in two totally different styles of motorsport, he would be remembered as one of the all time greats, not sure if its ever been done before.

    31. Räikkönen’s co-driver will be Kaj Lindstrom, who was co-driver for multiple WRC champion Tommi Makinen. They will contest 12 of the 13 WRC events, missing the New Zealand round.

      Aaahhhhhhh!!!!!!! For #$%* Sake. @%$$^&^$#%&$&%&^$##$^%^

      Dam it, i would have liked to seen that.

    32. www WRCfanatic …soon???

    33. Along with his new found career I hope Kimi discovers some new passions that may unleash a personality suited to the skill sets he so ably demonstrates.

      He has to be the worst post race interview in recent memory.

      1. ^^^ i agree when kimi’s was being interviewed it seems like his mouth became a blender where English was chopped up and spit out with about a million ummm’s..

    34. Have you ever tried speak finnish :o) Kimi’s interviews in finnish have been complete different. His english never have been good and when you are shy, finnish and has to make interviews in foreign language is something very difficult for him.

      You can try it yourself lol.

      Its easier if your mother language is german or spanish because those languages are more close to english than finnish is. I know it because i speak 5 languages. So we should not be so tought to Kimi for his language skills. Unfortunatelly english speaking people do not understand of difficulties of learning and communicate by foreign language.

      My english , american and australian friends have been able to learn maybe 1 finnish word per week and they cant not remember it anymore week later:)

      Let Kimi be like he is, even with bad english language communication skills and enjoy his driving. That’s why we are here or front of TV. F1 or Rally world Championship never have been won by talking ;o)

      1. As a speaker of another language, I’d have to agree with you, but Mika Hakkinen and Heikki Kovalainen never seemed to have any trouble. It’s less about Kimi’s language skills than his attitude, I think.

    35. ^^^ oh yes your language is so hard so to you he is a great driver and a great speaker both are untrue but i find it funny that not one Finnish person has a grasp of what sarcasm and humor are

    36. I’ve always tried to watch WRC here in the States, but I could never find any station that covered it. I’m a Kimi fan, so I’d like to see him in it. Anyone know any stations in the states that carry WRC?

    37. Lol.. Funniest thing i’ve heard all year.

    38. Good for the WRC, good for an ex-WRC follower (me included), good for Kimi, and dare I say it, good for F1. All the best, Kimi.

    39. I have nothing but respect and admiration for anyone with multiple language skills (myself NOT included!), my comment was not directed at his language (Very skilled in my opinion) but towards his personality and delivery of comments.

      Consistently comes off as a dead fish wrapped in a wet paper wrapper.

      His lifestyle off track has been repeatedly touted as a carouser and party beast, and I would think he shows a totally different personality in those environments. Or else who would want to party with the guy??

      Our loss in F1 will be WRC’s gain. I hope he really shines.

    40. So there you go ! The two most talented, gifted drivers in the world will both be driving rally cars next year – and for the same team.I’m wishin and hopin and thinkin and prayin that BOTH of them will be in F1 cars in 2011.

    41. Have not posted in a while here, but it is good to see Kimi go rallying.

      Although I was disappointed the McLaren thing did not go through, hopefully we will see Kimi in 2011 with Red Bull.

      For the 2010 season I will be supporting Seb Vettel !!!

      So see you guys at the FP1 chat for Bahrain in March!

    42. Citreon signed him because he’s got great speed and because it brings a huge amount of interest to them, having a recent F1 champion driving for them.

      I think for Kimi, coming in the top four of the f1 championsip more or less every year, without winning it (2007 being the exception) was getting a bit repetitious/dull. He knows he can do that – so if he can’t get a drive that can even do that, it’s got to be a case of ‘change the scene’ and go rallying instead – particularly when it’s in a bang-at-the-top rally team. and particularly when ferrari are still paying you a massive salary to do so because of the way they bought his contract out.

      Only thing is, Kimi looks a bit greedy doing things like this – all this nonchalance about wanting vast amounts of money is kind of grating away, and I say that being one of the biggest kimi fans around.

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