2007 F1 World champion Kimi Raikkonen impressed on the Neste Oil Rally Finland last weekend, despite crashing out in the final stage on day two, and the Finn revelled on his WRC debut declaring it 'good fun'.
Raikkonen, who was competing in a Tommi Making-racing run Abarth Grande Punto S2000, began reasonably cautiously but by the end of the opening leg he had upped his pace, setting two 15th best efforts in the final two forest tests.
He finished day one 17th overall and fourth in his class, less than 16 seconds off Janne Tuhino, who at that point was on course for the final place on the Group N podium.
On Saturday the Ferrari F1 man continued to shine and was up to 15th post-SS18 and all set to possibly finish on the Gp.N rostrum.
However the 29.29 kilometre Vaarinmaja stage - the longest of the event - was to be his undoing when he rolled his Abarth Grande Punto S2000, crashing in the same place that caught out Adapta WRT's Mads Ostberg.
Raikkonen and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, who formerly partnered multiple world rally champion Tommi Makinen, were both uninjured in the incident.
"I saw that it was going to go wide, but unfortunately there were a lot of rocks and we rolled," Raikkonen told the official WRC TV programme."
"I think we wouldn't have finished the rally anyway because we had too many problems with the engine. It was good fun though and nobody got hurt, so it doesn't matter."
Speaking at the end of the opening day, Raikkonen added at that point that he was very happy with his early form.
"I had some problems in the first two special tests [on Friday], but then I found my rhythm and it went well for the rest of the day," he stated. "We were quick second time through. The pace notes are the biggest challenge in this rally because you must have total faith in them."
"[Overall] I am pleased with my performance today. I'm not far behind the best drivers in my class and I'm satisfied with that. I am enjoying this rally so far."
In total Raikkonen set twelve top-twenty stage times from the 18 tests he ended up completing - his best: two 14th quickest efforts in SS17 and SS18 on Saturday, just before he went out - and that was despite a number of technical issues, principally with the engine.