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Team explains Raikkonen's exit

By David Evans Saturday, August 1st 2009, 19:31 GMT

Tapio Laukkanen, former British Rally champion, now works for Tommi Makinen Racing, where he has overseen Kimi Raikkonen's World Rally Championship debut on Rally Finland this week. Laukkanen explains to AUTOSPORT what happened to the Ferrari Formula 1 star when he crashed out on the Vaarinmaja test today.

Q. What happened to Raikkonen?

Tapio Laukkanen: It was a tightening corner with a big rock on the outside. He went a little bit wide, hit the stone. That put the nose of the car into the ditch and he rolled two times or something. There were a few rocks around and they lost one wheel - the car was damaged and they couldn't drive it back.

Q. No chance of getting it back to superally tomorrow?

TL: No way. There is too much damage. There's no point to try and fix it for half a day tomorrow.

Q. And there were some engine problems today?

TL: The engine worked, but not like it should. There was a problem all through the day. We were hoping to find the solution for that tonight, but obviously it's too late now.

Q. What he's done has been pretty impressive, though?

TL: Oh yes. I am delighted to see how fast he can drive. But we saw this in the test, he's a big driver. He can drive nice with smooth lines - that's how he is. He's a big talent in the F1 and the same with motorbikes and the snow scooters, he's the same with all of those things.

Q. Did you sit with him in the test?

TL: I sat with him for a few laps. I was trying to do some things with the notes. Kaj [Lindstrom] was my co-driver also, so I was trying to help him.

Q. Has he had a good time?

TL: He has definitely enjoyed it. He was having a good time. But, of course, we were having come technical problems and it's not very good for him to see that kind of thing. But that's motorsport.

Q. But this is really the only car he can drive in the rally?

TL: Yes. That's part of his job.

Q. Will he be out again this year?

TL: I'm quite sure when he's not busy he wants to do some more

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