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Raikkonen to WRC with Citroen?

NEWS STORY
27/11/2009

The official WRC website is reporting that 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen is on the verge of signing a deal which will see the Finn contest the 2010 series with Citroen.

Raikkonen, who was essentially pushed out of Ferrari to make way for Fernando Alonso, and who failed to secure the second seat at McLaren, is reported to be taking a one-year sabbatical from F1.

A keen rally fan, the Finn made his WRC debut this year taking part in his home event. Despite crashing out while running 15th, Raikkonen, at the wheel of an Abarth Grande Punto S2000, is said to have greatly impressed series organizers and fellow drivers.

According to a source, the WRC website claims that the Finn is now "days" away from officially announcing that he will contest all 13 rounds of the 2010 series for Citroen with his backing coming from Red Bull.

Talking to WRC.com, 2003 WRC winner Petter Solberg said he is confident Raikkonen can make the grade.

"With the proper practise planning and testing I think he will adapt quickly," said Solberg. "He's a very, very good driver, and once he's learned the basics, like how to work with pace notes, I think he will surprise many people.

"We've already seen how quick he was in Finland in a Super 2000 car," he added, "and if he's in a decent World Rally Car next season I think he could finish between third and fifth on some rallies. The fact is, if you can drive, you can drive.

"This year I've driven a Formula 1 car and a Le Mans car, the Norwegian driver continued, "and it's the same as rallying; you have to attack and push. You have to be on the case and you need some balls. I think it's all about understanding how to push and Kimi has proved he can do that."

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