Juan Pablo Montoya says it would be good news for the sport if his former McLaren teammate Kimi Raikkonen moves to NASCAR.
Former Formula 1 World Champion Raikkonen said yesterday he will follow Montoya's footsteps in moving to America later this year. The former Ferrari driver would start his NASCAR foray with races in the Camping World Truck Series.
Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson confirmed the move on Wednesday: "Kimi will drive in selected races in the NASCAR series," he said.
Montoya, his teammate at McLaren (ABOVE) during 26 Formula 1 grands prix, would welcome the prospect of having him race in NASCAR.
"Well, people talk a lot and I've heard the story already before, but if he's definitely coming it would be really good for him and for the sport," Montoya told AUTOSPORT. "He would be very welcome here."
Montoya was Raikkonen's teammate at McLaren starting in 2005, winning 10 out of the season's 19 grands prix between them. Then, in 2006, the two raced together again until the U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis, right before the Colombian announced a deal to race in NASCAR's top series for Chip Ganassi in 2007.
Montoya's early departure from Formula 1 following his NASCAR announcement anticipated his stock car debut to the fall of 2006. He entered six races at lower-level stock car series before making his Sprint Cup debut in the 2006 season finale at Homestead.
Raikkonen would be the sixth former F1 driver to attempt a move to NASCAR since Montoya announced his deal in the summer of 2006. Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 Formula 1 champion and 1995 Indy 500 and CART champ, has competed in 15 NASCAR events between 2007 and 2010 but a full-time drive never materialized for the French-Canadian.