Brundle amused by US Grand Prix gridwalk fame

Date published: October 27 2021 - Finley Crebolder

Martin Brundle holding a microphone. Great Britain July 2021

Martin Brundle cannot help but laugh at becoming so well-known in the United States due to his gridwalk incident in Austin, of all things. 

After the pandemic prevented him from doing it in 2020 and most of 2021, the gridwalk returned at the United States Grand Prix – and it is fair to say it did so with a bang.

The broadcaster and former driver tried to interview Serena Williams and Megan Thee Stallion before the start of the race and on both occasions was turned away by their security.

The latter seemed perfectly happy to talk to him, but her entourage was not happy with Brundle, with one member saying “you can’t do that” to which Brundle replied: “I can, because I just did.” The incident has been hugely discussed ever since.

The 62-year-old, who has called for bodyguards to show “manners and respect” when in the F1 paddock, finds it amusing that it is that, rather than his driving career, that has caused him to become more well-known.

“I did chuckle on Monday,” he said in his column for Sky Sports.

“After all the blood, sweat, tears and broken bones, the glorious victories and dismal failures, the monstrous crashes, the quadruple stints on a treacherous rainy night in Le Mans, guiding a 1250bhp flying bedsted through Monaco qualifying, along with 25 years of broadcasting, I’ve finally become mildly well-known for being ignored by celebrities whilst simultaneously being swatted to one side by a man mountain and told off by a Malfoy lookalike doubtless attending his first F1 race.

“My gridwalk return after two years was probably a bit too cheeky in Austin but nonetheless a lot of fun. Actually, my real claim to fame is that I once played snooker with Mark Knopfler, and what a lovely bloke he was too.”

Once the race started, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton engaged in a titanic battle, with the Dutchman prevailing to take charge in the title fight heading into the final five rounds.

He now has a lead of 12 points and overhauling that will be a big task for Hamilton, especially if he has to take a grid penalty for an engine change – as Brundle expects.

 

“There are five races to go in six weekends and we expect Lewis may have to take another internal combustion engine which will attract a five-place grid drop,” he added.

“The next two are at altitude, which tends to favour the Honda unit turbo architecture in the back of the Red Bull. but let’s wait and see. After that we have two new tracks in Qatar and a very high-speed Saudi Arabia layout which may well suit the Mercedes.

“The final round is in Abu Dhabi, a well-known venue of course and dominated by Red Bull last year, but the track has changed and is expected to be 10 seconds per lap faster.”