KIMI ON SPARKLING FORM IN TURKEY
In Turkey, Kimi Raikkonen
led from start to finish. At the beginning, he briefly lost the lead but the flying Finn soon took it back. Conditions were hot, but not as hot as people expected, and although it was Kimi's first time there he put
on a dominant performance to win in Istanbul. Victory for Raikkonen!
Actually, what we are talking about here is not the second day of the Rally of Turkey, which came to a close this evening, but Kimi's win at the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix in 2005.
The Iceman's memorable Formula One victory in Turkey was the sixth out of his 18 Grand Prix successes, on a circuit that coincidentally runs right next to the Rally of Turkey route this year. The second day of the rally may not have concluded with champagne for Kimi - particularly as there is another full day of driving to tackle tomorrow - but he was still on sparkling form from start to finish.
In fact, his faultless performance on the second challenging day of the Rally of Turkey was probably just as much of a success as his triumph on the Istanbul Park circuit just under five years ago. For someone who has completed just two World Championship rallies in a World Rally Car, Kimi's progress was nothing short of astonishing. Starting the day eighth, he ended up sixth.
"You can't compare the Turkish Grand Prix with the Rally of Turkey because they are so different, but for me, the rally is definitely more difficult," said Kimi, cutting a cool figure in the service park with his Red Bull cap and trademark sunglasses. "This takes just as much concentration as winning a Grand Prix; in fact maybe more as so many things are new to me. But today was a really good day. We were able to set times that were closer to the guys in front and that's the main thing. What I'm really pleased about is that we could do it without taking big risks. We even stalled a couple of times, so if you take that away then the times are not bad at all. Let's see what happens tomorrow but for now it's going really well and I'm feeling comfortable."
Co-driver Kaj Lindstrom has less experience of winning Grands Prix, but he still knows a good performance when he sees one. "I'd say that today is the best time that myself and Kimi have had in a rally car together so far," he said. "It comes from a lot of things: more time in the car, more confidence, and more practice with the pace notes. Put all those things together and you end up with a pretty good performance, which is what we saw today."