Grid walk legend Martin Brundle interviews Schumacher in 2008
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Formula 1 broadcaster Martin Brundle has cemented his place as a key part of the sport’s British coverage for more than two decades. Since stepping down as a driver in 1996, his transition into media initially took him to commentary before discovering a more niche knack for the on-grid interview
Now in his third decade as a broadcaster, the Englishman has a highlight reel of encounters to look back upon as he celebrates his 63rd birthday on Wednesday (June 1). From foul-mouthed drivers to security team scuffles, Brundle has been at the centre of some of the most iconic grid-walk moments witnessed in F1.
David Beckham’s Miami snub
One would like to think a fellow Brit would at least spare the time for a quick word at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, but David Beckham apparently had bigger fish to fry. Moments after the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder gave him the cold shoulder, Brundle unloaded to the camera: “That’s the second time he’s blanked me. I didn’t get a free-kick in that one.”
The third time proved the charm as Beckham eventually chatted briefly with Brundle, partially making up for his earlier ignorance. Serena and Venus Williams also each took turns brushing off the Sky presenter in Miami, though DJ Khaled proved more hospitable, albeit difficult to interpret for a clearly confused Brundle.
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Mistaking No. 1 NBA Draftee for Patrick Mahomes
That was far from the only moment of hilarity that unfolded at the first Miami GP, where Brundle raised an already high bar for what to expect trackside. Another moment that contributed to those standards being raised came thanks to Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft whom Brundle referred to as “Patrick,” believing him to be Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Former Duke star Banchero was extremely pleasant and told his interviewer he was “just vibing right now.” Brundle put things together and asserted his mix-up was why Banchero had ignored him initially, later penning his “sincere apologies” to both American athletes.
Christian Horner clash
It sometimes takes a strong personality to interview another, and Brundle proved at the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix that he was in no mood to be the butt of Christian Horner’s jokes. Red Bull’s team principal jibed about the former McLaren and Jordan driver’s age, quipping: “It’s a shame you’re too old to have driven here really – you would have liked it.”
Brundle laughed last, however, and wasted no time firing back: “I am too old – shame you weren’t fast enough to get to Formula 1.” It was all in good fun, however, and the pair remain on one another’s Christmas card lists.
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Megan Thee Stallion’s boisterous bodyguard
Arguably the grid-walk highlight of the 2021 season, Brundle was attempting to get quotes at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, when he encountered Megan Thee Stallion. The three-time Grammy Award-winning rapper came across as warm and affable when Brundle asked for an F1-themed freestyle—but her security team less so.
‘Megan’ playfully slapped one particularly enormous bodyguard for shooing Brundle away, while another handler told the Briton he “couldn’t do that.” Having got what he came for, however, Brundle sent viewers into stitches as he retorted: “I can do that, because I did.”
Kimi Raikkonen’s potty humour
Matching Brundle’s own unapologetic shtick at the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen replied that he was “having a s***” after he was asked why he missed a pre-race presentation by football legend Pele. Looking on the positive side, Brundle quickly gathered his thoughts before responding: “Well obviously you’ll have a nice light car on the grid then.”
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