Kimi Raikkonen is optimistic that he will fare better in the Rally Mexico, the next round of the World Rally Championship, having reached the finish in Sweden today.
The 2007 Formula 1 World Champion lost nearly half an hour when he slid into a snow bank on Friday, but was able to rejoin and set some promising stage times on his way to 30th overall.
"We lost a bit in the snow bank on the first day, and we spun three times, but we got to the finish and we learned a lot," Raikkonen said. "We knew this was going to be a very difficult rally. We improved a bit all the time and that was our goal. OK, I'm a bit disappointed to lose the time in the snow but that's a part of rallying."
The Finn thinks the gravel surface in Mexico will be easier for him to handle than the Swedish snow.
"For sure, everything should be a bit easier on the gravel that I know from the past a little bit," said Raikkonen. "Everything I've done on snow before has always been a little bit tricky. We'll see how it goes in the test next week and hopefully we can improve in Mexico. We should be able to."
One of Raikkonen's targets is to make his pace notes more accurate. "Of course, it's much easier when you go second time [through the stages] but we had particularly good notes today and yesterday on some stages, and that makes a massive difference when you're not sure if the notes are completely right," he said.
"When you go through for the second time, you can change them a bit and it makes it much, much easier. I'm sure experience makes a big, big difference. If we come here next time it's going to be a hell of a lot easier. But that's how it goes, you need to get the experience and then you can start pushing hard. I don't think it's the driving so much, you just need to get experience and get everything right, and the notes need to be really perfect to go fast."
Despite Raikkonen's incidents, his Citroen Junior team boss Benoit Nogier was delighted with his performance.
"Kimi has made a remarkable start on his first world championship event with us," Nogier said. We stuck completely to the plan that we had set out beforehand. Kimi got progressively quicker, but also remained calm in the face of all the new things that he had to learn."