The topic has long been debatable. Is motor racing truly a sport and should race car drivers be considered athletes?
Wednesday in downtown Austin, Formula One star Mark Webber made a believer out of one of the world's top decathletes, Olympic silver medalist Trey Hardee. The two Red Bull sponsored athletes met each other for the first time, while Hardee taught Webber the basics of throwing the discus and sprinting out of the starting blocks.
"I was kind of impressed!", said Hardee. "I was thinking (the discus) was going to hit the cage or was going to just dud right in front of him, but those were throws! Those were legitimate throws!"
Webber listed cricket, swimming, and golf among the sports he grew up with in Australia. F1's fourth-ranked driver said he and his peers are "sportsmen in our own right", but that it's hard to demonstrate that from the seat of a race car. He also said F1 is truly excited to come to Austin, a city not necessarily known for its motor sports.
"We've had some new venues in the past few years, which probably - they've been great - but they probably haven't been as special as what we're gonna have this weekend in terms of the enthusiasm we're seeing, obviously the media here, everyone's very excited about it, they're embracing it, the city knows it's here - we're ready to go."