Räikkönen brings star power to WRC

F1 ace Kimi Räikkönen will make a sensational switch to the World Rally Championship this year in the Red Bull-backed Citroën Junior Team.

The move is a coup for the WRC in the wake of a drop in interest in the series and the recent withdrawals of makes such as Subaru and Suzuki.

“It’s fantastic news,” said Simon Long, CEO of series promoter ISC. “Not only is Kimi an immense talent, he can attract [new] fans to the WRC.”

Some drivers have warned that the switch may not be easy for the 2007 F1 champion, despite the pace he showed on last year’s Rally Finland. “Kimi may be in for a shock,” said Ford’s Matthew Wilson. “At some events he’ll be quick, but at others he will struggle.”

Räikkönen will be joined by Kaj Lindstrom, who used to co-drive for four-time champion Tommi Mäkinen.