Kimi Räikkönen's co-driver Kaj Lindström has described the moment when they retired from Rallye de France Alsace following a bizarre incident on the road section heading to the third stage of the event
The Finns were in ninth overall after two stages in their ICE 1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC when disaster struck on the liaison section prior to the 36-kilometre Pays d’Ormont test south west of the service park in Strasbourg this morning.
Lindström told Wrc.com: “As usual we parked 2.5 kilometres before the stage start to put on our helmets and get strapped in before warming our tyres on the way to the control. On this occasion Henning [Solberg] went in front of us - even though he was behind us in the start order. He was snaking down the road to put some heat in the tyres and the brakes, and we were doing the same behind. But at some point we had to overtake so soon we caught up. Henning pulled into his lane, and we went to pass but suddenly he braked hard and we drove into the back of his car - his left-hand rear corner with our right-hand front. The impact broke one of our front suspension uprights. But this is what happens sometimes - no one is to blame. I explained this to Henning afterwards.
Speaking to World Rally Radio, Solberg said: “He hit me on the left side, I saw his car in the air and then he disappeared into a ditch. He said it was not my fault and just to drive on.”
It’s currently not clear if Räikkönen, the 2007 Formula One world champion, and Lindstrom will be able to restart on day two. “We are at the hotel now while the team look at the car. I can’t say whether we will be able to restart tomorrow,” said Lindstrom.