This weekend, England teammates Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad will be rivals as they compete in the Virtual Grand Prix at the Interlagos Circuit.
Stokes will be racing for Red Bull a second time, whilst Broad is making his debut for AlphaTauri.
Ahead of Sunday’s race, both Stokes and Broad have been speaking about how they’ve been preparing along with sharing some thoughts on who is the better all-round sportsman…
Who is the better all-round sportsman?
Ben: When it comes to golf for me and Stuart – if we paid 20 times, it would be 11-9, 10 -10. We are very similar golfers, so it just depends who turns up and plays best on the day.
I think he would happily admit I have him covered on the football field, although he considers himself a tactical genius. I can see him standing on the side of the football pitch in a suit ordering people around in terms of formation and what to do. Come in tight, push out wide, and all that kind of stuff.
Stuart: With no hesitation, I have to say Stokesy is one of those mates that seems to be good at every sport he has a go at. I’m sat here trying to think of any sports I’d like to take him on 1v1 at.
- Cricket- No
- Rugby- Absolutely not
- Athletics- No chance
- Golf- We are pretty close but when it’s his day he’s unplayable
- Football – let’s just say neither of us is nearing a pro contract there….
Who would you say is the better driver between you?
Ben: To be honest, Stu and I have been practicing together. Trying to give each other tips and things like that because we don’t want to embarrass ourselves when it comes to race day. This is Stuarts the first time, so I have been giving him the tips that follow Red Bull athlete Alex Albon gave me it. I think we are both going to be better prepared than I was for the last race and we are both looking forward to it.
Stuart: Better? Or Quicker? I’d suggest Stokesy gets to the cricket ground in the morning for training before me, even if he leaves after me… but you should see the state of his alloys…
Sledging can be used quite effectively in cricket – do you think they’ll be any mind games between the two of you?
Ben: Not really from us, the mind will be totally on not making fools out of ourselves!!
Stuart: It’s an interesting one as we’ve actually been training together and working on strategies to help each other out for this race weekend (makes us sound like pros- were not, we just need all the help we can get!) I can genuinely say I hope we have a competitive battle. I think we’re really close actually; we just need to avoid contact in the first few laps and control our brains.
We do have a weakness in that we think we can overtake anywhere on the track!
Be patient and pick our spots. Patient?! Ben Stokes?! This could be chaos…
Are either of you big fans of F1/ have any heroes in the sport?
Ben: Out of the both of us Stuart is definitely the bigger F1 fan. But over the last couple of months, I would say that I have taken a lot more interest in it, purely from the game and the Drive to Survive TV series. I didn’t use to give it too much thought, but now I do take an interest. I haven’t been to a race yet but will definitely go to the next race I am around for. I have always been into cricket and golf, but F1 now is one of the sports I would say I take a decent amount of interest in.
Stuart: Love it. Always have done. I used to love watching it with my Dad when I was a kid. I’ve been very fortunate to have some wonderful experiences at races. My Dad & I went to Monza and Abu Dhabi with Red Bull at the time when Vettel & Webber were in the seats and we had brilliant weekends. Being up close to the cars just grows your enthusiasm for the sport. As cricketers, we always seem to check the cricket fixtures in early July as soon as they come out to see if they clash with Silverstone! I’ve found it to be one of those sports – a bit like NFL – where the more I’ve understood the strategy behind it, the more fascinating I’ve found it. Dream career if I wasn’t a cricketer? And if I wasn’t 6ft 6? A Formula 1 Driver… I have my virtual chance now.