Martin Brundle left red-faced in Belgium

Martin Brundle’s attempted 'Fanwalk' at the Belgian Grand Prix backfired with numerous awkward moments.

Formula 1 fans were left feeling disappointed and nostalgic when Martin Brundle, renowned for his iconic pre-race gridwalks, opted for a different approach at the Belgian Grand Prix. 

Brundle’s pre-race routine, featuring interviews with sports, music, and cinema celebrities, has been a beloved tradition for British F1 fans for over a quarter of a century. 

However, his attempt at a ‘fanwalk’ at the recent race encountered some unexpected challenges, leaving the motorsport legend red-faced.

Known for engaging with fans, drivers, and team personnel on the grid before the race, Brundle’s gridwalks have been must-watch moments for anyone remotely interested in the sport. 

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However, at the Belgian Grand Prix, he decided to take a different approach, conducting a ‘fanwalk’ instead, where he interviewed spectators in the stands who endured two treacherous days of rain in Flanders.

Unfortunately, the change in format quickly backfired as the majority of fans Brundle chose to speak to didn’t understand English. 

This created awkward moments during the fan interactions, especially with two youngsters from Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium, who had to apologise for their inability to comprehend Brundle’s questions.

One particular encounter involved a young fan wearing a hat adorned with the logo of British team McLaren. 

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Despite Brundle’s attempt to engage, the fan didn’t understand, leading his father to intervene and ask Brundle to speak in French, a language he couldn’t accommodate.

Despite facing language barriers, Brundle persevered and managed to have a few successful interactions with fans. 

However, his gridwalk was cut short prematurely, leaving him with an awkward moment when he humorously asked, “Does anyone else speak English?”

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Brundle’s decision to depart from his traditional gridwalk format was met with mixed reactions from fans. 

While some appreciated the effort to involve spectators, others expressed their desire to see the return of the classic gridwalks, which had become an integral part of the pre-race spectacle.

The gridwalks, as they were known, allowed fans to get up close and personal with their favourite drivers and personalities, providing unique insights and moments of spontaneity.