Sunday, 9 September 2012

Italian Grand Prix - The Quotes


MB: Every time I see [the crash from last week], I realise that could have been the last time we ever saw Fernando Alonso in an F1 car.  When you turn the wheel, your hand is above the cockpit, and that car came right across him; his hand and his head are exposed there.

MB: I wouldn't want to be enclosed in a single-seater.

MB: There's been more pole winners from this track than at Monaco in the last ten years.

MB: They've taken 0.2mm off the tyre this year, for those who like that sort of thing.

MB: [D'Ambrosio]'s done 19 Grands Prix, the same as Grosjean.

MB: [Hulkenberg]'s got a box full of neutrals sitting there.

DCr: It's one thing in a practice session to put the laptimes in, but now it gets serious, your body tenses up before you even leave the garage.
MB: I know it well.  I was always a better racer than qualifier, and it's very hard to relax when it's so critical.

MB: You've gotta remember not to be tight in the car, or the car'll be tight with you.  Don't grip the steering wheel like you're trying to strangle it.  Just be at one, relax with the car.  Don't get greedy on the brakes, but at the same time...sort of like a controlled hustle. Easier said than done.

(Kovalainen backs out of a quali lap)
MB: You say he wasn't committed, but it'd still scar most people for life if they were sitting in it!  It is quite fast.

DCr: I'm gonna get excited for a minute about Karthikeyan and de la Rosa as well!  DLR's 100th GP, and at the moment he's about to be out-qualified by Karthikeyan for the first time ever.  Proper bragging rights down at HRT.
MB: I've heard you a lot more excited than that, Crofty!
DCr: I'm trying!  I'm trying!

MB: Some wit said last year that it all turned to custard for D'Ambrosio, but he got away with that one, didn't he?

DCr: I've just been handed a note, in the commentary box.  I think I'm the only one who can say this with a straight face.  Kimi Raikkonen with a 1:20.1 and Jerome D'Ambrosio with 1:20.7 in the first part of qualifying: so the difference between mustard and custard is about six tenths.  Worst gag ever.

(Alonso goes fast and kicks up some dirt)
MB: Magic dust, isn't it?
DCr: Sprinkling it everywhere.  Probably left it in his suitcase at Spa.

MB: That looked like frustration to me.  That looked like Michael just stamping on the throttle in frustration.

MB: If you don't go down those escape roads on a fairly regular basis in free practice, you're not trying hard enough.  You've got to find the limit of the brakes.


(On the grid)
MB: I always think that when you're on this hallowed piece of tarmac, you've got a responsibility.  The history, we talked a little bit earlier about the drivers who've lost their lives.  Von Trips, Ascari, Petersen, Rindt, and many others, you have a responsiblity to them to give it absolutely everything.

MB: They've got this lovely big apron here where we can make our way without getting run over...we keep marching, they're 8 metres apart, if you ever wondered.  We keep calling them rows on the grid, but they're not really rows because they're all very seperated.  It's actually a 1x1 grid in many respects.

MB: Right, we have Governor Rick Perry here, from Austin, Texas.  He's  governor of Texas.  Good to see you.  Former presidential candidate of course, in US of A.  Are you ready for us?  Are you ready for Formula One in Austin?
RP: (talks very knowledgably about CotA)
MB: Well, I was coming anyway, but I'm really definitely coming now!  So, do you think the Texans are going to understand this slightly crazy world of Formula One?
RP: (Says yes at length)
MB: (leaves, then) Well!  You'd vote for him!  I think you'd have to, wouldn't you?  Shoot your ears off...

(He goes off in a hopeless search for someone at the sharp end)
MB: We'll get to the front of the grid, then we'll sign you speak English?
MRP: No.
MB: Good.  Thank you.  Always works.  That's a winner every time, isn't it?
(He wanders off and eventually resorts to collaring Rob Smedley)

DCr: Twenty years ago Martin Brundle, you were on the podium with the tifosi below you, probably still quaking at the speed you'd travelled to reach the top two.
MB: Yup.  No Ferrari drivers up there that day, it was Senna, myself and then Schumacher.  We had a decent day out, that's for sure.

MB: Never ceases to amaze me how much information a Formula One driver can take in, being read out.  All the cars and what tyres they're on, as well as going into a clutch start procedure, preparing the car, there's a lot of work done on this formation lap as well.  It's a bit like, just before somebody kicks off in the centre circle, reading out what colour socks all the other players have got on and trying to remember it.

MB: Two cars in two corners for Fernando Alonso! 

MB: How must it feel for Sebastian Vettel, chasing down Michael Schumacher?  The man who was his inspiration, and there he is about to pass him, and he knows he's got his work cut out.

MB: If you're new to Formula One, and we all were once: welcome, and just to remind you, in a dry race the drivers have to use both types of tyre.

(Webber goes slightly wide onto the grasscrete)
MB: I think a bit of carbon fibre just flicked off under his car.  Whether it was his, or from one of those GP2 bandits that were racing through there earlier...

MB: Box, that's the old name for a pit.  It's really sort of become the language of Formula One.  "Pit" would seem to cover it, but "Box" is extremely easy to hear.
DCr: It has an immediate resonance, doesn't it?

MB: When you rock up at a couple of hundred miles an hour off the Parabolica, the pit lane entry here looks so narrow and confined.  It's so weird.

(Perez muscles past Raikkonen)
DCr: What a move that was!  Good boy!  You don't mind seeing that once or twice!

TK: Those of you watching the race on the pit lane channel, you're learning a lot because Massa's just been on the radio with no telemetry!  There's no telemetry from Massa's car back to the Ferrari pit wall.  I wondered why Rob Smedley wasn't on the pit wall!  In fact, it's looking more and more deserted!  Andrea Stella's not on the pit wall either!  Problems for Ferrari, after all the other issues they've had this weekend, they're blind effectively from knowing what's going on with the car!

MB: Quite clearly, it's worth getting a new set of boots on now.

(Webber gets a radio call about other people's strategy)
MB: Ciaron [Pilbeam] there sounds as surprised as we are how many have really committed to a two-stop.

(Ricciardo tries to fight with Massa and nearly collects Vettel)
MB: I think Daniel picked a fight there that he shouldn't have been in, frankly.

(Vettel and Alonso at Curva Grande)
MB: It looked self-inflicted, but we'll have another look...for about a year, no doubt.

MB: We're just awash with world champions trying to pass each other, aren't we?  Four in a row there.

(Perez gets a radio call)
MB: Sounded a bit Dalek-like, didn't it?  It'd frighten me if I got that...

(Alonso passes Vettel, Vettel might get him back under DRS)
MB: I think the Red Bull's just too slow in a straight line to pull that stunt, frankly.

(Perez comes up behind Massa)
MB: I'm imagining a phone conversation.  "Hello, is that Ferrari?  It's your customer here.  We'd just like to pass through, if we may."

(Vettel trudges back to the pits)
MB: I'm not shy of walking up to drivers and having a chat with them, but I'd not approach him now.

DCr: A bow from Niki Lauda!  Not often you get one of those.
MB: Not often he takes that cap off! 

Friday, 7 September 2012

Italian Grand Prix - Update Schedule

Hopefully ASAP after each session, assuming the internet doesn't crap out again for no good reason.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Belgian Grand Prix - The Quotes


 MB: Forget Eau Rouge and Blanchimont, there are some corners here like the Fagnes chicane and Stavelot where you can see where the drivers are making the difference.

SL: Tell us how engine reliability has changed from your day to now.
MB: Well, we'd have a new engine every day.  And the team would have 80 different engines in the system, either in transit, in repair and maintenance, or in the team, in the car and going racing.  It was a crazy situation, an engine would do 500 miles and we were getting rid of it.  It made no sense at all, the teams were just fighting each other doing that, and spending money doing the same thing.  Now it makes a lot more sense that you're limited to eight per year.

MB: If you look at the rev counter in your road car and it's a diesel, maybe it does 5,000 revs.  These engines tick over at 5,000 revs!

SL: Was there a particular bit of this circuit you went well on?
JH: I was very good on the straights!

MB: Two more different tracks you couldn't have, Budapest to Spa.

DCr: Cooling isn't really a problem here at Spa, except in our commentary box, where it's about 900 degrees.

MB: These days we tend to judge the ultimate pace of a Ferrari by how well Massa does.  You sort of assume that Alonso will come in and somehow drive the wheels off it, get it somewhere near the front.  When Massa does well, as he is doing - I hate to say it, but it means the Ferrari is doing well.

(Of Eau Rouge/Raidillion)
MB: Aaaugh!  You love it, you hate it, it frightens they say, it's easy now, but there's still an amount of trepidation.  I saw my team-mate killed there.  I've seen everything go on.  Good, bad, especially in the rain.  It looks calmer in the cockpit than it does standing next to the track.
(The team-mate was Stefan Bellof, who died during the 1985 1000km of Spa)

MB: The HRT is undoubtedly better than any car I got the chance to race, and it looks utterly rubbish compared to the rest of them.

MB: [Alonso] says "I'm driving a red shed", basically, but it looks a fast shed, doesn't it?

TK: With McLaren, because they're splitting their strategies - I remember you always used to tell me "when you do that, you're only guaranteeing that you'll get it wrong with one car".  I'm wondering if this is where McLaren find themselves?

MB: There used to be gravel there, you'd go straight to hospital if you ran off there a few years ago.

MB: I can't see anyone beating Button, right now.  He's got too much of an advantage.  I can't see Button beating Button!


(Of Maldonado's driving)
MB: He says it's because he's Venezuelan; it must be hell on the roads there if they're all like that!

(Of the approach to Eau Rouge)
DH: I've never been down a ski jump, but I imagine this is what it must be like.

MB: Damon, we find ourselves at the Les Combes chicane, where you selfishly overtook me for 2nd place in the '95 Grand Prix on the last lap...

MB: The showbiz corners are Eau Rouge and Blanchimont, but these are the corners where you really make the time up.

SL: Put Eau Rouge into context, Ant; is it kind of like when you go over a hump-back bridge at speed?
AD: What are you talking about?  I would *never* do such a thing!

(On the grid, Marty tries to grab Mark Webber)
MB: Mark!  Can we just grab a quick word before you climb into that McLaren?

(Martin finishes with Nico Hulkenberg)
MB: I'll leave you to the lovely Tanja!
(For it is she)

MB: Ah!  Schumi's car!  Let's just see if we can get an update from anyone on whether the car's working properly...I'm gonna be as popular as a toothache, I imagine...

MB: They said Usain Bolt was coming...I asked Bernie if that was true and he said "No, he's only good for 200 metres and the grid is longer than that."

MB: We're just heading into the danger zone here, there's Grosjean, Maldonado...(he disappears out of shot and reappears wearing a yellow hard hat)...and I think it's better to be safe than sorry through here, cos there's a little bit of history between these guys...what are you taking a picture of *me* for?

(He bumps into someone he knows, who appreciates the hat)
MB: Is there anyone famous on the grid I can talk to?  Who?  Oh, the little man (for it is Bernie).  Er, I'd better take this off then!  I don't think he'll be impressed with that.

MB: Perez here, and Kobayashi, we'll just wander down...I don't know what "doorstep" is in Japanese...I'm getting a bit of a wave.  I'm quite infamous with the other TV stations, they tend to get a bit upset with me.

MB: If [Kobayashi] doesn't want to talk, that's fine.  Frankly I'm amazed when any of them want to talk, they've gotta be so focused.  This is Michael's 300th race.  I did 158, and it feels like someone else's life!  It just doesn't feel like...[he nearly walks into Martin Whitmarsh]...What was that, Martin?  Can we see?  Is it highly confidential, that BlackBerry?
MW: It's a Tweet.  You know how confidential they are!
MB: Whose tweets were you reading?
MW: All sorts of tweets.  There's a lot of information you can learn on Twitter!  It's much more informative than television these days!
MB: Never tweet when you've had a drink or you're angry about something; so, tell us something we don't already know.
MW: I think you know it all!

(Martin throws away, then)
SL: Johnny, gotta interrupt you; let's hear from Jenson, I think is with Martin!
MB: Well, he hasn't actually agreed to talk to me, but that's quite often...JB!  Can we have a final word!  Do you want the lucky nipple tweak today?  I don't think you need it, you're so fast out there!
JB: *Thank you*.
MB: Amazing!
(They talk)
MB: Good to see you so happy.  I'll get outta your way.

DCr: Let's go down to the woods today, I wonder.  Are we in for a big surprise?

(Hamilton carries a piece of his car back to the pits)
MB: A wag in the pits might be saying "is that all that's left of it?", but that was a *nasty* accident.

MB: You brake and you grimace, every time down into La Source at the start.

MB: The Americans would call that a yard sale, because it's all just laid out, isn't it?

DCr: And remember, Michael Schumacher started from 16th here in 1995, and he won the race.
MB: I was one of the people he passed down into La Source, that day.
DCr: You were in good company.

MB: They'll need to pit Button now, because that is *mighty*, *mighty* speed that Raikkonen's found on a new set of boots.

(Tongues firmly lodged in cheek)
MB: Interesting how the Red Bulls can pass the Toro Rossos without too much difficulty...
DCr: Maybe the Toro Rosso doesn't have the straight-line speed of the Williams?

(Schumacher and Vettel have a squabble at the Bus Stop)
MB: I should imagine there's a few choice German words going on there inside both helmets!

MB: Carefully taking that rip-off out to the side so it doesn't go in your own airbox...

TK: Jenson Button's only problem today: the radio is a bit crackly, apparently.
DCr: Like listening to Radio Luxembourg, circa 1965.

MB: Let's talk about Lotus.  We always say they could, should win the race, and then the Grand Prix rocks up and they're nowhere.

MB: It looks like there's fundamental pace in that car, and then they fall backwards in the race, or trip over something.

MB: [The stewards] need to make sure they've got hotel rooms booked because they're going to be very busy tonight.
DCr: Can I kip on your floor tonight?  We're going to be here very late...

TK: Vettel's been on the radio complaining about his general position in life - erm, this race, I should say.

MB: Other than the start, I think we've seen some superb driving.  The GP2 drivers would just have barrelled each other off the track!

MB: He put Jessica's wetsuit on because he'd forgotten his, to do a triathlon.  He's been so fast since that tightened up on him in the water, hasn't he?  Maybe that's the secret.

MB: The fastest lap of the race was done by Bruno Senna!  Last time a Senna did the fastest lap of a race was Donington 1993.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Belgian Grand Prix - Update Schedule

It's back!  There's always a little bit extra frisson in the air when it's time to go to Belgium.

I've got a full weekend on, though; the quotes may not come through until Sunday night/Monday, but they will come through.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Hungary - The Quotes

(NB: Allan McNish returned to "Skypad" duty at this race.)

QUALIFYING(Vergne gets his weather report on team radio)
MB: I've never understood why they don't get that before they get in the car, frankly, but it's good for us to know.

MB: It's that Roh-Mayne Gross-Jean bloke. He seems to have a magnet, a Formula One magnet, in his car on the first lap, doesn't he? He gets into too much trouble.

(Replay of Schumacher allegedly blocking Massa)
DCr: How do you read that, Martin?
MB: I read that as Michael thinks he's getting out of the way...and so do I.

MB: Come on Kamui, that's not the racing line!

MB: That bump (before the final corner) is the best it's been since 1986.

MB: They're so lucky to be able to - I went in that gravel pit, what was a gravel trap there for Jordan in 1996, Crofty, and it broke all four of my suspension rods - all four wheels were broken off, basically, just bouncing through the gravel in the race. It used to be a horrible place to go off. Now you can go through there, and possibly gain time.
DCr: And they've flattened out the bumps so your fillings can stay in your teeth...

MB: I've got this picture of Ted saying Michael Schumacher was being wheeled back on a trolley. I think he meant the car, but I'm sort of imagining some kind of carbon fibre zimmer frame. He's only 43.
DCr: I thought he meant Schumacher was trolleyed, but that could be at the end of the season...
MB: I know exactly what Ted meant!

(Hamilton goes fastest, then moans about traffic)
MB: It's like a default, isn't it? You could just play that sort ot thing out with all the teams, "I got held up by..." and then just drop something in.

MB: There's Massa, having to steer round the outside of Rosberg? No, Schumacher again.
DCr: Of course!

MB: I've a feeling that Alonso is in his damage limitation mode this weekend, to protect his championship lead.


MB: You can look back with rose-tinted glasses and say yeah, some classic seasons in the past - specially if you see them in highlights, they look amazing.

SL: Breaking news I'm hearing in my ear.  Alex Brundle, GP3, promoted to third.  Did you know?
MB: Yes I did!  He just sent me a text!  It's great!

(Track guide this week is with Heikki Kovalainen, and friends)
MB: Well, the Caterham army are waiting for you over there with your bank manager, your accountant, your bodyguard, by the looks of it.  We're going to trip you up at certain parts of your track walk, if that's okay.

MB: If I were a young driver, I'd be coming to Damon to say "what's the secret here?"
DH: Well, you're still welcome to ask for advice, Martin, any time.

MB: Formula One cars are either in pieces, in action, or in transit.

(On the grid, Martin goes hunting Webbers)
MB: I'll just see if - Will, I'm live, can I just nip in?  Mark, if you don't mind, of course.

MB: What have we got here?  Kimi Raikkonen.  ...I don't think he'll be talking to us today.  I think he's given up.  He gave up on that a few years ago back in Brasil, when, er, he famously did speak to me on the grid.
(Here's what Martin's alluding to - his comeback is classic! )

MB: One racing dad to another.  Anthony [Hamilton]!  Good to see you back at a Grand Prix!

(Tango Echo Delta talks to James Allison from Lotus)
TK: James, what's your best chance to win this race this afternoon?
JA: Get a good start...
TK: That's funny, that's what Lewis says as well.

MB: We quickly got a glimps there of the underside of the new Lotus nose....not this car of course, that's a Red Bull...and it looks like a pregnant guppy, or something.

DCr: One HRT down, there's another HRT bypass for Kobayashi.

MB: Look at all the debris!  There's one goat-track now through the tyre rubber and we're nowhere near half distance.

MB: The trouble for Grosjean is his car'll be understeering like a cross-Channel ferry now it's in the turbulent air of the McLaren.
DCr: Ever steered a cross-Channel ferry?
MB: They seem like they take a long time to turn around!
DCr: Yes, quite.  I was just wondering, you've driven most things in your life, I wondered if you've ever experienced some ferry racing...

DCr: For some reason, Martin doesn't want to read the names of who's presenting the trophy.
MB: It's your big moment, Crofty...

DCr: And we wait now for Placido Domingo to come out onto the podium to conduct the interviews, something I never thought I'd hear myself say.

Hungarian GP Update Schedule

Same as last week. Don't look for anything before late on Saturday and Sunday.

I'm planning something to keep the blog ticking over during the summer holiday. Keep an eye out!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Germany - The Quotes

QUALIFYING(Discussing Paul di Resta's career options, who the brains trust rather one-eyedly agree is in the best position, and a possible move to Ferrari)
JH: ...At the end of the day, he's going to play second fiddle to Alonso.
MB: Well, as the rest of the field do most weekends.

SL: Here is Ted with his best friend, the virtual car.

MB: There are some nice racing drivers around. I mean, [to SL], you're new to Formula One, you've only met us, unfortunately, but honestly, some of them are quite nice.
SL: [Of JH then DH] A rottweiler, then a koala on the end!
(Jollity ensues.)

MB: We used to head out into the countryside at 220mph, and you were dependent entirely on your engine builder and your aerodynamicist, frankly, and it was pretty scary out there. I think from a fan's perspective - and I count myself as a fan of Formula One, this is a better layout.

MB: I've been lost in that forest, as have so many drivers. When you've broken down out the back, and tried to follow your nose back to the - and all you could do is hear the sound of Formula One engines bouncing round the trees. Walk for an hour and find you were even further away from the pits than when you started.
DCr: Allan McNish was reporting the very same problem, when we were chatting just yesterday in practice.

MB: That Lotus looks pretty nervy to me. They bought a special goody here to give them a lot of straight-line speed - I don't believe they're using it - which if it does work, I think it's a device that would give them alot of straight-line speed when they're not using the DRS in the race.

MB: I'll never forget the first time I ever drove a McLaren in 1983. Every time I came into the pits, they polished the car, and they - that's just Formula One for you, attention to the tiniest detail.
DCr: While they were polishing the car, did it make you think "I must be a bit more careful with this"?
MB: ...No. Made me think "I gotta go even faster through the air". They'd just taken [Ayrton] Senna's name off the side of it and put mine on, before they put Bellof's name on it, and it was the most extraordinary thing.

DCr: [Glock] not showing any of that local knowledge helping him too much. He is ahead of Narain Karthikeyan and, er, that's it for Timo.

MB: Well, [Grosjean] is struggling to make it go, make it turn, and make it stop, for some reason.
DCr: So, only a few things wrong there, then...


(Of the Red Bull engine imbroglio)
MB: I've talked to some very clever people in the paddock, and it's a very complex situation - I'll try to put it in a bite-size piece if I can.

 (Delighted to see this next bit)
SL: Back in London, it's a warm welcome to Georgie Thompson and look, he's back!  Anthony Davidson, how are you, mate?  We've missed you.
AD:  Yeah, apart from the mildly crushed vertebrae, really good.
MB: It sounds like something you'd get in a Michelin-starred restaurant, isn't it?  A mildly-crushed vertebrae.

MB: I spoke to Martin Whitmarsh just before we went on air, and remember that Martin, team principal of McLaren, is not one to use 1 word when 100 will do.  I said "do you expect Lewis to be in your car next year", he said "Yes".

(On the grid)
 MB: Now I'm back here with the naughty boys in the penalty zone at the moment...

MB: Quick word, Nico? ... Generally ignoring me, at the moment, but I'm thinking that from his body language there may be a yes here.
(He waits patiently while Nico puts his shades on, wipes himself down, chews some gum, etc.)
MB: What is that?  Can we have some?  What is that stuff?
NR: Go-faster tablets!

MB: Let's try to find Romain Grosjean - he's standing over here with Alan Pomayne of the...Lotus team.  I always keep wanting to call these people "Renault", I kind of got used to that.

MB: Are you wandering off the grid, Paul?  We'll wander with you, if you like.
PdiR: It's all right, I'll stop.
MB: You're a regular gentleman!

(Martin does a quickie with Hulkenberg, then bumps into a familiar figure while trying to reverse away)
MB: Oh!  Tanja, he's only going to do one question...
TB: How are you today?  Very hard for all the English.  German teams and German drivers in front!
MB: ...Yeah, but it's early days, the English.  We always come through and win in the end, remember that?
(Martin mentioned it once, but I think he got away with it... -Ed)

(An interestingly-dressed man sings the German national anthem)
SL: He's nicked your suit, Johnny.
JH: He hasn't nicked it, I'm just about to order one of those.  That's amazing.

(Raikkonen gets the tyre choices over his radio)
MB: It sounded a bit like a breakfast order in America, didn't it, how do you like your eggs?

(Perez strolls casually past Kobayashi)
MB: Looked a bit like synchronised swimming to me.

DCr: Maldonado and Webber with a bit of a Caterham filling at the moment.

MB: Really feisty today, the old man, isn't he?  Might be in his forties, but that's incredibly aggresive driving from Michael Schumacher.

MB: Where is this imaginary Lotus pace?  We keep talking all through the weekend, and then when the race comes, it doesn't deliver.

 (Alonso's team radio is in Italian again.)
MB: Indeed.
DCr: I agree completely.

(And again.)
MB: I wonder what language Fernando Alonso dreams in, because I saw him briefing the media today, and it was bang! Italian, bang! English, Spanish, and just whatever they threw at him in three languages, he had covered.

(And again....again.)
MB: It sounds like he's slightly late for a plane, doesn't it, rather than doing 200mph.

TK: I'm just thinking: with all these instructions in Italian, will all the British teams start talking in Cockney rhyming slang to confuse Ferrari?
DCr: Cor blimey guv'nor, that'd be nice!

German GP: Updates

I'm out both days this weekend, so don't look for quotes before late evening. Enjoy the race! What a fantastic season we're having.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Britain - The Quotes

(I would like to begin by wishing both Anthony Davidson and Maria de Villota all the best in their recoveries, and also by noting that Allan McNish is substituting for Ant.)


(Ted interviews Bernie)
BE: I know I'm not a big supporter of Silverstone...?
TK: I had noticed, over the years...
BE: ...but in all fairness, they've done a good job.

MB: I was chairman of the board here in 2002-2003...27 acres of tarmac car park we've got here, and the new toilet blocks, and it's all gone swimmingly since then--
DH: (chuckles merrily)
MB: --unfortunately, we're nearly swimming now...You can't just tarmac this whole valley! The water would flood Silverstone every day. ...I agree with Damon, I thought Bernie was terribly reasonable, cos normally he does like to kick Silverstone if he gets half a chance because it's just sport for him...

MB: Five minutes ago, the sun was burning your shoulders, and now it's raining again!

(Stirling Moss reminisces about the 1957 race)
SM: I didn't drink, remember, so from that point of view, when I won a race, something like that, I went up to try and find some crumpet, actually. I can't specifically remember that! That's the difference between now and then. If Lewis Hamilton wins a race, he goes and chats up Vodafone. If I win, I try and chase the girls, you see? Quite different.

DCr: Whenever you approach this circuit this weekend, rain seems to be in the air. Clouds all around Silverstone at the moment, I look out of the commentary box and it's just spitting with rain - and all that does is heighten my anticipation for the hour to come!
MB: Yeah, imagine what it's like then if you had 750 horsepower under your right foot...

MB: There's the tyre range for the weekend. If you think of knife, bread, butter and jam, that's hard, medium, soft and super-soft...
DCr: You're making me hungry this afternoon! I missed lunch, as well...

MB: We haven't heard any good news yet, have we? No DRS, Kimi's got no KERS, the track's getting wetter and wetter...

MB: I'm amazed if [Williams] don't [change to full wets]; they're getting seriously short of bits after their car's been in the wars this last race or two, so they'll not want to be seeing their thing spread down the barrier today, or through the hedge.

MB: Michael very lucky not to find the gravel there, and then he remembered how to find reverse...

DCr: Does Sebastian Vettel need more downforce, or just a rudder and a couple of oars out there?
MB: You talk about a rudder, but if the cars are too low, the plank underneath acts exactly like that.

DCr: We saw Ferrari go out on intermediate tyres, then come back in to put the wets on, I'm wondering now if that might have been the worst decision they could possibly have made HERE AT SILVERSTONE THIS AFTERNOON! Alonso! Can he avoid the wall here? He's just a passenger in that Ferrari down the Hangar Straight!
(Alonso spins round, exactly on cue, while trying to drive in a straight line)

(Out comes the red flag)
MB: The problem is, with this kind of rainfall - I mean, the drainage is reasonably good here at Silverstone now, but we already know the water table's high from the surrounding area. Until it stops raining, you've got to give it then five, ten minutes. We could be filling nicely today, Crofty! That's the beauty of having our own channel, isn't it? We can talk all afternoon! Excellent!
DCr: Shall I get a stool in, then? Shall we sit down?

MB: Well, I found all that quite exciting, be be honest!

MB: What a year we're having, aren't we?

GT: Force India, Vijay Mallya and Bob Fearnley just trying to figure out what happens next, Crofty.
DCr: Well, hopefully the rain'll stop, and some time in August, we'll get going again with this qualifying session.

DCr: Hopefully, Ted Kravitz, you've got your jacket with you today?
TK: Ha ha. I have, David, actually! I'm not wearing it because I'm fortunately under a little ledge in the pit lane.
(He talks to Paul Hembrey from Pirelli)
PH: The full wets are - I'll give you some boring stats --
TK: No, we love it! Go on! How much water do they...?

(Marty resorts to fielding Twitter questions)
MB: Another tweet here: "What happened to the monsoon tyres? Remember those?" We used to have an extra-serious set of monsoon tyres that went to, say, Japan, and places like that where we got heavy rain like this, but they never got used. If it was wet enough for monsoon tyres, it was pretty much either behind the safety car, or the drivers would put the full wets on and just hang on, so the monsoons got carried all over the world, never used, and then discarded.

DCr: I wonder what Jude Law is making of everything, as rain stops play at Silverstone.
MB: We don't need a load of good-looking actors hangin' around Formula One, do we?
DCr: Not until you do your gridwalk tomorrow.
MB: Oh yeah, I might talk to them then.

(The search for an alternate method of determining the grid continues)
DCr: They should put wellies on them all, and get them to do a hundred-yard dash through the mud on the campsite. That I would certainly pay to watch.
MB: A nice tweet in from some fans out who listen to our commentary on the FanVision at the circuit saying "how about a shout-out for us sitting out here in the rain?" Absolutely. Full respect to you guys, and hope we can get some more action going for you guys out there.

(Natalie collars Helmut Marko)
NP: What do the drivers do at this stage? How do they keep their focus for the next 35 minutes?
HM: ...Sebastian is relaxed in his car, and Mark vos just doing something...human.
NP: (cluelessly) Something human?
HM: He had to go to the toilet.
NP: Oh! Oh dear! Okay! Sorry you had to describe that for me, but thank you for your time.

MB: They're more concerned with not aquaplaning, because that's the one thing that frightens a driver, is not being able to see where he's going and then just getting on top of the water, and heading straight to the first thing that's hard and you hit it and it hurts. ...Some suggestions on Twitter that they should get a roof over it, like Centre Court at Wimbledon, but I think they're a bit short of cash here at Silverstone for putting a roof over the circuit.
DCr: Talking of Wimbledon, they say Murray's through to his first Wimbledon final. It's not bad for an 82-year-old Formula One commentator! I think he's done very well.
MB: Yersss. I think it might be a different Murray, I'm not sure.
DCr: Oh, okay. Missed the point then.
(Mirth ensues.)

MB: They're not too concerned about it at Renault. They've done the only sensible thing that the French are so good at, the rugby players there at Renault, have gone on for lunch. Very Gallic.

MB: There's an extra hour of light, and it is midsummer, allegedly.

SL: Where's Cliff Richard when you need him? He'd go down a treat right now, wouldn't he? How's your singing, Johnny?
JH: (firmly) I'm going to pass you over to Damon.
DH: Well, I can tell you my life story. I was born 1960, that can take up another forty years. This is very trying, isn't it, for everyone?

(Natalie has rescued Allan McNish from the "SkyPad"
NP: Niki Lauda, how are you enjoying our great British summer?
NL: Very good! This morning, I just came from my beach house, so there's certainly no rain, and then just here for a couple of hours--
(The Sky Sports umbrella he's holding collapses on his head.)
AM: That's the weight of the British water on it!
NL: ...The crazy ones, who you never see at the front, they have big balls and they're right there.

(Sir Jackie Stewart takes his turn to comment on the weather, then...)
NP: Well, I'm going to do a little sun dance, Sir Jackie. Will you join me?
Sir JS: I'll dance with you any time!

SL: Christian Horner just having a stroll along the pit lane, getting back to the prat perch, as they call it, those that work in the garage, the mechanics.



SL: It's the British Grand Prix at Silverstone!  Are the hairs standing up on the back of your neck?
DH: What, from the cold, you mean?
MB: I've gone for a wet coat strategy.  Damon's looking very dapper [in a tie], Johnny's sort of...somewhere in the middle.
SL: I feel a bit under-dressed!  Nobody told me you had to wear a tie.
DH: You've gone for the Johnny Rotten look, haven't you?
SL: [In something that is almost entirely, but not quite, unlike a Manc accent] Liam Gallagher.
(Mirth ensues.)

(Some kids crash the coverage)
MB: Oh, hello there.  Do you want a picture?  Yeah, come in there.  What's your name?
Kid 1: Louie.
Kid 2: Ashton.
MB: Ashton.  Good.  You've just been on telly live.
Kid 2: ...Oh.
SL: Who do you want to win today?
Kid 2: Hamilton.
JH: (sotto voce) Right answer!
Kid 1: Hamilton.
SL: Poor old Jenson!
MB: Is there anyone in your family wants Jenson to win?
(Off-camera shout of "Yeah!")
MB: We probably need to get on with our television programme...
SL: Right.  Where were we?
DH: Silverstone.

MB: Here's a grumpy old boy we've got to talk to!  Sid?  How you keeping?
(It's the legendary Professor Sid Watkins, longtime F1 chief doctor)
SW: Very well indeed, really, considering age and habits.
MB: Do you still watch these drivers trying to hurt themselves?  You used to save them from so much, and they still didn't listen to you.
SW: Well, as Bernie said, I worked myself out of a job.
MB: There's a couple of renegades you might remember.
SW: I do indeed!
DH: Did you bring your fishing gear?
SW: No, it's all up in the Borders.  And you're welcome to come any time, and catch a salmon.
DH: If we're not careful, the Borders will be coming down here, pretty soon!  We'll be salmon fishing in the paddock.
JH: It's really good to see you here.  Do you love coming back?
SW: Now and again.  I watch it all the time, of course--
MB: On Sky, I imagine, yeah?
(Hilarity ensues.)
SL: Loaded comment!
SW: No comment.  And, of course, I keep in touch with the safety, keep my finger on the pulse.
JH: You see, this is the nice thing about Sid, because we all know that the history of where you've got involved with motorsport, it's been brilliant what you've done for us, so I've got to thank you.
MB: I wouldn't have a left foot if it wasn't for Sid.  They were going to take it off, if he hadn't stopped them.

(Johnny and Georgie Thompson go out into the campsites and GA areas)
GT: How effective is this? (pointing to a fan's foil blanket)
Fan:  Very.  It's actually quite warm under here!  Do you want it?
GT: I wouldn't mind it.
Fan: All yours.
GT: Oh, thank you, sir!  Thank you, kind sir!  You're so chivalrous. (She wraps it round herself) Johnny!  D'you like my new skirt?
JH: No!

GT: I seem to have lost Johnny in this crowd...
JH: There's thousands of 'em!
GT: I'm not sure those Wellington boots have ever seen the light of day before this moment?
JH: You're right, they haven't.

GT: I'm not sure whether this is the most or the least romantic thing I've ever heard, but you two are on honeymoon!
She: That's right, we've been here all four days.

SL: Can we read anything into the top three all being very experienced drivers?
DH: I think you might have to, mightn't you?  There's two guys in their thirties, and one guy in his forties.  I mean, that must be the oldest--
MB: There's gotta be a chance for us!  We should make a comeback!  I'll be team manager.

MB: [Jenson's] not been that lucky at all at the British Grand Prix, it's not served him well here in qualifying or in the race, really.  I mean, even I got on the podium here, for goodness sake.

MB: James Hunt used to be a role model as well, and Kimi Raikkonen.  Is he a role model in Finland?
DH: Always a bit of a risk, being a role model.  You have to watch your behaviour, that's why I'm wearing a tie, obviously.
MB: You're not comvincing us!

(They show the top 6 of the 1962 British GP)
SL: Cor, you look like your dad in the old footage in that one.
DH: You look like [6th-place finisher] Tony Maggs, do you know that?
SL: [badly] It's de Sud Efrikan in me!

MB: I'm joined by Christian Horner.  Christian, I've just had three minutes to spare to steal some salad off your salad bar for my lunch, but I wanna talk to you about Mark Webber.

(Martin talks with Stefano Domenicali about Alonso)
MB: He's pulled some very dramatic and bold - sometimes a bit risky - moves in the race.  I mean, he really took that victory, didn't he, but were you - do you think he can be a bit risky sometimes?
SD: You know Martin, you are a driver, so you know that there comes a moment in the race that you know that if you miss that moment then the race is almost over, and I think that is the vision that he has.
MB: Yeah, when I saw Grosjean's front wing in the sidepod of Fernando, I expected it just to be spinning around.
SD: Don't remind me!
MB: But Fernando must have a weakness.  What's his biggest weakness?
SD: You know, in the family, you discuss internally the things that you have to improve.
MB: Ha ha ha!  Good answer!

(On the grid)
MB: Variety is the spice of life, as they say.  I'm standing on the grid waiting for the throw from Simon, I'm looking at this magnificent Wing building and the new pits at Silverstone.  We've got Her Majesty's Royal Marine Commando Training Centre Band at the front; you've then got this Mercedes SLS safety car parked in the middle of them, what a variety we've got on this grid today.

MB: There's a lot of famous people on this grid.  I think I'm the only person I haven't heard of on here, actually.
(He talks to Hugh Grant.  Another microphone sneaks into the left of his shot.)
MB: Are you stealing my interview, Tanja?
(For it is she!)
TB: I'm joining you!  Thank you very much!
MB: Good to see you.  We, er, we go back a while, Tanja and myself on the grid...

MB: Hello, Bernie!  We're here!  There's going to be a race, the crowd are all in, it's looking pretty good, isn't it?
BE: I was a bit worried when we lost Jim from Jim'll Fix It, but I had to do it on my own.
MB: Oh, yeah.  You reckon you sorted this out, do you (!)
BE: It's all okay now.
MB: Seems alright, but there's some clouds coming over.
BE: You know I like these things about half an hour after the start.
MB: Oh yeah.  Some people thought your sprinkler system had been put into play for the entire months of May, June and July?

(And then...)
MB: We're finally starting to get some cars on the grid, so we'll see if we can find--DC!!!
(For it is he!)
MB: How's it going?  You find anybody interesting?
DCo: Er, not yet...oh, watch yourself!
(He pulls Marty out of the way of Alonso's Ferrari)
MB: See, you're getting me into trouble again.  He's just turned up!

(He queues for Mark Webber)
MB: They're boring questions.  That's enough of that.  Mark!

MB: We'll wander down then into Vettel territory!  He's talking to Kai Ebel, who's looking remarkably restrained in his dress today, which is probably just as well...there's Tanya trying to steal in, there...
(Kai is in a blue Prisoner-styled jacket, fashion fans.)
MB: Oh, we'll just grab the Kimster.  Kimi!  Everything good?
(He sorts of gets half a wave and a tiny grunt as Kimi sweeps away)
MB: I think that meant "yes"...I don't think he meant "head off".

MB: JYS!  He's got his earpieces on there.  Jackie!  How are you?  Just want a quick word before I go and talk to Pastor Maldonado and apologise for just kicking his HANS device over that was parked behind him...

MB: Let's wander over and see who we can find while Pastor's being interviewed.  Not gonna stand in any more queues today.  A little bit bored with that now.

MB: Frankie Dettori there, still on the grid.  Not sure he should be there, frankly.  I dunno, maybe he's going to jump the fence or something.  He might find it a bit busy there shortly.

MB: I think that what [the tyre choice] tells is is, they don't really know.  A lot of teams have hedged their bets.

DCr: Heat haze here at Silverstone?  Who'd have banked on that?

MB: Awful first lap for Force India!  One's in the fence, the other's going backwards!

MB: Felipe Massa, as I said on the grid, looking very quietly handy this weekend.

MB: It's settled down a little bit, we're only on Lap 5.  What a manic first few laps that was!

MB: I tell you something I talked a bit about last year, Crofty, and I've seen it again this year, is that it's opened the mind up to drivers to overtake.  They start making overtaking attempts now they never dreamt of before.  With the Pirellis that are going away from them occasionally and the DRS, but none of these big moves we've seen so far are anything to do with that.  It's just the drivers are attacking so much out there.  The field's very close, but I think they all know that you can overtake in a Formula One car.

MB: Well, it's something you can see very easily on camera there - as Jay Kay watches on - but when you're sitting in a car that's four metres long and you're buried in the cockpit of it, judging exactly where any other guy's front wing is out of little mirrors is not that easy, actually.

(Webber gets a positive sounding team radio call that Schumacher is "still holding the others up")
MB: It's a bit uncharitable really, isn't it?  Michael's third, three times he's been in the top three on the grid, holding up nicely, and yet it's like "okay, Schumacher's holding everyone up!"

DCr: ...the damage to his right rear tyre, that was the second boom that got [Maldonado], and he might get another boom if that right boot of Sergio Perez gets anywhere near him when he gets back to the paddock.
MB: Perez speechless there, according to that team radio!

MB: The crowd, you can hear them over the Formula One cars!  They love all of that!
DCr: You go to many tracks, you don't hear a squeak out of the crowd, but here, you can hear 125,000 British fans going absolutely potty every time they see moments like this!

MB: And still Lewis came steaming up the inside, and he nearly made it to the BRDC clubhouse there, didn't he?

MB: I tell you who's wasting a fast car today, and that's Sauber.  Perez out with that contact with Maldonado through no fault of his own, and Kobayashi down in 9th after various adventures, but that Sauber was really fast around here.

(Alonso gets a team radio call in Italian)
DCr: We are so going to have to learn Italian, Martin, but it might take us a while.  Meanwhile here's the McLaren pit crew for Lewis Hamilton; the moment I'm sure he dreads, coming into the pits.

MB: Six new parts in that swivel jack!  Talk about the evolution of Formula One.

DCr: Ted!  Martin and I have no comprehension of Italian whatsoever.  How's yours?
TK: I've, er.  Well!  Rubbish, to answer your question, but I've gone to see my mate on RAI, the Italian broadcaster...

(Schumacher talks about tyres on team radio)
MB: That was an "Are we nearly there yet?" kind of comment from the kids in the back, wasn't it?

(Perez talks frankly about his crash with Maldonado)
DCr: Well, they're not going to be picking the splinters out of Sergio Perez's backside tonight!  He's come off the fence there.

MB: Grosjean had so much faith in Nico Rosberg not to turn in on him at 190 miles an hour.  That would have been an airplane crash if they'd touched going in there.  Brave, brave stuff from Romain Grosjean, desperately trying to hang on to the shirt-tails of Lewis Hamilton.

MB: He's just sailing!  Look at that, at all the extra speed he's got, just coasted past him, and that is not going to improve Lewis Hamilton's demeanour inside the cockpit of that McLaren; he was already angry about Grosjean hustling him and chasing his tail through the corners.

(Webber begins to chase Alonso down)
DCr: The hunt and the charge is on, Ted Kravitz!
TK: Yeah, we're all assuming and we've been saying that the soft tyre is so terrible, but Nico Hulkenberg--
(Kobayashi chooses that moment to mow his mechanics down)
DCr: Oooh!  Oooh!  Sorry, Ted--
TK: Oh, no no!  I must find out about that, David.
MB: He is coming in at 62 miles an hour; but he's missed his slot by a team's worth; it was like he was stopping at the next team.  Unless he had a problem in the car, that's just rubbish driving.

MB: Vettel down in the late 1:35s, and, er, Mr Bean there looking ecstatic about the whole thing...
(He isn't.)
DCr: He should be happy, he looks like he's got a free pass for this afternoon!

DCr: Frankie Dettori.  Who would he rather be on this afternoon; the Prancing Horse or the Raging Bull, I wonder?

(Button gets his front wing alongside Senna's rear wheel but can't make a pass stick)
MB: See, that's what I don't understand, you know, if your front wing's beyond their rear wheel they've got to let you go.  What happens if you're round the outside?  There's no way Senna had to yield there to Button, nor would Button have expected him to.  I don't understand that new rule.  It's too - it's like the penalty we saw with Massa and Hamilton in India last year.  You've gotta take a view as to whether the driver's in with a reasonable fair chance of passing you and then you've gotta turn your car into the corner at some point.

MB: [Webber's] got so much more front-end grip in the middle of Luffield there despite being in the dirty air of the Ferrari!  He's starting to smell victory!

(Webber walks in)
MB: And that won't go to his head one little bit, will it?  It'll just be straightforward, go home, walk the dogs, have a beer probably, go to the Red Bull party.

(Alonso waits to go onto the podium)
MB: Oh dear.  Big bottom lip.
DCr: He's surely happy though, with second place?  I know no driver really likes it, but in the long game?  Even though he's been beaten by his nearest rival, he's still picked up 18 very precious points.
MB: I had a few second places in Formula One I was very happy with, but I don't think happy will be a word that crosses that big sad bottom lip any time soon, even in Italian, or Spanish.  Or Italian.

MB: I'm so pleased the crowd are being allowed onto the track.  They came, they nearly drowned, they dried out, and now they've seen a great race, and we really appreciate their efforts to stick in with this.

MB: Driver of the day has to be the friendly Aussie.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Hell Yeah It's The British Grand Prix Update Schedule

Hello all!  Just finished triple-checking my recording arrangements for OMG IT'S THE BRITISH GRAND PRIX THIS WEEKEND.  Fingers crossed.

I have a very light weekend and am hoping to have the quotes for both sessions up within a few hours of them finishing.  Saturday morning I am out but hopefully will be back in time to watch quali live, and will be firmly installed for the race.

Monday, 25 June 2012

European Grand Prix - The Quotes

N.B. A recording snafu has left me without a copy of Sky's quali coverage, so I thought I'd see how it feels to go back to BBC coverage after watching Sky most of the year to keep the site updated.


(Discussing the unpredictability)
DC: I don't see why this is a bad thing for Formula One. It's not like you've got some idiot winning a Grand Prix. They're all truly worthy winners of the Grands Prix, and all from teams that have winning DNA.
JH: What it is really, is that Eddie's frustrated that his predictions aren't coming through...

(Kobayashi likes orange juice)
LM: So, if you get on the podium this weekend, you'll be wanting to spray orange juice and not champagne?
KK: Orange juice. That's a good idea. You have to be ready.
LM: I'll go and tell Bernie!

(Eddie Jordan interviews Manisha Kaltenborn and Eric Boullier at the same time)
EJ: I'm going to ask them both the same questions, if they don't mind!
(He doesn't.)
EJ: [Grosjean] was given his [second] chance by Eric - he has done a remarkable job. Can he possibly continue to win here?
EB: I would love him to continue to win, because that means that he won, you know?

DC: What does Nigel Mansell [title-winning clip], Ayrton Senna [title-winning clip], Damon Hill [title-winning clip], what do they all have in common? Even a David Coulthard? [Bins it in the pit lane at Adelaide 1995] I know what you're thinking. One of them was clearly too good-looking to be a racing driver - but in actual fact, the answer is that they all started racing in Formula Ford.

DC: It's incredible how much motorsport has moved on since I started. When I raced Formula Ford in 1989, it was basically, you turned up here with a mechanic, sponsor shirt, and you went racing. Now they're getting a full briefing, how to interact with the team, how to work with the engineers, how to deal with the media. Course, media's pretty easy. (Beat) Unless it's EJ.

(Final line of the segment)
DC: I feel like a young man again! Does that mean I can date young girls?
(Back live)
JH: Well, it hasn't stopped you for the past 20 years!
(DC parries and waffles about how it's like going home, compared to DTM which still feels a bit weird)
JH: And how is the dating going?
DC: Yes,, er... [to EJ] you probably ran a Formula Ford team?
EJ: Sorry, I thought [DTM pronounced funny] was his son's name!

(Track guide with DC & Felipe Massa)
DC: Let me mic you up. Do you go down the top, or up the bottom? Ah, you go up.
FM: You go down?
(Hilarity ensues)
DC: Which turn is this? It's like, twenty-something...
FM: Maybe...18, 19? No, no...21, 22? No...
DC: Actually, we'll ask Michael.
(They flag down a German on a moped)
DC: Sorry, we're trying to work out the corner number...we don't know...
(Schumacher looks suitably smug as he tells them where they are and drives off)
DC: ...what did he say? 19 and 20?
FM: 19 this one, 20 that one.
DC: I'm just always scared. I always think he's going to try and hit me...
DC: What stands out on this track as being a great corner?
FM: The bridge...(shrugs)
DC: The bridge! At least you didn't say "the exit from the circuit when you go to the airport"!

DC: Massa is only two tenths from pole position in this current part of Q2...and he's twelfth. Tell me I'm not imagining things; that is what's up on the screen.

(DC pooh-poohs Grosjean's chances of going to Q3)
BE: What about Romain Grosjean? He lost a little bit of time on the lap, it could put him in the top ten though, across the line he goes...and he goes fastest!
DC: Pffffffft! Where did that come from???

EJ: This is theatre! This is just theatre of the highest level. You just can't get your breath, that's what I'm saying. We are [b]redundant[/b] in this job at the moment Jake, because there's no such thing as a punter! We don't know what's going on! It's remarkable, absolutely fascinating stuff.
JH: Eddie, you're [i]never[/i] redundant.
EJ: I am redundant, please!

Here are some comments I have after watching BBC quali coverage

The BBC pre-show is still much better over Sky. The only area in which I'd take Sky over the BBC (aside from Marty's interest pieces, obviously) is when Ant Davidson and Ted Kravitz get technical; the computer and slow-mo graphics that they can use are exceptionally good. I find their interest pieces far duller than the BBC's. The presenting team has started to gel with the seemingly permanent addition of Johnny Herbert, but Fake Jake clearly doesn't have quite the same easy relationship that the real thing was able to gain very quickly with DC and EJ. For me EJ is the difference; when he appears on screen you've no idea what's going to happen next, and you know he's capable of anything. He brings a wonderful enthusiam and sense of unpredictability to everything, and nobody seems to mind that he's mad as a box of frogs - see how Boullier and Kaltenborn were enjoying a classic piece of EJ madness. He certainly isn't the most technically competent presenter ever, but he's such fun to watch.

During the race coverage I'm afraid that Sky have a clear advantage. Ben Edwards is a good commentator, but it seems to me like he became far too used to working with John Watson amd is struggling for chemistry with DC, who is in turn still feeling his way into his commentary role. I also noticed during quali that on a technical note, the engine noise of cars passing the commentary box was bleeding through very strongly and distractingly in the sound mix (presumably through the commentators' own microphones), which is quite unusual to say the least. On the other side Brundle and David Croft appear to have had almost instant chemistry and are well on their way to becoming the next classic team (succeeding Walker-Hunt and Walker-Brundle), which presumably scotches the idiotic rumour I heard circulating a while ago that Marty had vetoed working with Crofty at the BBC because they didn't get along with each other, or some such.

Finally, there is something that's just *right* about sitting down to F1 and hearing The Chain. Just Drive is a far more competent music selection for Sky than they usually come up with for their intros, but they will simply never be able to compete on that front.

So if I had a free choice I'd do what it seems a lot of people are doing and watch the BBC until the FOM ident, then switch over to Sky for the race; but there's a reason it's "Martin Brundle (and His Friends)", and that's why I'm watching Sky.

Updated: the same snafu also ate my live recording of the race, and it's only now that I've been able to get round to watching the highlights recording I was able to get.


(Back with Sky)

TK: In Valencia on Grand Prix weekend, life's a beach, and then you qualify.

(On the grid, Marty doorsteps Jenson Button)
MB: JB with his dancing shoes wanna put your race boots on there, son?
JB:  Yeah, these aren't so good for walking around in.
MB: What, they're that thin?  Can I have a little poke...(he pokes the boots)...they're really thin, like slippers, aren't they?
(They segue into a discussion of brakes)
JB: ...On the way to the grid, you never really know, but there's no locking, even if you push very hard, which is good.
MB: You can't really attack it like the first lap of the race, can you?
JB: I dunno, can you remember that far back?
MB: Yeah I can, just about, actually. (Jenson mugs at the camera) Thank you, thank you very much.
JB: Oh, you raced, didn't you?
MB: I'm gonna give you the lucky nipple tweak again...
JB: You raced last weekend, didn't you?
MB: I did race last weekend.  I was awesome.  Did you not watch it?
JB: The young boys are quick, aren't they?
MB: Yeah they are, unfortunately.  And brave.
JB: Quicker than their dad.
MB: And more importantly, they can see at night, as well.

(Then he grabs Maldonado)
MB: So, fantastic quali lap as usual.  I wonder if it might be better to go to the toilets that way?
PM: That way?
MB: Yeah, I would go through the middle there.

(For the record, Martin drove a Zytek in the LMP2 class at Le Mans with his son Alex and Spaniard Lucas Ordóñez; they finished 15th overall and 8th in class on 340 laps.  Best wishes also to Anthony Davidson, who was quite idiotically nerfed off in that race by a GT Ferrari and suffered an extremely nasty injury to his back.)

 MB: Maldonado's a full metre behind his yellow line, here.

(Grosjean takes Hamilton)
DCr: Wonderfully committed move from Romain Grosjean!  That was a joy to see!
MB: He's turning into a class Formula One driver, isn't he, second time around?  He was hopeless first time, always seemed to be spinning around and getting it wrong, now that was a world-class overtake, and you don't see too many people putting manners on Lewis Hamilton!
MB: I mean, it theoretically wasn't on!  Lewis had covered it, he left him his one space round the outside as he's obliged to do...but it really looked as if it was not workable, that move, and he's made it stick, and I don't think anyone's as surprised as Hamilton.

MB: Who says you can't overtake at Valencia?
DCr: Well, we've seen two astounding moves, one each from both of the Lotuses, we've seen Alonso do it as well, and I think everybody including me and you, Martin, were breathing in there, and not just because we didn't wanna show our waistlines...
MB: ...I am so massively impressed by the skill we've seen this afternoon in wheel-to-wheel combat.

DCr: And that's someone's straw hat, that has been, er, blown, maybe from the back of the grandstand, onto the track.
MB: I've never seen that before!  In all the years I've covered this sport.  Somebody's hat!  Getting involved in a Formula One incident.
DCr: It's a fashion faux pas, that's got no place at a Grand Prix track.

MB: Vettel's got nothing in front of him, nothing behind him, he'll be wondering if he's in a race by himself.  Which he kind of is, really.

DCr: This could end beautifully or in absolute disaster...let's see...eeeeeergh!
MB: Webber pits, he's had enough of that silliness.
DCr: Sebastian Vettel out on his own at the moment, but might just wanna watch the rerun of this race, it's a bit hectic behind him!

MB: Kobayashi will have to stop for a new front nose.
(Where else would he have a nose, Marty?)

MB: That could have been flying through the air in a heartbeat.

MB: That's the fashionable move of the day, isn't it, and it's worked every time I've seen it.

(Of the GP2 race)
DCr: No shortage of thrills, spills and laps behind the Safety Car.  I think Bernd Maylander was probably eligible for a Fastest Lap bonus point.

(Safety Car deployed)
MB: And it's just missed Vettel!  Not that he's obliged to get Vettel, but the timing is such.  We've had that here before, haven't we, some Safety Car sagas.
(And it all goes off in the pit lane.)

DCr: Yellow flags waving once again as the marshals see Fernando Alonso and start their own little dance!
DCr: They are going absolutely wild in the stands here!  Last night it was for Xavi Alonso, today it's for Fernando Alonso!  Vettel could be out of this race!  He is out of this race!  Oh, Adrian Newey with his head in his hands, Spain with their hands in the air!
MB: Yellow flags still flying out there, but so are the Spanish flags!

(Grosjean retires as well)
MB: He's saying [to the marshals] "come on guys, where are you?  Come and pull this thing out of the way!"
DCr: They're too busy dancing at Fernando Alonso's lead of this race!
MB: He's doing it himself, now.

(This one I think is all in the delivery)
MB: I wouldn't be able to be that calm [on the team radio], I'd be like "ifyoucanjustgetpasthimIthinkwecanWINTHIS" and of course he's just very very moderate.

DCr: Great weekend if you're Spanish, and happen to be called Alonso.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Canada - The Quotes


SL: Blink and you will miss them at the TT.  Are you going to take us next year, Martin?
MB: Arrrrhhh.  I've...I've never been.  I was riding a Ducati Panagali the other day round the Silverstone GP circuit; absolutely brilliant, I'd love to do it, but listen, I've smashed myself up enough times in my life without going racing, but I so admire the bike racers.  A footballer gets a little tap, he rolls over and cries for 20 minutes.  These guys with broken bits, get lifted on their bike, "go win a race", and get lifted off again.  I've got so much respect for them.

MB: That's what I love about this racetrack.  You can hit something!  You don't just go off into a big car park and come back on looking a little bit embarrassed.  Otherwise everyone's gonna sit at home going "well, it's easy, I can do that", if you can just make mistakes and get away with it.  This track will punish you, and that's how it should be.

MB: Niki Lauda looking absolutely enthralled by the whole thing.
DCr: Well.  He's got his eyes open...

MB: It's embarrassing having everybody watch you being weighed, isn't it?  All your main rivals, watching you be weighed.
DCr: I think that approaching Le Mans, you look very trim, and you should have no embarrassment next week at all.


(Marty and Jenson Button do a track guide)
MB: Next up; Turns 4, 5, 6, and 7; where you took the lead [last year], of course.  Let's re-enact that!
JB: Let's do that!
MB: I've got another buggy!
JB: ...Oh, really? ... I wanna see you drift the buggy.
MB: Right, so I'm gonna be Sebastian Vettel - in my dreams...

(On the grid)
MB: If you're into photography, you might appreciate the value of all these lenses, just casually lined up along the side of the track here.

MB: Bernie!  Mario!  Can we have a quick word with two legends of Formula One?  Have you got to go, Bernie?
BE: (pointing at Mario Andretti) He's the real legend.

(Short of drivers, he grabs one of Mark Webber's mechanics)
MB: I've got a £500 bill for my iPhone that got put in the water at Monaco - so who's going to pay for my iPhone?

MB: Here is Adrian Newey...drawing next year's car, presumably.
(Newey clocks him and quickly closes his notebook)

MB: The two Ferraris, particularly the one in Alonso's hands, has never failed to make places on the first lap of a race this year, so I think they'll both be looking in their mirrors for something bright red and in a hurry.

DCr: [Rob] Smedley with the new Elvis hairstyle, while his driver gets all shook up...

MB: He will have both of those [tyres] vibrating down the straights, you're touching 190 mph a couple of times down the straights here.  That's what Massa's radioing in about, no surprise there.  Surprised that Rob Smedley didn't say "well, serves you right, look after them a bit better!"

MB: Hamilton versus Alonso.  I love saying that!  It always means fireworks!
(Hamilton promptly dives down the pit lane)

(Karthikeyan spins at Turn 1)
MB: Down the escape road...there used to be a tree right there, it used to scare the living daylights out of me, there was a barrier in front of it, but there was nowhere to go in that corner.

(de la Rosa retires, spewing great gouts of black stuff)
DCr: Brake issue, do you think? (!)
MB: Quite possible, isn't it?  Looks like a coal mine, but that's just carbon in a different form.

MB: He'll be invited to talk at the Fleet Manager's Christmas event, won't he, telling everyone how to save tyres, Perez.

(Webber bides his time behind one-stopping runners)
MB: It's like waiting at the door of the pub to open when you're desperately thirsty, isn't it?  You're going to start kicking on the door shortly, letting them know you're there.
MB: There it all goes on behind the scenes, that's beamed back to the factory as well.  That's a terrifying thought: when you're driving round, missing your braking point, locking your right front, that there are 40 people who are a lot cleverer than you watching it, and they know before you do.
DCr: Just feels to me, we're playing the waiting game with this race at the moment, Martin.  We've had the initial salvo, the first round of pit stops, and now, how's it all going to unfold and unwind with maybe the next round of pit stops to come.  There's plenty more to come here!  Like in Test cricket, we're almost waiting for the new ball to arrive.
 MB: What you're saying is, "this bit's a bit boring, compared to how it was a few minutes ago when it was really exciting".
DCr: Slightly!
MB: But it'll get better!  Patience!  Patience, young man.

MB: We're going to get a right traffic jam behind Kimi Raikkonen shortly; and the only person in the world who won't care about that is Kimi Raikkonen.

(Hamilton has bad pit stop #45612 of the season; his girlfriend reacts with some rather colourful language)
MB: ...saying "what on earth is going on?", I believe.  And, well, she's very upset about 1.6 seconds, but she might well be right - that could make the difference.

MB: Massa's got himself up into fifth place, but his tyres looked very second-hand when we saw that big slow-mo of him wrestling himself out of the final chicane.

MB: My driver of the day is Romain Grosjean.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Monaco - The Quotes


MB: It's B&B, isn't it?  And I don't mean "boats and Bollinger"; this is bravery versus the barriers.

DH: I promise you I will eat this microphone if Lewis Hamilton doesn't get pole position and win the race.

(Simon attempts to bring a curious kid into the coverage, but he turns out to be Italian and doesn't speak English)
SL: Go and speak to Johnny, he's about the same height...

(Kobayashi gormlessly thumps a barrier)
MB: I don't think I've ever...I was walking this track with my son the other day, and I said "I don't think I've ever seen anybody really hit that barrier" - well, I have now.  He was looking right, you can see it, and he just wandered across the track, effectively, for want of a slightly better word, and clouted the barrier.
DCr: I heard a very unkind engineer once say of Nico Rosberg here as he crashed at the swimming pool sector, that maybe he was just waving to someone in his apartment...too many distractions, just ask Stirling Moss.

(Of the track temperature)
MB: It's gone up to 47 degrees...I dunno, it's somewhere near a kettle, isn't it, because it's wandering up for no apparent reason whilst the air stays at 23...

(Of Grosjean)
MB: I'll be amazed if this man isn't on the first two rows of the grid, and mildly surprised if he's not on the front row.

(Raikkonen struggles)
MB: What are they doing with that car?  They've got the fastest car on the racetrack through most of free practice...

MB: Somebody's moved the temperature probe away from the kettle, it's dropped 6 degrees now to 41.

(Vettel gets on the radio)
MB: "Jumping like a rabbit".  Very technical!  I think Rocky knows what he means.

(Discussing the new abrasive runoff)
MB: And with my very technical trainer test, I declare that to be very grippy indeed.  It's good stuff.

DH: I'm definitely not making a comeback now.
(Laughter as a tray appears)
SL: I tell you what you are going to do, though.  How would you like it served?  We've got pepper, we've got some Tabasco, we've got...this was for Lewis Hamilton not finishing on pole...
(He gives DH the microphone he promised to eat earlier on a cone; DH cheats and eats the cone.  Typical Sky ripoff!)


(Start with a shout-out to their excellent intro piece with the team all arriving at Monte Carlo by different routes - I can't start transcribing any one bit without wanting to take all of it, so I won't try.  Sky's coverage is really starting to find its feet now, for mine.)

MB: As Ted said when he was in that McLaren doing his Driving Miss Daisy bit; if you're going to go to a Grand Prix, it's a great place to start.

SL: [Schumacher's] loss, Mark Webber's gain - well, one for the old boys, today, or the older boys.
MB: Well, you're a very young man, so...

(On the grid)
MB: Look at that shot down to the first corner.  You know sometimes you come into a roundabout and there's too many signs, you don't know where to go?  It must look very much like that at 180mph, especially if you're under someone else's front wing.  They've moved a plant pot in the pit lane to make this a straighter run...

MB: Can you imagine how much those apartments cost?  Well, add another nought, and you might be somewhere near.

MB: We'll dive straight into the melee.  You'll notice that it's hard to see a racing car, because there's so many people on the grid. 

MB: We'll see what's going on around Alonso's car...he's hugging Antonio Banderas at the moment, and if I could actually get anywhere near it, I would...Will, could we get a word with your man, when you get a chance...if you'd be so kind as to, I dunno, just pull his jacket, or something...can you sort this out for us, Will?  Soon as he's done?  OK, I, um, wouldn't expect you to kick his shins, or anything, but you might have to do that in a minute, to be frank...
(He gets his interview and wanders off)
MB: I was a bit surprised to hear that [Banderas], this is the first time he's ever met Fernando, so maybe we've gotta go for the big man hug straight away, would be the way to get on terms with Fernando...
(He gets jumped from behind by Eric Clapton and Jools Holland as he's going after Liam Cunningham and Michael Fassbender - it's that sort of a grid!)
MB: Liam!  Oi!  What's the matter?  I'm busy, can't you -- I'm nearly famous, for goodness sake!  You can't do that sort of thing when I'm busy!  What happens if I jump on at the Albert Park stage and go "Oi!  Eric!"
EC: Well, that's the way to do it!  That's the way to do it!

(Marty throws back to the others)
SL: Yeah, we got a driver in, the driver that everyone's talking about, but awash with celebrities there!  I mean, it's clearly the thing to be seen on now, Martin Brundle's gridwalk!
DH: Well, Monaco has always attracted all the film stars and great names, and I have to say, when I was on the grid I was surrounded by people I hadn't, suddenly I was best friends with people I'd never met before, and I'm trying to work out who they were!  Usually I'd have to ask my wife! 
SL: (To Johnny) Quite offputting, all around the car?
JH: Well, it's different, cos he was at the sharp end, I was always sort of midfield, at the back, and they never came that far back, unfortunately...
DH: Not always!

(Natalie Pinkham grabs Ron Dennis by the pit wall, grabs a few words, then...)
NP: Thank you very much.  Now I'm going to watch you gracefully manouevre your way over that wall!
RD: Easy peasy!
NP: You need to help your lovely lady, as well...!

(And then Nicole Scherzinger, who models her jumpsuit)
SL: Johnny's going to dig his jumpsuit out for a little bit later, what a treat for you!

MB: It'd be a brave man who tried to outbrake Fernando Alonso into Saint Devote, especially if you were his teammate who normally has to do what he says.

DCr: Is it time for a team order?  "Fernando, Felipe is faster than you"?

MB: All's fair in love, war, and Formula One, they say.

DCr: And we watch Narain Karthikeyan taking the wrong line.
MB: Having an incident all by himself there.  Feeling a little bit lonely, no doubt, down by the hairpin.

(Tango Echo Delta reports on Mercedes mechanics in the pit lane, but not stopping a car)
MB: Ted, do you think Mercedes were trying to maybe dupe Red Bull, or have I read too many James Bond books?

DCr: They say here if it's raining over the Alps then that's going to stay there, if it's coming over the harbour from the sea, the rain is on its way.
MB: You sure they're not burning €50 notes out there, or something, on the boats to keep themselves warm?
DCr: There is a recession on, even in Monte Carlo...

Rosberg's team radio: Possible light rain in four minutes.
MB: Oh, yes.  I didn't think that when I was driving out there, would have been nightmare scenario, but it might just spice this race up a treat.

MB: Raikkonen with a proper queue behind him now.
DCr: We've seen a few queues , but normally they're to get into a nightclub at round about two o'clock in the morning.

(Hamilton moans about his pit board)
MB: Maybe just the numbers they put on it - it's a very basic system in this high-tech world of sticking little plastic numbers on a board.

MB: [Lewis Hamilton] with three wheels on his wagon as he comes off the end of that Swimming Pool chicane at about 140 mph, it's just mindblowing to stand there and watch cars go through.  It never ceases to impress me, and I've been hanging round these things all my life.  It's just incredible, the speed and the grip; the air pressure knocks you back; the revs vibrate your body as they come through there.  It's just wonderful.

MB: Massa's flat-spotted his again, we saw onboard with him at Rascasse, and that left front must be like a fifty pence piece by now.

MB: Reliability is just extraordinary, isn't it, now in Formula One?  I mean, back in the day, if you were running P10 at half distance and you finished, then you were virtually guaranteed to be in the points, and they only went down to P6 then for World Championship points.  Now it's highly unusual to see a car having a problem, unless you've bounced it off another car or the barriers.

MB: They run about 20 PSI in these tyres, and a very high sidewall.  The wheels are only about 13 inch, so something a bit like an early Mini Metro.

TK: Michael [Schumacher] went on the radio to ask "is [the problem they just mentioned] engine or gearbox?", and they wouldn't tell him because they know people like me are listening!  They said "Michael, all you need to know is, it's not critical."

DCr: There's a man in front of us, Ted Kravitz, clapping his hands at the thought of rain, and he's got the Union flag in front of him as well!
TK: Well, either that or he doesn't like Michael Schumacher very much, because he can see that Mercedes are clearing a space for the seven-times world champion...

MB: Vettel's been told "the only thing we see on the radar is isolated drops".
DCr: One drop, spaced by about three metres apart?

MB: Catching one thing, passing is quite another, of course.

(Webber gets seriously slow)
DCr: I tell yer what, he's caused a concertina like some folk singers' convention out there at the moment!

DCr: Alonso's almost shoving Nico Rosberg down the hill!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Spanish Grand Prix - The Quotes


(Discussing the latest Concorde Agreement and Mercedes' dissatisfaction)
DH: It doesn't seem to make any difference, does it, how much you've invested in the sport; "that's your lookout", I'm sure I can hear a certain small man saying to himself.
MB: I mean, Bernie's not everyone's cup of tea, but, he's 82 years old, his main device always is "divide and conquer", and he's been ace at it this time round, hasn't he?

MB: One driver said to me on the way home from Bahrain on the plane, "my granny could drive these cars", there's so little grip...
DH: That'd be interesting, wouldn't it?  I'd like to see that!  Maybe we should sign her up?
MB: That very same driver came out and supported the Pirelli thing during the...cos he obviously had to toe the corporate line of the particular team that he drives for, but I think the drivers are a bit frustrated when they're eight or nine seconds slower in the race than they were in qualifying.

SL: Busy pit lane right now.  Johnny Herbert didn't wear a vest like myself and Damon, and will now have to do the rest of the show like this with his hands clamped to his sides!
JH: Oh, thanks!  Oh, thanks, buddy!
(General chortling and amusement)
DH: It's all right for you, I've got to stand next to him!

JH: Well, [the teams] won't know where they need to be because of the temperature.  I think Damon, you had a look at the track temperature and it was at...
DH: Well, I wasn't going to tell you, but it's 38 degrees...
 JH: I know you weren't!  That's why I asked you!
DH: It's a secret!
MB: Tell me!

(Discussing the technical updates for this race)
TK: We can also have a look at these little winglets here, which I like to call "eyebrow" winglets.  I'm sure McLaren will call them something else...

SL: We've found something to sort Johnny Herbert's problem out!
(The Force India sporting director is blasting JH's armpits with a gigantic cooling contraption)
SL: His roles are many and varied...

(Q1 starts and not a lot happens)
MB: This is looking like a spaghetti western right now, isn't it?  They're all hangin' out quietly, just keeping out of the midday sun, and then all of a sudden they'll come out shooting in a little while.
DCr: Ted!  Still not very noisy with you.
(An engine fires up literally in the middle of his sentence)
TK: Oh, I beg to differ!
DCr: Oh, really (!)

(di Resta goes wide)
MB: I'm not sure he has any fillings in his teeth, but it does rattle them out - he's too young for that, I guess.

(And again, at Turn 3, allowing Martin to revisit an old bugbear from a different angle)
MB: They're so lucky, cos that used to just be bumpy gravel, and you'd go straight into a wall and probably straight to hospital.

MB: There'll be plenty of bitching going on from many of these drivers when they get back into the pits of, like, "I don't understand this, what's happened?  I've got no front grip!"
 (I didn't know you could say "bitching" on Sky... -Ed)

(Charles Pic talks about Q1 and competing with the "Cat-ur-am")
MB: "Cat-uh-ham" - I heard it on CNN the other day as "Cayter-HAM", and I don't think they know that particular village too well around the world, do they?
(Thanks to a being known only as "The Stig" for flagging this one up for me.)

(Martin just ensures we didn't miss his previous, subtle, inferences about the presence of artificial grass strips lining the circuit)
MB: It's still pretty much a crosswind through that Turn 9, where they're really struggling not to run wide onto the...astroturf, it what you will....fake grass...ability to be inaccurate and still get away with it.  Call it whatever you want.

(Rosberg clumps a kerb heavily)
DCr: ...You really do start to feel that wind, specially if it is a bit of a crosswind--oof, dear!  He felt that, Nico Rosberg!  Probably took the wind out of him, going over the kerb so hard!
MB: Formula One cars are so clumsy at fifty miles an hour, and so are Formula One drivers, by the looks of it.  You can't see the kerb when you get there in the things, and it's just a horrible part of the track to drive.
MB: Nico Rosberg then, about to clump that Turn 14 inside kerb, and yeah, he got the really big one, the "You can take a bit of kerb but you're not coming this far" kerb.
(I take no responsiblity for anyone who is losing their ability to comprehend the word "kerb" by this point -Ed)

MB: I would not be at all surprised to see Romain Grosjean win a Grand Prix this year.  He seems as if he's got all the pace of Raikkonen, and they've got a great car.


(Discussing Lotus-Renault)
DH: They've always been an interesting team.  I mean, I still think of them as Benetton, to be honest.

(On the grid, Martin gets adventurous)
MB: Right, let's dive in's a lady, do you speak English?  Let's have a Marty's Random Person...(he gets totally blanked)!  She clearly doesn't speak English!  Oh, I've got the wrong aftershave on.  Do you speak English? (She indicates yes, but demurres) Ah, just a quick word?  Right...that went well.  I'm gonna try a man next.  Oh, look at this dude looking cool, look.  Do you speak English?  No!  Nobody speaks English!  (He desperately accosts a passing photographer) There's Keith Sutton, he speaks English, of Sutton Photographic!  Keith, who's going to win the race?
KS: It's going to be Maldonado.
MB: Maldonado?  Right! (He moves on) Bernie, do you speak English?  (Bernie Ecclestone, for it is he, looks at him like he's got two heads).
(He chats to Bernie and then, finally, finally, finally, finds a lady who speaks English and will talk to him for his MRP)
MB: Quick word, you're my first Marty's Random Person of the year, and you're obviously with Red Bull Racing.  Are you from Red Bull?
MRP: No, I'm from Vienna, and so I like Vettel.

MB: So, we head down to Pastor Maldonado.  I've got no idea if he's available.  I've no idea if he's on the grid!

(Crofty finishes his intro)
DCr: We have a glorious race in prospect: Martin Brundle, who's wearing "Blank Me" by Brut as his aftershave this afternoon, I just can't wait for this to get going.

(Replay of the start from Alonso's car)
MB: This is going to be a great view, I'm looking forward to this!  Watch Maldonado gently come over and leave him the width of a Ferrari plus a sheet of A4, basically, and Alonso says "that's more than enough".

(Kobayashi absolutely mugs Jenson Button for position)
MB: You know when you've been KKed, and that was absolutely fine.  He went in there, the door was open and he walked through the door, and gave Jenson a little touch just to move him out of the way....
DCr: It's Kobayashi's way of making the corner, isn't it?  Just bounce off the car to your right?
MB: We've seen him do it on many occasions, haven't we?
DCr: Glorious race at Suzuka where he used the hairpin to barge past Toro Rossos...
MB: "Just in case I run wide, I'll lean on you."

(Charles Pic retires instead of serving a drive-through)
MB: It's supposed to be through the pits, not through the garage...

MB: His first crash there - he's just crashed into the cameraman.  Had his crash helmet on, fortunately.

(Read this one out loud,  I think...)
DCr: It's victory for Williams, for Pastor, in Spain!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Spanish Grand Prix: Updates & Submissions

Time to get stuck into the European season!  The Spanish Grand Prix weekend is here at Catalunya.

Update schedule: I'm hoping to get quali up in the early evening today, but then I'm out all day Sunday so don't expect anything from the race until the wee hours.

As ever, submissions can be made on Twitter, or by email, or with a comment on this here blog.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Martin returns to the BBC!

Here's an extremely sweet little moment from the BBC's F1 Forum show after the Bahrain Grand Prix; wandering through the paddock, Jake and DC spot a familiar face...

It's a wonderful sweet little moment; sadly region-locked to the UK at present.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Bahrain Grand Prix - The Quotes


MB: This is one of the most bizarre and confusing times that I've experienced in my life, as a Formula One driver and a person. Because 99.9% of this paddock haven't seen any trouble - we've moved freely from the airport to the hotels, the city, the racetrack, and we're all getting calls from home, friends and family, saying "come home, it's so dangerous". They think we're in some kind of war zone. It's difficult to compute; but quite clearly it's the main subject of the weekend, so it's an own goal for Formula One in many respects to be here.

(Vergne misses the weighbridge, so Martin gets a chance to talk about being DSQed at Monaco in 1991 for it)
MB: My mitigating circumstance - not that this bugs me, 21 years later!
DCr: But we're gonna bring it up anyway!
MB: ...Is that Nigel Mansell ran over the foot of the man who was pointing us into the weighbridge at Monaco, and they took him away, so he wasn't there to tell me to go in.


(A piece about starting up an F1 car)
MB: And still they don't need a driver! He's probably out back, drinking champagne and talking to girls.

(Sitting back-to-back with Michael for the track guide)
MB: ...and then you turn in, hugging the apex like your favourite granny.
MS: And then, with grandma hugging grandpa behind me, we come to the exit...

(A thermal imaging camera is turned on the pit lane)
SL: I was wanting to see which bits of me were hot, but I'm a bit disappointed. That might mean we've got no soul.

(On the grid with Mark Webber)
MB: The car looks so much better - I was just telling the viewers about the new, or the slot that's gone missing from your rear bodywork that we can't see through yer mechanics.
MW: I didn't know that!
MB: You didn't know that?
MW: No, no...
MB: Watch our programme!

MB: Don't forget, these cars are now full of fuel since you last saw them in qualifying - that's the equivalent of putting two passengers in them, and that is why they're having to be so careful into the braking zone.

MB: Grosjean is just applying the throttle so nicely. Listen to that, just sweeeeeping the throttle down, not allowing any wheelspin.

(Hamilton passes Alonso)
MB: Mr Angry passes the matador.

(di Resta overtakes two cars at once)
MB: That's Christmas and birthday all at once for Paul di Resta, isn't it?

(Maldonado spins as Rosberg forces Alonso off the course right in front)
MB: This is Nico Rosberg's party trick, up the hill, and it was so exciting...

(Massa comes up behind Alonso)
MB: Fernando, Felipe is faster than you. Might be time to do something about that.

MB:These two are neighbours in Switzerland, Raikkonen apparently always beats Vettel at table tennis, will he beat him today?
DCr: I was watching him, Martin, just after your gridwalk, and as you were running up to the commentary box, Kimi Raikkonen was just sauntering back onto the grid, you know, race suit down to his waist, just like he was turning up for a Sunday afternoon with his mates. Puts the helmet on, drops the visor, and it's almost like a split personality. He becomes a different man altogether.

(Hamilton comes in for his final stop of the afternoon)
MB: And we have...four wheels on our wagon!

MB: Grosjean, the first Frenchman on the podium since Jean Alesi in 1998.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Bahrain Grand Prix - Update Schedule

Assuming it goes ahead, here is the update schedule for the Bahrain GP: I'm out all day Saturday; quotes will not hit until late evening. Sunday I may or may not be watching the race live; if I do they will probably hit soon after the podium, if not it'll probably not be until late evening again. Submit submit submit! Twitter, email, comment.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

China - The Quotes



(Of the braking zone in Turn 6)
DC: It's like being hit in the back of the helmet with a sledgehammer, when you give that first push on the brake pedal...

DC: I like Gary's expression there, more effort there in qualifying. It reminds me of my schooldays! "Must try harder."
BE: Did you ever have that when you were driving, from an engineer?
DC: Oh, constantly.

(Vettel is told he didn't make it through Q2)
DC: That hurts.

EJ: Where is that finger now, I ask? It's disappeared in one swoop!
JH: It's holding his helmet now...

DC: This is like Formula Ford racing, rather than Formula One, it's so close out there.

(Rosberg blows everybody's doors off)
BE: A [1] 35.1! A 35.1! That is a very rapid lap indeed!

(And then strolls off to get weighed before the flag drops)
DC: Just a thought, random thought, but if I was Rosberg, and I think I'm about to possibly have my first pole, I would hang around the garage for the team hug - if it happens - but he's just all alone, walking down to get weighed. Hasn't anyone told him? Hasn't he looked at the screens?



(Guest pundit Johnny Herbert is shown footage of his 1995 British GP win)
JoH: I'm just surprised it's not in black and white!

MB: A Formula One driver fits into a car like a hand fits into a glove.

(Of the pre-race parade on the pit straight)
SL: I saw an elf on a Segway, which you don't see every day, just going down there.

(Talking to Christian Horner)
MB: I hope you're going to reprimand [the team] for starting the engines while the boss is on the TV, for goodness sake.
CH: I think they do it as soon as they see you, Martin!

(On the grid)
MB: I would like to find a Mercedes-Benz driver...well, let's look for a whole bunch of cameras, and then we might just find a Merc-a-dees driver...(He queues for Rosberg and turns to his PR woman) We always bring him good luck, you know. I think you might have to get in there and, like, boot the others out...(Watching Rosberg speak to someone else) He'll never see where to brake at the first corner after that shirt, he'll be dazzled, won't he?

(Senna's engineer radios about how they need to get "through Massa")
DCr: Or 'round Massa', probably.
MB: Well, he tried 'through', didn't he, and it didn't work? Now he's got to go round him.

MB: Vettel, last year, the year before, he was perfect off the start. Perfect in qualifying. What is going on? It seems like his whole skillset has fallen away at the moment.

MB: Schumacher about to become the cork in the bottle, I reckon.

(Michael retires)
MB: Argh, oh! I haven't been this disappointed since Shrek 2. That is such a shame.

MB: The strategists' brains will be smoking, smoke coming out of their ears, working out when to stop a driver and where to feed him out into any sensible place on the track.

(Ted Kravitz breaks off for some team radio from Paul di Resta)
Engineer: Paul, we are definitely still in a race here. Definitely still in a race.
TK: Everyone's still in a race.

MB: As we expected, Jenson's in the pound seats.

MB: Look at Alonso. Because Hamilton's being held up behind Perez, he's right on the back of him. He's a magician! He just keeps on pulling something out of his hat. When he doesn't appear to have anything in his hat!

(Webber runs wide and very nearly flips arse over tit)
MB: As we watch Mark Webber, running, ouuugh, wow! Got plenty of air underneath that, didn't he? ... You don't wear your tyres out when you're flying through the air!

(Alonso runs wide on the marbles)
MB: I was watching - you were chatting away - and I was thinking "that's not gonna stay on the racetrack".
DCr: But, when you're a magician, even Harry Potter gets the odd spell wrong from time to time. Maybe it was one too many waves of the wand on that occasion.

MB: They've all driven - I think there's been some exquisite driving out there today. I mean, the side-by-sides, just tapping wheel rims, and not putting each other out of the race, and they're hard enough to drive by themselves, these things, without having to jockey around someone beside you.

MB: This is a big victory for Mercedes. They've been feeling pretty unloved in Formula One of late, with other teams cutting new deals in the Concorde Agreement for the future; this is an important marketplace for Mercedes-Benz, and that's very timely indeed, young Rosberg.

DCr: Martin, I know we'd all like to take home a trophy at the end of the day, what do you think of this one?
MB: Don't think it's the prettiest trophy I've ever seen, but it's...memorable, isn't it?
DCr: Rivals Jenson Button's fruit bowl, for his first win in Hungary...

(I would like to add an honourable mention to virtually everything in the BBC's F1 Forum show, which featured (among other things) some excellent banter about Eddie Jordan being texted by "George McCartney", Jakey-boy's iPad running out of battery, then using Twitter on his iPhone and carrying out a request to give Jenson Button a big kiss, EJ bodily shoving fans out of the way of the camera during the Mercedes segment, DC getting caught by a ravening pack of autograph hunters, and finishing with Lao the Chinese expert on English television coverage. Unfortunately he's only half right - I am beginning to agree with the popular opinion that the BBC has the better pre-race and post-race efforts, but Croft and Brundle are far superior to Edwards and Coulthard in race commentary, although I do think the BBC commentary team is improving as Edwards and DC get used to each other - and I also think that Sky's coverage was much improved by substituting the far more jovial presence of Johnny Herbert for Damon Hill. -Mak)