Tuesday 30th June 2009
Kimi Raikkonen will make his World Rally Championship debut in his native Finland at the end of July.
Raikkonen, F1 World Champion in 2007, has already competed in three non-championship rallies this year and will enter Rally Finland in a Fiat Abarth Grande Punto.
His co-driver will be compatriot Kaj Lindstrom, who was formerly co-driver to four-times WRC champion Tommi Makinen.
"Rally Finland is not going to be easy for sure," Lindstrom told autosport.com. "The rallies we have done so far have been smaller events, a three-day WRC round is much longer and more intense than those national events.
"We have two days to go through the recce (reconnaissance) and make the notes. Kimi makes very good pace notes but there will be pressure on for the recce.
"One of the hardest things for Kimi will be the speed of this event. Rally Finland and the roads used are so fast, like nothing we have done before.
"But, let's not forget, this guy is a pretty good driver. He's very talented and I'm sure he will cope fine."
Rally Finland starts the Friday after the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest on July 26.
Raikkonen has competed in two rallies in Finland and one in Italy since the start of the year.
He has largely struggled since taking the F1 Drivers' title, however - Raikkonen's most recent win coming in Spain last year, with just 10 points coming from eight grands prix so far in 2009.
Source : Planet F1