After retiring from F1 last season, Kimi Raikkonen recently announced that he will be making his NASCAR debut this summer. His former McLaren teammate Juan Pablo Montoya predicts that while the 2007 world champion will face certain challenges, he will do well in the series.
As reported by AutoHebdo, the two-time Indy 500 winner said:
“He’s going to be fine. One of his biggest challenges will be to have extreme recourse to the ‘bump’ (Nascar technique, consisting of gently pushing the car with its front bumper to make room. Editor’s note). When you disembark from the Monoplace , you believe that by closing the door to your opponent in a turn, it will be enough to keep him behind you. In Nascar, you do that, and you get hit. That’s what I was doing!”
He further said:
“He will be surprised by the slowness of the car. However, a Nascar car is not at all physical to drive. It is very slow, yes. When you think you’re at 30% of her potential… she’s actually at 100% (laughs). A Nascar on an oval is another animal, there is more technology and technique.”
Montoya will be racing with Arrow McLaren SP at the Indy 500 this season for a second consecutive year.
"I wasn't looking to race again" - Kimi Raikkonen ahead of NASCAR debut
Kimi Raikkonen, who will be joining Trackhouse Racing’s PROJECT91 program, was convinced to join the series by the team's owner, Justin Marks, despite having no prior intentions of joining the sport.
As reported by Republic World, the former Alfa Romeo driver admitted that he had no plans of getting back into racing. He said:
“I wasn’t looking to race again. But Justin [Marks] came to my home in Switzerland and convinced me how serious he was about putting together a top-notch program. This will be fun, but it’s something I will take very seriously. I know how competitive the Nascar Cup Series is and it will be a big challenge.”
Speaking about Raikkonen's much-anticipated NASCAR debut, Trackhouse Racing team owner and former professional racing driver Justin Marks said:
“Kimi Raikkonen is the driver I first had in mind when we created PROJECT91. Kimi is a world-renowned driver with a tremendous amount of talent and fan following. We have had long discussions, and like us, he is already hard at work preparing for Watkins Glen.”
The Finn will be making his debut at Watkins Glen International on August 21, 2022.