• May 13, 2011
Tony Stewart and Lewis Hamilton – Click above for high-res image

It's been several decades since Formula 1 has visited Watkins Glen, but the high-pitched scream of a modern grand prix racer is set to return there this summer for a special demonstration.

As we initially reported back in February, Lewis Hamilton and Tony Stewart will be swapping keys for the day, the Formula One World Champion taking the wheel of the No. 14 Chevrolet Impala stock car while the two-time wielder of the NASCAR Sprint Cup will slink into the cockpit of the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23, the car which Hamilton drove to the world championship in 2008.

The initiative is being undertaken by Mobil, which sponsors both drivers in their respective series, and will take place on June 14 at the 3.4-mile road-course in upstate New York – one of the few locations (alongside such notables as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal) that has played host to both F1 and NASCAR over the course of its storied history. It's also where McLaren locked up the first of its many world championships, with Emerson Fittipaldi behind the wheel at the 1974 United States Grand Prix.

It ought to be an interesting experience for both drivers, each of whom has mastered his respective motorsport discipline as well as the feeder series' that led them to where they are today. Follow the jump for more details in the full press release.
Show full PR text

Formula 1™'s Hamilton & NASCAR's Stewart Trade Cars in "Mobil 1 Car Swap"
Mobil 1 will pair champion drivers on June 14 at Watkins Glen International®

- Lewis Hamilton will drive the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala, and Tony Stewart will drive the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23
- Exhibition to take place on the 3.4-mile, 11-turn long course at Watkins Glen in upstate New York
- Mobil 1 has been Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' engine lubricant of choice for 17 years, "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR" for nine consecutive years and is in its first year with Stewart-Haas Racing

FAIRFAX, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mobil 1 is bringing Formula 1™ World Champion Driver Lewis Hamilton and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart together to swap race cars at the legendary Watkins Glen International in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. This exhibition builds upon Mobil 1's more than three decades of supporting motorsports champions and globally renowned race teams.

"Since 1978, Mobil 1, the world's leading synthetic motor oil brand, has been the lubricant of choice for race teams competing in the world's most demanding and popular motorsports series. We're incredibly excited to bring together two champions for their first experiences in the other driver's car"

The Mobil 1 Car Swap will take place on Tuesday, June 14, 2011. Hamilton will take laps in Stewart's No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala and Stewart will climb into the cockpit of the team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23. The drivers will drive each other's car on the long course at The Glen, experiencing the 3.4-mile, 11-turn lap course.

"Since 1978, Mobil 1, the world's leading synthetic motor oil brand, has been the lubricant of choice for race teams competing in the world's most demanding and popular motorsports series. We're incredibly excited to bring together two champions for their first experiences in the other driver's car," said Rebecca K. Aldred, Mobil 1 global brand manager, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties. "Though the cars they drive are very different, the competitive spirit that Tony, Lewis and their respective teams share is indistinguishable, as is their team's reliance on Mobil 1 lubricant technology."

Hamilton and Stewart, known for their prodigious car control and sustained success across a number of racing disciplines before reaching Formula 1™ and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series respectively, are eagerly anticipating the chance to give up their seat to a fellow champion.

"I spend a lot of time in race cars, but this will be the first time I've been at the wheel of a NASCAR stock car, in the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet," said Formula 1™ World Champion driver Lewis Hamilton. "Tony and I will have some fun with the swap and make sure we put on a good show. American race fans are massively enthusiastic about motorsports, so I hope to see a lot of them down at The Glen to see it firsthand. It's a racers circuit and will give us both the chance to understand the differences between the two styles of racing at this legendary track. Watkins Glen also has a particular connection to the team, as it is where McLaren won our first Drivers' and Constructors' world championship in 1974 with Emerson Fittipaldi; I'm looking forward to getting back there with the latest generation of McLaren's machines!"

Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart said, "When you've been around competitive racing for as long as I have, you really look forward to new experiences, and this car swap with Lewis is definitely one of those opportunities. I already have quite a bit of respect for what Lewis and the F1 drivers and teams do, so to experience laps in the cockpit of a F1 car and see what Lewis can do in the Cup car, is something I am really excited about."

This year marks the debut season in which Mobil 1 is the co-primary sponsor of Tony Stewart's No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala for Stewart-Haas Racing, and the ninth consecutive season in which Mobil 1 is the "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR."

ExxonMobil began its relationship with McLaren in 1995, with its Mobil 1 synthetic lubricant brand, developing new lubricants and fuels designed to help improve the race team's performance, efficiency and reliability. During the course of the partnership, the focus on technical innovation has contributed to McLaren winning four Formula 1™ World Championships, along with 66 Grand Prix race victories and 201 podium finishes.

Hamilton, the 2008 Formula 1™ World Champion and driver for team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, has been winning races ever since he was big enough to reach the pedals. He won his first British Karting Championship at the age of 10, and famously introduced himself to McLaren Group Executive Chairman Ron Dennis at the annual Autosport Awards in the UK, saying, "I'm going to drive for you one day." Easy words to say, but Hamilton proved his determination by crushing all opposition on his way to the European title, and with support from McLaren-Mercedes he moved up to car racing in the Formula Renault Winter Series in 2001. After dominating performances in British Formula Renault, the F3 Euro and GP2 Series, Lewis was truly ready to make good on his words from all those years ago, and at the Australian GP in 2007 he made his Formula 1™ debut for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

Like Hamilton, Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala, has a record of winning championships in several series – solidifying his reputation as one of the most skilled drivers of his generation. After posting championships in United States Auto Club and IZOD IndyCar Series, Stewart has been one of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' most successful drivers since joining the elite series in 1999. To date, Stewart has recorded two series championships (2002 and 2005) and 39 Cup wins and has a series-best streak of 12 consecutive seasons with at least one victory.

About Mobil 1 in Motorsports

Mobil 1's history in motorsports officially began in 1978 with a sponsorship of Williams Formula One Racing Team. From that time, Mobil 1's presence on race tracks and circuits has grown by global proportions. Today, Mobil 1 synthetic oil is relied on for its ability to deliver exceptional engine performance and protection even under some of the most extreme conditions by automotive technicians, race car drivers, team owners and the world's leading automotive manufacturers

Along with its status as the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR, Mobil 1 enjoys a long association with many of world's most popular and successful race teams, including the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1™ team, Corvette Racing's American LeMans Series team, as well as the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup-the world's fastest international one-make series.

About Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren founded the McLaren team in 1963. It entered its first grand prix in 1966 and won its first Formula 1™ race in 1968. More than 40 years and 170 grand prix victories later, the team is still renowned as one of the sport's most successful competitors and as one of the world's most illustrious high-technology brands.

The McLaren Group has grown to encompass much more than just racing. Housing a cutting-edge electronics division that not only services the entire Formula 1 grid but also many racing series across the globe. McLaren Applied Technologies creates cutting-edge solutions for modern industry while McLaren Automotive not only produced the 1990s' original supercar, the F1, and the unique Mercedes-Benz SLR but has recently unveiled the prototype of its newest vehicle – the MP4-12C. www.mclaren.com

About Stewart-Haas Racing

Stewart-Haas Racing is the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by two-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. The team fields two entries in the elite Sprint Cup Series – the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Impala for Stewart, and the No. 39 U.S. Army/Tornados/Haas Automation Chevrolet Impala for 2008 Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman. Based in Kannapolis, N.C., Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 140,000-square-foot facility with more than 150 employees.

For more information, visit StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing and on Twitter at @StewartHaasRacng.

About Watkins Glen International®

Located in Upstate New York, Watkins Glen International's rich history started over 60 years ago, when the first post- World War II road race ran on the village streets in 1948. "The Glen" became world renowned by hosting the United States Grand Prix from 1961-1980 and has been home to NASCAR Cup races since 1986. This season marks the 50th anniversary of The Glen's inaugural F1 race in 1961.

For more information, visit TheGlen.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/watkinsgleninternational and on Twitter at @WGI.

Mobil and Mobil 1 are registered trademarks of Exxon Mobil Corporation or one of its subsidiaries.


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  • 22 Comments
      ass
      • 3 Years Ago
      One of them looks like an athlete. Either way, I hope (and believe) they both do well.
        Inarius03
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ass
        One of them is also half the age of the other.
          Dan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Inarius03
          That does not mean you can not be fit. Age has nothing to do with being healthy. Ive seen few NASCAR drivers that are not as healthy as a driver should be.
      EnzoHonda
      • 3 Years Ago
      Don't do it Lewis! The last guy who did this ended up driving in NASCAR. Anyway, I'm not sure Tony can fit in the car. That's not a dig at him, it's a comment on how small F1 drivers are. I've been up close to a few F1 cars over the years and there's no chance in hell I'd ever fit in one. Oh, and let me predict the driver's comments: Lewis will say it's tons of fun. No matter how much you want to bash NASCAR, the cars are still V8-powered, RWD, and have manual gearboxes. It's basically the car that everyone here wishes they could own. Tony on the other hand will comment on the insane cornering speeds (4 G's) and especially the brakes. Everyone who gets in an F1 car for the first time says it's the brakes that are the most surprising thing. Some cars are nearly as fast, but nothing comes close in braking.
      ack154
      • 3 Years Ago
      Last I heard they're going to be trying to make this a public event. And being just 15 min South of the track, you can bet your ass I'll be there!
        kyle
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ack154
        Being 2 hours away from the track, and a neurotic McLaren and Hamilton fan, you can bet your ass I'll be there too.
      BobinCobb
      • 3 Years Ago
      The article is wrong about the inaugural date for Watkins Glen on the present course. The correct date is late September 1956, not 1961. I was there. The race was supposed to be sanctioned by the SCCA. Heavy rain delayed paving of the course. Faced with postponing the race the promoters paved on top of mud, the track felt like walking on a mattress the morning of the race. During morning warm-up the track started to come apart in pizza sized chunks. SCCA withdrew it's sanction of the races. The drivers, including Walt Hansgen, John Fitch and others, driving XKE's and D-Jags, Ferrari's etc decided to run anyway. The races were halved in distance. By the end of the day the track was pot-holed and rutted and the cars were damaged by the impact of large chunks of paving thrown up by the leading cars. Over the winter the track was rebuilt and repaved and the races of 1957 and later were good.
      aaeas
      • 3 Years Ago
      I dont think Stewart fits in an f1 car
        budwsr25
        • 3 Years Ago
        @aaeas
        I was wondering the same thing. Maybe his extra 1/2 inch in hight will give him room to sit hebind the wheel.
        throwback
        • 3 Years Ago
        @aaeas
        I with you on this one. Stewart will have drop a quite a few to fit in the Mclaren. I thought he would could have been a good F1 pilot based on his indy car results. Now he's just to fat!
      FJM
      • 3 Years Ago
      If this was schoolyard recess, Hamilton just traded his steak sandwich for Stewart's half-eaten Lunchables.
      Eyewants
      • 3 Years Ago
      What's the matter Lewis? Is it cloudy at the chateau in Switzerland or too hot to go outside in Monte Carlo? Raining in Bahrain? Really nothing better to do today? It will probably take a month of training in and out of the car for Tony to be able to bring the F1 to speed. The chassis alone on the F1 is probably more technologically advanced than two of those NASCARs put together. Oh wait, those cars are all the same. Nevertheless, it would not be polite to provide a proper beat-down. Have fun.
        david opanga
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Eyewants
        tony the tiger is a professional race car driver im sure he can hold his own.!
        LBFTPSEC
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Eyewants
        Yes, more technologically advanced, but also substancially more expensive, and less entertaining to watch. Go to an F1 race, and you'll see them fly by, and then wait 2 minutes for them to fly by again. Go to a NASCAR race, and you can see every battle of every lap, every crash and every takeover. ....all of which there is way more in NASCAR. I watch both frequently, and NASCAR is just more entertaining.
      _M7_
      • 3 Years Ago
      what is nascar? ohhh I remember those ...things XD...like he is going to fit in the F1 car XD mabye he will se so many butons and colapse XD
      Maureen McVail
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is this exciting event open to the public, avid fans and/or press only? I appreciate a reply because I am an avid fan...
      Alpha-Sphere
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think Tony Stewart is going to have a harder time getting used to the other guys ride. Nascar is not as simple as driving around in circles but there's no way in hell it can compete with F1 in terms of well.. Everything.
        david opanga
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Alpha-Sphere
        HP, over the long term straight line speed, other then that no nothing lol
      Lemon
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope they publish lap times...maybe we can get a few more American F1 fans!
      gtv4rudy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm afraid that Tony will be so excited to be in the Mclaren that when he finally gets up to speed, he'll probably try too hard to match Lewis's time and end up against the armco. But I hope it doesn't happen.
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