Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo says the thought of oval racing ‘creeps’ him out as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton talks of another run in NASCAR.
With several of his rivals of past and current having tried their hands on IndyCar – most notably Fernando Alonso – when asked if anyone else would like to try out racing in any series other than F1 in their career, majority stuck to their current job.
The biggest hurdle for them not trying out any other series especially America’s IndyCar is racing on oval circuits. The idea of it, in fact, creeps Ricciardo out who admits that he is afraid to race on oval circuits at that speed.
“The thought of it [racing at oval circuit] sounds good,” he said. “[But] ovals creep me out a little bit. I won’t lie. It would be cool. I would at least like to have a go, like maybe just a test. Let’s see how things go but it was cool watching Fernando do it.
“Don’t get me wrong and part of me was like trying to picture myself being there and doing it – but yeah, maybe one day. At the moment I don’t say it’s something I’m looking to do in the near future.
“Probably the older I get, the more scared I’ll become, so if it doesn’t happen now maybe it won’t ever happen.” Haas’ Romain Grosjean agreed with Ricciardo as did Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who is keen on trying out NASCAR again.
“I kind of feel in a similar way,” he said. “I would definitely like to try it as I’ve never really driven an oval before and the cars are incredibly fast and I always want to go faster. I probably will get a chance to have a go.
“I’m sure if I wanted to have a go I could but it’s never been a series – naturally, growing up in Europe, it’s never been a series that you grew up aspiring to be in, it was always Formula One being it was the highest technology and has always been.
“The thought was that it was the highest grade of drivers that you wanted to compete against but they’ve got some great drivers there as well. I think I would prefer to try NASCAR. Watkins Glen, I’ve always wanted to have a go up there, beer cans in the side.
“I have driven a NASCAR years ago at Watkins Glen which was awesome so that’s something I could do potentially. I honestly have no desire to do any other racing beyond Formula One if I’m really honest.
“But maybe that will change when you do stop, because you do it your whole life and temptation is always going to be there, I’m always going to be a racing driver at heart,” the four-time F1 champion added.
Having already raced in Indy500 and also in World Endurance Championship, Alonso reckons the drivers will not enjoy driving a IndyCar in a test run but in a race simulation, it will be much better for them.
“They need to commit to the race,” said Alonso. “I think if they just want to do a test they will never do the race after testing the car, because it feels quite bad. It feels quite difficult. The car is self-steering to the left.
“You go on the straights and you are turning right and it feels very weird to drive the car, but then in the race it is just a different thing. You wake up your competitive instinct and you forget about all these weird things that those cars have and it’s a lot of fun.
“It’s part of history. I think the biggest thing is to go out of your comfort zone and drive something that you don’t feel ready to handle, ready to control and that adrenaline is magic,” he added, while teasing about a potential return to complete the Triple Crown.
“As I said many times, the Indy 500 is still very attractive, as it was last year, and after winning Le Mans this year, it’s even more attractive to try to achieve it in the short term,” he said. “Still working on plans for next year and as soon as they are finalised you will know.”