Kimi Raikkonen out of rally

2010-10-21 19:06
Kimi Raikkonen (AFP)

Paris - Kimi Raikkonen's Rally of Catalunya was over before it even began after the former Formula One world champion crashed his Citroen C4 in Thursday's warm-up stage.

The Finn was left heading to the airport and a flight back home to Switzerland when officials ruled that his C4 was too badly damaged to take part in the penultimate leg of the world rally championship season.

Raikkonen told "I touched the bank a little bit, the car jumped on the roof and hit the bank.

"It bent the roll cage and that's it. The rules are that we can't start, there's nothing we can do."

Raikkonen, who suffered the same fate in Japan, insisted that despite his misfortune his passion for rallying remained intact.

"Okay it has happened two times," he said. "It hurts more that we can't do the rally. And for the team, but there's nothing I can do. It doesn't change anything. I knew it would be difficult.

"I still enjoy it, I was looking forward to this rally, but it will not happen."

Raikkonen this month dismissed speculation that he was planning a return to F1 with Renault for next season.

The Finn, who won the championship for Ferrari in 2007, quit grand prix racing at the end of the 2009 season to participate in the WRC with Citroen.

On his plans for 2011 and whether he will remain with Citroen he added: "Unfortunately, there's no decision yet. There are some options and, for sure, I have to choose very quickly and choose the right one for myself.

"I haven't done anything yet. I want to find some good way for the future. I have to do it at some point, there's always a timeframe for everything. I hope we get sorted by the end of the season, but I can't promise anything."

Sebastien Loeb arrives in Catalunya having already wrapped up the world title, his seventh on the trot, on home turf in the Rally of France at the start of the month.

That could leave the way for his Citroen teammate Dani Sordo finally to notch up his first win since graduating from the junior world rally championship in 2006.

The Spaniard has made 28 podiums from 70 rallies, and is here shorn of any duties he may have fulfilled in helping Loeb claim the crown.

"For me Dani will be in an ideal position, going fifth he'll benefit from all the dust having been cleared from the road if conditions are dry," Loeb, who completed a five-timer in Catalunya last year, said.

Sordo himself commented: "The desire to win my first world rally is strong but it's far from being a fait accompli."

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