In a bizarre twist of fate, Lewis Hamilton, the F1 wunderkind and star driver for McLaren Mercedes, will jump ship and head to NASCAR. Conveniently, Tony Stewart will give up his NASCAR ride and take Hamilton’s seat in last year’s McLaren MP4-25. The catch? Both are exhibition drives, courtesy of NASCAR and F1 sponsor Mobil 1. Both drivers will get the full “arrive and drive” treatment, complete with engineers and pit crew support, but don’t expect either driver to set record lap times.
The event is scheduled to tie into the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, which will be held on August 14. The date is convenient for both drivers, as Stewart will be on hand for the Sprint Cup race and Hamilton will be enjoying a month long mid-season break from the F1 schedule. There’s no word on whether or not the drives will be televised, but I’m sure we can count on YouTube to come through for us. If you ask me, Stewart’s got the harder transition of the two drivers, since F1 cars are even harder to drive slow (thanks to lack of downforce) than they are to drive fast. On the other hand, I’d expect nothing less than the full-hoon treatment from Hamilton, who can light the tires and spin donuts to his heart’s content without fear of legal repercussion.