Kimi Raikkonen's switch to the World Rally Championship is expected to be confirmed in the next few hours.
The Finn has been considering his options in the wake of a failure to complete a deal with McLaren, which was his only realistic chance to remain in F1 next year after he agreed to end his Ferrari contract early. He had been widely expected to make the move to the WRC, and sources have revealed that he has now completed a deal to compete with the Red Bull-backed Citroen junior team alongside Sebastien Ogier.
It is understood that Raikkonen will contest the entire WRC season apart from the New Zealand Rally, which his team is not competing in. He will also participate in the Artic Rally.
Raikkonen has made no secret of the fact that he is looking at a return to F1 in 2011 – with speculation already suggesting he is high on Red Bull Racing's list to partner Sebastian Vettel.
The fact that Red Bull is backing Raikkonen's rally efforts will do little to quell those rumors, although sources at the energy drink's company are adamant that the current ties mean nothing for his future F1 ambitions.
"This has no prejudice at all for Kimi's further F1 career if he intends one," a source close to Red Bull told AUTOSPORT. "It does not mean at all that he will replace a current Red Bull F1 driver in our team from 2011."