Kimi Raikkonen has signed a deal to race in Nascar this year, raising doubts about his future in the World Rally Championship.
The 2007 Formula One world champion has signed a deal to race in the new ICE1 Racing team series from this summer, according to Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper. He will start in the Truck series before competing in Nationwide and Sprint Cup events, the report claims.
Raikkonen is currently signed to the Citroen Junior team to compete in eight rounds of the WRC this year. But the Finn will struggle to race full time in Nascar and still compete in the WRC going forward, and this latest move from Raikkonen, who is known as a free spirit, would indicate his future lies in North America.
“I'm really looking forward to get there to familiarise to the world of Nascar,” Raikkonen told the paper. “I have been following it for a long time. I know, it's a very tough and open top racing series.
“I just love the American spirit of racing. It feels just great to get involved with that. Obviously, it will be very challenging and great fun for me.”
Raikkonen turned his back on F1 at the end of 2009 when Fernando Alonso replaced him at Ferrari. He was linked with McLaren for 2010 and Renault for 2011, but those teams went with Jenson Button and Vitaly Petrov/Nick Heidfeld respectively.