The Formula One (F1) career of Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen is on the verge of ending and if the rumors are to be believed, he could end up in NASCAR for the 2017 season. Raikkonen’s second stint with Ferrari hasn’t been worthwhile and the 36-year-old has managed to bag only three podiums in 39 races since his return in 2014.
Kimi Raikkonen became the F1 world champion in 2007 racing for Ferrari and has not been able to replicate his form from his first stint. Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing has been tipped to replace the driver from Finland in 2017.
At this moment Raikkonen has two choices ahead of him if he leaves F1; he would either retire or take a new challenge in a different motorsport discipline. Raikkonen has a history of racing in the World Rally Championship previously as well as in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series along with the Xfinity Series. It is because of his previous NASCAR experience that the Finn has been heavily rumored to return back to the series, as reported by autoweek.com.
If rumors are to be believed, then Raikkonen could end up racing for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017. Co-owner of the team and three times NASCAR Sprint Cup winner Tony Stewart is retiring at the end of the season and will be replaced by Clint Bower.
SHR also employs other drivers like Danica Patrick, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick. Unless the team decides to add another car or makes an entry into the Xfinity Series, a seat for Raikonnen looks unlikely.
However, if one of the drivers of SHR decides to leave, then the scenario might change. Harvick might be the one looking to leave considering that SHR will be shifting to Ford in 2017 and the 40-year-old driver has raced in a Chevrolet all his career.
Hence, if Raikkonen was to return to NASCAR, either of Patrick, Busch or Harvick has to make way for him.
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