'Top secret' oval track outing for Hamilton in F1 car

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, United States Grand Prix
© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he had enjoyed an "interesting' time running a Formula 1 car on a US oval track this week.

However, he doesn't appear inclined to follow the example of his former McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso by entering the Indianapolis 500 mile motor race any time soon.

"Just the other day I happened to get to drive a Formula 1 car on an oval, which was interesting," he said.

No official details have been given about the test. Hamilton himself posted a teaser video clip on Twitter with the caption "Top Secret - Shhhhh."

But reports on social media suggested it took place at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania and involved a Mercedes W07 - last year's race car.

Pocono is known as the 'Tricky Triangle' due to its unique configuration as an oval with only three corners. That's very different from the more conventional Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which hosts the Indy 500.

Alonso dropped out of the Monaco Grand Prix to take part in the ionic race in May. He had led the race before ultimately retiring with an engine failure. The race was eventually won by former Formula 1 driver Takuma Sato.

Sato conducted the post-race interviews after the Japanese Grand Prix two weeks ago. Hamilton had set tongues wagging by making a show of coveting Sato's Indy 500 winner's ring.

"Wow, you got some bling! Where's this from? I love that! I need that ring!" he said to Sato on the podium at Suzuka. "Can I try this ring? Just to see if it’s worth me going and doing it one day!"

But the prospect of him actually competing in the race apparently receded when he was asked about it in Austin this week.

"Honestly, it hasn’t inspired me to do the Indy 500," he said.

"I’ve always respected it and appreciated it," he continued. "I got to watch part of it when Fernando did it, which was super exciting.

"But I personally don’t have any particular desire to [take part]," he said.

"Maybe one day I’ll day I’ll have some fun and go out," he added. "Obviously I get lots of opportunities to do those things. But I have no plans to go there and do anything serious."

Hamilton has already raced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when it hosted the United States Grand Prix in 2007. Hamilton won, with Alonso finishing as runner-up. However, the Formula 1 track layout used only a part of the classic oval banking.

In its superspeedway configuration, IMS allows IndyCars to reach speeds of more than 230mph, which impressed Hamilton. In the past, the three-time world champion briefly traded cars with former IndyCar and NASCAR star Tony Stewart.

"I love the idea of drivers being able to do more than one series," he added.

That thought also appeals to Alonso, who is reported to be eyeing up future participation in the Daytona 24 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

However such plans have been put to one side after his decision to extend his stay at McLaren for another season.

"It’s just talking too much ahead," Alonso told reporters on Thursday. "We have enough to do for next year, to put McLaren again at the top of the grid. That’s the first priority right now.

"On my personal side there are no other priorities than Formula 1 at the moment.

"But [there's] a door open for different series and different goals," he added. "I always believed that you need to win in other series if you want to be a more complete driver, a better driver, because motorsport is not only Formula One.

"Even if it’s still the priority, we will see what the future brings."

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