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Savouring the qualifying sandwich

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Jake Humphrey | 14:32 UK time, Saturday, 18 April 2009

Well, what a quali session that was! It's incredible just how dramatic they have been so far this season.

Lewis was the hard luck story in Oz, it was Massa the Unfortunate in Malaysia, Kubica is struggling here - and that's before we even start to talk about the front of the grid...Button's double pole, then the Red Bull-Alonso sandwich's almost all too much!

I tell you what was also pretty dramatic. After Q3 we were suffering camera breakup in the paddock so had to semi-sprint to another area whilst talking to DC and Mike before the drivers' press conference. Pretty hairy stuff but I'm starting to get used to that and it's all part of the fun!!

David Coulthard interviews Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel

Of course we all miss EJ but I thought Mike did great. I really enjoyed his lowdown on the diffusers and it's a perfect time to include a man with 20 years of F1 design experience...and great to get DC's insight when wandering down the pit lane...he's so at home in that environment after all these years.

I hope you enjoyed our early morning saunter from garage to garage, it's the first time we've tried it and what you see there is quite interesting. Hope it was due reward for you being up so early.

Anyway, fingers crossed you'll all have your alarms primed for 6.55am...looking forward to another race which hopefully will live up to the drama of qualifying!

It's now 9.30pm here so on with the script... good job my rooms got a coffee machine!


  • Comment number 1.

    I will be prepping my livingroom with toaster and kettle before I go to bed tonight!
    What a performance from Vettel and Alonso! Suprised that Renault gets round the track, it looks like a boat...which giving the forecast for tomorrow would be more useful

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Jake

    I enjoyed your stroll down pit lane. It made for a more relaxed show. Personally I think the Beeb should take on Mike Gascoyne as a pundit. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing his views and it was great to see him get involved. I thought he was better than EJ.

    Looking forward to the race tomorrow and another great show and possibly even a forum afterwards.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Jake,

    Walking down the garages worked very well this morning. It was nice that there was focus on a number of teams and drivers.

    Mike is brilliant and i think the BBC should consider having him as a regular member of the team. He explains the technical issues (such as diffusors) in a very clear way that is good for both the casual viewer and the aficionados. His questions to people such as Pat Symonds are very interesting and provoke them in to giving us much more of an answer than the usual media sound bite. His insight to the behind the team is more relevant than EJ's and his style of delivery is more viewer-friendly.

    Keep up the good work and looking forward to the forum tomorrow.

  • Comment number 4.

    I think you should give Mike a Willie Carson box to stand on Jake!

  • Comment number 5.

    Good stuff Jake keep it up. I thought that Mike was fantastic. To have a tech guy with his experience on the team gives us a different insite to the workings of the teams. Could his addition be made permanant. I didnt miss EJ Iam affraid! I just dont think he brings much to the table maybe he could do a few "special" reports over the season but not every race. See you At 6.55am!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    I enjoyed the pit lane walk this morning. Nice idea. It's like a more relaxed version of what Martin Brundle attempts on the grid, and it's a good way of getting some lesser prominent team personnel involved in the programe.

    Good contributions from Mike Gasgoyne this morning. I'd be interested to hear more from him throughout the season. He will be valuable tomorrow in determining pit stratergy especially with the qualifying weights published.

    And a second outing for the pink shirt for David Coulthard. That makes the score 2-1 to the Scotsman Jake!

    As for the action what a cool headed performance for Vettel. Why pound around the circuit for an hour? Just make three runs and finish fastest in two of the three sessions. Incredible performance. Looking forward to the race.

  • Comment number 7.

    Why do you need a script? Can't you just make it up as you go along?

  • Comment number 8.

    Could the BBC publish the fuel weights after Saturday qualifying? Would be good to get a true reflection of how fast each driver is going into the race.

  • Comment number 9.

    Mike was great!

    He should be kept on the team for as long as possible.

    Yet again, great coverage, keep it up.

  • Comment number 10.

    Mike was brilliant. Keep him on. combine him with DC and you have an excellent insight and knowledge of F1. It must be acknowledged that F1 is a technical sport, where the machinary is as important as the driver (look at LH this year and last).

  • Comment number 11.

    Great show today. Enjoyed the walk down the pit lane and all the chit chat between you, DC, Mike & the team personnel you three bumped into. Please keep Mike as he really knows his stuff and is great alongside DC. You can't have a better line-up than a former driver and techincal director alongside your goodself.

  • Comment number 12.

    Agree with contributors who are complimenting Mike G and would like to see him as a permanent replacement for EJ. He explained the tech stuff clearly and showed good insight and it wasn't all about him and what he'd done. Well done BBC for bringing him in - do a deal now!

  • Comment number 13.

    I really enjoyed the quali today, probably the best in terms of the action, and the BBC presentation.

    I think you should keep Mike in the team alongside yourself and DC.

    Eddie Jordan is good but best suited for features in the program like interviews etc.

    Can't wait for tomorrow!!

  • Comment number 14.

    Mike was superb - articulate, offered reasoned points of view and has a thorough understanding of the technical side of the sport which Jordan simply doesn't have.

    Great show.

  • Comment number 15.

    I watched qualifying this morning and thought that the team - Jake, DC and Mike - was great. The pit lane walk was a good parallel to Martin's grid walk and worked really well for me. Keep the team and pit lane walk for the rest of the races please!

  • Comment number 16.

    Can you or Martin Brundle ask Flavio when you bump into him - how much is Bernie paying him to wreck FOTA? Judging by his latest outburst against Ross Brawn it must be a lot.

  • Comment number 17.

    Another great show guys - well done. Great having Mike there with his knowledge and experience. So much better than EJ - please can we keep it this way - please!

    Loved the pit walk, good idea and would be good to do at other races to discuss changes/set-up, etc.

    How much fun is this season with the BBC and the packed being well and truly shuffled - bring on the race!

  • Comment number 18.

    Mike was 100 times better than EJ - you have to keep him. All F1 forums are saying the same thing.

  • Comment number 19.

    Have to agree with every one else. Keep Mike G and give EJ a different role.

    The pit walk was very good and something you might want to keep doing!!

    All ready with the 6.55 start just dont tell the misses!!

    Now get back to writing that script and dont drink to much coffee!

  • Comment number 20.

    LOL I was quite enjoying the "let's walk and talk" hurry-up, so interesting to find out the reason behind it!! Not sure DC appreciated your comment about the pink shirt though, Jake!!

    I'm a confessed Eddie fan - I enjoy irreverence and controversy - but I must admit the DC/MG combination did work extremely well, partly because of the fact that people like Pat Symonds obviously feel comfortable with a couple of guys who have been part of the furniture for so long, and are therefore more forthcoming...

    I did predict (somewhere) that RBR were the team to watch this week, so let's see what happens in the race. No-one's mentioning Lewis - with a much better quali performace than so far this season, and what he has done on the track from lowlier grid positions, I don't think a gritty drive from him to get a podium can be ruled out.

    Ipswich tomorrow... grrrrr

  • Comment number 21.

    EJ is pretty good, but Mike was a lot better and offered a completely different perspective. The coverage has been simply outstanding so far, but this morning it was even better. The pit walk was great, and the interviews were really interesting.

    Credit to the cameraman too for managing to walk backwards without tripping over a single wheel gun or hitting his head on any of the service booms above the pit boxes!

  • Comment number 22.

    "Could the BBC publish the fuel weights after Saturday qualifying? Would be good to get a true reflection of how fast each driver is going into the race."

    Bobbly, check out

    Another interesting little information byte - both Red Bulls running light, and Nando even lighter... the Brawns are at least a dozen kilos heavier, and Lewis a full 42 kilos heavier than Nando... that's going to make a difference! Do our mathematical gurus know what extra weight equates to what time difference on a lap??

  • Comment number 23.

    Another thumbs up for Mike G.

    Nothing against EJ, he does have a lot to say (and boy does he say it!); but Mike brings a calm and authoritative knowledge of the technical aspects which is a huge benefit to your coverage.

    The pit walk was a welcome addition, allowing you to interact with people we don't usually hear from. Shame about the track's PA system, but otherwise I hope you'll continue with that feature.

  • Comment number 24.

    Hi Jake, I loved the build up today when you all walked down the pit lane. Mike was also very good too. The BBC's coverage has been fantastic so far!

  • Comment number 25.

    I enjoyed qualifying and would love it if Alonso, Vettel and Webber could translate their grid positions into podiums, particularly Webber who deserves some good fortune for once! Credit must go also to Sebastien Buemi in the Toro Rosso for his performance, qualifying in the top ten.

    I liked the pit walk this morning as well and I hope that Mike Gascoyne can join you for a few more Grand Prix this year as he was really informative.

  • Comment number 26.

    The qualifying coverage this morning was first class.

    I hope we see a lot more of Mike Gascoyne his insight was excellent and although Eddie is a likeable character I don't think this is the role for him.

    It would appear that most people would agree, lets hope that the unique way the BBC is funded actually gives us some say.

    I can't wait for the race tomorrow.

  • Comment number 27.

    Great show this morning, and clearly MG was alot better than EJ. MG was worth listening to with his technical insights and interesting and informed comments, unlike EJ who in my view tries to turn it into 'The Eddie Jordan Show' and doesn't really add much to the coverage at all, so please try and keep MG for the season and let some other station have EJ. Great idea as well to do the 'walk and talk' thing going down the pitlane. Would be nice to see that repeated again at future races, thought it worked very well.

  • Comment number 28.

    I thought Mike was superb,better than EJ in many ways - please keep him as part of the team for those techy bits. I liked the walk down the garages too. It would be good Jake on the sunday programme to look at the posted car weights following qualy - this would help us understand better who was the "real" pole position, looks like Rubins and Jenson were the ones on the "adjusted" from row - justlook at how much lighter the front 3 were. Is 2kg worth 1 lap out on the track? If so Alonso has around 10 laps less fuel and Vetel around 7 laps less! Alarm and toaster ready.

  • Comment number 29.

    Loved the qualifying show and pit lane walk.
    Please keep Mike Gascoyne instead of Eddie Jordan though. Mike was knowledgeable and not pushy.
    Perhaps Eddie could do some features rather than be part of the team of three..

  • Comment number 30.

    Super show format today and MG was superb - great to have a man who knows what he is talking about. Missing EJ - well not at all. Keep up the good work for the show tomorrow.

    In response to ChrisGibs comment. As a rule of thumb, 10kg of fuel lasts four to five laps while 10kg of fuel slows the car by roughly 0.3s a lap – depending on the circuit type and length.

  • Comment number 31.

    Mike Gascoyne was superb - miles better than Eddie Jordan. Great work from everyone in the BBC team

  • Comment number 32.

    Why on earth are the car weights published now ? It takes away some of the suspense during the race - who was light, who wasn't, if they were light, how light ? How many more laps can the driver go etc . Makes it much easier for the teams as well to manage the race. This is not a move that increases the show for the viewer, far from it. Stupid decision !!

  • Comment number 33.

    Jake's comment about DC's pink shirt made him look like an idoit, DC looked much smarter than the Mike or Jake. DC didn't seem to impressed either. Jake looks like he's wrestled his from cloths 1985 burtons window dummy

  • Comment number 34.

    Eargly awaiting 6:55! Once again another insightful blog Jake, keep it up.

    Just to reiterate what most people are saying here, really enjoying the wonderful coverage, yourself and DC are spot on, the pit walk was an excellent addition and certainly feel Mike is a far better fit than EJ is/was.

    EJ did improve in Malaysia but still not nearly as good as Mikes first outing. So please keep Mike and maybe as someone else said get him a box to stand on!

    Looking forward to the race.

  • Comment number 35.

    Hi Jake,

    Great blog again and I loved the qualifying stroll down the pits this morning - it seemed very off the cuff how you bumped into various team personnel and asked them some interesting questions. Keep up the good work, the BBC is really changing the way F1 is brought to us.

    I also agree with the comments about Mike Gascoigne. I remember when "the other side" sometimes used to pair up with a team for the weekend and Mike was always one of the most helpful and eloquent technical directors. There was many a time when exciting things were happening to his cars, but he would still give up his time from the pit wall to explain his team's strategy and to give the viewers an insight into what a team gets up to during a race. He is a real asset to the BBC and I hope you all make more use of him. Agree that he needs a box to stand on, though...!

    Also, please continue with your weight-adjusted grid analysis, today's first 3 places now don't look as impressive as they first seemed.

    Looking forward to more superb coverage tomorrow morning.

  • Comment number 36.

    Hi Jake!

    After reading this blog for a while I've finally got round to saying hello! It's great to get the behind-the-scenes stuff from you - writing from hotel rooms around the world!

    Qualifying was great today - really liked the walk/talk stuff (and the grabbing of Christian Klien who was always a fav of mine!) and Mike was a really great addition to the team (although I'm agreeing with GFasulo's suggestion for a Willie Carson style box!!). Mike's comments were clear and concise, and just what was needed in the continuing diffuser story (i.e. less of the "confuser" EJ...) More generally I love the humour you guys are bringing to the show ... pink shirts etc(!) ... it's great to see the rapport developing between you guys!

    I have just set my alarm for 6:55am - looking forward to seeing what Vettel can do from pole tomorrow - could it be Red Bull's day? Good luck keeping hold of DC if it is!!

  • Comment number 37.

    I was really impressed by the fact that you're interviewing people in all sorts of areas of F1, especially the Klein interview. Before that, I didn't really know too much about the test driver, nice to get a different insight into proceedings.

    I would definitely like more of the stroll down the pit lane in the future please, a welcome addition to what already is a fantastic show. Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 38.

    I just have to agree with others on here, Mike just MAKES the thing work, sorry to say Eddie did not. I think the way the pit lane "names" will talk to DC and MG on that pit lane walk (keep it in !) just made that section of the show for me. The very knowledgeable dialogue from Mike must be so refreshing for the sport followers, I know it was for me.
    Keep it up, AND keep Mike.

  • Comment number 39.

    i wake up early in the morning and watch f1 in bed !

  • Comment number 40.

    Hi Jake!

    After reading this blog for a while I've finally got round to saying hello! It's great to get the behind-the-scenes stuff from you - writing from hotel rooms around the world!

    Qualifying was great today - really liked the walk/talk stuff (and the grabbing of Christian Klien who was always a fav of mine!) and Mike was a really great addition to the team (although I'm agreeing with GFasulo's suggestion for a Willie Carson style box!!). Mike's comments were clear and concise, and just what was needed in the continuing diffuser story (i.e. less of the "confuser" EJ...) More generally I love the humour you guys are bringing to the show ... pink shirts etc(!) ... it's great to see the rapport developing between you guys!

    I have just set my alarm for 6:55am - looking forward to seeing what Vettel can do from pole tomorrow - could it be Red Bull's day? Good luck keeping hold of DC if it is!!

  • Comment number 41.

    By the way, DC's expression after you made a comment about his shirt was priceless!!

  • Comment number 42.

    Mike did a good job with DC this morning. EJ was fine and a real character but Mike has so much experience at the sharp end of the pit lane and I think the BBC should keep him on.

  • Comment number 43.

    Your comment about DC's shirt was hilarious. I thought DC was about to slap you when you said that haha.

    Keep Mike as a pundit. Sorry to say, but he's much better than EJ.

    Am looking forward to this race. I think Brawn will still win, but don't the RBR's look good!!

  • Comment number 44.

    The Red Bulls may be light, but they were up there in Q1 and Q2 as well. We know from the diffuser coverage that the Red Bull has a 'pull rod' rear suspension - is this likely to be giving them better mechanical grip, and is that more of an advantage at this circuit than aerodynamic downforce?

  • Comment number 45.

    Aye, DC gave you an absolute look of death after you made that pink shirt joke. Also walking down the pitlane was a hella good idea, and mike gascoyne was a real find. You'd all be daft not to keep him on, he was great in FP1 as well. Although I do feel slightly sorry for the cameramen trying to get all three of you in one shot.

    I do have to ask, do DC's sunglasses move? Are they there to protect his brain? :p

  • Comment number 46.

    Oh and 1 more thing, Rich Porter said he knew you... the sniff petrol guy etc... anyway, Please please please, wear a crazy dave T-shirt one race. Pretty please.

  • Comment number 47.

    Trouble with EJ is he takes so long to ask his question - I struggle to remember what the point of it was in the first place. He is funny though.

    Been enjoying the blog Jake and your presenting of the GP. Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 48.

    I enjoyed the pit lane walk and DC's impromptu interview of his former boss - It was a nice way to get a feeling for the atmosphere and the teams POV in the pits before the qualifying started.

    I would like to see just a couple of improvements to the excellent web coverage already provided; the post-quali weights posted on the BBC instead of looking them up on the official F1 site. Maybe the odd 'on_board' lap from some of the better performers on the day. I think it's a great way to see how some drivers are able to make up more time than others on the tricky sections of the lap.

    Keep up the good work and let's hope EJ returns to the team soon!

  • Comment number 49.

    Bringing in Mike was a big step in the right direction, I have nothing against EJ but I didn't think he brought much to the table. Mike brings in the more technical stuff that I'm sure some of us that have followed the sport for many years have craved.

    Coverage is improving week by week, obviously with such a long gap since F1 was last on the BBC it was going to take sometime. I do, however, have a few issues, the pre-race schedule seems abit chaotic, it doesnt seem to flow naturally and also there is the business with Jonathan Legard. He really seems out of his depth, I heard no signs of improvement in Malaysia and I had the same problem in qualifying today, what is the point of bring Martin in, the expert, and have JL talk over the top of him. Martin isn't my cup of tea but atleast he knows what he's talking about. JL gets "excited" at random times and I dont get why he needs to say the lap times so often, it makes the race disjointed and hard to follow, all we want is good lap times, not random ones, the positions, gaps and whos doing something.

    I hate to put such a downer on it because considering F1 has been away for so long the coverage has been good,just less JL, practice, and your there.

  • Comment number 50.

    You, David, EJ and Mike are all cool presenters, each providing an in-site to various aspects of this sport.
    Lets not try and fool ourselves, every sport has politics on and off the track/field but F1 is a truly incredible team sport which can mean that someone like Jensen who has not been in front can suddenly lead the championship because the team he is part of got everything right, technical, balance, engineers, politics and regulations.
    This weekends presenting team works better because the team understood more about the aspects of the sport we want to listen to before a race, the drivers, the strategy and the technology that on race day makes winners when the team's in sync.
    BBC, Keep this team together, they make a great presentation lead supported by a driver alongside a technician and strategist makes it special.
    Thanks for such a great job guys.

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi all,

    I am the person who runs the F1 coverage on the BBC Sport website and I thought I'd pop on here to answer some of your observations about fuel weights.

    We do publish them after qualifying. For China, you will find them here:

    In keeping with BBC practice, we try to make what we publish a bit more user-friendly than a straight list of weights of the cars such as you would find on, or

    To try to help those less well versed in F1 understand, we try to do the calculations for you. The weights of the cars with fuel on board are pretty impenetrable unless you know how much fuel a car uses in a lap and what the lap time deficit is for it. This varies for each track, and for China is as follows: a car uses about 2.6-2.7kg per lap and 1kg of fuel slows the car down by about 0.037secs. You also have to allow for fuel usage during engine warming and formation laps and subtract the weight of the car and driver and any fluids on board.

    We have decided to publish a fuel-corrected top 10, based on fuel weights, as well as a list of the approximate pit stop laps.

    Have a look and let me know what you think - and if you have any suggestions for how we could improve it.

  • Comment number 52.

    Well Done Jake.... For taking the time to learn how to pronounce the driver's names correctly............ Especially Vettel (Pronounced FETTLE as in Kettle)

    Alonso (pronounced ALONE SO not the Mexican version ALONZO)

    Great coverage - BRILLIANT

  • Comment number 53.

    I take it moving the race to this early in the year (monsoon time)is another great Bernie Ecclestone idea, it will all be better when he's out of F1. It was his idea to have Malaysia run later in the day when the locals were saying it WILL rain at that time of day.........what a pillock that man is.............and I bet his idea for British G.P. next year doesn't come off either

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi Jake, and BBC team.

    Just taking a moment whilst the safety car is touring round to give my 5 penneth.

    I just wanted to say what a great job the BBC is providing us for the coverage of F1. You have enriched the world feed. You, DC and Mike have developed a relaxed, informative and enjoyable format. I don’t think you should write EJ off, he adds a fun dimension, somewhat irrevalent and maybe controversial at times. He needs to be trained to keep his comments brief because he has a tendency to ramble rather than get to the point.

    The combination of Martin with Jonathan is ideal. Jonathan is very engaging and complimented by Martins experience.

    Your graphics team are doing a great job, all the explanation pieces and the video edit composites are brilliant.

    Totally engaging viewing! Loving the uninterrupted viewing.

    Just one request - get some BBC sport team wear - at least some jackets for this wet weather :o)

    GREAT JOB!!!!

  • Comment number 55.

    Would it be possible to have an analysis (maybe later in the season, or a regular feature) of when each driver is using KERS. I noticed in Austrailia that Lewis was keeping some until the end, as opposed to Kimi who was empty by the middle of the lap (when they wernt using it for overtaking/defending purposes). I think it would be interesting to get a technical (mike or martin?) view on whether either is quicker or more advantageous.

  • Comment number 56.

    Jake Matey, your doing a great job, but I'm watching you right now and your shirt is to small and your trousers are to tight!! there fashion and cloths that fit, sort it out

  • Comment number 57.

    All the very best to David Coulthard when he has his operation to remove those sun glasses from his head even the rain couldn't shift them, get well soon!!!!

  • Comment number 58.

    Wow !!! Great Race and the BBC coverage really kicked into gear this weekend.
    I have to agree with previous bloggers, Mike G was FANTASTIC, much, much better than Mr Jordan, who I find adds nothing to the mix and his constant sniping at DC and references to what he has done are irritating beyond belief.
    I believe Ledgy and Brundle need to thrash a few things out, Jon seems to cut Martin off regularly and he needs to work on TV comm V's Radio comm, but all in all Aunty Beebs coverage is far and away better than what went before. Caught my first "Red Button" Forum today, which is a great addition to coverage.
    More from the lovely Lee would be nice too.
    Keep it up Guys !!!

  • Comment number 59.

    Just to say I really enjoyed the coverage today, the pit lane walkabout and interviews with other team members not normally in the spot light was particulary good, as was the forum.

    Must also say how good Mike Gasgoyne was, much better pundit than EJ I'm afraid!!

    Be great to see more of the prep that goes into a gp weekend - perhaps a fly on the wall with truckies and mechanics would be a good feature??!

  • Comment number 60.

    Count me in as a Gascoyne lover too. So much more insight than EJ has shown in 2 races. The 3 way between you, DC and Mike was much more balanced.
    Once again, the F1 Forum was the best part of the telecast again. Lee woke up and earned her airfare. I thought FOM's picture were not telling the story well, and Legard's style of commentary effectively filled in for FOM's issues.
    A couple of points. Lee needs to get more involved in the telecast. Louise was always a hard worker in going after people to interview. It appears (to us viewers) that she waits for people to come to her. Maybe it's the way the BBC want her to work. (BTW I love Lee. I really want her to make us go "Louise who?")
    Finally @Andrew Benson. I can't find anything on the BBC F1 web site. Is the F1 forum on? Where's the list of all the F1 sessions full length replays? I have to go to other websites to find links to things like that on the BBC web site, which other people have found. This is a downer as there is great content, if only you can find it.

  • Comment number 61.

    No disrespect to EJ but Mike was brillant please please keep him

  • Comment number 62.

    Great coverage today. The cuts to Mike G gave us a great insight into the strategy - he called it spot in with Alonso and Rosberg under the Safety Car. The Red Button Forum was great offering us so much more than before and much more like the service offered by continental broadcasters I have seen, especially in Germany. Well done BBC, great job and please find a way of keeping Mike on the team.

  • Comment number 63.

    have to agree with everyone else, mike was a great part of the BBC team, oh please keep him, and give ej his p45!!!sorry ej.
    I think the BBC coverage is getting better and better - keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 64.

    Hi Jake. Forgot to say - thanks for taking more email in the forum. Balance about right between email and your stuff.

  • Comment number 65.

    Great balance and insight all weekend, and the only negative side to the BBC's Formula 1 coverage so far has gone - I'm sorry to say, Eddie Jordan. A nice guy, lively, and clearly the "cheeky chappy" of the pit lane, even today.

    However, he has his opinions, which he likes to voice. I don't feel that the viewer gets anything out of EJ on his soapbox in the race buildup or the analysis afterwards.

    By all means give him a 2-minute slot every now and again, but Mike Gascoyne was 100 times better at the Pre- and Post-Race chit-chat.

  • Comment number 66.

    So shall we all have a whip round to buy MG a coat?
    Did he not have one without a sponsor name on it? Why did the BBC not let him have one? Poor bloke. He has MADE this weekends race commentary the best I have seen for so long (since MW left) keep it up, please.
    I agree with the comment about chasing up the "out" drivers, get on it Louise, please.
    Massa's car just stopped? Computer says No. I am still laughing.
    Loose the shades DC, what is it with F1 drivers and sunglasses?
    Mind you he may need them next week.

  • Comment number 67.

    Keep Mike G on, he was great, a breath of fresh air.
    He doesnt seem to be doing anything big so keep him on full-time.
    EJ would be more suited on the preview show on the red button then allowing one of his rants on the pre-race show on BBC1.
    Jake, if you are reading this, get the BBC to take Mike on full-time, then we have both sides of the Sport
    Technical - Mike G and Drivers - DC.
    Its works, EJ doesnt offer any technical talk, he rants and we the fans dont want that.

  • Comment number 68.

    What a fantastic race, it really lived up to the excitement of qualifying. And yet again, you and everyone else at the BBC did a fantastic job. I'll add my name to the long list of people who thought Mike was a great addition to the team and I hope he'll be back as a pundit again.
    MB's grid walk today was so funny, and it was nice that he got DC to join him....especially as it cleared the path for a hilarious cheeky comment from Vettel!

  • Comment number 69.

    Another vote for the format changing stroll down the pits today. You all seem relaxed as you 'bumped' into various people on your route, and the banter didn't get in the way as much (apart from your comment about DCs shirt!). I thought DC joining Martin Brundle for the grid walk worked well too.

    I also agree with the compliments about Mike Gascoigne. He always seemed genuine and unpretentious when he contributed in previous years and seemed to add much more value and not be trying to 'score points' like EJ seemed to in the first couple of races. You could have leant him a BBC umbrella though ;-)

    Please continue with your weight-adjusted grid analysis. It does help to make up for the topsy turvy qualifying Q3. I still prefer the original Q2 style qualifying of the past though.

    In fact the only thing I'm really not enjoying is Jonathan Legard. He talks too much without saying a lot, clearly gets in the way of Martin and makes the whole thing sound more like a horse race than a motor race. Bring back James Allen, he is in a different league and seemed to have a much better relationship with Martin Brundle.


  • Comment number 70.

    Why is it that the programme is chopped down in the iPlayer?! No Martin on his grid walk, no drivers' interview - the programme just starts straight into the race! Please pass this onto the iPlayer department (or anyone responsible for the programme conversion) and sort it out!

    Disappointed F1 fan.

  • Comment number 71.

    I thought the coverage was great this weekend. Things seemed very relaxed. The pit walk before quali was very informative.

    I also liked the four of you on the grid before the race and the grid walk with Martin and David.

    As for Mike Gasgoyne, I thought he was a great addition to the team. His input was fanatastic. There were just a little nervousness, but that will pass over time.

    What are the chances of ditching Eddie Jordan in favour of Mike. To be honest, it seems like the EJ show when he's on.


  • Comment number 72.

    That was one of the best grid walks ever.
    Martin Brundle on form, but DC just added
    (a) more in-depth, knowing, questions and
    (b) more comedy factor...
    Please include him on all future grid walks.
    Also good to see Mike Gascoygne in the trio - offers good insights to strategies and technical detail.
    Good to notice there were periods of 'silence' during the commentary, as the pictures did the talking. Has JL finally caught on that this is TV and he doesn't need to speak ALL the time?
    Looking forward to Bahrain with bated breath...

  • Comment number 73.

    Darkman in #69, James Allen was dreadful. How anybody can even think he should be brought back is beyond me.

    Also, when i started watching F1 there was coverage of a fair number of races live and a few qualifying sessions.

    Now we get all practice covered live and in full, all qually's live and in full, pre-race build up, race with alternate commentary, post race analysis, post race forum, live lap timing on the web and a highlights package.

    Yet all I can hear is crying and moaning.

    i just don't get it, the coverage is great, if there's something you want to see more of post in suggestions but can we please end these silly witchhunts.

  • Comment number 74.

    Hi Jake,

    Great coverage again. The Pit-Grid-Martin's Gridwalk was a huge success in my opinion. No moans really.

    I agree with gold MarkL1 about James Allen. Some people have very short memories. Legard is lightyears ahead of Allen.

    I emailed in, but no look. I thought I had quite a good question about how useful the rainlight is or isn't though!

    I'm going to keep trying with various questions until it is read out!

    Roll on Bahrain!

  • Comment number 75.

    Hi all, my first and brief comment on this blog. The BBC coverage has been top class from start to finish, it is a great improvement over ITV. I like the interaction between the presenting team but like many I would like to see less of the blarny stone kissing EJ and more of the interesting and informative MG. Loving the red button Forum - an extra hour of F1 chat...Great!

  • Comment number 76.


    The coverage this weekend was a step higher than in Australia and Malaysia!

    The "walk and talk" was great. It ensured that viewers gained extra insight into people and teams in the paddock. It also prevented you guys from pondering any subjects for too long.

    Getting Martin to chat to you on the grid worked well.

    DC on the grid walk, I have mixed feelings. The feature did gain more meaningful interviews but lost some of the humor and mania that has made the walk such a cult hit.

    Jonathan Legard's performance improved significantly (not that I thought there was anything wrong with his previous showings), during the race. I particularly enjoyed the phrase: "Trulli was well and truly kippered by Kubica." The chemistry with Martin will continue to improve. Maybe people should know that James Allen worked with Martin way before the pair arrived at ITV. The two had an existing professional relationship. Jonathan Legard was never going to build the same rapport in a few weeks, but it'll come! So some of you; don't be so quick to criticise Jonathan!

    Mike Gascoyne was a superb addition. However, I would like to point something out. Mike Gascoyne was used effectively by ITV during seceral race weekends, he wasn't quite the rookie that some are suggesting. Eddie Jordan had not TV history to his name prior to Melbourne.

    Again Well done to yourself. Looking forward to the Bahrain coverage.

  • Comment number 77.

    Couldn't agree more with the last posting from ForzaFernando. JLs doing a great job... as is the BBC. How you can try to make any comparison with the ad-interrupted ITV coverage beggars belief. After just 3 races (not 12 years and 100s of races) JL and MB are really combining well to get across all the excitement and expert analysis of a formula one race. Combined with Jake's presentation, the website content and all the other extras it's great TV. Welcome on board Mike G.
    Looking forward to Bahrain and more improvement on the track for Mclaren - let your racing do the talking.

  • Comment number 78.


    The site has some basic design issues in finding the information, I logged on late Saturday evening to check out the feul weights etc and could not find it. This is a key part of the weekend for me (into the F1 Strategy) and I eventually went to a competitor site to get the details I was looking for.

    A great idea would be a specific page for each race weekend that has the latest details from that event all on one page. They can be included within your current structure but it provides one go-to place each race weekend where we can catch the latest videos, news, reviews and links to blog items as they happen. This might also include a forum for the Red Button features for live comments to be fed back to the team.

    The rest of the site is OK except that when I go to a news story or blog page I have to go back to the main page and start looking for the next story or article.

    Hope this helps

  • Comment number 79.

    Hi Jake,

    A job well done. Shame the weather was so bad.

    Looking forward to Bahrain.

  • Comment number 80.

    Again superb from the BBC. Not only do i now look forward to the racing i now look forward to the coverage in general and the banter between you guys. The Forum gets better and better....loved the group grid walk....and best of all, if you get 5 mins Jake check out the qualifying show and the look DC gives you when you make a comment about his pink shirt...priceless!!!

  • Comment number 81.

    "Well Done Jake.... For taking the time to learn how to pronounce the driver's names correctly............ Especially Vettel (Pronounced FETTLE as in Kettle)

    Alonso (pronounced ALONE SO not the Mexican version ALONZO)

    Great coverage - BRILLIANT"

    If we're being picky, which I love to be, Christian Klien's surname is pronounced "Clean" not "Cline" which everybody seems to say. Cline would be spelt Klein, which means small in German, and is perhaps the more common surname. German pronunciation rules are very rigid (unlike English) - ie is always pronounced ee and ei is always pronounced ay...

    Oh V700DYS, your phonetic suggestion re Alonso is a bit misleading - the s is absolutely right, but all o's in Spanish Spanish (as opposed to South American Spanish) are short, like the o in bond. Your version implies the first o is a long one, like the one in bone...

    I think also with Vettel, the emphasis would be on the second syllable, but I'm not sure about that one - ask Sebastian :-)

    That's my little bit of schoolteacherliness over for the week :-)

    Oh and yes I throughly enjoyed the coverage too, especially MG's explanation as to why he wasn't wearing a jacket, and Jake's comment about the wet t-shirt competition... the humour makes the whole thing very watchable, as well as the tech coverage.

  • Comment number 82.

    Yep, absolutely agree with every single wish for EJ to be replaced by MG or ANYBODY! BBC Please listen to your license fee payers!

    Coverage is excellent too!


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