Lewis Hamilton said he would like to give Nascar a go – but not during the F1 season
Fernando Alonso revealed earlier this week that he would be missing the Monaco Grand Prix in favour of taking on the famous US race, which features racing over a 500-mile distance on a rectangular track.
The cars are similar to F1 cars in that they are open wheel but Lewis Hamilton believes Alonso, a one-time team-mate at McLaren, will have to learn very quickly.
“It’s a completely different category,” Hamilton said.
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“I’ve never driven one of those tracks so it would be so much different for us to go and do that: how the car is set up because it’s asymmetric, the banking, how much you lift, how you use the tyres.
“It takes us for forever through these test days to learn how to operate these tyres in the right window so I would imagine it’s not an easy thing to do in one go.
“It’s definitely a tall order in a short space of time.
“But you’ve got one of the best drivers in the world going there. For sure, he will be the best driver in the paddock, he just won’t have the experience that any of them will have.
“That’s the challenge for him – to go and see how strong he can be against those who have all that experience.”
F1 veteran Jenson Button is expected to replace Alonso in Monaco on May 28 where he will be a valuable ally for Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren’s second driver who will be racing in Monte Carlo for the first time in F1.
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But the Belgian, who joked that he might miss the Hungarian Grand Prix to race in the 24 Hours of Spa, believes Alonso has a real chance of success at the Indy 500.
“It’s a very strategic race,” Vandoorne said.
“Last year, Alex Rossi won it doing huge amounts of fuel-saving.
Lewis Hamilton knows Fernando Alonso will be the best driver at Indy 500 but experience still counts
“Anything is possible. Fernando is a clever guy and he knows what he’s doing.
“Hopefully he comes back with a trophy.”