“Shaq Talks Back” – Shaquille O’Neal Left F1’s Martin Brundle Puzzled With Bizarre Track Interview at German GP 2001

Published 10/26/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021 American former professional basketball player Shaquille O’Neal is seen on the grid before the start of the race Pool via REUTERS/Darron Cummings


This year’s United States Grand Prix saw a plethora of superstars descend on the Circuit of The Americas. While many of them graced the paddock and the grid before the race, Shaquille O’Neal arguably stole the show.

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However, it wasn’t the first time he appeared in an F1 race. In fact, his appearance on Sunday saw the re-emergence of him visiting an F1 race two decades ago. During his time on the grid, former F1 driver Martin Brundle attempted to borrow some of Shaq’s time, which ended in comical fashion.

Shaquille O’Neal and Martin Brundle’s interaction from 2001 resurfaces

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In 2001, the former Los Angeles Lakers center visited the Hockenheimring for the German Grand Prix. Sporting some smart casuals, Shaq walked through the grid alongside the F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone.

Prior to spotting the seven-feet tall NBA legend, Brundle gave his views on various teams for the race. After spotting him, he attempted to get a quick word from O’Neal. Initially, the four-time NBA champion refused to give his time to Brundle. However, when told that he belonged to ITV, he took a few questions from the former McLaren driver.

When asked how he felt, Shaq replied“I’m doing pretty good. Just here to meet the world’s best racers.” Brundle then asked whether he felt F1 drivers receive as much pay as him. Shaq responded not just by saying he didn’t know, but by promoting his upcoming work outside basketball.

“They do it for fun, I do it for fun, we all do it for fun. I’m just here for a good time and talk about my new album Shaquille O’Neal Presents Superfriends, and my new book that’ll be released in January. It’s called ‘Shaq Talks Back’.”

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Max Verstappen won the race after a close battle with Lewis Hamilton

The 24-year-old edged out his British rival in an intense 56-lap race on Sunday. With this win, Verstappen broke Red Bull’s duck at this circuit, and moved 12 points clear of Hamilton in the driver’s championship.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021 American former professional basketball player Shaquille O’Neal presents the winner trophy to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the podium REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Just five races remain in one of the most exciting F1 seasons in the hybrid era. Can Verstappen extend his lead further in the upcoming Mexican Grand Prix? Or will Hamilton reduce the gap with a solid performance?

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WATCH STORY: From Shaquille O’Neal to Serena Williams: Celebrities who Attended the 2021 US Grand Prix

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Sanket Nair

876 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 & US Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He began following F1 since 2010, which made him an instant Sebastian Vettel fan. His favorite tracks on the calendar include Spa-Francorchamps, Monaco and Monza.

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