As far as racing disciplines go, F1 and NASCAR may appear to have about as much in common as soccer and the NFL; they may be classified under the same banner, but that's about the extent of it. But recent years have seen more crossover than ever before.
Juan Pablo Montoya may be the first among contemporary F1 drivers making a name for themselves in NASCAR, but he's hardly the last. Scott Speed has made the jump, as has Kimi Raikkonen. And there's sure to be more to follow. But the latest crossover just took place at Watkins Glen, where Lewis Hamilton and Tony Stewart – both champions in their own series – swapped cars for the day, just as planned.
Stewart slithered into the cockpit of Hamilton's McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23, while Hamilton climbed into Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet Impala. The experience was a first for Hamilton, who was keen to put his disastrous weekend in Montreal behind him and have a little fun. And it was a first for Stewart too, but this wasn't the first time he drove an open-wheel racer, having wracked up the IRL title in 1997, or his first time at The Glen, where NASCAR races every year.
The track is one of the few in the world to have hosted both NASCAR and F1, making this an ideal meeting place for a bit of a culture clash, enabled by Mobil1, which sponsors both their cars. Follow the jump for two videos documenting the encounter along with the brief press release, and check out the high-res images in the gallery for a closer look.
Shared Mobil 1 lubricant technology partner paired champion drivers today for exhibition at Watkins Glen International®
Mobil 1 brought Formula 1™ World Champion Driver Lewis Hamilton and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart together earlier today to swap race cars at the legendary Watkins Glen International in the Finger Lakes Region of New York in the United States.
The teams' shared lubricant technology partner, Mobil 1, the world's leading synthetic motor oil brand, orchestrated the event to showcase the Mobil 1 brand's more than 30 years of supporting motorsports champions and renowned race teams worldwide.
In front of a crowd of enthusiastic race fans and motorsports journalists from around the globe, Hamilton took laps in Stewart's No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala, while Stewart climbed into the cockpit of the team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23.
The drivers each enjoyed a few laps around the long course at The Glen, experiencing the 3.4-mile, 11-turn lap circuit.