The former F1 driver, TV commentator, traded the 19-year-old basketball player with the NFL star on the grid. Then he tweeted with irony: “It will be one of the moments that will mark my career”
From our correspondent Mario Salvini
All the veterans of the paddock and the press room, those in their own way legendary characters who have attended hundreds of grands prix, assure that they have never seen anything even approaching what happened in the two hours that preceded Sunday’s race in Miami. . With the paddock and then the starting grid transformed into an Oscar night red carpet. You turned to one side and saw Michael Jordan, on the other there were David Beckham entering the Ferrari and Dwayne Wade walking towards the Mercedes. Michelle Obama on Saturday watched from the grandstand as Michael Douglas honored Charles Leclerc. Walk around and meet Venus and Serena Williams, or watch them chat with their namesake Pharrell.
JJ Watts, nfl giant at the tire change
Lapo Elkann did the honors dressed all in yellow in the hospitality of Maranello, while Tom Brady posed with Lewis Hamilton in that of the Mercedes. Mario Andretti introduced John Oates to other former pilots. And Jackie Stewart convinced Andretti himself, Jacques Villeneuve, Emerson Fittipaldi and Juan Pablo Montoya to take a picture together, because a memory like this would never come back. JJ Watts, one of the greatest defenders in NFL history, threw himself into the Haas tire-changing team, his 96-foot, 131kg, new, heavier 18 ”wheels lifted them like candy. While James Corden, in a mechanic’s uniform, washed the tires outside the McLaren garage. And not far away passed Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese. Formula 1 men and women seemed dazed, many were excited, some were annoyed. And everyone was aware of one thing: missing out on some VIPs. Because there were so many of them, some famous only on this side of the Atlantic, certain on that other side, that an app would be needed to find your way around. With the funny consequence of guests, mechanics, even journalists who, with a doubtful air, in front of certain knots shyly asked: “but who is that?”.
And we are with Martin Brundle who was on live TV, and therefore did not have the opportunity to inquire in time. English, former racer with 165 GPs between 1984 and 1996: Brundle has been the voice of the starting grid for British TV for years. With the competence given by experience and a lot of joy, he always knows how to inform while having fun. Only this time it was also aired on American TV, and he will also know everything about Formula 1, but much less about American sports. He had a guest list, sure, then he had to do what he could. At a certain point, after talking with Beckham, the Williams sisters, Michelle Obama and DJ Khaled, Gianluca Vacchi, a famous influencer / youtuber for him, stood next to him. “I’m sorry, but I don’t know who you are,” he told him live. This made people smile in America, but it was nothing compared to when, approaching a very tall guy in a white T-shirt, he yelled at him: “Patrick, Patrick”. And he did not, he did not turn a turn. How snooty this Patrick Mahomes, poor Brundle must have thought. The problem is that he did not answer because he was not the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs who won the Super Bowl of 2020. He was Paolo Banchero, 2.08 tall, Italian name, surname and passport, 19 years old, super talent too, but not in football, in basketball. Duke star, predestined to be called one of the very first picks in the NBA draft. Having ascertained the reason why he had been ignored, but realizing that that big boy, with that athlete’s size and a pass figure around his neck, was incontrovertibly a VIP, he had to ask him: “What’s your name, sir?”. Unleashing a lot of hilarity across America. Although it must be admitted that, apart from being 7 years younger, there is also a certain similarity between Banchero and Mahomes. Like Brundle, tapino, he will be doomed to remember forever. “It will be one of the moments that will mark my career”, he laughed with his usual good humor. While Mahomes, actually on the guest list but never made it (like Lebron James and The Rock Johnson), tweeted from home: “It’s not possible, brother.”