F1’s Martin Brundle was mocked by the Orlando Magic on Sunday following the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVIII win after he mistook their player Paolo Banchero for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Brundle crossed paths with Banchero on his grid walk ahead of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix but ended up muddling up the NBA star for three-time Super Bowl winner Mahomes.
Banchero initially ignored the F1 TV pundit as he called him Patrick but answered Brundle when he asked him what he thought of the atmosphere. “This is crazy,” Banchero replied. “I’ve never been to an F1 race so this is spectacular. You can see, they’re locked in. It reminds me of myself.”
Brundle was later informed that it wasn’t Chiefs star Mahomes, but NBA franchise Orlando’s prospect Banchero. He apologised for the error. In his column for Sky Sports, Brundle said: “The grid was incredibly busy pre-race too, and my sincere apologies to Patrick Mahomes and Paolo Banchero for the confusion.”
Banchero and Mahomes even shared an exchange on social media over the case of mistaken identity. Banchero tweeted: “I’m just vibing right now man”. To which Mahomes replied: “Bro ain’t no way”. Brundle and Banchero reunited at the next Miami Grand Prix.
And now after Mahomes and Kansas City went back-to-back with Super Bowl wins, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime in Las Vegas, the Magic mocked Brundle by sharing a grab of his grid walk with Banchero to congratulate Mahomes and the Chiefs. “Back 2 back, congrats Patrick,” Orlando’s tweet read.
Banchero and Orlando are in the hunt for a playoff spot this season, sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference with a record of 29-24. Individually, Banchero has had a good season, averaging 21.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Banchero has highlighted Russell Westbrook as a source of good advice, helping him when times got tough in his rookie year.
“Last year, that was when I got messed up. January, February, I got messed up. That was the wall that everybody talked about. That was when I hit the wall. That was the biggest thing for me this year – how can I make sure I’m ready for that? Because it’s going to happen,” the player said on The Old Man & The Three podcast.
Banchero added: “Actually, a guy who talked to me, or I talked to and asked, was Russell Westbrook. He came up to me and told me he was like, ‘Yo, whatever, good year,’ he said, ‘What’s up, congratulations.’ He was like, ‘But, you know, year 2 is the hardest year’. I was like, ‘For real? Why do we say that?’ He said, ‘Because one, you have expectations now. Everyone is expecting you to perform, everyone’s expecting you to improve and be better.'”