On 14 June 2011, Formula 1™ World Champion driver Lewis Hamilton and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart exchanged cars at the Mobil 1 Car Swap, an exhibition held at the legendary Watkins Glen International circuit, NY.
In front of a crowd of enthusiastic race fans and motorsports journalists from around the globe, Hamilton took laps in Stewart's No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala, while Stewart climbed into the cockpit of the team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23. The drivers each en-joyed a few laps around the long course at The Glen, experiencing the 3.4-mile, 11-turn lap circuit.
"Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Stewart Haas Racing both rely on Mobil 1 lubricant technology to gain a com-petitive edge every time they hit the track," said Rebecca K. Aldred, Mobil 1 global brand manager, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties. "Today's friendly exhibition represented a tremendous opportunity for us to bring Lewis and Tony — two of our premier drivers — together to experience the demands of driving completely different types of race cars at a legendary track like Watkins Glen, and to remind racing fans of Mobil 1 team's commitment and involvement in motorsports worldwide."
Hamilton and Stewart, known for their outstanding car control and sustained success across a number of racing disciplines before reaching Formula 1™ and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series respectively, have eagerly anticipated the chance to give up their seat to a fellow champion.
"I'd always wondered what it would be like to get behind the wheel of a NASCAR stock car, because it's such a completely different experience from driving a Formula 1 car", said Hamilton. "Thanks to Mobil 1, I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity today — not only did I get the chance to drive the car of Tony Stewart, a double NASCAR champion, but I also got to share that experience by giving him the chance to drive my Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 car too. NASCAR is a different world. Driving the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet was a massive change from what I'm used to, but Tony was an excellent teacher and I quickly found a good rhythm — those cars are raw and powerful! They're fantastic fun to drive. It was a great day at Watkins Glen — this is a circuit with a great deal of Formula 1 history behind it: Emerson Fittipaldi won McLaren their first drivers' and constructors' titles here back in 1974 and it's been fantastic to come here and take in some of that history."
Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart said, "I've always been intrigued by the open wheel cars in Formula 1 racing. Feeling the power behind the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 was amazing and being able to take it for a ride around the course in front of a crowd of avid race fans at a track like The Glen made it even more special. An experience that I'll never forget."
With over 30 years of supporting motorsports excellence, Mobil 1 has been Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' engine lubricant of choice for the past 17 years and the "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR" for nine consecutive years.
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