F1’s ‘Brundle clause’ doesn’t demand celebrities give grid interviews

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In the round-up: Formula 1 has changed its grid procedures for celebrities following Megan Thee Stallion’s notorious appearance at the United States Grand Prix.

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In brief

‘Brundle clause’ explained

Formula 1 has revised its grid procedure for celebrities after footage went viral showing a run-in between Martin Brundle and Megan Thee Stallion – plus her entourage – at the United States Grand Prix.

The Le Mans 24 Hours winner, World Sports-Prototype champion and veteran of 158 grands prix, now in his 25th year as an F1 broadcaster, attempted to interview the 26-year-old Texan rap star on the grid before the race at the Circuit of the Americas. While the rapper laughed off Brundle’s approach, her companions dealt with the Sky commentator in a more heavy-handed fashion.

During their Mexican Grand Prix weekend coverage Sky indicated F1 has changed its procedures for celebrities. Coverage elsewhere claimed a so-called ‘Brundle clause’ will “ban bodyguards from F1 grids and mandate celebrity interviews”.

RaceFans understands the policies are not this drastic. Celebrities will be asked not to bring security attendants onto the grid, which is already well policed, but stars are not required to give interviews. They will be reminded of the need to be courteous if approached by the media.

Mexican GP “one of my best” despite lap one crash – Tsunoda

Analysis: Why Red Bull were too quick to blame Tsunoda over their spoiled Q3 laps
Yuki Tsunoda was pleased with his performance in the Mexico City Grand Prix despite frustrating the Red Bull team and retiring in a crash within seconds of the start.

“Even though I didn’t even finish the first lap of the Mexican GP, I feel my performance up until Sunday was one of my best of the season,” he said. “For the third race in a row I made it to Q3, I had good pace all weekend long and generally felt confident in the car.

“My first visit to Mexico didn’t disappoint, it was such an amazing experience, the fans are so passionate, and it was so great to see.”

Haas want to keep Fittipaldi

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the team is keen to retain its reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi, who drove for the team twice last year as a substitute for the injured Romain Grosjean.

“Pietro is a very good guy, he’s a very good driver and he’s now a part of our family,” said Steiner. “We always can’t do without him but last year when Romain had his accident and he had to jump in, he did a fantastic job not having been in the car for almost one year. Pietro is one of us and hopefully he stays on with us.”

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Comment of the day

How far is too far when it comes to ‘gamesmanship’, asks @Tricky:

I am always fascinated when does gamesmanship cross the line. Bottas trying to steal the fastest lap, when he cannot get a point for it, but then it is still put in the record books – and he might now hold the lap record for a while if the new generation cars take some time to catch up.

Any driver deliberately driving slowly? This is not the first time of course, and if you build the gap, it’s up to you how you use it.

I think in this case it was a great, but I wonder when does a line get crossed? E.g., going off track to cause a yellow flag while someone is trying a fastest lap in the race – too much? Stopping your car on track to cause a Safety Car in the last few laps when your team mate looks likely to get overtaken?
@Tricky

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Lucien_Todutz and Jonathan Balsdon!

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 37 comments on “F1’s ‘Brundle clause’ doesn’t demand celebrities give grid interviews”

    1. The whole Brundle, Megan Thee Stallion’s thing is a storm in a tea cup. To be honest I thought Brundle asking her to do a rap on the spot like that was a bit silly. But Megan Thee Stallion could have handled it better by saying something like no I don’t have any rap at the moment but I would like to say great to be here bla bla bla.
      She chose to just smile and keep walking, the actual security guard said and did nothing at all, it looked like one of her hangers on who said no. Liberty and the promoter need to take a lot of the blame for this as they pick and pay which celebs to turn up. If it was Liberty’s intention to lure her fans into watching F1 they just blew it big time!
      So perhaps next time choose a celeb who has at least a passing interest in Motor Racing, if not a Liberty media person should be assigned to them for the duration to ‘assist’ when they are approached by F1 commentators.

      1. @johnh the “have you got a rap for us” was a bit silly, and Brundle knew it, but she is a freestyle rapper (as in, able to rap on-the-spot)—so it’s actually not the silliest of questions.

        The blonde guy who pushed Brundle away was security, she had several security guards in her entourage. The big guy up front also tried to push Brundle away, but she indicated to him (the big guy) that she was happy to talk.

        She wasn’t there as a guest of Liberty, but as a guest of Red Bull. I could be wrong but I don’t think she was paid to be there.

        The move for Liberty to ban personal security on the grid I think is a good one and will prevent the scene happening again. There is no need for security on the grid, everyone on that grid is there for a professional reason, except the celebs themselves!

        1. @johnh @justrhysism it is all a bit of a non-event. I didn’t think anyone was offended, asking her to do a rap is silly a question and Brundle knows it, but he plays off the ‘I don’t know who this person is, but someone in my ear is telling me…..’ he’s done it for years, and it plays well with the usual demographic that watches grid walks. He never asks Clapton if he’s got his guitar with him and can we hear a quick tune.

          The guy with blonde hair (who I initially thought was Machine Gun Kelly), was a bit over zealous in the shoving, but if you imagine what an average day looks like to that guy trying to get her through a crowd, that’s probably what he’s asked to on a regular basis, it’s just that he obviously didn’t get the memo that the grid despite it’s crowds is about as safe a place as she can be.

          1. Well said @johnh, @justrhysism and @bernasaurus, I did read here after the US weekend that she had quite serious personal threats against here, hence nervous security, but indeed, on an F1 grid that shouldn’t be needed so good F1 changes the way that goes. I don’t think she herself did something off, as indeed the question was silly (possibly unlike Clapton, she doesn’t need anything, that’s the improv, but even so yeah), and she answered sort of in kind.

            Personally I also don’t really need the VIP’s but let’s be honest it is part of the business-model of F1. That means they are there to stay, Brundle’s job is also to show them (so others know there are VIP’s there and maybe worth while to pay for access etc I guess). It also means FOM need to make sure they feel welcome, but should also make sure they are aware of the etiquette, after all, apart from (partly by now!) the team personnel, everyone is one grade of celebrity, star or official figure, including Brundle himself, who’s also providing the majority of the world with what they view just before the race.

        2. Whatever she is, this was the first time I saw that face and the name I don’t remember even as I type this. All I remembered was that she was a rapper, and that’s because Brundle said it. To be honest I never listen to those “celeb” interviews of his, I try to do something else until he talks to someone relevant. There are those people, famous or not, who are real fans and that could even be fine to listen to, but those standard brainwashed statements that start with “what a beautiful crowd, it’s great to be here” are something that a person with at least close to average IQ cannot listen to. It’s part of American showbiz culture and that’s not my favourite part of their culture. Most of their celebrities say “like” at least three times in one sentence, I don’t need to punish myself with that. I understand why they need these interviews, but I wish there was a skip button. It’s also silly watching a real F1 pundit, a former driver or respectable talent and someone who’s opinion I actually care to listen to runs after some “celebrity” that loooked like she was either scared of the people around her, or was on drugs or (probably this) was thinking about her next lunch or appointment or something. Blah.

          1. Brundle did what he did, the world’s moved on, yet he (and Sky) are still milking this for all it’s worth 🙄

    2. This is what you get when Formula 1 tries to seduce present-day America: polemical and sensationalist topics all around.

    3. Who really wants to hear banal mutterings from random slebs anyway?

    4. Good cotd. All side effects of bad ideas. Good ideas are faultless, f1 ideas only suit the teams that pass such ideas into rules.

    5. enjoy the privilege

      That’s a good takeaway. These are all people of privilege, some enjoy it for a short period of time such is the nature of celebrity. Enjoy the experience being afforded to you; Shaq might have been the extreme example of this.

      We should’t be bothered by the celebrities who come to enjoy F1, regardless of how little of a “gear-head” they may be. The sport ought to be shared with everyone, this is truly at the core of diversity, and the more exposure the better.

    6. some racing fan
      10th November 2021, 4:32

      Are you kidding me about that London Grand Prix? Is that real? Or is that just a desperate bid by Khan trying to get re-elected?

      1. Didn’t he get re-elected this year? A London grand prix is something that sounds quite cool in principle but I convinced that the reality would be disappointing mess. I’m trying to think of an equivalent sporting event in such a city and the closest I can come up with is the last stage of the tour de France on the champs Elysees in Paris, which is an amazing spectacle but probably only disruptive for a day or two. It’s really more like the London marathon in scope/scale.

        The grand prix in London would be carnage for months of the year so it would end up being horribly compromised (shunted miles outside the centre or on a ludicrous toy-sized track within one of the bigger parks) or evoke so many complaints and bad press that it would hardly be worth the hassle. People in the UK (particularly London) sure love to argue, so why not keep gp racing on circuits that already exist? It’s not as though Silverstone is that far from London anyway.

        1. I don’t see a problem with transport or disruption as the site is just below the Olympic Park with a dozen or so Olympic sports holding 140 odd events at the site. So I expect it would follow the same basic planning on transport, etc. Plenty of infrastructure in place inc the Excel Centre and the City Airport inside the track. An obvious track is already there using the ring road with a super wide straight over a mile long. Although that track is over five miles long there is a shortened 3.5 alternative. From memory its all pretty flat and featureless though.

      2. I would be worried that Silverstone losses it’s spot as there can’t be 2 races in England.

        1. some racing fan
          10th November 2021, 9:43

          Who knows; if that London GP is for real they would just designate it the British GP in place of Silverstone (lets hope not).

        2. Why? It’s happened before. The UK is the home of F1. Most teams are based there. Most employees for said teams are from there. The most successful driver ever is British. The most world titles have been won by British drivers. Thw most world champions come from Britain. The most world titles and grand prix have been won by British teams. The British GP has sold out almost every year for the last decade. The first World championship race was held in Britain. If ANYWHERE should have 2 GPs, shouldnt it be Britain?

      3. Guys, guys: stop getting so excited – it’s from the Daily Mail, so there’s little chance of it being real!

    7. Whilst I’d prefer those on the grid to actually have an interest in F1, in this day and age I guess we have to accept that celebrities are being used to pull eyeballs.

      What Brundle & co need to do is some basic research on who has (or hasn’t) got any real knowledge of motor racing and just steer clear of those that really don’t.

      Plenty of actual candidates he can talk to – let the cameras take a shot or two of the celebrities, but leave the talking to people that are relevant and can actually hold a conversation.

      1. What Brundle & co need to do is some basic research on who has (or hasn’t) got any real knowledge of motor racing and just steer clear of those that really don’t.

        Don’t waste time on any such research.
        Just stick to interviewing people actually involved in F1/Motorsports.
        There more than enough of those walking around.

        And ideally don’t even show the others; they might lose interest to come next time (many are more interested in being seen than to ‘enjoy the privilege’).

      2. I’d prefer those on the grid to actually have an interest in F1
        I agree, but no one agrees more than Brundle himself. Let’s face it, he knew exactly what would happen and he asked those stupid questions on purpose. He wanted it to blow up so he would have some leverage. He is trying to rid the grid of these people by making it as uncomfortable as he can. Same with Coulthard actually. He casually said on broadcast: “Here is Christina Aguilera faking an interest into formula 1” when she was shown with her mobile phone at the track.

        …and Brundle succeeded! Seems like from now one Liberty will brief the celeb of choice better

        1. Credits to the sky team for that :)

    8. Its simple. No matter who you are. Except for the teams if you on the grid be prepared to give an interview in relation to f1 if u are approached by the main f1 broadcaster. As a F1 fan for more than 2 decades i understand the point of these famous people on the grid. But they also need to understand why they are on the grid. Its first to promote f1. Then the teams and drivers and lastly themselves. Whether they are payed to be there or invited as guests. Show some appreciation for the sport and engage. The fans like it.

    9. I’m 50-50 agree with Brundle. While I don’t believed anyone should have to answered him, I fully agree that Malfoy lookalike shouldn’t be in the grid.

      1. Hah this had to be his less successful relative or something.

        1. These celebs on the grid are of three sorts. The Harrison Ford fellows who are interested in what is going on and are there for the sport. Then secondly the Will Smith club who want only self promotion (in his case so much so he almost messed up the race).

          The third category is a subset of the second. They parade around the grid with a huge entourage showing not the slightest interest in what is going on and when approach are either rude themselves or delegate the rudeness to their minders. What value do such “guests” add? Their minders are a negative looking and behaving like entitled bullies and often help build an image of gangsterism being welcome on the grid and doing their boss’s image no favours.

    10. I don’t care what they wanna do, or who they want to chat to on the grid pre race…
      But please stop cutting mid race to a pointless shot of some celebrity sat watching the race in a garage! The race is for race footage only please.

      1. @eurobrun but I do love when they cut to the race team and show the leg shaking as they look at the screens.

        1. @jimfromus fair point. I’ve got no issue with that as its in context. They’re the team, and its a team sport. But a guest of the team, I’m not interested.

    11. Verstappen whales on FUT? Seriously?

      1. I’m sure some won’t appreciate how incredible that actually is. He has some serious skill. Considering the amount of travel he does, media commitments, maintains a relationship with a child involved, and occasionally drives an F1 car. To get into the top 20 in the world, where he’s not competing against 19 others with unequal equipment, but literally millions of people around the world on a level playing field (pun).

        I’m very handy, but even if I dedicated myself to it non stop, I know i’d never get top 20 in the world. It’s almost more impressive than anything he’s done in a Red Bull.

        If that’s how he relaxes between sessions, and happens to be incredibly good at it, then good on him.

        *before anyone says video games are for kids, Lewis rides around quite happily on a little scooter.

    12. I find the whole Brundle interviewing celebrities thing funny to be honest. You can tell he doesn’t like the fact that the producers are pushing for him to speak to them and does it with such distain. The fact they don’t put even a minimal amount of effort in before showing up to realise that his grid interviews are broadcast live and will often act as a first impression for many people who have never heard of you before is hilarious. You can just imagine their manager or PR person sat in front of a screen with their head in their hands – “Uh oh… Please give an answer… Just say anything… Oh no….”

    13. Happy birthday to a man who was on course to become Ferraris 8th world champion. Only 2 points shy of that ’99 title.

    14. I don’t think F1 or the celebs that go on the grid can afford to make themselves impossible on the grid. It’s not a good look for either and quite disrespectful to the sport and the fans, when one so blatantly just wants the rewards without partaking in media game.

      As for COTD: well isn’t that exactly what F1 wanted with this rule?
      Because i don’t see anyway of that rule functioning any differently, especially with the high degrading tires F1 has got for the moment.

    15. Triviality at its best. People have made an unnecessarily big fuss out of Brundle’s pre-race incident on the COTA grid.
      I’ve never really cared about celebrities attending races.

      I still doubt a London GP would happen, like on all previous speculation occasions.
      Entirely unnecessary, not to mention, the proposed configuration looks very short, even shorter than Bahrain Outer.

      An interesting COTD. I agree that deliberately causing a yellow caution or SC period would be questionable, even DSQ-worthy, but otherwise, nothing wrong.

    16. Better still: ignore such idiots from the beginning

    17. London GP should only be allowed if it is right in the centre with landmarks all around, otherwise it’s just another boring car park or industrial estate.

      The Excel centre and surrounding area is a boring place, having been there many times it’s hardly best foot forward for London.

    18. Celebs are part of the F1 circus, if they can’t respect they are just a cog in that wheel and show respect & professionalism – GO HOME!!!
      Actually here i would rather see Pollies than celebs. They smile, not offensive, happy to be in a photo and generally say first-up – where do they need to stand & what do they have to do.

    Comments are closed.