No podium needed for Shaq! 7-foot-1-inch NBA legend O’Neal towers over Lewis Hamilton, despite the 5-foot-7-inch F1 star standing on a step, as he presents Max Verstappen with the winning trophy in the United States Grand Prix.
- Max Verstappen won the United States Grand Prix on Sunday ahead of Lewis Hamilton
- NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal presented the trophy to Verstappen after the race
- Standing at 7 feet 1 inch, O’Neal was taller than 5 feet 7 inches Hamilton, who was on a step
It’s no secret that Shaquille O’Neal is a giant man and the NBA legend’s 7-foot-1 frame was dramatically emphasized during the unfamiliar surroundings of the United States Grand Prix on Sunday.
Formula One fans enjoyed an exciting race at the weekend as championship leader Max Verstappen fought back against title rival Lewis Hamilton to extend his lead at the top by 12 points.
And during the post-race presentation in Austin, Texas, O’Neal was on hand to present the winning trophy to Verstappen.
Shaquille O’Neal (center) was taller than Lewis Hamilton (left), even though he was standing on a step
O’Neal is 7ft 1in and was a commanding presence over the 5ft 7in Mercedes driver Hamilton.
NBA legend O’Neal was presenting Max Verstappen with the winner’s trophy at the US Grand Prix.
It is customary for those who award the trophy to the winning driver to leave the space to enjoy the moment, but O’Neal stayed in the background while Hamilton and Sergio Pérez, third, picked up their bells.
In doing so, O’Neal inadvertently brought some humor to the podium as he stood between Verstappen and Hamilton with his 7-foot-1-inch body still towering over the latter, despite the Briton standing on a raised platform.
Hamilton is 5 feet 7 inches tall, which means he is naturally 1 foot 6 inches shorter than the four-time NBA champion. However, even standing on the second step, Hamilton could not overcome O’Neal’s height at the Circuit of the Americas.
O’Neal made a grand entrance into the paddock, came to the pit lane in a convertible car to present the trophy, and had to duck into the garage and onto the podium, such is his commanding presence.
O’Neal made a grand entrance into the paddock, arriving at the pit lane in a convertible car.
The four-time NBA champion poses for a photo with Red Bull manager Christian Horner (right).
Despite that joyous moment, Hamilton knows he has a big task on his hands if he wants to beat Verstappen and win an unprecedented eighth F1 world title.
Next up is the Mexican Grand Prix on November 7, a traditional happy hunting ground for the Red Bull team from Verstappen.
If they achieve an expected victory there, then they will leave Mercedes and Hamilton alone in the last four remaining races of the season to rectify a growing deficit.