Martin Brundle’s grid walks are some of the most exciting and chaotic moments in sports broadcasting. It’s 10 minutes or so of unpredictably live TV where the former Formula 1 driver could go from talking to a driver to a celebrity to some random person on the grid.
It’s usually awkward when Brundle talks to celebrities. Brundle gives off a vibe that he would rather talk to literally anyone else, while the celebrity doesn’t want to look like an idiot if they’re asked an F1 question, and they don’t know anything about the sport. It’s led to some awkward and tense interactions.
At the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, Brundle talked to Academy Award winner/slapper Will Smith. Smith is an F1 fan, who attends many races in seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton’s pit.
Before talking to Smith, Brundle was told by a PR person he could ask one question. Like a seasoned media vet, Brundle took some creative liberties and asked a second question.
I will defend Brundle because, “Are you team Lewis?,” isn’t really a question. Yes, it’s a question, but it’s a nice softball at the start to set the interviewee at ease. That clearly wasn’t the thing Brundle wanted to ask.
Brundle’s follow-up was more suitable. Brundle asked Smith if he was going to be in the new Formula 1 movie that’s produced by Hamilton and stars Brad Pitt. Smith said he hadn’t been asked yet, but “would love to,” and joked that he might need to lose a few pounds to fit in the car.
Brundle got a tap on the arm during the second question, but he got the interview he wanted. All in all, it was a fun interview.
Other highlights of Brundle’s Saudi grid walk included trying to interview a track marshal that wound up not speaking English, and interviewing Aston Martin’s Martin Whitmarsh, who Brundle joked that Whitmarsh fired him when he drove for McLaren.
[Kaushalya KauBoy Prabuddha on YouTube]