F1 pundit Martin Brundle has called upon celebrities and their bodyguards to “learn some manners and respect on our patch” after being snubbed on live TV at the star-studded U.S. Grand Prix.
If you’ve ever watched Brundle’s grid walk, whether on Sky F1 or with any of his previous broadcasting commitments — including the BBC’s and Channel 4’s F1 coverage — you’ll know that it’s a highlight of the pre-race show. However, thanks to covid restrictions over the past couple of years, the grid walk was either wholly absent or a solo to-camera piece in which interaction with team members or interviews on the grid were prohibited.
However, the U.S. GP marked a welcome return for the familiar format, with Brundle allowed to interview those walking up and down the grid, including visiting celebrities. While both actor and producer Ben Stiller and professional golfer Rory McIlroy were happy to share their weekend experiences for the cameras, tennis sensation Serena Williams and rapper Megan Thee Stallion were all too happy the centers of controversy.
— Vincenzo Landino (@vincenzolandino) October 24, 2021
Williams, who was talking to McIlroy at the time, appeared to turn down an interview before her entourage stepped in to whisk her away. Undeterred, when Brundle came across another celebrity, Megan Thee Stallion, he once again tried his luck. This time he was physically pushed aside by members of her security team, but not before the rapper was able to have a brief exchange, to which Martin expressed gratitude. Amusingly, when told he “can’t do that,” he immediately quipped back with, “I can do that, because I just did.”
Time to make the grid-walk about drivers, team-members and strategy? Draco Malfoy is amusing though. What a bell-end. https://t.co/gmZQS9iMvM
— chris harris (@harrismonkey) October 25, 2021
Taking to Twitter after the race, Brundle said, “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.”
While some observers have criticized Liberty Media for bringing celebrities to races, there’s no doubt that there are both commercial and publicity arguments to be made. However, is it about time they heeded Martin’s call to be more civilized? We’d say so, yes. Will it happen? Probably not.
I think it’s hilarious and your response was bob on.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) October 26, 2021