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NASCAR champion Larson among many in conflict with F1 arrival

By December 14, 2021Sports games

NASCAR champion Kyle Larson’s first Formula 1 race was the season finale and he’s as conflicted as anyone about the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ending.

Max Verstappen passed Lewis Hamilton in the last lap on Sunday to win the title, but the turmoil continued: a late crash wiped out an almost 12-second lead in Hamilton, Verstappen stopped under the yellow for new tires and the race resumed with one lap remaining. He passed Hamilton on the fifth corner in a NASCAR style shootout.

“The racing fan in me was like, ‘Dude, I wish there was a warning and this thing can get exciting at the end and produce some drama,’ Larson told The Associated Press. ” And then It happened. Then I was like, ‘Well, I don’t know if that was particularly fair.’ Hamilton led 51 of the 58 laps and the race had been a bit of a mess after F1’s spectacular season. The seven-time champion seemed so in control that Larson and his squad had already headed for the exits when the yellow came out. flew with five laps They watched the finish on display screens around the Yas Marina circuit and on their phones.

Mercedes filed two complaints on behalf of Hamilton after the finish, both of which were dismissed. Mercedes took the case to the International Court of Appeal.

“Looks like they bent the rules a bit to get a green finish, and it looks like that was their main focus,” Larson said. “I don’t know F1 well enough, but it doesn’t look like they did it to help Max or anything like that. But they made it exciting. Larson and Verstappen have shared similarities during their time. seasons in that both have won 10 races, a series record, both led the most laps and both won their first championships after late warnings and pit stops for tires. November, Larson needed a late warning at Phoenix Raceway to get back into the race and his team Hendrick Motorsports made his fastest pit stop of the season to get him back on track in the lead. Larson led the races. Last 28 laps for victory.

Larson has since been feted at NASCAR’s season-ending championship celebration, ran eight gravel races – he won three – then traveled to the Middle East to represent NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports and HendrickCars.com , the online sales arm that sponsored him this year. when he returned from a suspension of almost a season for using a racial slur. HendrickCars.com has since signed a full-season sponsorship deal until 2023 for Larson, which has also been extended at Hendrick for two years.

In Abu Dhabi, Larson met Fernando Alonso even before entering the gate, then Sergio Perez as soon as he entered the paddock. Alpine reserve driver Daniil Kvyat, who attended his first NASCAR race the week before the Cup Series championship in Virginia, immediately recognized Larson.

“I want to participate in the NASCAR race! Kyvat told him.

Funny, Larson was wondering how he could get into Formula 1. And when Nikita Mazepin tested positive ahead of Sunday’s race for COVID-19 and Haas only fielded one car, Larson told the Haas boss Guenther Steiner “I should have brought my helmet”. Steiner picked up his phone: “Look how fast I can make things happen,” he joked.

Alas, Larson is like almost every other American racing driver in that he doesn’t have the super FIA license needed to compete in F1 and doesn’t know how to get one.

Larson was surprised when IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward recognized him and knew about his NASCAR season, then took the time to drive Larson around the track in a McLaren 720S. The papaya orange McLaren howled on the 3.2 mile circuit on Sunday.

“It’s a lot different from riding in a passenger seat. You just feel like you’re slung all the time, ”Larson said. “I was never able to concentrate on the track or understand what the corners were like. I wish I could have done three or five consecutive laps and I would have been more comfortable in the passenger seat. He did a great job. If I had been in the driver’s seat and it was the passenger seat, I would have tried just as hard to slide the car all over the place. He also regretted not having had more time to speak with O’Ward, who was an IndyCar Championship contender last season and completed his first test in a Formula 1 car on Tuesday.

“I wanted to spend time with him because I wanted to ask him what is his path? He’s an IndyCar driver, how will he get to Formula 1? Larson said. “He accompanies me and I am curious:” Is that part of his path? I just wanted to learn his story. Larson has said he would love to attend his next F1 race as a fan – not a NASCAR champion with a VIP pass – to enjoy the atmosphere of a grand prix weekend. During her vacation which lasts until Friday, her usual experiences with the guys have been limited to tourist-type things all over Dubai.

Larson visited the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the Dubai Mall, was planning a trip to Expo 2020, and took a desert excursion to ride a camel, sandboard and watch a fire show. Now is the perfect time to be the NASCAR champion, even though the desert ride through the dunes didn’t go so well with the current best driver on earth.

“I definitely didn’t like the dunes,” said Larson. “I got really sick. Well, not really sick, but very nauseous sitting in the third row. More of that for me.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)