Kimi Raikonnen will take part in 12 of the 13 rounds of next year’s World Rally Championship. The news was confirmed earlier today by CitroÃ«n Sport, who announced Raikonnen will form part of their CitroÃ«n Junior Team racing in C4 WRCs.
According to Kimi this deal fulfils a life long ambition, “I always wanted to compete in rally, especially in the World Rally Championship at some point in my career.
“Thanks to Red Bull, I have the opportunity to drive the best car of the series with the CitroÃ«n 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.”
Raikkonen took part in the Rally of Finland earlier this year, behind the wheel of a Fiat (pictured above) and, well, things didn’t exactly work out for the best. Here’s hopeing he keeps it shiny side up in 2010.
[Source: CitroÃ«n Racing]
CitroÃ«n Racing and Red Bull give wings to Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen in 2010
Since its establishment in 2008, the association between CitroÃ«n Racing and Red Bull has already reaped world titles for CitroÃ«n, SÃ©bastien Loeb and Daniel Elena in 2008 and 2009*, and the ties between the two companies are to be stepped up for next season. In addition to the CitroÃ«n Total World Rally Team-entered C4 WRCs of SÃ©bastien Loeb and Dani Sordo, a second team will also now run two C4 WRCs for Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen and SÃ©bastien Ogier in the colours of Red Bull and CitroÃ«n.
The collaboration between CitroÃ«n and Red Bull, which dates back to the 2008 Rally Argentina (won by SÃ©bastien Loeb and Daniel Elena) and which has since harvested 15 other wins, is to be reinforced in 2010.
As in 2008 and 2009, the two CitroÃ«n Total World Rally Team-run C4 WRCs will both sport the livery of the famous energy drink, and the defending World Champions have renewed their faith in SÃ©bastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and Dani Sordo/Marc Marti.
The deal will be extended in 2010 to include the two CitroÃ«n Junior Team cars that will compete in Red Bullâ€™s colours on 12 of the 2010 FIA World Rally Championshipâ€™s 13 rounds, the exception being the Rally of New Zealand. These two CitroÃ«n C4 WRCs will be campaigned by Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen/Kaj LindstrÃ¶m and SÃ©bastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia.
Finlandâ€™s Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen, 30, who has won 18 Formula 1 Grands Prix, claimed the Formula 1 world crown in 2007, and contested several rallies in 2009 – including his home round of the WRC – said: â€œI always wanted to compete in rally, especially in the World Rally Championship at some point in my career. Thanks to Red Bull, I have the opportunity to drive the best car of the series with the CitroÃ«n 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.â€
CitroÃ«n Racing Director, Olivier Quesnel added: “Red Bullâ€™s commitment and energy are a perfect fit for CitroÃ«nâ€™s ongoing thirst for victory. We will continue to count on SÃ©bastien and Dani to defend our world titles in 2010, and we will also be prolonging our association with SÃ©bastien Ogier who showed outstanding potential this year. Last but not least, it is with immense joy that we welcome Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen to our ranks. We are very proud that he has chosen CitroÃ«n. In addition to the confirmation of these four crews, we will hopefully be able to announce other programmes over the coming weeks.”
* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA