Lewis Hamilton branded ‘crazy’ for his racing wish outside of Formula 1

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton speaks to the media. Canada June 2023.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton speaks to reporters in the press conference. Montreal June 2023.

Lewis Hamilton has said he would like to have a go in IndyCar machinery one day, a wish which ex-F1 racer Lucas di Grassi says he is “crazy” for having.

Hamilton has broken a plethora of records in Formula 1, including most race wins, pole positions and podium finishes, and tied on seven World Championships with the legendary Michael Schumacher, setting a new outright record is the one achievement that remains elusive for Hamilton.

The 38-year-old is out of contract with Mercedes as it stands come the end of F1 2023, though he is expected to sign fresh terms and continue his pursuit of that eighth title with the team.

When Hamilton eventually does call time on his F1 career though, while he is certainly not short of projects outside of racing, he has made it clear that he would like to sample machinery from another category, that being IndyCar.

“I sometimes watch IndyCar. I’d love to try one of those cars at some stage,” said Hamilton.

NASCAR competition is also something Hamilton would be open to experiencing, a move which fellow F1 champs Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button have made, but Di Grassi, who competed in F1 for Virgin in 2010 and these days races in Formula E, cannot understand why Hamilton would even consider IndyCar involvement at all.

Asked if he had any interest in NASCAR or IndyCar, Di Grassi told Total-Motorsport.com: “Not at all. IndyCar, I don’t like the ovals. I have two kids, I have seen too many accidents.

“If you don’t have kids, maybe you could risk it. I think Hamilton would be crazy to do ovals or IndyCar to be honest. Why would you? What do you have to prove? I will never do it.

“If I was younger [maybe]. I actually tried to go to IndyCar after my Formula 2 days and I would have gone and I would have done it there. But nowadays I have zero interest.

“NASCAR, again, if I had a good option or offer, like Hamilton probably had, I would maybe do it for a year to see how it is because it’s something completely different.”

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Lewis Hamilton unlikely to compete in IndyCar or NASCAR

It is important to note that while Hamilton has the ambition to get behind the wheel of IndyCar machinery, and that from NASCAR once more, it does not necessarily mean he wants to do that in active competition, indeed admitting that it is “not a dream” of his to race outside of Formula 1.

Perhaps then the more likely way Hamilton will drive an IndyCar or NASCAR challenger would be as part of a special occasion like what we have seen in the past with Valentino Rossi, when Hamilton swapped four wheels for two while Rossi got behind the wheel of Hamilton’s Mercedes F1 car.

Hamilton also previously did a seat swap in 2011 with NASCAR legend Tony Stewart, so while it seems NASCAR is the series if any which could tempt Hamilton into a competitive appearance, it feels like another of these iconic demo runs, perhaps this time IndyCar related, would be the most likely path for Hamilton after his F1 career.