From F1 to NASCAR

We take a look at the F1 drivers who have swapped their single-seaters for stock cars.

NASCAR action at Daytona
NASCAR action at Daytona© DPPI

Today is the day of NASCAR's most prestigious race, the Daytona 500. NASCAR may seem a world away from Formula One but it hasn't stopped a few F1 drivers giving it a go.

Juan Pablo Montoya

NASCAR Driver Juan Pablo Montoya
Montoya has won two NASCAR races© DPPI

Probably the most famous switch from F1 to NASCAR was Juan Pablo Montoya. The Colombian joined F1 in 2001, following his success in Indy Car and made an immediate impact when he pulled a daring move for the lead on Michael Schumacher in only his third Grand Prix.

Montoya came close to winning the title in 2003 and was one of the sports biggest stars but things went downhill when he moved from Williams to McLaren. Just days after the US Grand Prix, a race which saw Montoya collide with his team mate Kimi Raikkonen, the Colombian announced his move to NASCAR, leaving McLaren and Formula One with immediate effect.

Montoya joined Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2007 season, winning a road course race at Infineon Raceway in his debut season. In 2009 he had his most competitive season to date, finishing eighth in the championship.

F1 wins: 7
NASCAR wins: 2 (2 Sprint Cup)

 

Kimi Raikkonen

© DPPI

When the Kimi Raikkonen took a Formula One sabbatical at the end of 2009, the Finn tried just about every kind of Motorsport you could think of. In 2011, while still doing the WRC season with his team ICE 1 Racing, the Iceman tried has hand at NASCAR, competing in a single NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Speedway.

I don't understand how this car can be so hot. My ass is even burning in here!

Raikkonen finished 27th but in true Kimi fashion he was still a star of the show thanks to his hilarious team radio during the race with classic lines such as "We're so fucking shit, it's unbelievable." and "I don't understand how this car can be so hot. My ass is even burning in here!"

F1 wins: 19
NASCAR wins: 0

 

Nelson Piquet Jnr.

 

Nelson Piquet Jnr in the NASCAR Nationwide Series
Piquet Jnr has won a Nationwide Series race© DPPI

Being axed from Renault in 2009, Nelson Piquet Jnr will always be remembered in F1 for the controversial crash-gate incident which helped his team-mate Fernando Alonso take victory in Singapore.

The following year, Piquet headed to the States to compete in a number of races in the NASCAR Truck Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Scoring just a single podium during his two years in F1, Piquet had much more success in NASCAR, taking three wins in 2012, two in the Truck Series and a Nationwide victory at Road America.

F1 wins: 0
NASCAR wins: 3 (1 Nationwide, 2 Truck Series)

Jacques Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve in the NASCAR Nationwide Series
Jacques Villeneuve at Daytona© DPPI

Kimi Raikkonen got up to a lot when he left F1 but it was nothing compared to 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve. The Canadian competed in NASCAR, NASCAR trucks, Le Mans, Speedcar, Top Race, V8 Supercars, he even had a failed music career!

Villeneuve made his NASCAR debut in the Nextel Cup race at Talladega qualifying an impressive sixth place before finishing 21st. However his best performances have come at Montreal in the Nationwide Series, scoring two podiums and coming close to winning the race in three of the last four races there.

F1 wins: 11
NASCAR wins: 0

Lewis Hamilton

© Image.net

Lewis Hamilton? Well the Brit hasn't competed in a NASCAR race but he did take Tony Stewart's car around Watkins Glen during a promotional day and he certainly did enjoy himself.

How great would it be to have an F1 race and a NASCAR race in the same location on the same day?

In a recent interview with Mens Journal, Hamilton declared his love for the US. "I enjoy myself here," said Hamilton. "How great would it be to have an F1 race and a NASCAR race in the same location on the same day?"

Will Hamilton make a switch to NASCAR at some point in the future? We'll have to wait and see...

F1 wins: 21
NASCAR wins: 0