Kimi Raikkonen has been unable to carry out his planned test prior to next week's Rally Mexico due to back discomfort, but is still optimistic that he will fare better on the gravel event than he did in the snowy conditions of the season-opening Rally Sweden.
The 2007 Formula 1 World Champion has yet to try the Citroen C4 on gravel, but did not want to risk carrying an injury into the rally.
"My plan had initially been to take part in a test session on gravel, in order to get to know the Citroen C4 WRC a bit better on a new surface for me," said Raikkonen. "But, unfortunately, I experienced a bit of back pain that stopped me from driving. I've had some treatment now but I preferred to rest before leaving for Mexico.
"Of course, I would have liked to test the car before going, but it was important to recuperate in order to start the second rally of the season in the best possible physical shape."
Having been delayed by accidents in the two snow rallies he has contested for Citroen Junior – the Arctic Rally and the World Rally Championship opener in Sweden – Raikkonen expects to be more comfortable on the gravel in Mexico.
"My impression is that driving on gravel should be a little bit easier for us. Or at least that's what Marcus Gronholm told me!" he joked. "I reckon that we will find a more consistent level of grip on gravel. But, for the moment, I'm still lacking experience. I just need to get more kilometers in the car in order to get used to the Citroen C4 WRC in particular and rallying in general."
Raikkonen added that he was still satisfied with his achievements in Sweden, having set some promising times between incidents.
"The really positive thing is that we managed to cover all the stages on the Rally Sweden and we learned a lot," he said. "We could have done better overall had it not been for some small mistakes but we managed to improve our stage times as the rally went on. That was our initial objective.
"The second run through the stages was better for us. I also felt a big difference once I became more confident with my pace notes. With more experience, things should get increasingly easier."