F1 champ Kimi Raikkonen won’t rule out racing again in NASCAR

Former Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen has previously dabbled in NASCAR.

Al Staley

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen said Thursday evening that once his Formula One career ends, he’s interested in racing in NASCAR again, possibly at the Sprint Cup level.

Raikkonen, the 2007 F1 World Champion, had a brief interlude with NASCAR three years ago, when he finished 27th in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race and 15th in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, both on the same weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and both in rides fielded by Kyle Busch Motorsports and funded by Raikkonen.

The 35-year-old native of Espoo, Finland, is in Texas this weekend for the third annual United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. Raikkonen comes into the Texas race a disappointing 11th in points, having not led a lap all season.

Speaking at a sponsor event hosted by Shell Racing Thursday night, Raikkonen said he’d like to give NASCAR another shot.

"Obviously, I didn’t know how it is when I came to the U.S. to do that," Raikkonen said of his brief NASCAR experience. "I was very pleasantly surprised how nice and how good fun it was. I mean, it’s not easy, like any top-level sport, but I really enjoyed that time, and hopefully I can do more of those and hopefully in the future, some Sprint Cup. But we’ll see."

If he does come back, Raikkonen said he would like to do something more substantial than a one-off weekend.

"I would like to learn it more and because, like I said, it looks very easy, but it’s not easy," he said. "When you look at the circuits, it looks like an oval, but every corner is different. When you have knowledge of the sport, you can be much stronger, and I’d like to have a good proper run on it, and try to learn and make good results out of it. It was different — the atmosphere, a different way of doing things than in F1 or rally (cars), but I really enjoyed it."