Button had pre-race F1 ritual with Brundle that was too hot for TV

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Jenson Button’s pre-race tradition with Martin Brundle came back to the fore on Sunday, with Sky Sports pundits Damon Hill and Ted Kravitz sparking curiosity among F1 fans by deeming it too juicy to discuss ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

In Brundle’s absence, former world champion Hill and F1 expert Kravitz conducted the grid walk in Baku. While discussing the secrets of conducting a successful grid walk, they moved onto the topic of which drivers were always up for a chat.

Button’s name cropped up, with Hill explaining: “He was good at getting out of the car and having a chat before races. He had his own little ritual with Martin Brundle.” To that, Kravitz promptly responded: “Let’s not talk about that.”

What the pair were actually referring to was a pre-race tradition involving Brundle giving Button a ‘nipple tweak’. Although it has previously been caught on camera, Hill and Kravitz evidently deemed the topic too hot for TV on Sunday.

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Button had to wait seven seasons for his first Grand Prix victory, but he broke his duck with Honda in 2006 and the bizarre Brundle tradition started to pay dividends when the Englishman joined Brawn three years later. 

Six race wins in his debut season was enough to see Button win his one and only career world title while at the newly-formed F1 team. After a spell alongside Lewis Hamilton at McLaren and seven further years on the grid, Button went on to appear with Brundle as a Sky pundit after retiring.

While Hill and Kravitz evaded the topic of Brundle and Button’s curious routine on the grid walk in Baku, they did manage to get the inside scoop on Max Verstappen’s feud with George Russell, with the pair exchanging stern words after Saturday’s fast and furious sprint race.

Verstappen remained angry in his post-race interviews following an aggressive move from his Mercedes rival, whom he referred to as ‘Princess George’, while Russell insisted that the Dutchman would also have gone for the overtake if the shoe was on the other foot.

When asked whether he had spoken to the reigning double world champion on the morning of Sunday’s Grand Prix, Russell told Sky Sports: “No [we haven’t spoken]. I’ll say hello to him, there’s no hard feelings on my side.”

McLaren star Lando Norris was standing alongside Russell at the time and he took his opportunity to needle the 25-year-old, saying: “[Verstappen] said to expect the same back [on track], so I’m looking forward to that.”

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