Mercedes/Daimler

Wolff wants Mercedes DTM driver Lucas Auer to get F1 test

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Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff hopes to see Lucas Auer in a Formula 1 test in the near future following a strong start to the DTM season.

Auer, 22, abandoned a strong single-seater junior career to move into DTM in 2015 with Mercedes, taking his first victory at the Lausitzring last year.

The Austrian driver won two of the first three races of the 2017 DTM season to move into an early championship lead, and is just two points behind points front-runner Mattias Ekström after the most recent round at the Norisring.

Auer has been linked with a future Force India F1 test given the team shares a sponsor, BWT, with his DTM car, and Wolff hopes that he will get an opportunity soon.

“Lucas obviously is the guy to beat this year in DTM, the only one that is currently in the top in DTM,” Wolff told NBCSN in Friday’s edition of Paddock Pass.

“Hopefully we’ll see him soon in a test.”

Auer would be eligible to take part in the F1 young driver test planned for the beginning of August following the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Wolff also confirmed that Auer’s Mercedes DTM colleague Edoardo Mortara has been working with the F1 team in its simulator, having jumped ship from Audi at the end of last year.

“Edo is working with the F1 team in the simulator also and is doing a good job,” Wolff said.

“I’m very happy that we have him finally at Mercedes, lured him away from McLaren and Audi. So he’s very good.”

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. 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).