Kimi Raikkonen ready to return to racing

Kimi Raikkonen left Formula 1 at the end of last season, but he is getting back behind the wheel next weekend.

Kimi Raikkonen at the 2021 US Grand Prix.v1 (1)

2007 Formula 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen is all set and ready to roll for his second debut in NASCAR at the Glen next weekend.

The Finn retired from Formula 1 at the end of last season having been in the sport for 19 seasons, and raced with four teams.

He started and ended his career with the Sauber team – now known as Alfa Romeo – and claimed 21 race victories before calling time at the end of 2021.

During that time though, he went away to experiment with other series, one of which was NASCAR.

Kimi Raikkonen in Qatar 2021.v1

READ: Kimi Raikkonen to return to NASCAR in 2022

Raikkonen scored points in 11 Rallying events in 2010 and 2011 with a combination of Citroen – whose 2011 guise was ICE 1 – and he contested one race with Kyle Busch in the NASCAR Nationwide series in the latter of those years.

He scored points in the truck series too, ending the race in North Carolina 15th that year while ending up 27th in the Nationwide race.

Earlier this season, he agreed to team up with Trackhouse at this year’s Go Bowling at the Glen event, which takes place next weekend.

Justin Marks, owner of the team, is “optimistic” that the 42-year-old will make a good impression out on the track.

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“I’m optimistic, I have high expectations,” he said, quoted by Racer.

“I think that the speed and the race craft and adaptation to the track and the car is not going to be an issue at all. 

“Just spending time with him in the shop, the way he was prepared when he first showed up here in America — not just 24 hours ago — he was asking questions about pit penalty at Michigan, he had questions about short pitting stages and how to work strategy backward at the road courses. 

“He has really done a lot of work and preparation, and that’s not surprising to me because that’s what it takes to be as successful as he’s been in Formula 1 for so long.”

After signing with the team, Raikkonen revealed his enjoyment of the races he has previously contested in America, and was excited for the latest challenge in his career.

“We had more talks about it, how would it work, where the race would be, and all sorts of other things,” said the 42-year-old, quoted by

“There’s a lot of things involved, and it all made sense for me.

“It’s one race, so it made sense for all of us as a family. I always enjoyed it when I had my few races [in the United States].

READ: Russian ex-F1 driver to make NASCAR debut this weekend

“Hopefully we have a good race and good fun. Obviously it’s a new car and I’ve never been at the track. But I’m sure we can figure it out.”

Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi, also left at the end of last year to join Dragon Penske in Formula E.

They were replaced by Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, who have managed nine points finishes between them this season.

The Swiss side are currently sixth in the Constructors’ Standings after 13 rounds of the 2022 season.