Shaquille O’Neal hijacks US Grand Prix podium

Shaquille O’Neal’s appearance on the podium at the US Formula One grand prix has almost overshadowed the race itself, with the NBA legend dwarfing world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Standing at 216cm tall, O’Neal was taller than Hamilton, despite the fact the Mercedes driver was standing on the second step of the podium.

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The four-time NBA champion had arrived in the pit-lane in an open-top car to present the trophy, and had to duck to make his way into the garage and up onto the podium.

Hamilton’s height is listed as 174cm, meaning he’s giving away 42cm to O’Neal. Hamilton’s official weight is recorded at 73kg, O’Neal is believed to be double that at around 147kg.

It was perhaps fortunate for all concerned that AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda, who stands at just 157cm, didn’t finish in the top three.

In slightly awkward scenes, O’Neal found himself standing between world championship rivals Hamilton and Max Verstappen as the Dutch national anthem played to mark the Red Bull driver’s victory.

Normally the person presenting the trophy would only appear after the anthems had been played.

Verstappen’s win in Texas extended his world championship lead to 12 points with five races remaining.

“Congratulations to Max, he did a great job today. It was such a tough race,” Hamilton said. “Got a good start and gave it absolutely everything, but at the end of the day, they just had the upper hand this weekend.

“I don’t know what we could have done differently. I’ll sit down and talk with the team afterwards. I think the team did a great job today, and it was what we had.

“We’re going to at least the next two tracks which are very strong circuits for Red Bull, so it’s going to be tough for sure.”

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