Now nothing I have said with regards to rally driving should detract from the skills that a Formula 1 driver must encompass. The skills they do possess are amazing and must not be demeaned in any way.
The difference with rally driving all becomes evident due to its eccentric and extreme nature, so therefore other aspects come into fruition.
Kimi Raikkonen appears more than most of the current crop of F1 drivers to be capable of making the successful transition from the tarmac of Formula 1 to the differing options in rallying.
Asides from a few slips in focus (most notably in his 2008 campaign) he has given us the vision of a driver able to portray excellence over long periods of time that can gift him the opportunity to succeed.
This is not to say that he won’t go far without any mishaps; it would be foolish to think otherwise, but any off track adventures will do much to enhance the skill set he will be constructing.
A major question for the Fin however will be whether he can actually portray the attributes that have made him well regarded, or whether a mistake or two will edge him back towards the negativity that seemed to overcome him in his defending season at Ferrari last year.
After all how will Kimi progress if an off track mishap in a rallying event is met with inner turmoil which could only result in further errors?
Few will expect him to win events in his first season in the WRC, especially with Sebastien Loeb competing, but points would be a possibility he could pursue if his attitude compliments his performance.
The Ice Man is a driver certainly capable of driving on the edge, providing spectacular pace and equipping himself with the most effective racing lines. It is whether he can go the extra and really wrestle his car into competitive action that will determine the result of his gap year(s) from Formula 1.
Kimi has often been mistakenly regarded as having a stiff upper lip, stemming from both the generalisation we have of Finnish drivers and his apparent lack of emotion and monotone speech given to us in interviews. This latter lethargic attitude has often been attributed to a resulting view of Kimi as a determined individual.
This may cause a struggle for his ability to compete with a second driver in the same cockpit, but it should be a challenge he is able to accomplish due to his celebrated combined efforts at Sauber, Mclaren and Ferrari.
Conflict may at times be apparent, but for the most part should be lacking and essential to avoid if Kimi wants to forge a successful alternate career.
From early on in the 2010 season we will get a glimpse of the powers that Kimi may possess on a rally circuit. It will depend greatly on whether he brings the peak performance we know he is capable of, accompanied with a fiery determination or whether he may lapse into further disillusionment following his departure from Formula 1.
He is evidently excited about his new prospects, hopefully meaning the former of his possible journeys could provide the aftermath of his Ferrari days.