Racing drivers have restless souls.
The 2021 Formula 1 season was Kimi Raikkonen's final after 20 years of being one of the most entertaining drivers on the grid. The man was always quick, but it's his personality - or perceived lack thereof - that so many of us loved. His attitude to stupid questions and lack of tolerance for corporate meddling were the perfect antheses to the PR-groomed walking billboards that are today's F1 drivers. Since his departure from the F1 circuit, he's sold a barely used Ferrari F12tdf but has otherwise stayed under the radar. That is now changing though, as the Finnish driver is heading to America to compete in NASCAR.
In case you're wondering, the embedded tweet above doesn't appear to have anything offensive in it as far as we can tell, so feel free to go ahead and watch the video at work.
As you may recall from our tribute to the Flying Finn, Kimi is infinitely adaptable and has had experience in other disciplines beyond F1, including rallying. We, therefore, expect great things from him as he joins the NASCAR Cup Series event this year as part of Project 91, an exciting program aimed at luring high-profile international racing drivers to NASCAR.
Kimi is the first driver to be announced as part of this year's program and will drive the number 91 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Watkins Glen International on August 21, 2022. So why has he decided to return to competition so soon after his retirement?
"I wasn't looking to race again, but Justin [Marks, one of Project91's founders, the other being recording artist Pitbull] came to my home in Switzerland and convinced me how serious he was about putting together a topnotch program," explains Kimi. "This will be fun, but it's something I will take very seriously. I know how competitive the NASCAR Cup Series is and it will be a big challenge."
Justin Marks says that Raikkonen is the first driver he had in mind when creating the project, and notes that "Kimi is a world-renowned driver with a tremendous amount of talent and fan following." We can't wait to see how he performs, and considering that the man has piloted stock cars before, we have high hopes. Go, Kimi!