Lewis Hamilton, NASCAR, Watkins Glen, 2011

Hamilton: Watkins Glen ‘like the Nordschleife’

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, NASCAR, Watkins Glen, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, NASCAR, Watkins Glen, 2011

Lewis Hamilton described the Watkins Glen circuit as “absolutely fantastic” after driving it for the first time on Tuesday.

Hamilton compared the track to Germany’s celebrated 14-mile Nurburgring Nordscleife, which he drove two years ago:

Hamilton told F1 Fanatic: “This building here is fantastic, even though the facilities of the most modern F1 circuits are above and beyond anything else I’ve ever seen.

“But the track layout itself here is absolutely fantastic. It’s a really cool circuit to drive, I thoroughly loved driving both cars on it – they don’t make circuits like this nowadays.

“The way they make cambered corners, the different undulations, going uphill, downhill… that makes it so much better to drive.

“Whilst it’s a lot shorter, it reminded me a bit of the Nordschleife in Germany, as it’s a very long circuit. It had very similar characteristics to that I think, which is one of the best circuits – if not the best circuit – in the world.”

Watkins Glen last held an F1 race in 1980, four years after the original Nurburgring was dropped from the calendar.

Asked whether he might find overtaking easier driving in NASCAR, he said: “Firstly I think it would take some time to get up to speed in NASCAR, just as it would be for anyone moving into a different category.

“I think it’s potentially a little bit easier to overtake in NASCAR. In Formula 1, it’s so difficult and that’s why they keep changing the rules and trying to make it easier for us to overtake, but it’s very tough to get close in order to do so.

“NASCAR perhaps makes it a little bit easier for the drivers to be closer to each other and to then give themselves the opportunity to overtake. I think that that would perhaps suit me. I’d probably love it!”

Looking ahead to the next round of the F1 calendar, Hamilton said: “Valencia will be a weekend of consolidation after two disappointing results in Monaco and Canada.”

He added: “We?ve arguably had the fastest race car in the last three races, and that?s really encouraging because I know that, when it?s put to best use, I should be able to finish at the front.”

Lewis Hamilton and Tony Stewart seat swap

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