Stockholm, Saturday: Reports from the recent Rally of Sweden have shown rally organisers and WRC officials lambasting new driver Kimi Raikkonen over his attitude towards his new sport.
Raikkonen left Formula One last year to pursue a career in rallying, but so far his approach to the category has been met with scorn from those who have worked in the World Rally Championship for much longer.
“This is absolutely not what we expect from Kimi,” a WRC spokesman said. “After the end of a stage in the rally, Kimi sat in his car and was actually seen smiling by some sharp-eyed fans.
“Kimi came to the WRC on the understanding that his surly nature, indifference to the media and profound laziness would be a breath of fresh air compared to the usual hard work and friendliness of the drivers. However it’s emerged that Kimi is actually just the same as the rest of them. This is simply not on.”
Raikkonen claimed that he left F1 because he was “bored,” having decided that repeatedly crashing in obscure forests around the world was more exciting than repeatedly crashing on purpose-built circuits. Already it has been reported that he feels more at home in the world of rallying, though organisers continue to insist that such behaviour is unacceptable.
“We’re seriously considering giving Kimi 30 hours of PR work to do a week, so that he begins to understand how he is expected to behave,” a Citroen source said. “We have certain expectations and we do not intend to be let down.”
On advice from his team, Raikkonen only responded to the criticism with a bemused grunt, which WRC officials were reported to have said was “much better.”