Hamilton and NASCAR's Stewart swap seats at Watkins Glen 15 Jun 2011
McLarens Lewis Hamilton got the chance to try out some rather different high-speed machinery on Tuesday when he traded cars with double NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion Tony Stewart during a special promotional event organised by Mobil 1, at the Watkins Glen International circuit.
Hamilton took charge of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala NASCAR stock car at the American venue, while Stewart tried out McLarens MP4-23. Both the drivers enjoyed a few laps of the 3.4-mile, 11-turn track.
Id always wondered what it would be like to get behind the wheel of a NASCAR stock car, because its such a completely different experience from driving a Formula One car, said Hamilton. Thanks to Mobil 1, I couldnt have asked for a better opportunity today - not only did I get the chance to drive the car of Tony Stewart, a double NASCAR champion, but I also got to share that experience by giving him the chance to drive my Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One car too.
NASCAR is a different world. Driving the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet was a massive change from what Im used to, but Tony was an excellent teacher and I quickly found a good rhythm - those cars are raw and powerful! Theyre fantastic fun to drive. It was a great day at Watkins Glen - this is a circuit with a great deal of Formula One history behind it: Emerson Fittipaldi won McLaren their first drivers and constructors titles here back in 1974 and its been fantastic to come here and take in some of that history.
Stewart commented: Ive always been intrigued by the open wheel cars in Formula One 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 Ill never forget.
A crowd of enthusiastic motorsport fans were in the stands to watch the swap.
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