Former Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen is to compete in the World Rally Championship in his native Finland at the end of the July.

Ferrari's Raikkonen has appeared in three non-championship rallies this season and will be behind the wheel of a Fiat Abarth Grande Punto.

His co-driver, Kaj Lindstrom, said: "The roads used for this rally are so fast but he's very talented."

The rally is staged three weeks before the European Grand Prix in Valencia.

Raikkonen, who won the F1 title in 2007, will be competing against the likes of championship favourites Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen.

Event spokesman Simon Long said: "It's superb News for the championship and hugely exciting that he'll be competing at Rally Finland."

In a disappointing season for Ferrari, Raikkonen has won just 10 points in the drivers' world championship, 54 behind leader Jenson Button.


Hmmmmm.... Unfortunately for Ferrari, I reckon Kimi is enjoying it so much and finds it more of a challenge, that he'll eventually come to the dark side of rallying. One can only hope, but hes done 3 already laugh

With being in a Grande Punto.. itll be a S2000 spec, not a WRC spec.. which will hamper him somewhat in Performance. One advantage though; he has Kaj Lindstrom sitting beside him. He has ridiculous experience.. and use to steer Tommi Makkinen around laugh laugh (Oh how I miss Makkinen!)

Cant wait to see it though happy