Toyota can’t offer Räikkönen a Rally1 test until mid-2022

A WRC return for Räikkönen would need testing first, and Latvala says Toyota doesn't have time for that yet

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While Kimi Räikkönen is busying himself with this week’s Dutch Grand Prix, he does so safe in the knowledge that DirtFish has secured the news he’s really been waiting for: this time next year, he could be testing a Toyota Yaris Rally1.

We know Räikkönen’s a Finnish rally fan, so we asked one of his own if he’d mind letting the 2007 Formula 1 World Champion have a go in one of his cars.

“Er… I didn’t think to that at all,” said Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala. “To be honest, we can do nothing like this for the first six months at least next season. We will be so busy with making sure we have the cars we need for the [WRC] program – there will be a lot of pressure for this side, so we couldn’t even consider it.”

After the first six months of the season?

“I’m not sure what his wishes are after he finishes his time in Formula 1,” said Latvala. “But when I look back it was clear Kimi was having a very nice time in rallying and he was bringing some nice attention to our side of the sport. It was always really nice for the fans to see him.

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“Let’s see, it would be nice to have a little feedback from him if he was testing the car. Like I said, we focus on our drivers for the first six months, but it could be a nice story…”

Here at DirtFish, we like nice stories. And we’re quite good at making nice stories too – it’s almost time for us to start working on another nice story we delivered earlier this season. Remember the one about Markku Alén’s 70th birthday test?

We haven’t forgotten. And we won’t forget about the Iceman, either. There’s a note in the DirtFish digital diary to call J-ML on July 1 next year.

If he’s missing his Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo C41 next season, what better way to forget about it than flying between the trees in a 500bhp hybrid Rally1 car.

Jari-Matti, we’ll come back to you.

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