Jimmie Johnson: Alonso car swap "the chance of a lifetime"

03-11-2018 13:00
by Jake Williams-Smith
F1 News
Jimmie Johnson: Alonso car swap the chance of a lifetime

Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson believes that the car swap between himself and Fernando Alonso is "the chance of a lifetime". Johnson admitted that the idea had been little more than a private conversation at first but evolved quickly into the car swap event that will happen in Bahrain.

The 43-year-old said that the two exchanged details after meeting at the 24 hours of Daytona earlier in the year and stayed in touch.

“We met there, traded up numbers, stayed in touch,” Johnson said at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday. “It wasn’t long after that and he may have even mentioned it there, ‘Hey, we ought to trade cars.’ And I was like, ‘You don’t have to ask me twice.’

“I went after it right away. I wasn’t going to let a passing comment slow me down.”

The two will swap rides for the day at the Bahrain International Circuit after the conclusion of the F1 and NASCAR seasons on the 26th November. As part of the swap, Johnson will get a tour of McLaren's factory in Woking as well as time in the team's simulator ahead of the event.

“With the two previous (NASCAR-F1) car swaps taking place, their desires were to get it on live television, and that kind of puts you in a different box.

I think in today’s world there are so many ways to share the experience with the digital experiences that exist.

“Of course you want a television piece to go with it and I think there’s a way to do that but things can live on through digital platforms for a long time. We really wanted a full day to experience each other’s cars and mess around.

“We offered up the chance to let Alonso come run the Chevy simulator (in Huntersville, N.C.) but the schedule didn’t work out from the beginning to do that.

“It’s probably a bigger change for me to go from our cars to his, so he suggested stopping by McLaren (and) taking a tour of the shop, the city. I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll take everything.

“Why not? This is the chance of a lifetime. I’ll take everything they will let me do, I’m all for it.”

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