JEREMEY CLARKSON was giddy with excitement ahead of the new Formula One season.
This was despite his admission of it “infuriating” him for “years and years”.
Jeremy Clarkson couldn’t contain his excitement attending an F1 race
But the ex-Top Gear host admitted he had infuriated by the sport in previous years
Ahead of the season opener in Bahrain, Sky Sports presenter Martin Brundle resumed the tradition of his grid walk.
His walk normally allows him to rub shoulders and grab a quick word from the host of celebrities and team members on the grid – sometimes to great comedic effect.
And his walk in Bahrain was no different, as he spoke to Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Red Bull chief Christian Horner before speaking to Clarkson.
After asking the ex-Top Gear host whether he should be “planting turnips” Clarkson spoke of his excitement to be back at an F1 race.
He said: “[The] First F1 race I’ve been to for years. It’s just so fantastic to be back. I adore Formula 1.
“It was infuriating for years and years and now it’s back because they can follow one another and the aerodynamics are so much better.
“My daughter is now a really big fan so I can talk to her about it. I can’t believe how big [the cars] have got! I’m just fizzing with excitement over it all.”
The race would go on to be won by Max Verstappen, who produced a dominant display.
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Sergio Perez came in second, while Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso claimed his 99th career podium after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc retired.
Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton could only muster a fifth-placed finish following Toto Wolff’s admission the Mercedes design concept may need to be scrapped.
Team-mate George Russell came in seventh, while it was a day to forget for McLaren and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.
Lando Norris was forced to pit SIX times throughout the race due to engine issues, while F1 debutant Oscar Piastri was forced to retire early on.
Ocon was handed a raft of penalties after twice incorrectly serving previous offences, compromising his race beyond repair.
His first penalty came after he incorrectly slotted into his grid position at the start of the race before he failed to serve the penalty properly at a pit stop.
The third offence came as he was found to be speeding in the pit lane.
It saw the Frenchman equal Pastor Maldonado’s unenviable record for most race penalties in a single race, set at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2015.
Complete F1 2023 race calendar – details on every Grand Prix this year