Henning Solberg has confirmed Kimi Raikkonen crashed into the back of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC ahead of the start of the third stage on Rally de France. The former Formula 1 World Champion retired from the opening day of the Strasbourg-based rally with damaged suspension after the impact and resultant trip to a ditch.
Solberg, who was less than a mile from the start of the stage when the crash happened, said: "I was just driving in a straight line on a straight road. I wasn't weaving to warm up the tire or anything like that, just driving.
"I felt the hit from the back of the car, but it was soft, not a big impact or anything. When I looked in the mirror I saw Raikkonen flying off and into the ditch. I don't know what happened."
Raikkonen was unable to retrieve his Citroen from the ditch and retired on the spot.
Solberg's co-driver Ilka Minor added: "It was really strange. I was just fastening the belts for the start of the stage when they hit us. I think maybe he lost concentration for a millisecond or something like that."