Five-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb says a lack of confidence in his pace notes could hinder Ferrari Formula 1 star Kimi Raikkonen on his World Rally Championship debut in Finland this week.
Rally Finland is a notoriously difficult event to make pace notes for, but Loeb pointed out that Raikkonen's choice of world-class co-driver Kaj Lindstrom will help him on his WRC debut. "What is most difficult is to take some notes and be confident in the notes after only two passes [through the stage]. For this you need experience," said the Frenchman. "I'm sure he will have a lot of fun sliding at high speed in the forest. It will be completely different from what he's used to."
Raikkonen acknowledged the challenge of writing an accurate set of pace notes on his first attempt at the central Finland roads.
"It's definitely the most important thing in the rally," said Raikkonen. "Without them [the pace notes] there is no way you can go fast. It's something completely different. Everybody can drive, okay not everybody, but everybody can be more or less the same speed, but notes make the difference."
Despite having competed on three rallies, Raikkonen admitted he would need more time on events to get used to the system.
"It takes time to learn," he said. "Sometimes you get it wrong. It's not easy to know where to go, where to jump: will you land on the road? Hopefully, we have the right notes. I [will] take it [the rally] as a learning experience."