Marquez, F1 star Hamilton tease ‘Champion vs Champion’ prospect

Five-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez in a skill swap showdown with five-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton? We're up for it...

Marc Marquez - Toro Rosso Honda F1 test
Marc Marquez - Toro Rosso Honda F1 test

Could we see Marc Marquez and Lewis Hamilton swapping machines in a ‘Champion vs Champion’ showdown some time soon? Well, both sportsmen seem keen depending on how far you consider the tongue to be lodged in the cheek.

Admittedly, the set-up for this story is both annual and predictable. Tabloid journalist who spends the year following traffic-driver Hamilton at F1 races attends British MotoGP at Silverstone, asks five-time MotoGP World Champion about five-time F1 World Champion Hamilton.

We’ve been here before, usually with Valentino Rossi, but it seems this time there could be some legs to this proposed ‘Champion vs Champion’ showdown after Marquez’s quotes prompted Hamilton to respond on his Instagram Stories, writing "Let's go bro! Can't wait to meet and ride together sometime."

Hamilton, who is a known motorbike enthusiast and is often seen turning up to the Monaco Grand Prix with his MV Agusta (a company owned by his AMG-Mercedes F1 employers), last year rode a Yamaha WorldSBK R1 as part of a tie-in with Monster and has repeatedly played up the idea of getting on a MotoGP machine.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Could Hamilton vs Marquez happen?

Well… there are lots of enticing reasons as to why a ‘showdown’ of sorts that sees Marquez driving an F1 car and Hamilton on a MotoGP bike could happen. Think pay-per-view TV, sponsors, global endorsements and viral potential – it’s a content manager’s wet dream…

BT Sport seems up for it… (and to be honest, we’d watch)

Lewis Hamilton vs Marc Márquez?!

Please. Please someone make this happen?! pic.twitter.com/d1FYZ7wj5Q

— Watch MotoGP on BT Sport (@btsportmotogp) August 27, 2019

Ignoring for a moment how you’d make that format interesting enough though, Marquez’s Red Bull ties coupled with Hamilton’s Monster endorsements makes it difficult to see how this could work unless it goes full house commercial and becomes the ultimate energy drink head-to-head? Or not…

MotoGP riders driving F1 cars

More likely is Marquez getting runs in a Red Bull F1 car, particularly as the premier team is now running Honda engines. Last year, Marquez drove a Toro Rosso, albeit a ‘mongrel’ 2012 chassis running a 2019 Honda V6 Hybrid that will have definitely been shoe-horned in. In short, no lap times were given because they would in no way be representative. 

With testing opportunities at a premium though in this era of F1, Marquez is unlikely to ever be called up to drive a current generation machine in the same way Valentino Rossi famously joined the testing ranks with Ferrari in 2004 and proved solidly competitive.

Going in the other direction, Hamilton’s chances of riding a MotoGP bike are arguably higher now Petronas – Mercedes’ title sponsor – run the satellite Yamaha outfit, which in turn is backed by Monster. Then again, Mercedes have been somewhat reluctant to permit it in the past…

Marquez, F1 star Hamilton tease ‘Champion vs Champion’ prospect

Riders to drivers

It’s not F1 but MotoGP riders are diversifying more than usual right now as brands see the crossover potentials. Andrea Dovizioso drove an Audi RS5 DTM event at Misano this year and impressed with his pace, while KTM’s Hazifh Syahrin will drive a VW Golf in the World Touring Car Cup at Sepang in December alongside a Sepang 8 Hours entry on the same weekend. 

Check out the most successful bikers to drivers converts over the years HERE 

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