Kimi Raikkonen has a new challenge in his career and that is NASCAR. The former F1 champion is ready for the first race that awaits him, and his colleague Daniel Suarez is satisfied with Kimi's progress. “It was good, it was short,” said Suarez, as quoted by motorsport.
“I felt like Kimi....I have been trying to learn as much as I can from him because he is an amazing racecar driver. “I believe a racecar driver is great not just because of driving, I think it is just everything else around him.
How he thinks and how open or closed minded he or she is. “And in this case he is having a great time, and he is not just here to have fun, but he is here to be a competitor and wants to do well. So it’s been a lot of fun to work with him the last few days and I am really looking forward to seeing what he can do next week”.
Daniel Suarez on Kimi Raikkonen
Daniel Suarez believes that Raikkonen will be fast at Watkins Glen International. However, he is still inexperienced in NASCAR. “I think he is going to be fast,” added Suarez. “The speed is there, and the racing part is going to be a process because it doesn't matter how much you practice in the simulator, doesn't matter how many tests you do – the racing part is the racing part.
“It’s different and he doesn't know all these drivers. He doesn't know how they race, he doesn't know how aggressive they are, so that part is going to take a little bit. “You can bring the best driver in the world and it is going to take some time in the racing part.
I think [as far as] the speed, I think he is going to be good”. Suarez tried to help him in various ways. They are aware of the greatness of Kimi Raikkonen and how good he is at his job, but this is a 'new story' for him and a period of adjustment is needed.
“Racing, restarts, taking care of your tires, taking care of your brakes, pit stops... like that part of the racing is what it takes to win races. That is the part I feel like is going to be a process for him. “Just because he has never done it before.
With that being said, he did pit stop practice a couple of days ago and he did well. There was a couple of things he was doing and I told him, ‘hey, you need to do this this way, you need to do this different, because the transmission works this way and you have to use your blower.’ “I tried to guide him as much as I can, and I really feel he is trying to prepare himself as good as he can. If I was going to do a race in Europe one day, I wish I could prepare myself the way he is doing it”.