Martin Brundle is first and foremost an ex-Formula One driver with a career spanning from 1984-1996. He partnered both world champions Michael Schumacher and Mike Hakkinen during his career claiming nine podiums but never an Grand Prix win.
The British racing driver had greater success in his few years in sports cars between 1988-1990 where he claimed the world sports car title with a record points haul winning the Daytona 500 in the same year.
Brundle wins Le Mans
Then in 1990 Martin was victorious at the biggest event in endurance racing, the Le Mans 24 hour race.
Since retiring Brundle has become the recognised voice of Formula One commentary on British Television having worked alongside Murray Walker, James Allen and now David Croft as Sky’s expert driver commentator.
However, Brundle’s biggest legacy in F1 for some is his now infamous grid walk. Brundle went to work for ITV the year after he retired from F1 and in their first year of broadcasting Formula One during the 1997 season the grid walk was born.
Brundle was selected to talk to the drivers and other team personnel because of his intimate knowledge of the paddock personnel acquired during his racing years.
Kimi was “taking a s**t”
There have been many iconic moments on Martin’s grid walk and one of the most amusing was during the 2006 Brazilian GP when the drivers assembled to watch Pele receive a lifetime achievement award.
Kimi Raikkonen was notable by his absence so Brundle questioned him as to his whereabouts on the grid walk.
“I was taking a s**t”, replied Raikkonen, before Brundle delivered the perfect riposte: “Well obviously you’ll have a nice light car on the grid then.”
One of the more recent developments – and often in the USA where Martin is not known – is the celeb blanking of Martin, which in Europe would be frowned upon.
Brundle blanked by superstars
Equally amusing is the fact Brundle doesn’t know who many of the alleged global superstars are and calls them by the incorrect name – until prompted in his ear pierce to correct himself.
At last years British Grand Prix in a bizarre attempt to ‘march on’ Tom Cruise did his level best to ignore eye contact with Martin and in previous years it has been pop diva Mariah Carey and tennis superstar Venus Williams who have used their entourage to avoid Martin’s microphone.
Yet in Monaco this weekend, Martin and his grid walk crew were abused by a usual friendly force always happy to chat.
As he fought his way through the incredibly busy and tight Monaco start/finish line the mechanic guarding pole sitter Verstappen’s car shouted, “No – Im gonna get in f***ing s*** dude.”
Red Bull crew abuse Brundle
Martin was forced to issue a apology to the viewers before swiftly proceeding to ignore the Red Bull dressed bouncer and chat with Christian Horner.
“Yeah sorry for the language there everybody,” said Brundle before going about his business as he has done so now for 26 years.
Fans took to social media protesting about the Red Bull mechanic’s behaviour.
@dan_grey “Kind of speechless that this Red Bull employee apparently doesn’t know who Martin Brundle is and thought that kind of language was appropriate.”
Start grid now too busy
Yet in the defence of the pit crew member, FOM now owned by Liberty Media have allowed so many people onto the grid compared to the Ecclestone days, its pretty hard for even the expert interviewers to get about now.
The Red Bull mechanic did appear to be looking at the camera man and not Brundle when he issued his X-rate rant and the interview with Horner did proceed as normal.
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 28, 2023