Lewis Hamilton says he would be open to running in NASCAR or IndyCar machinery but reaffirmed his commitment to stay in F1.
Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the 2023 season, and with no guarantee he will sign a new deal, speculation about his future has started as he seeks his eighth world title.
However, the Briton has expressed his desire to remain in Grand Prix racing, but would like to get to grips with the machines used in IndyCar – while not ruling out NASCAR.
Hamilton to IndyCar?
Hamilton drove a NASCAR at Watkins Glen in a ride swap with three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart back in 2011, and is firm friends with four-time champion Jeff Gordon.
When asked by media including RacingNews365 if he would consider getting behind the wheel of NASCAR or IndyCar machinery, he was open to it.
“I did a car swap with Tony Stewart years ago, which was fun,” he explained.
“I’d love to try it (NASCAR) at some stage.
“It’s not a dream for me to go race another series, but I am an admirer, I’m a fan of racing and other sports. So I would like to try it.”
“It’s an amazing opportunity I got to swap with Valentino Rossi and try a MotoGP bike, and I sometimes watch IndyCar – I’d love to try one of those cars at some stage.
“I’m not a big fan of the big (cockpit head protection aero)screen that they have, but the cars sound and looks good.
“But right now, my focus is solely on Formula 1 and I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.”
“Not my job”
The 2023 season has been criticised in some quarters as being boring owing to a lack of overtaking and Red Bull’s dominance.
When asked what he’d say to American audiences about the nature of of Grand Prix racing not always being exciting, Hamilton said it was not his “job to convince people to watch a sport.”
“I mean, I’m not watching it, so it’s not boring for me. I’m challenged every single day, trying to get back to the front, so it is definitely not boring from my perspective.
“But like, as a racing fan, I can understand as there’s not much competition like with the NFL and NBA at the moment. That is not my doing.
“We need to do better as a sport, we have already tried to bring teams closer, but it never seems to work.
“All I can say is we’re working as hard we can to close up and get back to [giving the fans] some more excitement.”