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Formula One icon Martin Brundle has responded after the driver turned commentator was given a rude, but amusing, welcome to the world of US ultra-celebrity last weekend.
The former driver has become a veteran commentator for Sky Sports, but the 62-year-old had a mare as he attempted to grab some celebrity interviews on the grid prior to the US Grand Prix.
Celebrities on the grid are nothing new in the glamorous world of Formula One, with Brundle himself having had more than his fair share of brushes with fame.
He got a lot more than his bargained for on the grid at the Circuit of the Americas on Monday morning (AEST), when his attempts get some friendly comments from rapper Megan Thee Stallion backfired spectacularly.
It soon became abundantly clear that the rapper hadn't the faintest clue who Brundle was as he approached her on the grid - though Brundle's attempts to engage her in conversation were awkward to say the least.
“That’s a very big bloke in front of her,” Brundle said of her bodyguard after approaching her.
“Megan, Martin Brundle from British television, how are you?
“Megan Thee Stallion, you’re a freestyle rapper.”
After then asking if she 'had any raps for us today', a slightly bemused Megan Thee Stallion replied “I have no rap today, I’m sorry."
Brundle then attempted to find out who she was supporting in the race before he was barged out of the way by another member of the rapper's entourage, who seemed furious at his attempts to ask a casual question.
— ET Canada (@ETCanada) October 25, 2021
I have felt under pressure on the grid before but by people called Senna, Prost, Schumacher, Mansell, Piquet and so on. Bodyguards visiting the grid for the first time don’t bother me, everyone’s got a job to do, but they could maybe learn some manners and respect on our patch 🤔
— Martin Brundle (@MBrundleF1) October 25, 2021
The F1 veteran was less than impressed with his treatment, taking to Twitter to suggest that if the many racing drivers on the grid, who were about to go racing, could treat him with respect, surely other celebrities could show some respect to the sport and fans as well.
“I have felt under pressure on the grid before but by people called Senna, Prost, Schumacher, Mansell, Piquet and so on,” he wrote.
“Bodyguards visiting the grid for the first time don’t bother me, everyone’s got a job to do, but they could maybe learn some manners and respect on our patch.”
F1 commentator Martin Brundle unhappy after grid incident
Brundle found support from fellow F1 presenter Will Buxton, who gave more of an insight into what happens during those grid walks before the race.
He described them as highly stressful experiences for the presenter.
“The F1 grid walk is the highest live TV pressure I’ve ever experienced,” Buxton said on Twitter.
“You’re briefed beforehand if celebs don’t want to be interviewed. With the others you can only try.
"I’ve been pied. We all have. Usually nicely and with an apology. The others, it only reflects badly on them.”
Brundle showed he can handle a snub in good nature just a few moments later, when he attempted to have a quick chat with tennis icon Serena Williams.
The veteran commentator recalled an amusing incident from years prior when he attempted to have a similar grid chat with Venus Williams - which was unsuccessful.
“Let’s wander down here, we’ve got Rory McIlroy and Serena Williams,” Brundle said.
“Venus wasn’t that keen to talk to me five years ago, I don’t know if I’ll get a double fault or an ace.”
Unfortunately for Brundle, Serena didn't appear up for a chat as he approached and introduced himself - however her apologetic shrug as she walked away was much more polite than his earlier run-in with Megan Thee Stallion.
The former driver knew he'd struck out once again.
“It’s a double fault, it’s a double fault.”
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