Sky Sports’ Martin Brundle says he ‘dislikes’ doing his pre-race grid walks after he mixed up NFL star Patrick Mahomes with a 19-year-old basketball player at the Miami Grand Prix.
The commentator, who’s been covering F1 since 1997 having previously been a grand prix-winning driver, ended up confusing 2020 Super Bowl champion and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Mahomes with Duke Blue Devils basketball star and NBA hopeful Paolo Banchero – with the pair seeing the funny side.
Yet after the race, Brundle responded to the honest mistake on Twitter, saying: ‘There’s a reason why I’ve never watched back an F1 gridwalk in quarter of a century of doing them.
‘You have no idea how much I dislike doing them but somehow those crazy moments have defined my professional career. Oh well, that’s the way it is.’
Trackside reporter Brundle spoke to several A-list celebrities at Sunday’s showpiece, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, David Beckham, Venus and Serena Williams, DJ Khaled and Pharrell Williams.
Brundle thought he had bumped into another household name in Mahomes, after chasing him and yelling out ‘Patrick’.
He eventually managed to get to his target, asking him about the atmosphere at the event, which was being attended by around 250,000 people.
He replied: ‘This is crazy. I’ve never been to an F1 race so this is spectacular,’ before adding: ‘You can see, they’re locked in. It reminds me of myself.’
Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle (right), 62, mistook NBA top-three draft prospect Pablo Banchero (left), 19, for NFL Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes, 26, at the Miami GP
Brundle said on Twitter he ‘dislikes’ doing his pre-F1 race grid walks after his mix-up in Miami
Basketball player Banchero (left) was confused with NFL star Mahomes (right)
Both Mahomes and Banchero saw funny side of Sky Sports’ Martin Brundle’s honest mistake
At that point, Brundle was told in his ear that he had made an honest mistake and was actually interviewing Banchero.
‘It’s not Patrick, that’s why he ignored me,’ a bemused Brundle told a Sky Sports camera that followed him into the crowd next to the race track.
‘What is your name, sir?’ he then asked, before apologising: ‘Well I thought I was talking to somebody else, I’m sorry about that.’
After the awkward moment had spread on social media, Banchero took to Twitter to describe his mood: ‘I’m just vibing right now man.’
And although it remains unclear if Mahomes knew of the interaction before the tweet was shared, he reacted by adding: ‘Bro ain’t no way,’ followed by four laughing emojis.
Brundle, 62, is well known for walks along the grid preceding Formula 1 races, interviewing drivers and team bosses, but the inaugural race in Miami attracted a host of high-profile names.
One giveaway for the producers in Brundle’s ear would have been the heights of the two men: Mahomes stands at 6ft 2ins, while Banchero is a huge 6ft 9ins.
Mahomes inspired a dramatic comeback in Super Bowl LIV two years ago to seal the Chief’s first victory in the competition since 1970.
Banchero is an Italian-American basketball player, who’s been plying his trade in college basketball for the Duke Blue Devils during the 2021-2022 season.
Mahomes inspired late fightback to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to Super Bowl victory in 2020
Mahomes (pictured with Super Bowl trophy) is one of the biggest names in American football
There are high hopes for the teenager as he’s projected to be a top-three pick in the 2022 NBA draft – an annual event where the top-flight basketball teams in the United States can recruit new players.
Banchero came into college as a five-star recruit and is now one of the top players in the 2021 class. He was also named the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2022.
Over his first and only year in college, Banchero averaged 17.2 points along with 7.8 rebounds at the tender age of 19. He also officially announced his eligibility for the NBA Draft in April, putting an end to his short-lived college career.
Mahomes was indeed part of the sell-out crowd but did not speak to Sky Sports’ Brundle at the event.
Brundle is well-known for his pre-race interviews and spoke to Pharrell Williams on Sunday
David Beckham (left) was in Miami for the weekend to witness the city’s first ever Grand Prix
DJ Khaled (right) was also in attendance at the estimated 250,000 people Miami showpiece
Reigning F1 world champion Max Verstappen came out on top in Miami’s first ever Grand Prix, slashing Charles Leclerc’s overall lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to 19 points.
Ferrari’s Leclerc finished second, 3.786 seconds behind after starting on pole, with Spanish team-mate Carlos Sainz completing the podium at the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium.
The victory was Verstappen’s third of the season, and second in a row, as he looks to retain the title this season. The Red Bull star passed Leclerc early on and then held off his challenge following a late safety car.
Lewis Hamilton finished sixth with his Mercedes team-mate George Russell pipping him to fifth.