7 awesome Kimi Raikkonen moments as the F1 star preps for his NASCAR Cup debut – For The Win

NASCAR is getting a bit of international flair this weekend at Watkins Glen International, where Formula 1 star Kimi Raikkonen will make his Cup Series debut.
Raikkonen — the 42-year-old Finnish driver who’s won 21 races, along with the 2007 F1 world championship, and raced in F1 from 2001 to 2021, minus two years from 2010-11 — will make his first Cup start at the upstate New York road course, piloting the No. 91 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet. He’s part of Trackhouse’s PROJECT91, which aims to bring international stardom to the Cup Series, and there is little doubt that the spotlight will be on him all weekend long.
More from Trackhouse co-owner Justin Marks:
“I’m really excited to launch this year with Kimi Raikkonen,” Marks told NASCAR.com. “Obviously, the 2007 F1 World Champion and the most experienced F1 driver in history, he’ll really kind of help set this program off. I’m looking forward to it. I’m bullish in our ability to be able to track the global stars of motorsport and do something really special under the Trackhouse brand with PROJECT91.”
With Raikkonen, Trackhouse will field three cars at Watkins Glen, along with Cup full-timers Daniel Suárez in the No. 99 Chevrolet and Ross Chastain in the No. 1 Chevrolet.
Prior to racing at Watkins Glen, Raikkonen, nicknamed “The Iceman,” also made one start each in the second-tier Xfinity Series and third-tier Truck Series, both in 2011 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
But racing at NASCAR’s highest level is undoubtable a different beast, even if Raikkonen has a personal advantage in his learning curve debuting on a road course. So as he’s getting ready for his first Cup race, here’s a look at some of his best preparation moments.
Kimi’s helmet…oh my goodness 😍 pic.twitter.com/5TBxpDthJj
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 10, 2022

The Iceman. Watkins Glen. This weekend. We're ready. pic.twitter.com/T1CqfQlxQw
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 15, 2022

Switzerland ➡️ Charlotte
See you soon, Kimi 👋 pic.twitter.com/TmcCHnML0Z
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 9, 2022

The Iceman is in the building. pic.twitter.com/rQmNEFu3PW
— Trackhouse Racing (@TeamTrackhouse) August 10, 2022

Gettin’ things dialed in for the big day! pic.twitter.com/f9LkFf1lxh
— Trackhouse Racing (@TeamTrackhouse) August 10, 2022

The Iceman Cometh.@THProject91 pic.twitter.com/kvZvphMzsV
— Justin Marks (@JustinMarksTH) August 10, 2022

Kimi Raikkonen sitting in a race car. What a beautiful sight. pic.twitter.com/4rRY9OTY6C
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 10, 2022

Kimi is ready to go! 🥶 (& he got his drink) pic.twitter.com/v3vl0yLOZr
— Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) August 11, 2022

New teammates, Kimi and @Daniel_SuarezG working together in the @TeamChevy simulator.
Getting that all important seat time leading up to next week’s race @WGI! pic.twitter.com/sr711M4hfx
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 10, 2022

“A lot of people know him as being very quiet and a leave-me-alone kind of guy, but he is not like that at all,” Suárez told The Athletic. “I was actually very, very impressed with that. He has been learning very quickly.”
Kimi’s climbing in for some test laps around @VIRNow ‼️ pic.twitter.com/LSFwMBAG6n
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 11, 2022

Heading out for the first run of the day 👏 pic.twitter.com/spDjYIYH9O
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 11, 2022

Jumpin’ back in for more. pic.twitter.com/Q1Vz9qLDSc
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 11, 2022

Kimi’s out here laying down some laps 💨 pic.twitter.com/UVIQ6K7Kbj
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 11, 2022

Pedal to the floor off the corner 😤 pic.twitter.com/tFSPnoGKgV
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 11, 2022

Gettin’ in those reps! pic.twitter.com/Wvvh8wOesY
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 11, 2022

The burnout at the end 🤘 pic.twitter.com/PW23G6w3do
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 11, 2022

Some thoughts from Kimi after yesterday’s test.
Plus a peek at some exclusive gear that will be available soon 👀 pic.twitter.com/nPTV3OKWvS
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 12, 2022

He enjoyed his few laps in the car and simulator to prepare, and he explained why that’s so helpful:
“I don’t have anything to compare, but I think it was nice to get some laps, even if it’s not exactly the same car we’re going to race. … Without having — I don’t know, maybe we did 50 laps or something today — so without those and the simulator, going into 20 minutes practice and then qualifying would be a lot more harder. So at least we prepared as well as we could, so thanks to NASCAR [for] letting us to have those few laps today, and we’ve done the best that we could and the most that we can.”
Raikkonen added:
“It’s been fun today, being in the car. And I haven’t driven any race car since the last F1 race, so it was fun, and hopefully we can get [a] somewhat good result in Cup race.”
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