Fans and pundits have paid tribute to the bravery of Formula 1 drivers after a series of chilling incidents at the Russian Grand Prix in which three of them were left in a terribly awkward social situation.
‘It was just sickening to see how quickly everything escalated from normality to arse clenching awkwardness,’ said Maurice Ital of Every Other Sunday magazine. ‘It just goes to show that, even in modern motorsport, a routine moment can suddenly develop into one where a pinchy-faced lunatic in a suit is trying to give you a man hug.’
F1 fans immediately praised the skill with which some drivers dealt with the horrific events unfurling in front of them. ‘Really impressed with the speed of Hamilton’s reactions,’ wrote one online commenter. ‘He saw what was happening and straight away he pretended he needed to go over to the table in the corner to avoid any further physical contact.’
‘Let’s not forget the collateral damage here,’ said another internet poster. ‘Specifically, that lady in the blue dress who knew she was not important enough to meet the drivers but found herself having her hand shaken and has probably been imprisoned for her insubordination.’
‘F1 needs to sort this out,’ noted one fan on Twitter. ‘That power crazed despot shouldn’t be in the drivers’ room. And nor should Vladimir Putin.’