Martin Brundle says he feared he got Sir Jackie Stewart "thrown out" after a Miami Grand Prix Formula 1 grid walk incident with Roger Federer.
Pre-race in Florida, Brundle was conducting his grid walk and made his way to the front of the grid, encountering three-time World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart, while also attempting to get the attention of tennis icon Federer.
Stewart ducked under the security rope and was man-handled by security, which prompted criticism on social media that Stewart – a winner of 27 Grands Prix – was not recognised, while celebrities such as Federer were welcomed into the VIP area before the driver introductions, held by LL Cool J.
And Brundle, who has been doing the grid walks since 1997, says he feared Stewart would be thrown out over the incident.
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Brundle on Stewart incident
"What a legend, 83 years old,” explained Brundle on the Sky Sports F1 podcast.
"I happened across him at the front of that rope. It was like trying to get into a dodgy nightclub, wasn't it?
"The pair of us, we had no chance, we had the wrong dress code or something. I found that whole procedure a little bit weird on the grid. There were so many people around, and I particularly wanted to talk to Roger as I got to the front.
"I just happened to say that to Jackie, and he was like: 'Do you want to talk to him then?' And I said: 'Yeah.'
"He jumps under the rope, and now there's three people running after him.
"And I'm like: 'Oh my God, I've just got Jackie Stewart thrown out of this place.' We have both been thrown out of better places than that! It was hilarious, really.
"Then I started to panic a little bit, if I'm honest.
"He's 83, I don't need him over there risking himself just for an interview. He was great. That's a true mate, isn't it, when they go the extra mile for you like that.
"I was in what we call a hard count in our business into throwing to the presentation.
"It's sort of non-negotiable. Now I'm watching security guards, Roger Federer, then George Russell gets involved trying to explain what's going on.
"I see this negotiation going on over there. Literally, my count in my ear just finishes as Federer turns around and walks over, escorted by Sir Jackie, so I think I've got to talk to him now. I think we got away with it somehow.
"But [I had] huge amounts of anxiety, that's why I never watched the damn things [back]. And I haven't watched it for 26 years.
"I've seen [the Stewart incident] on social media, but I never watch the grid walk back ever. I don't know who that bloke is running around being cheeky and rude, my sort of alter ego!"
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Miami Grand Prix.