NFL superstar JJ Watt and Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner, the unlikeliest of bromances

    J.J. Watt of the Arizona Cardinals on the field during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on October 24, 2021.

    (CNN)A hulking six-foot-four NFL colossus and an Italian team principal of a Formula One team are not the likeliest of best buddies.

    But JJ Watt and Guenther Steiner are breaking that mold.
    Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Watt fell in love with Formula One through Netflix's hit immersive documentary, "Drive to Survive," and his favorite character was none other than Haas team principal Steiner.
      The avuncular 57-year-old became a fan favorite during the show's documentation of the F1 season, in particular catching the eye of star Arizona Cardinal defensive end Watt.
        In March this year, after Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher finished fifth and 11th respectively at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Watt tweeted: "Somebody get Guenther Steiner in front of a camera and inject it into my veins. KMag 5th and Mick 11th?!? Smash all the doors!"
        Steiner walking around prior to the Miami Grand Prix.
        As a result, Watt and his younger brother TJ -- also a star defensive player for the Pittsburgh Steelers and current reigning Defensive Player of the Year -- were invited to the Haas garage and pit area ahead of the Miami Grand Prix.
        During their time in the pits, the Watt brothers spent time with the engineers, trying their hand at the speedy pitstops which wow fans.
          Watt told CNN Sport's Amanda Davies that although he'll need to "work on it," he believes if he "came back a couple times and had some more, I think I could have been a rock star."
          Steiner, on the other hand, saw some healthy competition between the two NFL star brothers.
          "I think his biggest challenge was to beat his brother. I could see, I watched him when they were doing it," he told Davies.
          "They just wanted to beat each other. 'I was better than you,' you know? And he being the older one, obviously, he wanted to be the man. It's not easy. Everybody thinks it's easy to these pit stops, but they're quite challenging."
          After the captivating weekend Watt had, he once again tweeted his praise of Steiner.
          "Whatever team Guenther Steiner is principal of, I'm a fan," he wrote. "Massive thank you to Guenther, KMag, Mick, Stu & everyone in the Haas garage for the hospitality and letting us test our pit stop skills.
          "We may not fit in the car, but we can lift the damn thing."


          Watt and Steiner are two ends of the physical scale.
          One a massive, imposing Goliath of a man, the other a smaller, slight greying European with a distinctive mustache.
          "He's a superstar," Steiner says about Watt. "He's the real man. Look just at the size of us. I'm a little mouse compared to him."
          But what Steiner might lack in physical size, he sure makes up for in personality.
          Watt has become enamored with his charismatic nature, going as far as calling him a "pretty massive celebrity around here." But it is his honesty that really captured the 33-year-old's heart.
          Watt warms up prior to a game against the Cleveland Browns.