In his pre-Jordan Rally blog, Kimi Raikkonen says that rally is “just a bit more relaxed and friendly” than Formula 1 and “thereâ€™s still room for me to be myself.”
[Note: Spoiler for the first day of the Jordan Rally comes next.]
And so far at the WRC event, he seems to be relaxed, standing in 10th place after the first day’s stages. He did have another off-road moment, but pulled himself back up into the running. He’s 3:50 off leader Jari-Matta Latvala, who leads the Sebastiens — Ogier and Loeb, respectively — by just more than 30 seconds.
The complete top 10 looks like this:
Position Driver Car Time/Gap to 1st
1. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford 1h11m31.5s
2. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 30.2s
3. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 31.8s
4. Petter Solberg Citroen + 32.5s
5. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 42.2s
6. Dani Sordo Citroen + 45.4s
7. Henning Solberg Ford + 1m20.9s
8. Matthew Wilson Ford + 2m01.1s
9. Federico Villagra Ford + 2m48.2s
10. Kimi Raikkonen Citroen + 3m50.5s
But back to our old Formula 1 friend. Here’s more from Kimi’s blog:
After the shakedown I had a bit of a chance to relax on the terrace at the hotel and look at the view over the Dead Sea. Itâ€™s such a hectic life that itâ€™s nice to empty your head sometimes and think of nothing much. And whatâ€™s the point of going to all these different places if you donâ€™t take the time to look at them occasionally? My life used to be a blur of airports and circuits and hotels but Iâ€™m determined to enjoy myself this year.
I have to say that I really like the world of rallying so far. Itâ€™s impossible to compare it to Formula One as it would be like comparing a square to a triangle, but everything seems just a bit more relaxed and friendly. Everyone has been very welcoming, but thereâ€™s still room for me to be myself.
Iâ€™m still at the stage where thereâ€™s more time to come out of me than anything else. But if it all comes together – and even up to now, there have been a few moments where that has started to happen – Iâ€™d like to set a few decent times. Wish me luck…”
I have to say, that does not sound like a guy who’s interesting in returning to F1. Of course, money can have a way of changing people’s attitudes.