Fernando Alonso and Jimmie Johnson complete F1/NASCAR car swap
Formula 1's Fernando Alonso and NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson crossed paths this week as the duo traded cars for a day of fun at the Bahrain International Circuit on Monday.
Fresh from his final F1 race in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, Alonso jumped into the cockpit of a McLaren MP4-28 to set a benchmark time for Johnson to aim for when his time came.
Johnson was able to get to within two-tenths of Alonso's time, a 1:40.204 – though it's unlikely Alonso was pushing hard given the same car set a best time of 1:32.762 during qualifying for the 2013 event.
Nonetheless, Alonso was impressed by Johnson's effort.
"It was impressive. I think he was really gaining time every run he was doing, and sometimes you put new tyres on these cars for the very first time and you are not able to extract the grip because you miss a little bit the braking point here and there, or maybe you don’t maximize the grip available.
"But he was able to guess this extra grip that the new tyres give to you and extract that grip into lap time, so I was very impressed with that."
Johnson was blown away by the experience, adding: "It was mind blowing. The sensation of speed...
"Once I got my helmet more under control, then it was really my eyes trying to find their way far enough ahead and far enough around the turns.
"At the end, I really quit focusing on the braking markers themselves and was able to look at the apex and had an idea of when to hit the brakes and was putting together some good laps. It was fun."
Alonso meanwhile got to drive Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and was able to lap four seconds quicker, but Johnson is certain he got the better deal.
"He [Alonso] had that same opportunity in my car to look at that data and go after it. I honestly think at the end of the day I got a way better swap experience than he did."