Raikkonen's NASCAR switch surprises F1 drivers

By on Sunday, April 10, 2011

Apr.10 (GMM) A handful of F1 drivers have admitted surprise at hearing 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen's plans to race in NASCAR.

The Finn left Ferrari at the end of 2009 to race full-time in the world rally championship, but this year he will split his WRC duties with a foray in the American scene, starting with some races in the minor pick-up truck series.

"I don't understand," Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi told Finland's Turun Sanomat in Malaysia. "I thought Kimi was focused on rally and then it's a completely different story.

"Did he change his mind? The most important thing for Kimi is for him to enjoy whatever he is doing. Definitely he will learn to drive in NASCAR faster than the rally," added the Swiss.

Raikkonen's former McLaren colleague Pedro de la Rosa agrees: "I thought he was committed to rallying so on one hand it's disappointing he is not staying full-time because he seemed to be getting better all the time."

Added Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg: "If Kimi is happy driving a NASCAR then I'm happy for him and wish him all the best.

"100 per cent for sure I will not do it myself because I know I wouldn't enjoy it at all," added the German.

And Michael Schumacher agreed that exploring the world of NASCAR "doesn't interest me at all".

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