After weeks of teasing via social media and an official announcement on Nov. 2, the car swap between Jimmie Johnson and Fernando Alonso arrives tomorrow in Bahrain at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Johnson will pilot a Formula 1 car while Alonso will hop in Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet.
It’s the third such driver swap between NASCAR and F1 drivers after Jeff Gordon-Juan Pablo Montoya in 2003 at Indianapolis and Tony Stewart-Lewis Hamilton in 2011 at Watkins Glen.
On Saturday and Sunday, Johnson was visited Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as a guest of McLaren Racing and Alonso.
Johnson toured the F1 garage, watched pit stop practice, qualifying and participated in hot laps riding in a street car with Alonso.
“I’m a massive Formula 1 fan and have followed it my whole life,” Johnson said in media release. “I have the utmost respect for Fernando and this form of motorsport. There is such an energy around Fernando – his racing has been so celebrated over the years, he is such a legend. To see how this year has unfolded – we didn’t know of his retirement when decided to do this. So to be a part of this huge weekend for him is just unbelievable. McLaren has been amazing.”
Here’s a look at how Johnson has documented his preparation for the driver swap on social media this week.