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 off...do you speak English?
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!