November 26, 2015 / 2:30 PM / 3 years ago

Hamilton wants to give NASCAR a go

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Triple Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton hopes to give NASCAR a go one day after singing the praises of the U.S. stock car series on Thursday.

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain speaks during the driver's news conference at the Yas Marina circuit before the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix November 26, 2015. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Hamilton attended the season-ender at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida last weekend to witness the final race of his friend and four-times champion Jeff Gordon.

“I’m a big fan of his. He’s a legendary dude and a really nice guy. We have always been very supportive of each other, messaging each other after our races and so on,” the Briton said in a column for the BBC.

“He told me that this was his last year and I thought, ‘I’ve got to make it to a race because I’ve never been to a NASCAR race before’. So I dropped everything I had and flew out to Florida just for that day and had an amazing time.

“It made me want to drive one, I really fancy a race in NASCAR one day. I’m not sure I’d do an oval but possibly a street circuit or road course.”

Speaking to reporters at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hamilton suggested the series could also teach Formula One a thing or two about fan engagement.

“There were definitely some things that for sure they do a lot better than us,” he said. “There were for sure things that we could learn from them.

“It was a great show, a great spectacle, particularly for the fans. A bit like DTM (German Touring Cars), the fans get very, very close to the garages in the background and to the was a really cool event.”

The day when he takes the wheel in NASCAR may be a long way off, with the 30-year-old having three years on his Mercedes contract and talking recently about doing one more deal after that for a further three or four seasons.

Hamilton is spending more time in the United States where he has a home in Colorado and friends in the music, fashion and film industries on both coasts.

The U.S. Grand Prix winner would not be the first Formula One champion or race winner to compete in NASCAR.

Briton Jim Clark, American Mario Andretti and Canadian Jacques Villeneuve were all Formula One champions who raced in the series as did Colombia’s former McLaren and Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya.

Ferrari’s 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen has also raced in the NASCAR Nationwide series.

Editing by Tony Jimenez

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