The surreal life of Lewis Hamilton (VIDEO)

2 Comments

Lewis Hamilton’s decision to leave McLaren for Mercedes over the 2012-2013 Formula One offseason was definitely risky.

Not only was the British driver leaving the only team he’d ever known in his F1 career – and the team with which he won the World Championship in 2008 – he was going to a squad that was faltering at the time.

Some pegged it as a disaster waiting to happen. But those dire predictions are long gone now. While McLaren failed to hit the podium in 2013, Hamilton and Mercedes went on the upswing.

And this year, as McLaren struggles mightily to climb out of mid-pack, Hamilton has rattled off four Grand Prix wins and is fighting Merc teammate Nico Rosberg for another world title.

“I never thought it’d be this good,” Hamilton said to F1 on NBC Sports’ Will Buxton during some downtime in the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. “I think you’d be kind of stupid to think it’d be as good as it is. You just hope for the best and take whatever the best is.

“Coming to this team [has been] an amazing decision. I already knew it was an amazing decision when I joined. I wanted to be a part of something going forward, developing something new, something [for] a team that hasn’t had a lot of success. So when you do win, it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.”

For more of Hamilton and Buxton’s conversation, you can check out Parts 1 and 2 below. F1 returns to NBC on Sunday, June 8 at 2 p.m. ET with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Indy 500 analyst role part of looking forward for Danica Patrick

Getty Images
1 Comment

It’s been 10 months since Danica Patrick last competed in an auto racing event and she is completely fine with that.

Patrick was last seen in a cockpit in last May’s Indianapolis 500, part of her mini-retirement tour from racing that also included a run in the Daytona 500.

Now she’ll be back at the track, serving as an analyst for NBC’s broadcast of the 103rd Indy 500 on May 26.

It will be an interlude to her post-racing career.

“I really don’t miss racing,” Patrick said during a teleconference Wednesday.  “I’m really happy. I selfishly set out (with) the intention I wanted to travel a lot. I’ve definitely done that. Also working on my other businesses.”

Without racing, Patrick is able to look over her “Warrior” clothing line and her Somnium wine. She’s also been a host of ESPN’s Espy Awards show.

“I’m not a look-back kind of person, I’m a look-forward (person),” Patrick said. “This is something that’s part of looking forward. This is something totally new and different for me. It’s coming at a place where I have a lot of history, but it hasn’t been my job, which is why I’m going to work really hard to make sure I’m ready, like anything else I do that’s different.

Since retiring, Patrick said she watches racing “when I can.”

“I’m not going to lie, I’m happy doing what I’m doing,” Patrick said. “It’s allowed me new opportunities like this.”

This won’t be the first time Patrick has served in an analyst role for a race. She did the same for some Xfinity Series race broadcasts in the last few years of her NASCAR career.

“It’s very good to have had that experience,” Patrick said. “Obviously I was giving my driving experience sort of perspective and that insight, which is something I’m going to be doing again. But it was a guest spot.

“This is firm and established, part of a small team of two with Mike (Tirico) and I. I think there’s going to be a lot more preparation involved, I’m going to need to know a lot more information.”

Patrick said there will be one difference in her Indy 500 experience this year compared to the eight times she competed in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“I didn’t purposely look at the buildup of the day,” Patrick said. “I didn’t want to see the fans rolling in, all the pomp and circumstance. I really liked to keep it quiet. I wanted to just walk out there and have it be the event, not let myself get built up too much in my head with nerves, just the platform, the iconic event that it was, the millions of people. I just wanted to stay focused and go do it.

“This time, I’m sure I will see the buildup. I’m sure I’ll see the place fill in and turn from a quiet, peaceful, magical place, (and) at the shot of a cannon it’s going to start unraveling. That will be a cool perspective for me that I purposely haven’t really watched closely.”

and on Facebook