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F1 Paddock Pass: Austrian GP Friday Edition (VIDEO)

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After the first day of practice for the Austrian Grand Prix and the appropriate catch up with key team members, it’s another special Friday edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass.

NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton checks in after the team member press conference for the latest edition of the show.

In part one, Beat Zahnder addressed Sauber’s lack of a firm team principal in the wake of Monisha Kaltenborn’s departure, while Guenther Steiner talks brakes and more at Haas, and Franz Tost on Toro Rosso’s driver situation for 2018 and beyond.

Part two looks at Honda’s latest upgrade to “Spec 3” for this weekend, with insight from Yusuke Hasegawa and McLaren’s Eric Boullier, while Mercedes’ Toto Wolff gives a “state of the team” update.

In case you missed Thursday’s edition of Paddock Pass or need to see it again, it’s linked here.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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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. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR 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 would seem right for 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 — to spend 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).