Tony Stewart was left impressed by Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen by their quick adaptability in NASCAR at Circuit of the Americas.

Adaptability is a key trait of a racing driver, as conditions and other factors change throughout a race, and in the eyes of NASCAR driver Stewart, it’s this aspect in which his F1 counterparts excel after seeing them in close quarters.

Stewart was impressed by the pace shown by the Haas F1 drivers Grosjean and Magnussen in the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing’s NASCAR stock car during the American team’s demonstration at COTA, ahead of the US GP weekend, with no prior testing.

All three drivers got behind the wheel with Stewart taking the two F1 drivers for laps to explain the nuances, before Grosjean and Magnussen went out on their own. The Frenchman also performed donuts on the main straight post his run.

“The most fun part of seeing those guys run is that it really shows you guys and everybody in the world why they are in F1 cars, and it is a track they are familiar with obviously and to put them in a car that is completely unfamiliar and to go and run two or three laps and run the speeds they are in, it is really impressive,” said Stewart to the media.

“I was just trying to tell them of the little things that I know and felt during the runs I had that could shorten the learning curve, because they have a limited amount of time that they can drive the car so just telling them things to help them get through some of the learning curve of it.

“We had Kevin in our sprint car last year which went on the Netflix specials and within four runs of the car, he ran 40 laps, and he was within four tenths of what I ran in the car, so for race car drivers, it doesn’t matter what race car driver they are in the world or what race car they drive.

“If they oversteer or understeer or four wheel drift, every race car does those three things, it is just a matter of how do you learn them and good race car drivers figure that out really quickly. Like I said, race car drivers are race car drivers no matter what cars they run.

“What separates the good ones from the great ones, the great ones learn how to adapt to a different feel. They don’t get stuck in a feel for a race car, they know how to adapt and read what that the race car is wanting and learn to change their driving style to accommodate it. So there is plenty of race car drivers that can do that.”

Summing up his experience, Grosjean added: “It was pretty good. Having Tony Stewart taking you for a ride, and then having Kevin and myself going in we really enjoyed ourselves. Obviously it’s a very different story and you had about two hundred metres of braking zones but there is some good overtaking because braking is very long.”

Here’s the pre-run release

The story was written by Duncan Leahy and edited by Darshan Chokhani