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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