Lewis Hamilton drives NASCAR at Watkins Glen

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Lewis Hamilton and NASCAR driver Tony Stewart tried driving each others’ cars at former F1 venue of Watkins Glen in New York on Tuesday.

Hamilton got behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Impala NASCAR weighing 1,542kg – around two-and-a-half times as much as his McLaren F1 car.

The 5.86-litre V8 – over twice the capacity of his usual 2.4-litre Mercedes V8 – supplied around 850bhp according to Mobil 1, sponsors of Stewart’s NASCAR team and McLaren.

The Mercedes has slightly less, around 760bhp. The KERS unit used on today’s F1 cars would add 82bhp to that when used, but Stewart was driving Hamilton’s 2008 title-winning MP4-23, which did not feature KERS.

“Tony was an excellent teacher and I quickly found a good rhythm”, said Hamilton. “Those cars are raw and powerful! They?re fantastic fun to drive.”

Stewart said: “I?ve always been intrigued by the open wheel cars in Formula 1 racing.

“Feeling the power behind the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 was amazing and being able to take it for a ride around the course in front of a crowd of avid race fans at a track like The Glen made it even more special. An experience that I?ll never forget.

Lewis Hamilton swaps seats with Tony Stewart – pictures

Earlier this year Hamilton’s team mate Jenson Button became the first driver to lap the Mount Panorama circuit, home of the Bathurst 1000, in an F1 car. He also drove an Australian V8 Supercar:

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84 comments on Lewis Hamilton drives NASCAR at Watkins Glen

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th June 2011, 12:30

    Joe Saward included links to 4 videos of the swap – http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/lewis-and-tony-swap-cars/ .
    It drew a great crowd for happening on a rainy monday!

  2. choltz (@choltz) said on 15th June 2011, 13:32

    Nascar makes more sense for Lewis, you don’t have to think much and you can just drive into other cars.

  3. andrew_s (@andrew_s) said on 15th June 2011, 14:33

    is there anywhere we can watch this online?

  4. Helli said on 15th June 2011, 14:54

    Any times?

  5. Tom said on 15th June 2011, 15:20

    I don’t know what planet some of you are on, but the 2009-2011 cars don’t put out nearly as much downforce as the 2008 and previous cars. They traded aero(downforce) grip for mechanical (slicks).

    If you put the current slicks on hamiltons 2008 car and lapped at every circuit you would see 4-5 seconds off todays quali times easily.

  6. Tom said on 15th June 2011, 15:23

    In addition, the only reason lap times didn’t drop off drastically this year is that the DRS is far more efficient than the F-duct ever was in reducing downforce. The fact that they can use it anywhere they want during quali is why lap times haven’t changed at all. If you put drs on any car from the last 3 years it would lap significantly faster than todays cars. Just to dispel the myth that engineers have made up the difference.

    • TheScuderia (@) said on 16th June 2011, 3:05

      There is no rewinding the clock to put slicks and DRS on the 2008 cars. And You’re living in a fantasy world if you believe slicks would suddenly make the 08 cars 4-5 seconds faster than this year’s cars.

  7. Fixy (@fixy) said on 15th June 2011, 17:49

    What was Coulthard doing there?

  8. Malibu_GP said on 15th June 2011, 23:19

    Ahhh, a master linguist. Well surely, You have the capacity to process the subtle inferences often reflected in “slangSpeak”? ;) I was in no way disrespecting the Glenn. You have reminded Me that sometimes I am not communicating as effectively as I’d like to think. For that I’m grateful…, because as somewhat of a linguist Myself, I prefer My message, (no matter how trivial) be interpreted correctly.

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