Hamilton wants to try his hand at Daytona
by Tucker White On Thu, Apr. 13, 2017
Fernando Alonso took the motorsports world by storm yesterday when he announced that he was bypassing the Grand Prix of Monaco to enter the 101st Indianapolis 500 on the same day. So naturally, other Formula 1 drivers were asked if they would do so as well down the road.
Among them was three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who’s no stranger to the NASCAR world. He was a guest of Jeff Gordon’s at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 in 2015.
He was asked, based on Alonso’s decision, would he run an “iconic race” such as Indy or Le Mans if given the chance.
“Probably a NASCAR race, like the Daytona 500 maybe,” he said.
Hamilton would be only the second Formula 1 world champion to compete in the Daytona 500 and first after winning a title (Mario Andretti won the Daytona 500 prior to his 1978 title).
For Hamilton to run the Daytona 500, if he ever does attempt it, he’d likely run an ARCA race at Daytona International Speedway or Talladega Superspeedway as other drivers with no prior restrictor plate racing experience have done. But NASCAR has the discretion to allow a driver with no prior experience racing at Daytona or Talladega to race at Daytona and/or Talladega regardless. Their résumé committee looks over all drivers based on different factors, such as experience, speed of tracks, etc.*
He also said he’d like to do MotoGP.
“I’d like to ride a MotoGP,” he said.
But Hamilton added that unlike Alonso, he wasn’t going to “miss out any of the races in Formula 1.” He also didn’t answer whether or not he would run the Indianapolis 500 or the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as was asked in the original question.
The two other drivers part of the media availability, Stoffel Vandoorne and Sergio Perez chimed in on the question.
“Yeah, I think I’ve decided to do the Spa 24 Hours instead of Hungary this year,” Vandoorne exclaimed.
“I certainly wouldn’t miss Monaco because for me Monaco is my favorite weekend in the whole calendar. So I wouldn’t miss Monaco and normally you have that clash,” Perez said. “But I’d like to do some other racing. I certainly have some interest in IndyCar. The Indy 500 is certainly one of the best races in the world, so I’d definitely to do some.”
*This article has been corrected to show that a driver with no prior restrictor plate racing experience may compete at Daytona and/or Talladega at NASCAR’s discretion. It incorrectly stated previously that NASCAR requires prior experience for restrictor plate races.