Tue 22 Aug 2023

Young Räikkönen harbours WRC title ambitions

Eighteen-year-old Justus Räikkönen recently landed his maiden FIA World Rally Championship class win and, like his uncle Kimi, he’s driven by a desire to go as far as possible in his sport.

Driving a Peugeot 208 Rally4 backed by Rally Finland sponsor Secto, there was a degree of pressure on the teenage Finn on his second shot at his home round of the WRC – but he delivered a perfect result with back-to-back class wins. He won RC4 by more than nine minutes.

“Rally Finland was definitely a tough weekend,” he said. “It was probably one of the toughest of my rally career so far – the weather was a little bit crazy and when the rain was coming it was incredible. The road was rough and a lot of water, we had to be really careful not to break the car and to bring it to the finish.”

Justus was just six years old when his former Formula 1 championship-winning uncle finished in the top-10 at Rally Finland. While Kimi wasn’t present in Jyväskylä earlier this month, he’s helping to keep his nephew on the right track.

“We talk about driving,” he said. “But for now, I will focus to the rest of the year in Finland. Of course, I want to be world champion one day, but this is too far away to think about yet.

“I have some plans for next year, but I can’t talk about them. I don’t know what will be the car, but I know it can be something exciting.”

Image: Petro Piilo/AKK

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