If Hamilton and Kubica want to race elsewhere they should be allowed to

CommentPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ford, Rally of Argentina, 2008

I wouldn’t complain if the F1 calendar grew to NASCAR-like proportions with 30-plus races per year. But given the expense of moving the cars from country to country, it doesn’t seem very likely.

But why shouldn’t F1 drivers participate in more races besides Formula 1? In the past week both Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica have expressed a desire to do just that, and I don’t think they’re alone.

Hamilton recently revealed his wish to try out the latest generation GP2 cars:

I really wish there was a way we could wish F1 and GP2. The cars look fantastic.

By that I don’t imagine he means the cars are good to look at (although they are), I suspect he means they look more fun to race than F1 cars. You only had to see how much more overtaking was going on in last weekend’s GP2 races to realise that.

Robert Kubica also gave voice to a similar desire:

I think there’s a good possibility of moving into rallying one day, but there are two ways to do it. If I want to rally properly, as a serious driver, I can’t wait a long time. But first I would like to achieve something in F1.

The second option is when I stop F1, to just do rallying for fun. I think this option is more possible.

That would be music to the ears of the promoters of the World Rally Championship, which has suffered a serious decline in popularity since the highs of the mid-1990s.

Sadly Kubica’s wish to try rallying is no more likely to come true than Hamilton’s desire to do GP2 and F1 on the same weekend.

Why? Usually it’s because their contracts forbid them – there are potential conflicts of interest if a driver from one manufacturer wishes to race in a series where they are not present, and historically there is always the concern of injury.

But I think that injuries have become so infrequent in motor racing now that it’s time to re-think the latter point. And surely there is a potential marketing value in the activity as well – why couldn’t Hamilton have raced for Mercedes in ast weekend’s DTM race at Mugello in Italy? Equally Kubica could moonlight for BMW in the World Touring Car Championship.

What do you think? Which drivers would you like to see in which series?