Martin Brundle thinks the last thing Max Verstappen needed after winning a gruelling Miami Grand Prix was to be carted off on a buggy to the podium.
The inaugural Miami Grand Prix took place mid-afternoon local time in stiflingly hot temperatures, and the drivers universally found it to be one of the most arduous races they are likely to contest this year.
Even someone of Verstappen’s physical fitness had to take a few moments afterwards to sit on the floor and recover some energy before fulfilling his part in the post-race ceremony.
Yes boys!!! 🏆 Incredibly happy to win here in Miami 💪
No weekend is ever easy in F1, especially on a new demanding track like this one 🥵
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) May 8, 2022
But rather than just climbing a few steps to the rostrum, the World Champion had to get onto a buggy with a couple of Red Bull colleagues and be driven through access roads of the Hard Rock Stadium accompanied by police outriders, with sirens blaring and blue lights flashing.
It was, of course, all part of the experience the organisers wanted to put on for the American fans, but Sky F1 broadcaster Brundle felt for Verstappen and what his rivals had been through.
“It’s a long time since I’ve seen these super-fit and perfectly prepared F1 drivers look so battered after a 94-minute race,” wrote Brundle in his post-race column for Sky Sports.
“I know that horrible post-race feeling well, where your core is so hot and continues to well up, you’re missing a lot of fluid and every organ, muscle and tendon is complaining heavily in its demand for essential ingredients.
“You just can’t get away from your own body as the pain builds and the adrenalin fades. I felt for Max Verstappen sitting on the buggy post-race with the camera zoomed in – I’m sure he just wanted to lie down, roll around and groan a bit.
“Occasionally, after two hours in the humidity of Singapore they look pretty wrecked, but the grip level of the track and low degradation tyres, and therefore the relentless pace, was tough.
“There’s always an airless nature racing against the walls of a street circuit and inside the cockpit can be 50+ degrees as the aerodynamicists never want to waste much air and drag on the driver, who are then wrapped in multiple layers of clothing, gloves, helmets, boots, balaclava.
“I believe a lot of the clumsy contact we saw towards the end of the race was due to overheating drivers, which can make you feel light-headed and your judgement fades a little.”