It’s not difficult to get in as Shaquille O’Neal. I mean, aside from Michael Jordan, he’s probably the most famous NBA legend in the world. But if you’re invited to take the Formula 1 trophy to the podium at the United States Grand Prix, you need something special.

Obviously Shaq doesn’t fit in an F1 cockpit or similar cramped racing machine – so he rode on THIS.

In all honesty, it’s hard to analyze what I’m looking at here. We have an extremely long stretch … something that looks like a bowling alley on wheels with the hull of a boat attached, giant death blades presumably to murder anyone who approaches, and then a nightly tasteful set of weirdly large longhorns.

It really helped show the world what the United States is best at: subtlety.

Shaq’s involvement in the weekend’s proceedings was polarizing. Lots of people loved it, others felt it was unnecessary, and someone with a sports connection or Texas should have represented the event. It was perfect for my money because everything was so bold and stupid.

This car was hilariously stupid in the best sense of the word.

When he shook hands with Lewis Hamilton and looked like a confused adult hearing a story from a child, I loved that.

When Shaq didn’t really know where to go on the podium he hung around awkwardly and it looked like he’d won the race. That was stupid and strange too. Another positive imo.

I have seen many scared US fans of the sport say that the Miami GP “will represent the US better.” No, we don’t need a “better”. Don’t pretend this isn’t us. That’s all ABSOLUTELY to us in the best sense.

We are that nation that constantly yearns to push the boundaries of Reeces to make the combination of peanut butter and chocolate with additions and ratio changes even more ridiculous.

We’ve told the world that the only thing better than a donut is a croissant.

We’re the country that took the perfectly balanced Mexican burrito and inspired restaurant owners to say, “Let’s do this thing like two pounds.”

We’re frying cheesecake.

This is us. America takes glorious things that don’t need fixing and adds layers of ridiculousness that make the rest of the world shudder and jealous at the same time. So when it comes time to welcome F1 back to America we could of course have been stylish and put out a Mario Andretti for a feel-good moment, or damn, we could put Shaq in a car that looks like it was made by Homer Simpson was designed to make everything more bombastic and glorious.

That’s us, and that’s perfect.


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