Kimi Raikkonen asked about NASCAR future after impressive COTA performance
2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen has not ruled out further NASCAR outings after his latest Cup Series appearance.
When Raikkonen retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 campaign, he did so with no other plans in place at the time as he instead headed for home to spend more time with his family.
He has not completely pulled the plug on racing involvement since his Formula 1 retirement though, Raikkonen having made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2022 at a one-off appearance at Watkins Glen with Trackhouse Racing.
And it appears lightning can strike twice as Raikkonen competed for the team once more at the 2023 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix, held at the Circuit of The Americas, host of the the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix and the scene of Raikkonen’s final grand prix win in 2018.
Raikkonen would deliver a solid display in Austin, running as high as P4 in the closing stages after the field bunched up under caution, Raikkonen having pitted just before and therefore able to jump up the order.
Sadly his outing did not finish on such a high as he got involved in some wheel-banging on his way down the order, including with the debuting 2009 F1 champ Jenson Button, and also suffered a spin as he went on to ultimately finish P29.
It would have been P27, but he picked up a 30-second time penalty after the race for taking a short cut through the esses section at COTA on his final tour.
Nonetheless, with Trackhouse Racing very open to further outings for Raikkonen, and ‘The Iceman’ having proven he still has what it takes to be competitive, we may well not have seen the last of Raikkonen in the world of NASCAR.
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Asked if any further NASCAR outings await in his future, Raikkonen, as per Motorsport.com, replied: “I don’t know. I mean, nobody knows.
“It’s such a shame how it went in the end, but I think we did the right thing. We were there. But then on the restart it’s how it was. We’ll see what the future brings. Right now, I have no clue.
“It was a long race. Our cool suit didn’t work half of the race, it stopped working. So it was quite hot in the car. It was fun going through the field, but it was a bit intense on the restarts.”
The in-car conditions actually led to “heat exhaustion” for Button, who almost called time on his debut early having feared he was going to faint in the car.
He battled on though and ultimately finished P18 to mark a solid debut.