Hamlin mentioned his new-found curiosity in F1 has come from a number of of his buddies being attentive to it and by watching Drive to Survive a preferred documentary sequence produced in a collaboration between Netflix and Formulation 1 to offer a behind-the-scenes take a look at the sequence.
“I feel this yr I’ve in all probability watched extra [F1] races than I’ve my entire life. A few of that’s pushed by social media. My buddies are tuning into it. You see that the American press is giving it extra consideration this yr,” Hamlin mentioned.
“Clearly, if you see a buzz or see one thing on social media about it, you need to form of tune in and see what’s occurring. That’s form of pushed my curiosity in it, extra so than something.”
Hamlin mentioned his involvement with Netflix in a documentary on driver Bubba Wallace and his first season with 23XI Racing, which Hamlin co-owns with NBA legend Michael Jordan, additionally inspired him to take a look at Drive to Survive.
“It actually made me tune into that to see how they did the manufacturing on that and positively it got here throughout with some good storylines,” he mentioned. “Definitely, I’m an individual that can flip into that sequence because it continues.”
Hamlin, who stays in rivalry to win his first championship this yr, mentioned NASCAR must discover a technique to make its race weekends extra of a “present,” and capitalise on the extra aggressive racing present in NASCAR.
“It’s loopy since you’ve acquired in all probability a 90% probability of selecting which two guys are going to win [each F1 race]. This yr has been a bit of bit completely different with craziness occurring, however there’s two individuals that may win, two groups that may win,” Hamlin mentioned. “There may be not a lot side-by-side racing, as in comparison with NASCAR, however but followers and media find it irresistible.
“Once you speak about how essential followers or media or whoever is perhaps of our racing in NASCAR, it’s head and shoulders above something going proper now. The present is nice. Why can’t we get individuals to turnout?
“Texas was only a huge disappointment seeing what was up within the stands there, and but we’re speaking in regards to the greatest crowd in historical past displaying up for the COTA F1 race subsequent week. So, there’s some form of disconnect that’s occurring that’s not making this deal work.”
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG W10, leads Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing RB15, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10 Alex Albon, Crimson Bull Racing RB15, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34 and the remainder of the pack tab the beginning
Photograph by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
There have, in fact, been a number of sold-out and extremely attended NASCAR Cup races within the 2021 season however the environment generated round every weekend varies from monitor to trace.
There stay a number of protocols in place from the COVID-19 pandemic that restrict the variety of individuals in garages and on pitroad earlier than races. All however eight race weekends within the Cup sequence didn’t have apply or qualifying this yr.
As well as, many sponsors reduce their on-track activation in the course of the peak of the pandemic and never all have returned to former ranges.
Hamlin believes NASCAR can be taught one thing from how F1 is ready to preserve the “hype” surrounding its occasions, even when the racing on the monitor isn’t as aggressive.
“I might like to see us have extra of an F1-style method to a race weekend and the way we host hospitalities, events, simply all of these issues,” Hamlin mentioned.
“There’s simply acquired to be extra to it than us displaying up and racing like we’re doing proper now.”