F1 Paddock Pass: Belgian Grand Prix (VIDEO)

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Formula 1 makes its long-awaited return at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend after the summer break, meaning that we’re also back with another instalment of NBC Sports’ original digital series “Paddock Pass”.

This week, we have the Belgian Grand Prix, which is one of the most famous and popular on the calendar. In part one, NBCSN’s Will Buxton catches up with 16-year-old Max Verstappen, who is set to make his F1 debut next year, Caterham’s Andre Lotterer ahead of his F1 debut, and Williams duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.

In part two, we speak to Daniel Ricciardo following his victory in Hungary, and also speaks with current points leader, Nico Rosberg and Lotus’ Romain Grosjean ahead of the latter’s ‘home’ race in the absence of a French Grand Prix.

We also talked to Alexander Rossi following Marussia’s initial announcement that he would be replacing Max Chilton for this weekend’s race. However, the team has since performed a u-turn, confirming that Chilton will indeed race.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).