Kimi Raikkonen's prediction that this week's Rally Germany being among his toughest events of the season has come true, with the former Formula 1 World Champion struggling to match the pace of the frontrunners.
On the World Rally Championship's previous asphalt event in Bulgaria, Raikkonen had run as high as fourth, but he is currently lying seventh in Germany. The Finn has struggled to find confidence through the morning's three stages.
"I always knew this would be the toughest of the four asphalt events and it's exactly like I thought," said the Citroen driver.
Raikkonen's co-driver Kaj Lindstrom said: "It's been quite difficult, finding the braking point is hard: we've braked early some times, but then the next time the surface and grip level is quite different.
"The last stage of the loop was the best, Kimi had more confidence in there, but all the time the surface is changing and the grip level is going up and down. On top of that, there's a lot of gravel and mud being pulled into the road by the cars ahead – the road is completely different from when the safety crews have gone through."
Rally Germany is completely different in character to Rally Bulgaria which offered consistent surfaces and grip levels. Lindstrom said the Citroen Junior Team would be making changes to the C4 at service.