Martin Brundle is back on Sky Sports commentary duty after missing last weekend’s French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard.
Due to the intense schedule, which features 22 races around the globe, it is not uncommon for the F1 broadcasting legend to miss the odd race. He was back in natural habitat at the Hungaroring and was reporting trackside during the second of Friday’s practice sessions.
As well as assessing the performance of the cars speeding past, he also regaled viewers with some memories from his own days as an F1 driver. First, he recalled the first-ever Hungarian Grand Prix in 1986 when the country was still behind the Iron Curtain.
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“It was one of the eeriest feelings I’d ever had on the grid,” he said. “I couldn’t work out what it was. Then I realised, it was the silence of 120,000 people, most of whom were at their first-ever Grand Prix and our first visit to behind the Iron Curtain.”
He then recounted a rather dangerous moment at the Budapest venue during his single season with Benetton in 1992 – the year fellow Brit Nigel Mansell won his only world championship.
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“I had a really bizarre experience,” he added. “My Benetton broke down in practice. I was being towed back down here by quite an old car. There was a narrow gap in the barriers here and he [the driver] did a 90 [degrees] right [turn] and just carried on.
“He nearly took my head off with the tow rope as I was still inside the car because, as you know, Formula 1 cars barely turn because of their fat front wheels. He didn’t realise I couldn’t follow him through the barrier. There’s all sorts of history and stories [from the Hungarian Grand Prix].”
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