Lindstrom: Raikkonen could have shone in WRC
Co-driver says F1 star had the talent, but not the time to make grade
Kimi Raikkonen could have made a successful career in the FIA World Rally Championship - if only he’d opted against a return to Formula One so quickly.
That’s according to experienced co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, who partnered Raikkonen for two seasons in rallying’s top tier in factory-supported Citroens.
Raikkonen, Formula One world champion in 2007, showed flashes of speed during his switch away from circuit racing, with a fifth place finish in Turkey and a stage win in Germany among the highlights. However, he lacked consistency and his momentum waned towards the end of 2011 when news emerged of his return to grand prix racing for this season.
“It would have taken some time but he would have made it,” said Lindstrom. “All his career he has been racing himself on the circuit and driving with his eyes. In rallying you can’t drive with your eyes, you have to rely on your pace notes and to learn that way of thinking would have taken some more time.”
Lindstrom keeps in regular contact with Raikkonen and says he enjoyed his two-year stint in the WRC with his fellow Finn.
“For sure it was good to race with him and I enjoyed it very much, he’s a nice person and it was fun,” said Lindstrom, a veteran of 83 world championship rallies. “But when he started to talk about returning to Formula One I know that’s his world and rallying was just a hobby for him so it’s understandable he went back. But he really enjoys rallying and I’m sure he would love to do some more rallying in the future.”
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