Martin Brundle's grid walk interviews with Formula One drivers and celebrities can only be described as 'hit or miss'. As far as his recent 'chat' with McLaren driver Oscar Piastri is concerned, it very much fell into the latter category for the legendary Sky Sports motorsport commentator.
Brundle has been widely panned around the world after stopping the Aussie driver for a chat before the Singapore Grand Prix, only to ignore the McLaren man when he spotted another driver. “Oscar, bad luck in qualifying, got some work to do in the race?” Brundle initially asked.
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“Yeah, we’ll try our best, see if we can..." Piastri replied before Brundle interrupted him to try and get Esteban Ocon's attention. Brundle shouted out to try and wish the Alpine driver a happy birthday, completely dismissing the fact that Piastri was in mid-sentence answering his question.
The Aussie driver didn't seem overly fazed by the snub as he simply walked away when Brundle turned his attentions to Ocon. After wishing him a quick happy birthday, Brundle turned back towards Piastri before realising that the McLaren driver had walked off. The incident left viewers fuming on social media, with Brundle's treatment of Piastri described as "disrespectful" and "rude" by many.
No way Martin Brundle just called over Oscar Piastri then ignored him 😭
— UtdUnity (@UtdUnity) September 17, 2023
PMSL…. Why did Martin Brundle do that to Oscar Piastri mid interview😅. He was literally mid sentence #singaporeGP
— Supes 💚 🇬🇩 (@SuperGeeee) September 17, 2023
That was not polite of Brundle to shout to Esteban while Piastri was talking.
— Linda_Versteeg (@LindaVersteeg2) September 17, 2023
Martin brundle did Oscar Piastri dirty there 😩💀
— lauren 🌼 (@laurenbraxton) September 17, 2023
Not Martin Brundle cutting off Oscar Piastri mid sentence 😭 the absolute disrespect hahaha
— tasha (@tashaworgannn) September 17, 2023
— Becky Lucas (@bekylucas7) September 17, 2023
— Louise_Pullen 🇹🇷❤️🏴🇺🇦 (@Louise_Scarlet1) September 17, 2023
Walking away at that point was a very smart move for Piastri.
SO disrespectful from Brundle. He doesn't deserve Piastri's time if he's going to behave like that. https://t.co/0pteuZsVcD
— The Engineer (@Engineer_LXIX) September 17, 2023
Martin Brundle apologises after incident
To his credit, Brundle at least realised the folly of his actions and issued Piastri an apology in the aftermath. The British motorsport icon even attempted to throw in an AFL reference after explaining why he snubbed the Aussie driver.
"Um, yes sorry about that Oscar, wasn’t my finest gridwalk moment in 26 years," Brundle tweeted. "Just wanted to wish Esteban happy birthday as he strode past, but you were DRS open and full battery and quite rightly dropped me like an Aussie Rules rookie."
Um, yes sorry about that Oscar, wasn’t my finest gridwalk moment in 26 years 😳. Just wanted to wish Esteban happy birthday as he strode past, but you were DRS open and full battery and quite rightly dropped me like an Aussie Rules rookie 😁 https://t.co/FOLQv9WyXE
— Martin Brundle (@MBrundleF1) September 17, 2023
Brundle's grid talks have taken on a life of their own in recent times and have ranged from cringe-worthy to pure entertainment. The iconic motorsport caller has had some mixed results after famously being snubbed by the likes of Serena and Venus Williams and mistaking NBA star Paolo Banchero for NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes last year.
He was also involved in a hilarious moment with Roger Federer earlier in 2023, where legendary F1 driver Jackie Stewart jumped in to help secure him an interview with the Swiss tennis legend. Earlier this year, Brundle famously delivered a brutal burn on model and actor, Cara Delevingne, at the British Grand Prix.
Despite being told that he couldn't speak with the English star, Brundle decided to try his luck anyway. After several attempts to convince the star's entourage that "everybody talks on the grid", Brundle eventually gave up before delivering a cutting sledge on the actress. “Ok… I’m sure it would have been extremely interesting”, he muttered in a tone absolutely dripping with sarcasm.
Oscar Piastri seventh as Carlos Sainz snaps Red Bull run
Piastri brushed off his snub from Brundle to enjoyed a fine race for McLaren in Singapore, gaining 10 places from 17th on the grid to finish among the points in seventh place. Ferrari's Carlos Sainz won the race to end runaway championship leader Max Verstappen's record run of 10 wins in a row, shattering Red Bull's dream of going through the season unbeaten.
Starting on pole, Sainz kept the field close enough to remove any pitstop window for others, managing his tyres before helping former teammate Lando Norris stave off the chasing Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton by letting him stay in DRS range.
Mercedes' George Russell, pushing hard for the win on far fresher medium tyres than the leaders, crashed on the last lap while in third place with Hamilton inheriting the podium position and also taking fastest lap. Double world champion Verstappen started 11th under the floodlights and finished fifth, with Mexican teammate and closest rival Sergio Perez, last year's winner in Singapore, eighth.
Verstappen stretched his overall lead to 151 points over Perez but the gap is not big enough for him to secure the title in Japan next weekend. Hamilton moved up to third overall in the standings for the first time this season, ahead of Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso who failed to score in 15th.
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