NASCAR is a competition with loud cars and fiery fans which will now have a new contender in it- an iceman, Kimi Raikkonen. The Finnish driver retired from Formula 1 last season, with the Abu Dhabi 2021 Grand Prix being the last one in a career that spanned over two decades. Raikonnen is just one of four drivers to debut with a win in Ferrari, with whom he conquered the 2007 World Drivers Championship, after being second in 2003 and 2005. He is now set to become part of another great division of car racing in NASCAR, and he is getting ready for his Cup Series debut.
Raikkonen’s retirement from F1 has not spelled even a year away from races for him, as he has already hopped back behind the wheel to try the new kind of cars he will be driving soon.
Kimi’s out here laying down some laps 💨 pic.twitter.com/UVIQ6K7Kbj
In the clip above, we can see the 42-year-old getting to know his new car ahead of his official Cup Series debut. He already has experience with NASCAR cars, having participated in a couple of low level races during his F1 sabbatical, one X-Finity Series race and one Truck Series event, both in 2011.
The Watkins Glen Cup will be the event where Raikkonen will finally come back to the grid, in the 15th event of this year’s Cup Series. The Finn driver had more offers but he waited for the right one.
“There were obviously options to do more this year, but I think it all came a bit too quickly, to try to do it as well as we can on all the sides,” said Raikkonen.
“I think it was better to wait until this race, so we can prepare for everything and at least have done the work 100% right and what the outcome is, nobody knows. We’ll at least give ourselves the best chance that we can. What comes after that? I don’t know, nobody knows. We’ll try to do a good race there and enjoy it, and see what the future brings. I have no other plans. That’s what I have right now, and we’ll go from there.”
Another ex-F1 driver, Daniil Kvyat, will also make his NASCAR debut alongside Raikkonen in the upcoming race.
The Watkins Glen Cup, also known as the Go Bowling at the Glen since 2018, is a road course race that takes place in New York and is one of the main events of the NASCAR Cup Series. It will take place on Sunday, Aug. 21.
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