James Marsden got some run during Sunday afternoon’s Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix, but only because the Sky Sports broadcast thought he was Roger Federer.
On lap 44 of the race, the Sky Sports broadcast, which was also carried by the ESPN on ABC, panned to Marsden standing trackside. Marsden, seemingly excited to be highlighted by the broadcast, gave the camera one of his big, distinguished smiles. Unfortunately for Marsden, the broadcast didn’t know who he was, misidentifying the actor as “Roger Federer 20-time Grand Slam Winner, Tennis” with a caption on the bottom of the screen.
Starring in Hop and Sonic the Hedgehog, Marsden is a fairly notable actor. But even he would have to agree, he’s not the international celebrity Roger Federer is. Shortly after the mix-up, play-by-play voice David Croft called out the gaffe.
“I have to laugh though,” Croft said. “We just saw a shot with James Marsden, the actor, standing beside the track. That definitely was not Roger Federer, I assume Jackie Stewart is now going to go and get Rodger Federer so he can stand by the side of the track.”
And Croft did laugh, with the announcer especially cracking up at the thought of Jackie Stewart chasing Federer down for a second time. Earlier in the day, Sky Sports correspondent Martin Brundle sought to interview the tennis icon during his grid walk. Determined to make it happen, the 83-year-old Stewart, an F1 legend, busted through safety ropes and security guards to bring Federer to Brundle.
— Michael Klinck (@Michael_Klinck) May 7, 2023
The Marsden-Federer mix-up also wasn’t the first time celebrities were misidentified during the F1 event in Miami. Last year, Brundle attempted to track down Patrick Mahomes for a quick conversation on the grid, only to learn he was actually talking to basketball star Paolo Banchero as the interview took place. During his grid walk this year, Brundle reunited with Banchero, but this time, he knew he was talking to the Orlando Magic forward.
[Sky Sports, via ESPN on ABC]