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Kimi Raikkonen: I could race in NASCAR...
16 October 2009
Kimi Raikkonen has joked that he could race in the North American NASCAR series in 2010 should he so desire – as he remained adamant on the eve of this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos that he still has 'no plans' beyond the end of the current F1 season.
The 2007 world champion is being dropped by Ferrari – for whom he has driven since that title-winning campaign – at the end of the year in favour of Fernando Alonso, the man Raikkonen pipped to the laurels by just a single marker two years ago.
Since the paddock's worst-kept secret was finally officially confirmed earlier this month, the 18-time grand prix-winner's name has been linked with Renault, McLaren-Mercedes – for whom he competed at the highest level from 2002 to 2006, triumphing nine times along the way and arguably being unlucky not to clinch the crown in 2003 and 2005 – and Red Bull Racing, with Toyota Motorsport President John Howett also having made little secret of his desire to secure Raikkonen's services.
However, despite time pressing on and seats beginning to fill, the 29-year-old – who will turn 30 on qualifying day in São Paulo – insists he has yet to make any decisions regarding next season, when it has similarly been suggested that he might further indulge his nascent forays into rallying by way of a more full-time switch, or even follow in the wheel tracks of fellow former grand prix stars Jacques Villeneuve and Juan-Pablo Montoya by heading across the Pond to NASCAR, a mooted destination for 'Singapore-gate' protagonist Nelsinho Piquet too.
“I have no plans,” Raikkonen is quoted as having said by
The Associated Press
, almost two years to the day to when he claimed his first and thus far only F1 title at Interlagos. “I do what I want with my life. I could race there (in NASCAR) if I wanted – but I'm not one of the biggest fans of NASCAR.”
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