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It hasn’t been a vintage year on the track with Max Verstappen strolling to a second straight F1 title.
But it has certainly been a season to remember for Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle’s legendary grid walks, which have produced numerous memorable, awkward and downright hilarious moments.
Brundle’s altercation with Pep Guardiola ahead of Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix can be placed in the ‘awkward’ category as the Manchester City boss gave the F1 legend the cold shoulder. As Brundle approached, Guardiola said: “I just spoke already with Sky! I spoke twice with Sky,” to which Brundle replied: “Okay, three times lucky then.”
READ MORE: Martin Brundle 'thrown out' of chat with Pep Guardiola who 'shows his true colours'
The Spaniard could be heard sarcastically saying: “Yeah, I'm lucky.” The pundit then went on to ask about City’s performances this season. Guardiola said: “No, let's not talk about football today, come on. Don’t talk about football today."
He then walked off as two guards pushed Brundle and his camera operator away. “Hang on a minute,” Brundle could be heard saying, before adding: “It’s okay, I've been thrown out of better places than this.”
To mark the end of the season, Daily Star Sport picks out seven other grid walk highlights from 2022…
Whispering Tom Cruise
Given the rise in popularity of the sport, F1 grids are nearly always awash with stars of sport and screen ahead of races. And they don’t come much bigger than actor Tom Cruise, who attended the British Grand Prix shortly after the release of his new Top Gun film.
As you would expect, Brundle tried to grab a word, easier said than done given the entourage that surrounded him. But Brundle barged his way through, only to have the briefest of exchanges with Hollywood icon.
Brundle managed to ask who he was rooting for, with Cruise’s reply of “Lewis, always” only just audible.
Bromance with Stormzy
Staying with the British Grand Prix, Brundle had much more success talking to rapper Stormzy, with the pair greeting each other like long lost friends, having spoken at the previous year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“This is my second Silverstone and my third grand prix,” he happily told Brundle. “It’s the UK, this going to be the best one.”
He then declared his support for Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and George Russell before Brundle moved on.
Fans loved the interaction between the duo, with one tweeting: “Stormzy and Martin Brundle is the bromance none of us knew we needed.”
There is nowhere Brundle cannot tread on an F1 grid. Well, almost.
Ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix in June, Brundle went to wave at fans in the crowd, only to step right in front of the Sky Italia presenters as they were broadcasting live.
On realising his error, Brundle said: “Ooops, I’m getting in the shot there, sorry about that.”
One fan tweeted: “Martin Brundle grid walks are always unintentionally funny,” while another simply said: “Martin Brundle is a wild man.”
It’s not unknown for Brundle’s grid walks to be the highlight of the race weekend, and that certainly was the case at the first-ever Miami Grand Prix.
At one point, he mistakenly thought he was talking to NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes. However, it actually turned out to be NBA ace Paolo Banchero he had bumped into. Brundle wrongly addressed him as “Patrick”, he was unsurprisingly ignored, before he eventually realised the misidentification but carried on chatting anyway.
Brundle also approached a man in a loud shirt. The individual in question described himself as a “social media sensation” to which Brundle hilariously replied, “modest too.”
Brundle also tried to catch a word with David Beckham, saying as he approached the Manchester United legend “we’re going to have to get pushy here”. However, Becks wasn’t in the mood for a chat and wondered off.
“That’s the second time he’s blanked me,” rued Brundle.
Brad Pitt snub
Another US race, another Hollywood superstar reluctant to have a chat.
This time it was Brad Pitt at the United States Grand Prix, who was in Austin as part of a fact-finding mission ahead of filming for the F1 movie he will star in.
Therefore, you’d think Pitt would have been happy to chat to one of the most recognisable faces in the sport, but no.
Pitt fobbed Brundle off, a move which went down like a lead balloon with fans. One raged: “I hate it when celebrity bodyguards try and get Martin Brundle away. Lad, you’re at the F1, if you don’t want to be interviewed don’t come on the grid.”
Another said: “Not sure I understand the logic of Brad Pitt not wanting to spend just a moment to talk to Martin Brundle during the grid walk. I mean, this is his moment to connect with those F1 fans that would see his F1 movie.”
What's your favourite Martin Brundle grid walk moment? Tell us in the comments section below.
Channelling his inner Partridge
Even Brundle admits he is surprised by how many of the drivers are prepared to have a chat just before the start of a race, but he has to work hard to get their attention sometimes.
With drivers ‘in the zone’, he sometimes has to resort to raising his voice to get their attention. Take the Belgian Grand Prix.
Early on in his grid walk, Brundle was looking for drivers to speak to and caught sight of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.
He tried to get his attention by shouting “Esteban” but that was easier said than done as the focused Frenchman appeared to have earplugs in. Undeterred, Brundle carried on shouting “Esteban, Esteban” and even broke into a jog in a bid to get closer to his target.
The scene resembled the memorable moment from an Alan Partridge episode where Alan tried in vain to get the attention of his mate Dan in a car park. However, unlike the Steve Coogan character, Brundle did get Ocon’s attention, with the pair having a friendly chat about the race before another moment of hilarity.
As the pair walked and talked, Brundle was randomly handed a pair of sunglasses by a passer-by. He then ended the interview by asking Ocon if they belonged to him. When Ocon’s response was negative, Brundle was left holding the shades for the rest of the grid walk and surmised they weren’t fancy enough to belong to an F1 driver.
Brundle’s grid walk ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix was going too well. He’s just bumped into his number one fan, who told him she “loved” him, and said he shouldn’t have been ignored by Brad Pitt, or by anyone.
Clearly grateful for the kind words, Brundle moved on to find another interviewee, only to be impeded when he got his mic caught in a woman’s handbag. The woman and her friend initially looked shocked before eventually seeing the funny side. Brundle offered his apologies and clarified he wasn't trying to steal the bag or anything in it.
He finally moved on, speaking to musician Will.i.am who has become something of a regular on the grid walk, with the pair also speaking ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.
- Martin Brundle grid walk absence explained after F1 fans hit out at boring b*******
- Brad Pitt contacts Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle after Austin GP grid walk drama
- Martin Brundle grid walk ambushed amid Fernando Alonso snub ahead of Hungarian GP
- Martin Brundle had awkward exchange with Tom Cruise at British GP grid walk
- Martin Brundle apologises after suffering grid walk mishap at Canadian Grand Prix
- David Beckham
- Patrick Mahomes
- Pep Guardiola
- Tom Cruise
- Formula One
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