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Running Hungaroring

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Jake Humphrey | 11:34 UK time, Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Morning guys,

This blog comes to you from my front room at 6am. I can't sleep so I've left Harriet upstairs in bed. I'm down here with my dressing gown, cup of tea and my new read: Senna Versus Prost, a new book by the Daily Mail journalist Malcolm Folley.

I am a big fan of history and loved getting the chance to float over Silverstone with Eddie Jordan in a hot air balloon a couple of months ago, seeing the runways and imagining the place as it used to be when Maurice Geoghegan and his mates got together and first raced cars around there in 1947.

I know that the history of the Hungaroring can't even attempt to match Silverstone's past, but when I landed in Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend I was keen to get down to the track and relive some more recent motor racing memories. For me, Hungary is one of a number of settings where Senna and Prost's rivalry played out during the 1988 season, in which Senna eventually took the title from his bitter rival. It was a time when I first became aware of what a special sport this can be.

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Hmmm, looking ready to tackle the track!

So, how best to get to see the track and relive some of those memories? Well, some bright spark decided we should go for a run! Brilliant, I said! Only one problem - no kit.

Being the resourceful bunch we are, though, a pair of overly tight shorts were soon found, and I decided my work shoes would be OK.

Unbelievable. I was keen to see the corners where history was made in 1988. Suddenly I was transported straight back to one of my PE lessons from the late 1980s, wearing borrowed kit and 'school shoes'.

After much mickey-taking from the guys that my mega-tight shorts didn't actually look out of place in Eastern Europe, we set off along the circuit.

All was going swimmingly until I realised my shoes really weren't designed for running. So, by the time we'd covered half the track I was in real agony with bleeding feet. There was only one solution - to go Zola Budd style (only with white socks for added padding).

The BBC F1 Running Club!

Can you imagine the sight? A very exhausted lanky bloke who wasn't designed for running, wearing tight shorts, no shoes, and doing a good impression of a drunk Herman Munster. Still, I managed to sprint like Usain Bolt for the final five metres and it was great to get that close-up look at the circuit.

That's water, not anything more sinister!

I was so buoyed by my running efforts on the Thursday evening that I ran the track again on the Sunday night after the race. This time the mood was a little different.

It was just me and producer Matt Roberts, and as we ran up the hill towards Turn Four we were both pretty quiet, reflecting on the events from the previous day's qualifying session.

At this point the latest news we had was that Felipe Massa was still in a critical condition in hospital and to stand on the track, in between the two dark stripes of rubber his car had left, was actually very moving.

Television honestly doesn't do justice to how far he travelled or the ferocity with which he hit the tyre barrier. Standing there, however, left us under no illusions as to how lucky he was just to have survived such an impact. In a season full of intense and emotional moments, that was one of my most sobering.

Massa gave his first interview since the crash on Tuesday. Having spent a fair bit of time with him this season it's good to see his vigour, vim and personality already returning in spades. It may still be a while until he's back in the car, though, and I wish him all the best with his recovery.

All in all, qualifying in Hungary was quite a broadcasting test for us. We were aware that Massa may have been seriously injured and we didn't want to replay the crash again until we knew he had survived, so while Mark the editor was getting info from the circuit and telling the athletics team who were standing by at Crystal Palace that we may be delayed coming to them, I just tried to keep things moving along with the guys in the paddock, without jumping to conclusions or being salacious.

There's always a dearth of information in those situations but rest assured that as soon as we got any developments we quickly passed them on.

And the drama wasn't over!

To finish qualifying and have no way of knowing what times the cars have done is the latest incredible turn of events in a season that just keeps on providing the unexpected. For F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to be scurrying around telling the drivers who was where on the grid and to hear pole-sitter Fernando Alonso trying to decipher the situation himself was hilarious - if not the easiest thing to deal with when you're broadcasting to a live audience in the millions.

All in all, it was quite a Saturday, and then Lewis Hamilton went and did just what McLaren had been threatening he and they might do and won the race.

Lewis Hamilton curves at the Hungaroring

While the champagne spraying was happening on the podium, I was chatting to David Coulthard about the points we'd try to cover before getting to the news conference, and DC looked at me and just said: "This is remarkable, a genuine victory and with Brawn struggling... what a turnaround."

One moment that really summed up McLaren's systematic and focused approach to turning this season around was after the race outside their garage. The whole team donned the 'Rocket Red' tops that are reserved solely for victory weekends, and posed for a snap with the drivers and the trophy - for about 20 seconds! There were no prolonged speeches and celebrations. They took the photo, had their moment, then immediately it was back to work, minds already fixed on getting packed up, getting the cars back to the McLaren Technology Centre and doing all they can to make it a double in Valencia on 23 August. A snapshot of the effort needed to succeed this season.

So now all eyes turn to Spain in a couple of weeks' time. And by the time we all arrive there we'll all be desperate to go racing again I'm sure. Who wants a break when a season is this dramatic?

There will not be a certain N Piquet after he was dropped by Renault, and then lambasted his former team via a quite remarkable press release. I wonder what his "executioner" Flavio Briatore made of that. And will we see Nelsinho in a Sauber-Piquet car next season?

BMW have also decided enough is enough. Interestingly, after their ignominious qualifying display EJ immediately said: "Munich will be taking a look at this and deciding if they should continue." What was it about EJ over the Hungarian weekend? He called Alonso on pole, Hamilton for the win and foresaw BMW's big call... Interesting!

I remember interviewing Mario Theissen, the BMW F1 boss, on the red button F1 Forum a few weeks ago and when I asked him if he wished he'd continued to race for the title in 2008 he flatly refused to answer the question and just said "Thank you." How they must rue that call now.

And finally, just to really tease us during this mid-season break, a certain M Schumacher is back in the game! One of my regrets is that I wasn't able to present F1 during his era and now my wish comes true. Just like the young drivers who get to race against him, I can't wait to see how he performs. What do you think? Will we see him on the top step of the podium again?

And remember that you can follow my tweets from race weekends at

Incredible, isn't it? Driver changes, big team decisions, mindboggling press releases - it's almost gone unnoticed that the Concorde Agreement's been signed! Hurrah!

Long live Formula 1!


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Jake,

    I am a fan of yours and usually you are bang on however I must say that Massa actually 'only' impacted the barriers at about 100km/h however much it amazes me to say it, is actually relatively on the F1 slow side.

    Furthermore, I was very surprised how lightly Legard, yourself, EJ and DC took the whole incident at the time. It is clear in F1 that if there isn't news about the condition of a driver within 10 minutes, its generally very, very worrying. You left viewers thinking it was a bump on the chin.

  • Comment number 2.

    Yet again a great blog, Jake. You manage to mix the backroom technical, with the stuff you guys get up to when the cameras are off and throw in comments about the racing brilliantly.

  • Comment number 3.

    Yes the memories of school PE lessons when you forgot your kit.

    You are lucky they didnt make you do it in your underpants only!!!!!

    Nice blog keep up the good work

  • Comment number 4.

    Great blog again Jake. It must have been hard for you to keep focussed during that qualifying session. Firstly with Massa's horrendous crash and the calamities of Q3.

    One final question do you think EJ likes Kers? :P

  • Comment number 5.

    "Incredible, isn't it? Driver changes, big team decisions, mindboggling press releases - it's almost gone unnoticed that the Concorde Agreement's been signed! Hurrah!"

    And thats exactly how it should be. At last the season has become interesting enough on the track to overshadow the soap opera going on off it.

    And dont wear those shorts again.....! Ever.

  • Comment number 6.

    P.S EJ deserves more credit than he gets. Okay yes, I know he puts across the image that he's a bumbling fool riddled with sentimentality, or maybe it is'nt even an image, but you dont survive in F1 as a non grandee as long as he did unless you know the sport backwards. I thimk sometimes people forget that. I personally love the guy's personality and his moments with DC are classics.

  • Comment number 7.

    Good blog, as per usual. Has the ring of truth - so it's either truthful, or just well written, either way, well done.
    Is running a race track a common practice? If not, you may have started a new trend. How about setting up a track running club that takes fans around F1 tracks before the race weekend? It would make the race experience afterwards incredible, very personal, very real.

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi Jake
    your last photo looks like you have just thrown up. Nice. What a weekend that was. Glad to see Massa on the interview. As for Schumacher, you could not write a better script really, Berni must have had a hand in surely. Cant wait. Yes I think we will see him win 1 maybe more the Ferrari looked improved certainly. Real shame about BMW high expectations there. With all major car firms going green now who will be next i wonder. Toyota? Ask Martin where his driver of the day slots gone. Cheers.

  • Comment number 9.


    what did you expect them to do?

    There was no information available to them other than there had been an accident and Massa wasn't out of the car? They are not tabloid journalists. If you want sensationalism then I suggest you buy yourself a copy of the People.

  • Comment number 10.

    There appears to be an embarrassing puddle situated between your legs in that picture there...

  • Comment number 11.

    You said that nobody was jumping to conclusions but Eddie Jordan did. He was allowed to give "breaking news" that a "reliable source" had told him that Massa was perfectly ok and it was a just a slight knock to the head. That proved to be utter rubbish and you and the BBC should be ashamed that you allowed him to say such tripe. You should have stuck to the line you wanted to - i.e. you didn't know anything and didn't want to speculate. Unfortunately Eddie Jordan doesn't like shutting up and wants to make himself out to be a big man. His exaggerations and tall stories are annoying at most times but this was completely irresponsible and you should not have let him say that.

  • Comment number 12.

    @Rafa's Magic Box Beard

    I think you misunderstood me. It is exactly as you point out - if there is no information you have to tread carefully however experience in F1 tells us that its exactly in that situation that the signs are not positive. This needs to be considered before giving people the all clear. I think EJ was probably the biggest culprit of this though.

  • Comment number 13.

    The reason that no-one noticed that the Concorde agreement has been signed is because in contrast to the F1 coverage and blogs, the news reporting through the BBC F1 site is very poor!

  • Comment number 14.

    @Alafan - How exactly do you expect the BBC to stop EJ (or anyone else) from making such comments? Put a delay on the live transmission? It's remarks like yours that have lead the BBC to prerecord so much of their output these days for fear of any kind of controversy occurring.

  • Comment number 15.

    @Alanfan - maybe at that time, that was the case but Massa's situation deterioated or further tests found something which led to surgery. We don't know the full story so you're basically guessing.

    Also, it was a live transmissions. No one knew what EJ was going to say and I fully believe EJ said it believing it to be true to re-assure people.

    "Those who can, do. Those who can't, critisize"

  • Comment number 16.


    Simple. Eddie Jordan was introduced as having breaking news. That suggests that he had already told Jake or the producer that he had the news (or how else would they know that he had news to break). When he had told them he had this news they should have said to him "we don't know that's true and it looked a bad crash so we're not going to act like complete muppets and broadcast that".

    Not rocket science.

  • Comment number 17.

    Another very enjoyable and informative blog as ever Jake.

    I would however like to voice my disappointment at your coverage of Massas accident, yes it was serious accident but I know Im not alone in believing we were unnecessarily kept in the dark as to the latest events as they were transpiring.

    Having access to other outlets at the same time, it soon became apparent that the rest of the viewers around the world had been updated several times via various video clips as to the cause of the accident, flying debris, 5 to 10 minutes before the footage was deemed suitable for us sensitive BBC viewers.

    Why did the BBC deem it necessary to censor the already censored world feed, are British viewers more sensitive than those throughout the rest of the world.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Another Great blog jake! Your enthusiasm is fantastic and it makes it even better to know you present Formula 1 to the whole of the UK!

    Keep up the good work

  • Comment number 20.

    funny :)
    good blog jake

  • Comment number 21.


    Another great post - but what's taken so long???

    I love the running out fit - perhaps you should accompany Jenson on his next triathlon wearing your very own customized outfit for charity.

    Keep up the good work and keep enjoying your dream job. You and your colleagues have really made this season much more enjoyable.

    Well done the BBC - finally our license fees are being put to good use!!


  • Comment number 22.

    Does your running story relate to these photos? Black socks photo, white socks story! Never trust anything written about F1, not even sock colour.

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi Jake,

    As I live just 1 hour south of Valencia, let me know if you want to visit after the race for some Spanish hospitality.

    Also, if you need anyone to help you out at the circuit, just let me know, I can be there in an hour!

  • Comment number 24.

    great blog - summing up all that is great and not so great this season so far.... oh well, even the not so great stuff makes it at least more exciting doesn't it!?

    I thought the BBC handled the situation at the time of broadcast impeccably... it was obvious after not seeing replay footage almost immediately that there was something afoot, but there was nothing alarming or more importantly, nothing inflammatory or sensationalist reported until more was known as to what was happening.

    As for what EJ reported, I don't think as many do that this was intended as incorrect info to play down Massa's injuries, I think it was more aimed at handling the obvious worries that any fans would be experiencing to help them understand that Massa was OK.

    I just can't wait to see what the rest of the races bring this year!

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Jake,

    Excellent blog once again - a great insight in to your working day and behind the scenes take on F1

    My thoughts are still with Felipe and I am glad he is now back on the mend and flying back to Brasil!

    One thing that has been confusing me is Eddie Jordan's - "Felipe has had a knock on the chin" comment. Please could you clarify where he got this information from and his so called 'reliable source' You guys all looked baffled as to his comment as he hadn't been anywhere or given any other information to certify this was the truth!

  • Comment number 26.

    Great blog Jake, keep it up,

    I watched the Hungarian GP from Thailand and was taken aback by the blunt commentary and pictures of Felipe's accident, totally different to the BBC coverage, then the melee after Q3, we thought it was just the Thai coverage and friends at home certainly saw different to what we did.

    We had gathered a number of Thai people around us (well I was getting excited) and they kept saying " England small so you know him well" with reference to Lewis, when he won they cheered as loud as us. What a weekend and so glad Felipe is well enough to go home. Looking forward to Valencia.

  • Comment number 27.

    Regarding some of the comments about the coverage of Massa's accident:

    I was at Hungaroring and having watched the BBC coverage since I got home, I was amazed at the fact that the presenters were talking about anything other than Massa in the period following his accident. Not that I think this was at all inappropriate - you didn't know any facts at this point so why keep discussing it until you know something concrete - it's just strange compared with those of us in the grandstands who spent that entire time with our eyes fixed on Massa on the screens, and most of the Radio 5 live commentary (which I was able to tune into at the time) was focused on Massa the whole time.
    I actually think you all handled it remarkably well, given the difficulty of the situation, although I agree with some comments made here that EJ should not have mentioned the 'bump on the chin' without having it confirmed.

    Incidentally, I found out that Massa's helmet had been struck by debris from Barrichello's car via a text from a friend of mine who was in England, watching qualifying on BBC1. The true information was reported by Jake on TV before either Radio 5 live or even the circuit's own commentators reported it. And I think that's commendable.

  • Comment number 28.

    Just had to comment for the first time about all the whinging about E.J,
    now we know where all the Points of View fanatics have gone,,includes me I suppose..I'm glad E.J opened his mouth and told us a variant of what had happened,somebody had to,It's the delight of live T.V,and the E.J and D.C banter is great,I'm sure they don't really like each other.
    Something I always wanted to do,is inform Mr Frank Williams that over 20 years ago after his car accident in France,he was flown to Biggin Hill by air ambulance,then driven by ambulance to Whitechapel hospital very slowly and carefully with police escort by a very handsome young man.....that man was me.And now im older fatter and bald I reckon he owes me one,and give me passage to a G.P..Only trouble is I'm a massive Schumacher fan..he wouldn't like that..strange as it is..Mark Thatcher was also on that flight,,reckon he was lost

  • Comment number 29.

    Another great blog.

    This season is just getting better on the track, I can't wait to see what Valenca brings and how Schumi will do when he steps back into the red car to replace Massa. It was a horrific accident that happened to Massa and I am glad that he seems to be making a good recovery. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Schumi battling for a bottle of bubbly, and whilst I doubt he will get to the top step I wouldn't be amazed to see him on it.

    Personally I am surprised that Piquet Jr has spent so long at Renault and I suspect there is a fair amount of truth in his bitterness. I can't remember if Flavio has ever favoured both his drivers at the same time and I remember many drivers suffering in his 2nd seat.

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    Hi Jake.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that noticed the slightly dodgy looking puddle in the last pic ;-) You should definitely have a go at the next London Triathlon with Jenson.

    Thought you guys handled the Massa accident during qualifying well.

    Enjoy the break. I'm suffering F1 withdrawal already.

  • Comment number 32.


    Are you in tears in that photo?... When you get to Spa, you'll have to try running round that one! It's a long track but Eau rouge is phenomenally steep...TV cameras do no justice to that at all. Take hiking boots....!

    Beeb TV coverage is great and how you manage to control Brundle, DC and Eddie is beyond me!

  • Comment number 33.

    Hi Jake,

    Great blog. I hope you enjoy the summer break. As a lifelong Schumacher and Ferrari fan, I cannot wait for the next race. The only thing better than Schumacher returning would have been for Massa not to have the accident in the first place.
    Still, it looks as though he is recovering well, which is fantastic news.

    Following on from the Eau Rouge point from the comment above, bike around Spa (and, as a fan of history, make sure to check out the old Spa) and see what it's like to bike DOWN Eau Rouge. That must be absolutely incredible!

    nibs - Number 30 - Why such a spiteful post? It's live television. Nobody knew for sure about Felipe's condition. They had to balance between giving viewers information and not speculating too much (see Jonathan Legard's blog. He talks about this). They had to interpret the information they had. Shame it was wrong, but what else could Jake, David and Eddie do?

    Anyway, Thanks for the blog Jake.

  • Comment number 34.

    Hi Jake,

    Great blog! I am now living and working in America (work for a race team, can relate to the long hours!) and I was watching the coverage on Speed TV.

    I would like to say that Speed handled the Massa incident in a very low key manner, and they too reported that he seemed to be showing signs that it was not as serious as it may have appeared. Once Q3 was under way, the focus was right back on the racing and they were equally as enthused/confused about the failure of the timing and scoring system. When they returned for their race coverage, they immediately addressed the audience with news that the hospital had discovered further injuries and that Massa was in an induced coma.

    From what I have read, it sounds like the BBC are doing a fantastic job with their coverage this year. Keep it up guys, hopefully I can catch a race soon!

  • Comment number 35.

    Hey Jake!

    I DID wonder what that puddle of liquid was around your feet but thanks for clearing up the fact that it was water. You had me mildly concerned! Still, love the work and keep it up!

    Happy holidays to you and the rest of the BBC F1 team!

    Sean, cruising the Baltic Sea on-board the Norwegian Jewel cruise liner.

  • Comment number 36.

    I agree with some of the comments on this post regarding the fact that you held off on showing the replay until you know Massa was OK. In all my time watching F1 on both the BBC and ITV can I ever remember either network deciding to withhold footage for the reasons Jake suggests.

    The BBC replayed footage on Senna's accident many times in 94, and ITV footage of Kubica's crash in 2007 in both cases the driver's life was clearly in grave danger. The fact that I was able to find out Massa had been hit by a spring (not on the chin) from people uploading video of French and Spanish TV to an internet forum before the BBC even made mention of it is rather concerning.

    Is this the BBC saying that had Massa died in the accident they wouldn't have shown the replay at all? Neither the drivers nor the viewers are under any illusion that F1 is safe and that should be reflected in the coverage.

  • Comment number 37.

    Running round the circuit surely shows how much track the cars are covering in three seconds. At Silverstone my pal said that it shocked him that F1 cars went round there in 1m30 seconds and it took us considerably more.

    Thanks for the sweat photos (we all wanted to see that) more about the news this time. There'll be so much to cover, get the race coverage to start earlier and finish later as when we had ITV there was still enough time to reflect on the race after the elbrations and with the BBC it seems to be over too fast.

  • Comment number 38.

    Jake, do you run these circuits every time?
    Plus where's DC and EJ? Im sure they should tag along with yourself.
    Plus I am quite annoyed with some people critise EJ's 'bang on the chin' comment, what do you expect them to say, the BBC would have been ripped apart by viewers who would have wanted to know what happened.
    Eddie may have said it because its common to see a car smashed into the barriers, it was only when we all saw what hit Massa was when he knew it was more worser then EJ knew it so I think people should lay off EJ, blame FOM/FOA for withholding the replays.

  • Comment number 39.

    Another point to add on from my previous comment, with all the stories and political news surrounding the sport I like how you focus your blog away from all of that. I mean the amount of things you could have put in this one, yet you didn't which I credit as it gives us at home the chance to see it through a general fans eyes. Keep it up!

  • Comment number 40.

    @WebbyFoxes #38

    FOM didn't withhold the replays because they'd already been shown in other countries *and* uploaded to internet forums before the BBC even made mention that he'd been hit by an object. I don't want to make this out to be some sort of conspiracy, but the fact is the BBC were the one that made a conscious decision not to show them for at least 10 minutes after they went out on the FOM feed.

  • Comment number 41.

    As always Jake, loved your blog.
    Can I just ask what is that large puddle betweem your (very nice looking) legs? Please say it was drinking water! lol

    Well a lot as gone on in the last week and a half and still 16 days till the next GP, I wonder what else will happen?


  • Comment number 42.

    P.S. I hope you and the F1 team sponsered Jenson in the Triathlon, he did it in his best time ever, and it is a really good cause. Make a wish foundation

  • Comment number 43.

    I can see both sides of the Massa debate, and whilst I think the BBC did handle a sensitive and difficult situation I do feel that maybe they could have been a bit quicker in getting us the breaking news. I don't think this is something to criticise the team over, but the feedback is valid.

  • Comment number 44.

    "There was only one solution - to go Zola Budd style (only with white socks for added padding)."
    Pretty sure those socks are black

  • Comment number 45.

    One thing EJ got wrong on that weeken was Massa's 'slight knock on the chin' which he hopefully regreted saying in the days after the accident when serious harm was rumoured.

  • Comment number 46.

    Good job with everything that went on Jake.
    Now repeat ten times after me:

    "Jaime Alguersuari goes roaring around Hungaroring"

  • Comment number 47.

    Jake im a big fan of your blog, and have thoroughly enjoyed your coverage of F1 so far.

    However I have to pick you up on your comments about Eddie Jordan predicting correctly Hamilton's win, and BMWs departure. He may have got these right, but what he got terribly wrong was what his spy's had told him about Massa after quali. At the time you did your best to gloss over what he said about Massa being in 'fantastic shape' but im amazed he hasn't come in for major criticism.

    We all learned in the days after that Massa sustained life threatening injuries, therefore there is no way he could have been in fantastic shape moments after quali, therefore EJs comments were completely irresponsible to just blurt out to millions of people, many of which are huge Felipe fans.

    Make no mistake Massa could have died, imagine the effect on people emotions EJ could have caused by saying he was fine.

    He is not just an interviewee who can have an opinion anymore, he is a professional journalist and must behave as one. Not trying to be the first to report a story that isn't even true.

  • Comment number 48.

    Next race we will see a kers cars on pole? but which one? EJ is gonna be mad! :)

  • Comment number 49.

    For those saying BBC don't have an article on the Concorde Agreement, they clearly do:

  • Comment number 50.

    Great blog as always, and great coverage, but I would echo some of the criticism about the handling of the accident. Jonathan Legard's initial comments that Massa was out of the car were incorrect, as was obvious from the pictures, and I don't know what he saw which made him believe that Massa had climbed out. When there are many people watching who are terrified that something bad might have happened to Massa, to give them false reassurance like that is irresponsible and I was glad Martin corrected him as quickly as he did. I felt that the two commentators both then glossed over the fact that all was clearly not right as Massa was still not climbing out of the car several minutes later, and it seemed to take them a while to notice that all might not be well.

    I think EJ's comments were also irresponsible for the same reason. Hitting a large metal spring at speed on the head can clearly cause a significant head injury, and in a situation like this where it clearly knocked him out initially you have to be very sure of yourself before you report that person is okay - it is a very emotional situation for some people, and making a mistake has far higher consequences than incorrectly reporting that a driver has retired from the race for example. The fact that he couldn't even report the correct part of the face that was injured suggests that this cannot have been a reliable source, or that there was significant Chinese Whispers going on with the reporting. Jake's tone of voice when he asked him how he knew this suggests that Jake was not comfortable with what had just been reported. Normally I like EJ's approach of essentially saying what he thinks, and often putting his foot in it - it is often very entertaining. But given Henry Surtees' accident, EJ should have thought before speaking on this occasion.

    On another subject, please can we get rid of Legard. I know people on here don't want James Allen back, but isn't it better having a poor commentator who knows a lot about F1 (you cannot deny that his general understanding of the sport is as good as many peoples), rather than a poor commentator who also has no understanding whatsoever of the sport.

    Other than those criticisms, I'd like to say how brilliant the coverage has become now it has moved to BBC.

  • Comment number 51.

    Another brilliant blog Jake. Keep it up. Now that someone else has won the race who is not a Red Bull or Brawn. What do you think is running in Jenson's mind?

  • Comment number 52.

    well done jake on your commentary during quali it was scary enough at home trying to find out how massa was but you dealt with it really well

  • Comment number 53.

    I must echo the comments of several other posters concerning the unnecessary censorship by the BBC. I too cannot remember any other instance in over 20 years when there has been an embargo on what was transmitted by ITV, Eurosport or the old less nannying BBC after an accident.

    I followed the broadcast on an F1 chat forum at the same time as the race and it was clear that everyone else around the world had been shown footage of the collision, debris coming off Rubens car and the debris hitting Massa’s helmet several times whilst BBC viewers were kept in the dark.

    Serious accidents happen every year in Formula 1 does this now mean that every time there is an accident we have to go online to find out what is and has happened because Big Brother BBC is arbitrarily protecting us from reality.

    This is the sort of censorship I feared would happen when I first heard the BBC was taking over Formula 1 coverage.

  • Comment number 54.

    Great blog as usual Jake.

    Can't say how much I prefer the beeb coverage by the way, so far this season has been great. Even if Coulthards trousers are WAY TO TIGHT!

    Great handling of an eventful GP, and of EJ reporting chinese whispers as fact!

    Keep up the good work. any jobs going?

  • Comment number 55.

    Cool Blog Jake,

    Im glad there has been a lot of news since Hungary especially as we're are in the break, and I cant believe we still have two more weeks to go, but it is definately hotting up to an ever so excited European GP.

    Liking the pics from Hungary and a question for that BMW are withdrawing, do you think that a team from the list of teams that wanted to compete would get the place or possibly Sauber-Piquet?

    Anyhow Keep Up Fantastic Work And Roll On Valencia!

  • Comment number 56.

    @F348ts (post 53)

    You say that you don't recall anytime in the last 20 years of sports coverage being censored and infact you compares the current 2009 F1 coverage by the BBC with that of pre-1996.

    You are very wrong.

    Cast your mind back to the dreadful first weekend in May 1994.

    In those days the coverage was supplied by a local TV company rather than FOM who do it today for every race (except Monaco and Japan for some reason). Even so, on that fateful weekend the BBC did not show anything from the the official feed. It was lucky that the BBC also had their own coverage team at the circuit as a secondary broadcaster so they could provide different coverage from the scene that wasn't so graphic.

    I personally think the BBC made the right call in the name of respect and decency until they had a better idea of Massa's condition. That isn't censorship. That's taste and decency and only the mawkish would complain about not being able to watch the broken body of a driver being extracted from a car.

  • Comment number 57.

    Nice blog Jake! Your running around the Hungaroring reminds me of a time when I was at boarding school in Pretoria. I'd occassionally stop over at a friends house who lived within earshot & walking distance of the Kyalami circuit. We used to get under the fence and go skateboarding there. The track is actually quite undulating and I recall a number of tumbles around the track as speed wobbles got the better of us! Those were great times back in SA in the late 1970's.

  • Comment number 58.

    Why is everyone critizing the BBC? All they wanted to do was get some infomation before the started gossiping as it was obvious that it was more than just an F1 crash. They then got info that he was ok. This was what was being said as he went to the medical centre. He was awake and talking. He had the cut above his eye but the serious injuries weren't found until he had been checked over in the medical centre. Then the reports changed.

  • Comment number 59.

    Great Blog as always.
    I only find it quite annoying that some people say the BBC censored the Massa incident. I for one would like to wait while the information is gathered and then verified as true, then being told half truths and rumours. Now I know EJ said he’d been told that Massa had been hit on the chin but was OK, but at that time I don’t think anyone knew where on the head the spring had hit, only that something had hit him. I guess the BBC knew they had to tell the viewers some news and that was what they knew at the time.
    Also at that time it was thought that he was OK as the footage showed him coming out of the ambulance with his arm up, looking like he was waving. It was only when he was at the medical centre they found there was more to his injuries than first thought.
    I feel the BBC handled the whole incident professionally and in good taste. If you want half truths and gory pictures, buy one of the red top papers the next day!
    Anyway keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 60.

    @JonA1976 (*56) The BBC did repeatedly show the accidents at Imola that weekend, it may not have broadcast the coverage from the hovering helicopter as the marshal’s and doctors removed and worked on Senna but they most definitely broadcast the accident itself.

    Neither I or anyone else has suggested that “the broken body of a driver being extracted from a car” should be broadcast, although it is common to broadcast the images of drivers on stretchers responding to reassure concerned viewers that the driver is at least conscious. No what I and other have raised concerns about is the unnecessary censorship of the information that was available i.e. footage of the debris falling from Rubens car and then separate footage of the spring hitting Massa’s helmet, neither of which were in anyway graphic or “mawkish”. It was just unnecessary and unwelcomed nannying by the BBC.

    Whilst 3 or 4 million BBC viewers sat there in the dark for 15 minutes, concerned for Massa’s wellbeing and wondering what exactly had happened, the other 150-200 million people watching around the world already knew what had happened because their viewing hadn’t been censored.

    and yes, censored.

    “Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the government or media organizations as determined by a censor”

  • Comment number 61.

    Hey Jake,

    i missed all the action at the last grand prix due to work, which is why i love your blog because it keeps me in the loop.

    i also am excited about the return of schumacher. when i was a kid i could remember watching his races and i was so sad when he left the sport. i cannot wait to see his first race back.

  • Comment number 62.

    Hey Jake,

    Lol @ you running the circuit in those shorts and no shoes:D

    On the Hungarian GP coverage - I was at a wedding on the Saturday so didn't see qualifying until later on, when I skipped through some of the coverage. The only thing I was surprised about was your reaction to EJ's comment about Felipe being hit on the chin. The fact that you sounded quite surprised and did not seem to know where he'd got the information made me think, on the one hand, that ok, this is just EJ speculating so I shouldn't rely too much on this(!), and on the other hand, quite surprised that he'd come out with it in the first place.

    I guess it was new territory for F1 coverage this season, waiting to see if a driver was ok following a heavy crash, and so EJ probably reacted without thinking too much about the fact that there were all the thousands of BBC F1 viewers waiting to hear anything on Massa's condition/what happened, and that to launch in with a statement that was obviously not official/verified was probably not the best idea (particularly when the BBC as a whole were obviously exercising a high degree of caution by not replaying the incident until they had heard that Felipe was still with us and ok).

    One other thing - EJ's grid walk with Martin was a bit of a disaster!

    Looking ahead, I think I'm still in mild shock that Michael Schumacher will be returning to F1 at Valencia! I can't wait to see how he gets on against Lewis and the rest. Hope the BBC have some good stuff planned for the coverage because I think Schuey's return has stirred up a lot more interest in F1 - I've had quite a few conversations with people over the last week or so about how they'll be watching Valencia just because Schumacher is back and it'll make it exciting etc:)

    Enjoy your summer break,


  • Comment number 63.

    What an amazing week it's been, now all we need in Formula One is racing! Hopefully Schumacher can bring that back though!

  • Comment number 64.

    Ok it's off topic, but I can't help but notice the Norwich City badge on your Twitter page Jake. When did you add that and are you considering removing it after yesterday?

  • Comment number 65.

    Another fantastic, informative blog, Jake. Thank you!

    Roll on Valencia; I'm having horrible withdrawal symptoms. Can't believe there's still two weeks to go. :(

  • Comment number 66.

    excellent blog jake, thanks for bringing us closer to the sport so much. you may be new to the sport but you do a fantastic job and you seem to understand the sport a lot more than i expected.
    can you ask martin to stop making up stories and to stop criticising hamilton so much? there is no need for it.

  • Comment number 67.

    JAKE. Why don't you nip down to carrow road, there must be at least 11 pairs of shorts going free and 1 pair should fit you...
    While you are there have a kick around and take you boots with you as you will almost certainly get a game on Saturday.

  • Comment number 68.

    Wow Jake!

    They are very short, shorts!!!!!!

  • Comment number 69.

    In response to EJ - As a team boss his job is to reassure drivers. Imagine having the responsability of two lives in your hands all the time? Brundle said that when Senna died the drivers weren't told anything. Neither were the team bosses said EJ, but he would have had to keep his drivers calm and protect them while they were still driving and in danger.
    His initial instinct would have been to protect us, protect the other drivers, and to protect Massa from sensationalist speculation.
    However Massa was awak and talking as he was removed from the car, it was only later that his condition deteriorated. So in this case he didn't need to reassure anyone - this was the truth at the time. Medical conditions change quickly, and no one can predict what is going to happen.
    Having had Rob Smedley at Jordan F1 I'm sure Eddie got good information at the time and wanted to tell the viewers quickly rather than leave us in the dark.
    I think that without Eddie's contacts and quick thinking, the BBC - and therefore us the viewers may not have had access to any inside information at all.

    Other than that Jake, I think your blogs are great, a really good and true insight to F1. I look forward to reading it after every GP, and I think that you and all the BBC do a really good job. Congratulations on succesfully making it from CBBC to the Piranha Club!

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    And one more thing, I'm very sorry about Norwich. 7-1! Some of those goals were shocking mistakes. I think you need to team up with Delia and sort those players out!

  • Comment number 72.

    Hi Jake,

    I've watched every single qualifying session and every race for at least the last 5 years. Really liking your coverage and my whole family think you're doing a excellent job, presenting the races and keeping DC and EJ at arms' length!

    I think one of your best features on the BBC was when you got a workout at the gym from Lewis!

    I'm sad that Schumacher couldn't come back and I think Badoer will do a better job than many people seem to think so. He's been driving Ferraris for nearly 10 years after all.

    Looking forward to the next race, I'm running out of things to do in the mean time!

  • Comment number 73.

    Now I would be the first to admit that I am just a tired old cynic. However, if I were Michael Schumacher, would I want my return to be at Valencia - Nope. Spa or Monza on the other hand, where he has something of a track record to put it mildly, now that's an entirely different matter, especially if Mr Badoer fails to perform in Valencia and prompts the Scuderia (and Bernie) to come knocking on his door again. Am I surprised that he's withdrawn from his comeback at the moment ? Nope. Would I be surprised at a reversal of the decision for Spa or Monza or both ? Nope. Never say never as they say.

  • Comment number 74.

    awesome blog jake !!!


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