The 33-year-old admittedly isn’t much of a simulation fan, and he isn’t alone in that regard among IndyCar veterans.
Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay also has declined to participate in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge, and Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly joked about their disdain for sim racing during Saturday’s race at Barber.
After two races on road courses, an oval might change minds. The April 11 race will feature a “Driver’s Choice” track, and Michigan apparently were among the options that drivers voted upon.
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.
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.