In between tributes to his Lotus team and his car, the Iceman explained how the WRC had helped him return to the top of the podium in Formula One. Raikkonen’s victory in Abu Dhabi was the first one of his Formula One return, and the 19th of his career.
“It’s good to be back, but nothing’s really changed for me,” he said. “In rallying it was a very different type of driving though: you can learn all the corners on a circuit pretty quickly but you will never learn them all on a rally. When I came back to Formula One I found the feeling again pretty quickly.”
Lotus team principal Eric Boullier added: “I have one word first of all: Great. Then there are many words such as ‘relief’ and ‘deserved’. It’s obviously a very well deserved result for the team. I’m pleased for Kimi and he did a very good job.”
Raikkonen, who currently lies third in the F1 standings, drove for Citroen on the WRC with Red Bull backing from 2010-2011. And rallying is still unfinished business for the Finn: he requested permission from his team to contest his home round of the WRC this year, but sadly it was refused.
This year’s WRC season concludes on RallyRACC-Rally de Espana from 8-11 November.