F1 presenter Martin Brundle's pre-race grid talks are always memorable but his best one yet may well have just come at the Miami Grand Prix. The iconic British caller was trying to get a quick interview with retired tennis legend Roger Federer, before the start of the race that Red Bull's world champion Max Verstappen won after starting from ninth on the grid.
Brundle has had mixed results with some of his recent grid talks, after famously being snubbed by the likes of Serena and Venus Williams and mistaking NBA star Paolo Banchero for NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes last year. It looked like being another flop for the iconic Formula One caller before this year's race when spotted Federer in a Mercedes section but was stuck behind a security barrier.
Up stepped three-time F1 world champion Jackie Stewart to come to Brundle's rescue after hearing his pleas to interview Federer fall on deaf ears. The 83-year-old British motorsport legend defied the security presence and broke through the cordoned off area, before making a bee-line for Federer on Brundle's behalf.
Stewart paid no attention to the security guards trying to stop him, pressing on towards the Swiss tennis great with a concerned Brundle heard calling out in the background: “Don’t beat up Jackie Stewart!” The legendary F1 driver eventually managed to pull Federer aside and escorted him over to Brundle for a short interview, in a moment that left viewers in a frenzy on social media.
Shoutout to Jackie Stewart being a total bro for Martin Brundle by using his status to completely ignore the F1 pit lane guards, breeze by other personnel to get Roger Federer to talk to Brundle pic.twitter.com/yDLuJrP7cq
— Douglas Reyes-Ceron (@dreyesceron) May 7, 2023
— Brenn Clinton (@FutureGhost_Boo) May 7, 2023
Jackie Stewart making his way through bodyguards to get Roger Federer for Martin Brundle’s grid walk was 👌🏻😂 pic.twitter.com/2dLl3rQg3x
— WTF1 (@wtf1official) May 7, 2023
— MrAaron23 (@Mr_Aaron_23) May 7, 2023
Sir Jackie Stewart unaffected by people telling him no pic.twitter.com/jJdv1UX22w
— Petrol and Cabernet (@ScuderiaAsino) May 7, 2023
— Ignis (@Ignisfox1) May 7, 2023
Brundle was at the centre of other funny moments including a reunion with Banchero, who had seemingly forgiven the F1 caller for last year's mix-up. Brundle also spotted Venus Williams but opted not to try and have a chat after being burned in the past. “There’s one of the Williams sisters but I honestly don’t think I can handle the rejection this time,” he said.
Max Verstappen wins in Red Bull one-two
When the action did get underway on the track, it was Red Bull's championship leader Verstappen who extended his lead at the top of the standings after beating teammate Sergio Perez to claim victory. The 1-2 for Red Bull is their fourth in five races so far this season, with Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso keeping his late-career revival going with his fourth podium in five races.
Perez started on pole and made the perfect start to race clear of his rivals but Verstappen made the most of his hard tyres to move through the field. It took the Dutchman just 15 laps to reach second place and close in on his Red Bull teammate.
Perez pitted on lap 20 allowing Verstappen to take the lead but the Dutchman had to give that up when he went into the pits on lap 46, changing to the medium compound tyres and coming out 1.2 seconds behind. It took just two laps for Verstappen, who won the inaugural Miami Grand Prix a year ago, to take advantage of his fresher tyres with better grip and he soon overtook the Mexican to take the lead.
Verstappen's 38th win for Red Bull equals the team record set by Sebastian Vettel. "I took the cars off one by one and then I could stay out really long on the hard tyres and that's where we I think made the difference," said Verstappen.
"For sure winning a race from P9 is always very satisfying," he said. Mercedes had some consolation at the end of a difficult week with George Russell taking fourth place ahead of Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and team-mate Lewis Hamilton finishing sixth.
The race was one largely to forget for Ferrari, with Sainz given a five-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane before his fifth-placed finish and teammate Leclerc coming in seventh.
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