Ana Beatriz ran to a respectable 15th place result in this year’s Indianapolis 500, her best result in four ‘500 starts. But it was nearly derailed before it even started by, of all things, a joke marriage proposal.
Ordinarily drivers aren’t interviewed in the moments before introductions, as they emerge from the green room and in front of the crowd. But Beatriz was grabbed by an IMS public address announcer, who then turned the interview over to an alleged Brazilian interviewer – who popped the question.
Beatriz was placed in a tough spot before answering, “I’d have to think about it… if I win, yes.”
It was later revealed the “interviewer” was Brazilian comedian Mauricio Meirelles, doing his best to catch Beatriz off guard.
Beatriz clarified the whole incident both on Twitter and at the Indianapolis 500 banquet on Monday night.
“For all asking, the proposal before the race was a prank for CQC Tv show in Brazil. It was made by the comedian @MauMeirelles …” she wrote on Twitter. “As @TonyKanaan won, he can now accept the proposal for me! Great couple TK and @MauMeirelles . Sorry @LaurenBohlander!”
She added at the banquet Monday night, “No, I’m not getting married, but hey, to my boyfriend, this is your cue to move it along!”
Beatriz has raced the opening five rounds of the 2013 IndyCar season in the No. 18 Ipiranga Honda for Dale Coyne Racing, but has not yet been confirmed for the full season. The car is one of 22 that has been granted a full season membership within IndyCar’s Leaders Circle entrants. She and Indianapolis teammate Pippa Mann were the first pair of female drivers on the same team in the Indianapolis 500.