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My first time at Spa will live with me forever

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Jake Humphrey | 18:10 UK time, Sunday, 30 August 2009

They say you always remember your first time and I certainly will. Spa has given us more drama than I ever dared imagine.

Eddie Jordan's trademark seems to be making big, and largely accurate, calls over a race weekend but even he wasn't capable of prophesying how things would unfold at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Now, I don't pretend to be an EJ-style fortune teller but I had a feeling something was going to happen this weekend. In fact, after our mammoth trip to Belgium (taxi, Eurostar, local train, hire car) I told commentator Jonathan Legard that I had a feeling something special was going to unfold this weekend.

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Eddie has quite a relationship with this place - he had some landmark moments at Spa as a team owner - so I should have known his outfit's latest guise, Force India, would figure strongly.

In fact, EJ's not alone in having a unique relationship with the Ardennes mountains - our entire team of on-air experts have special memories of crashing through the trees here.

If you checked out Andrew Benson's F1 highlights blog you'll have seen Martin Brundle finishing third here in 1995 in the race you voted as your favourite. David Coulthard then made the headlines there three years later....

Indulge me for a moment as I point out that I really enjoy DC's company. You might think that's no surprise but it is for me. For a man who has been a global sporting star for two decades, he is incredibly approachable, friendly and easy-going and I have met a fair few that aren't. I hope his real-ness shines through on TV.

Sitting on the tyre barriers at La Source this weekend, chewing the fat about when he caused the mother of all pile-ups in 1998 was a special moment for me.

It wasn't only because we were discussing such a famous F1 moment, but because we were doing it in the manner you'd talk about a mishap involving a brother or a good mate breaking a window. Just mulling over what went wrong and laughing at the absurdity of it all.

David CoulthardDavid Coulthard

Perhaps it's my love of history, but there is something I really enjoy about being in the very spot where stories have been created, especially with the person who was at the centre of the tale.

To wander along this track with a man who had won at Spa was incredible for me. I know to David it's just his past, and he feels no differently about it to how any of us feel about the things we've experienced, but it's the closest I'll ever get to knowing what it's really like to create history.

Now, I hope it didn't show but I've been plagued by a sickness bug all weekend and getting to know my previous evening's dinner and the bins behind the Ferrari motorhome 10 minutes before we went live on Saturday afternoon wasn't perfect preparation. Thank goodness I had EJ to take my mind off all things medical.

Eddie has no shortage of energy, but he seems to be plugged into some sort of natural power source when he's in Spa. I guess it's the memories of his one-two in 1998 that gives him a natural high, but it certainly helped take my mind off my health as he literally bounced around the paddock and pits hugging people, regaling them with stories and delivering his distinctive chuckle.

So, why was this weekend so special? Well, I've driven the hills above Monaco with DC, enjoyed the party atmosphere of Australia, and marvelled at the architecture of Valencia but bumbling past goats in fields, ramshackle farmhouses and twee mountain-side B&Bs beats all that.

As the circuit gets closer you start to spot fans clad in Ferrari or Renault gear, with back-pack, picnic seat, and kids in tow. It's like they're on some kind of pilgrimage, and after this weekend I can understand why they flock to this sporting shrine.

Spa just oozes passion and history and feels alive with expectation come race weekend. I'm just sad I've waited 30 years to experience it.

I know Giancarlo Fisichella rates the last couple of days as being up there with anything he's experienced in F1, particularly if it leads to a drive with the most famous Italian team of all.

Jenson ButtonJenson Button crashes out during the first lap at Spa

Eddie made the point on our red button F1 Forum that Fisi will be more concerned with driving for a team where he can stay long-term. I'm not so sure. OK, Ferrari would be a short-term plan if Luca Badoer is finally put out of his misery, but what kind of passionate Italian would really turn down a seat in a Ferrari, at Monza, in the team's hour of need?

So, while Fisi left Belgium with his future surrounded by speculation, for Jenson Button it seems to be getting clearer by the weekend.

Five races are left, and his nearest challenger, Rubens Barrichello, needs to take more than 3 points off him at every race if he is to overhaul his advantage. Not an easy task.

I know Jenson won't want to win the title by dragging his car over the line in Abu Dhabi to grab glory in the midst of an off-form struggle for points, but if none of the title pretenders can take the fight to him then that might just happen. What do you think will unfold on the way to the desert?

Talking of Abu Dhabi, the news this weekend is that the F1 finale will start in daylight and finish under floodlights. I'm not sure if anything can match the weekend we've just experienced, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Anyway, I'd better go. The production team have cleared their desks, Martin has already left to drive his gorgeous red E-Type Jag back to Norfolk, and my own Liege Airport-to-Luton-to-Richmond journey is about to begin.

Anne the production manager keeps saying "right, everyone" as she rallies the team into the hire cars; I'm only wishing we didn't have to leave. It seems like seconds since we arrived for this weekend but the memories of my first dalliance at Spa will live with me forever.


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Jake, another fantastic weekend from the BBC. DC and EJ's spats are hilarious, good coverage of practice from 5 Live, great commentary from JL and MB and probably the best part of the weekend - the brilliant forum.

    My e-mail never seems to get answered though. :(

  • Comment number 2.

    nice blog, this weekend was one of the best of the year mainly because there is overtaking, taking what kimi said in the forum it is great for fans, and just a shame that the new circuits are not built like this. Can't wait for monza but i do hope fisi doesnt go to ferrrari as so easily the one chance the force india can get a win might just past them by, sutel might challenge for points but thats it, he is good in the wet but he hasnt the experience of being up there at the front.

  • Comment number 3.

    Fantastic Grand Prix. Well done guys for the coverage. I hope you're feeling better. I'm so pleased for Fisi and I'd put good money on him driving a ferrari in a couple of weeks time.

    Was the guy playing the guitar for the "Spanish" national anthem wearing a wig? There's no way a sane person would have voluntarily have a hairstyle like that is there?

    Glad to see that Martin was very polite to everyone this week! I'm in Paris for the Monza race. Do they have F1 coverage in France?

  • Comment number 4.

    yeh jake great show today as ever. I really think Jenson will do it, but he will not win again this season. maybe he will get a podium and he will certainly get enough points to win the championship.

  • Comment number 5.

    sorry to hear you were un well it did'nt show for one minute. When Lewis and Jenson crashed out my heart sunk and I thought that would be it for me this year but oh boy what a race and great coverage as always. I think DC does come over as you mentioned. I have my own encounter to compare, I found my self sat on the wall out side the shower block near the BRDC at Silverstone this year, off the beaten track for most of us and I guess I should'nt have been there but curiosity got the better of me, it was my first in the flesh British GP and who should pull up on a red bull scooter, just a wink and a smile but yeah great bloke. Keep up the great work and loved the F1 forum, oh and the subtle Oasis tribute. Great Stuff.

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Jake,
    Another great blog, thanks. So enjoyed the race today, when Lewis and Jenson both crashed out in the first lap i was gutted but it turned out to be one of the best races so far! Great commentary from you guys as usual, dont worry Jake noone could have known how poorly you were, you are a real pro. Hope you feel better now, see you in Monza!

  • Comment number 7.

    Great show today, and great race too! Love the banter from EJ and DC and the wonderful feature of EJ and Rubens! Pure comedy...

    Keep the blogs up - they are truly a great addition to the BBC F1 experience.

  • Comment number 8.

    Have a lot of time for DC. First saw him race at the F3000 race at Spa in 92. We were at the old subway wall just passed the Bus Stop. Two other Brits were racing in that time, Paul Stewart and Allan Mcnish. On the cool down lap, DC was waving to every brit he could see.. Mcnish did the same, but Stewart didn't...

  • Comment number 9.

    Great blog as always, glad you are feeling better, and no it didn't show. Staggered by the pace of F India, so pleased for them. It was the drive of Fisis life. Did I see Kimi smile?
    Spa not Monaco is the jewel in F1s crown, simply majestic. Looking forward to Monza. Safe journey home and a bit of tlc!

  • Comment number 10.

    Jake, great job this weekend in spite of the lurg.

    Do you, DC and EJ plan your outfits? There seemed to be a LOT of vertical stripes going on today!

    Also, EJ's questions tend largely to constitute him making a long-winded statement and the interviewee then having nowhere to go but agree with him. Bit frustrating to watch......

  • Comment number 11.

    Just one more comment. Lost in all the action , Nico managed yet again to score a point. I believe him to be a future champion, do you agree?

  • Comment number 12.

    Fantastic job Jake I had no idea you weren't in 100% health.

    Maybe it was EJ's little chat before qualifying that helped Fisichella plant his Force India on pole? A lucky charm perhaps ;)

    Anyway, your coverage was great although the gridwalks seem to be getting a bit frantic without results, couldn't someone from BBC Sport arrange the interviews beforehand?

    I laughed out loud when during the race build-up the poor chap from the BBC Sport crew scampered to get out of the way after Jake's 'subtle' hint:

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Jake,

    Fantastic coverage by the entire BBC. Much better than ITV, more interactive in depth and personal interviews really gives us an insight into the F1 world. However I have a question / Can you find out why the laurel wreath is no longer presented. The last appearance that I came across was John Watson when he won the USA-West Grand Prix at Long Beach in 1983. Why is it no longer presented in F1 and yet I think in Super bikes and some of the lower formulas it still is. Looking forward to Monza, Cheers

  • Comment number 14.

    #13 The reason they no longer use the wreaths is because, as time has progressed, teams and drivers have attracted more sponsors and these sponsors get lots of exposure from logos on drivers clothing when celebrating on the podium.

  • Comment number 15.

    Great blog Jake. And what a pro you are! There was no sign of you being poorly on Saturday - I wouldn't have thought it if I didn't follow you on Twitter.

    This was a great Spa race, although I will never forget Spa 1998... good lord. But Fisi drove flawlessly today, it was amazing to witness. Keeping up with Kimi was very impressive and it's great to know that Force India have made such leaps and bounds.

    RE David - yes, he seems a lovely down-to-earth fellow. I really enjoy hearing you chat to him and Eddie.

    And to Loubs1981 - we noticed the stripes in my house too! :D

  • Comment number 16.

    What a brilliant job you guys and the BBC are doing this year and the red button is just magic. You only have to watch the classic races to see what we were missing. You've even got 'er indoors excited about GP weekends (although I think she fancies Lewis!). Keep it up Jake and watch the foreign food... It can be lethal :)

  • Comment number 17.

    Jake, yet another great weekend of coverage.
    Quite how we managed without this quality for so many years with the folks at ITV I'll never know.

    Only one slight criticism, you say "Well done, well played" quite a few times at the end of an interview as if they'd been playing footie.

    It's only a small niggle....:)

  • Comment number 18.

    Great blog and weekend coverage Jake. I loved the opening VT with martin and david walking around Spa talking about thier memories. Just superb!

    Stripes were definatly the in scheme this weekend!!
    Pastel colour? That's yesterdays fashion, stripes all the way now :-D

    Just like #15 themodette, I wouldn't of realised you were really unwell this weekend if i didn't follow you on twitter, but as I did know you were ill, I could hear your voice sounded a little horse or sore.
    When you get home from Luton hope you have a really good sleep and feel better soon, but don't pass your bug onto Harriet!

  • Comment number 19.

    The only reason the BBC can invest in high quality coverage of events and make it a no-contest against just about every other national channel - possibly with just one multinational exception - is that it earns billions of license fee money from tax payers, who choose to watch television but may or may not wish to watch the BBC in particular, and have not been aksed if they agree to paying a fee to watch it when everything else bar subscription packages is free of charge.

    Which is illegal in my book and is a subject well documented but there you go. The monopoly is excellent if not indispensable for the government and all its plans, policies and targets I suppose.

  • Comment number 20.

    What an great race this year. I thought Force India had the race in the bag.
    Did anyone notice Raikonnen driving off the track at the first bend?
    I appreciate this may have been to prevent a shunt but it appeared he was in 4th place when he left the track yet chose to accelerate in the run off and rejoined in 3rd place.
    Another excursion at the top of the hill where Hamilton crashed ensured he kept 2nd place for the safety car.
    I apologise for my ignorance but surely he should have given up the place he gained before advancing?
    Could it be possible to comment on this as a similar move last year by Hamilton resulted in a penalty being imposed?

  • Comment number 21.

    Hey Jake, this is my first ever comment on a blog! The reason - b'cos ur blog is such a great read. You do an excellent job on covering the race weekend on BBC in general (much better than ITV ever did) and to read about your experiences during the weekend is cool. I always knew DC and EJ were such great characters and I'm glad they are covering the race with you. Well done to the you and the REST of the team for such a great coverage. Please keep it up!

  • Comment number 22.

    Well done EJ for trying to step in when JH kept attacking force india guy for wanting to dance. Was BIZARRE! Very awkward and embarassing!!!

  • Comment number 23.

    Great blog Jake. This weekend was my first F1 race which was amazing. However, it being at Spa just made it better still and a weekend to remember. Simply the best track on the F1 calender. The atmosphere all weekend was incredible. Until today i never knew how loud the cars actually are! The only negatives over the weekend were watching Button and Hamilton crash out only 40 seconds into the race and no viewing of the BBC's build up! Can't have it all! Keep up the good work Jake. See you at Monza.

  • Comment number 24.

    Cool Blog Jake,

    Im glad that you enjoyed your first Belgian GP, I certainly enjoyed it back home on BBC, the coverage like usually was outstanding.

    It was a shmae that Button and Hamilton went out on first lap and it made me laugh on Forum when Martin said that Button and Hamilton got hit by drivers with L plates on their car, but overall a great race especailly for Force India and a very good F1 Forum, one of the best I think this season.

    I think Fisichella will make the temporary switch to Ferrari and Force India will get Piquet.

    Keep Up Fantastic Work And Roll On Italy!

  • Comment number 25.

    Hey Jake, enjoying the blogs as always!

    EJ makes me laugh so much during race shows! So much character about him!

    @ Jonny-Finn: I think the same about Fisichella but Force India would get Liuzzi instead of Piquet as he is the team's reserve driver.

  • Comment number 26.

    Did Raikkonen get advantage on the first lap when he use the slip to cut the corner and then made up a place

  • Comment number 27.

    Great race coverage , and another excellent clog Jake. I loved the weekend from Friday practice to the highlights show on sunday evening . The BBC are miles ahead of were the other side used to be with the outstanding coverage and numerous ways of interacting . DC and EJ make a great team along side yourself and its the next best thing to actually being at the circuit. This reasons championship is awesome ( even being a McLaren fan !) and is so open you dont know what to expect from 1 race to the next. Cant wait for Monza and another brilliant weekend of F1 . Hope you feeling better soon and keep up the great job your all doing .

  • Comment number 28.

    Fantastic stuff Jake, really enjoying your work on TV and also the blog. Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 29.

    Great weekend and the coverage did the event justice, I think everyone at home got a feel for how special Spa is.
    Can anyone answer me this; Following Hungary Renault were given a 1 race suspension for "knowingly releasing car number seven from the pit stop position without one of the retaining devices for the wheel-nuts being securely in position" and that "being aware of this, Renault failed to take any action to prevent the car from leaving the pit lane... and failed to inform the driver of this problem or to advise him to take appropriate action given the circumstances". In a nutshell, Renault knew they had a problem with the car and still allowed Alonso to continue racing. (I am of course aware the ban was overturned.) How was this incident any worse or any more dangerous than Barichello having blue smoke streaming from his engine in the closing stages of the race? Brawn knew there was a problem and instead of getting him to pull over, they told him to nurse the car home and hold position, but surely with that much smoke coming from the engine, there was a huge danger of the car becoming engulfed in flames and endangering the cars around him? Is there really a difference between the incidents?

  • Comment number 30.

    Great blog Jake and great coverage again. You, DC, EJ and Martin provide excellent additional value in the forum. Shame the team has its own Luca Badoer in Jonathan Legard. His inane comments, stating the totally obvious and contradicting Martin, who really knows what he is talking about, are the only downside to the BBC coverage.

  • Comment number 31.

    Mad race. Short race. Boring race. Mad being the result and first lap. Short being the time it took. Boring being the action for the race post safety car. If Brundle and Legard did a James Allen I'm sure I would have kept interest but sadly they bored me. They aren't bad they just don't raise their voices enough to catch my enthusiasm. Button's win 06 had james to fit it. I also think Brundle should talk more or get a Murray character back.

    Great coverage especially the eau rouge camera and I loved the Jordan Barrichello thing. But when you introduce the programme with opening thing you do LOOK AT THE CAMERA.

    Great blog and they say it's the easiest track t get to so quit your whining.

  • Comment number 32.

    I hope the Spa F1 Forum will be up on the site shortly, as it's not on the red button at all unlike previous races.

    And #22 I thought Jake was laying into Vijay Mallaya a bit much about the dancing too, why shouldn't he dance? It did seem odd!

    In fact maybe a future feature could be EJ's dancing lessons :D

  • Comment number 33.

    This coverage is a work of art! The pre-race build up is great, and I loved the very start of this race showing the history of Spa with DC and MB talking with some great footage and effects. Worth my licence fee just for F1, cheers! Nice blog Jake

  • Comment number 34.

    Great job again from you guys, it was a good race this weekend to help us forget valencia. You should have taken the E-type accross europe drive home with martin though over flying, thats if your stomach could take it.
    A couple of things were annoying though, mostly alguesari and grosjean taking out the two english drivers. Grosjean especially was on the tv laughing about it before he even made it back to the pits. Im sure jenson didnt find it so funny. My other problem was vijay malleya saying what an achievement it was for india, im sorry but its an english team based in england and it is those guys achievement aswell as fisi.
    Classic moment in the pre-race show too where a production member (a little portly) was caught on camera and had to run away from shot. Made me laugh :)

  • Comment number 35.

    Thanks for the blog Jake. You certainly seem to have enjoyed the Spa experience over all of the other GP's this year. I would be interested to hear your thoughts at the end of the season as to which weekend you enjoyed the most, which circuit and facilities impressed you most etc.

    Good coverage. Roll on Monza.

  • Comment number 36.

    #26 (mtba44) - I don't think he did as it was a longer line and on 'dirty' dusty tarmac with less grip, but it did look like he got a hell of a slingshot up Eau Rouge and over Raidillon to pass Kubica. I think that was KERS in action though.

  • Comment number 37.


    Another great weekend and accompanying blog.

    You point out what a great guy DC is. For my money, I think Ferrari are missing a trick here. DC still has a licence and is capable of doing a job. Could the prancing horse not tempt him out of retirement for just a few races?

  • Comment number 38.

    I'd love to see DC in a Ferrari !

    The whole team are fantastic - with the exception of Legard. As soon as the race starts, I have to press the mute button and listen to the five live commentary.
    He'd be better off doing the commentary for show jumping.

  • Comment number 39.

    got to aggree with the the other good comments,jake you sound like youve been following and doing the bbc f1 show for ages,
    dc and ej are a blast,
    great to hear all the stories and memories,
    martin brundle is the best f1 commentator there is bar none!
    Jonathan Legard. His daft comments,poor timeing, stating the totally obvious and contradicting Martin,is the only low point... it just isnt working.. sorry jonathan,

  • Comment number 40.

    The more into the season we get the slicker the coverage are doing a great job...and EJ..well he has to be one of the funniest people ever!!!! :-)
    Bit of a disappointing race being a Lewis and Jenson fan, but was amazing to see Giancarlo do so well
    Spa has been a fave track of mine for so it as amazing as it is cracked up to be???

  • Comment number 41.

    Hi Jake, good job as usual.

    One thing though, any chance you could stop saying "Well played" :)

  • Comment number 42.

    This page should be sent to Bernie and anyone else who's seriously considering that the Belgian Grand Prix alternates with the Nurburgring one. If it was up to me, F1 would go to Spa twice a year!

  • Comment number 43.

    Great job as usual Jake, never would have known you where under the weather. I just hope you are feeling better now and if not that you are fully recovered for Monza. I love partnership between you Eddie and DC (who does come across as a genuinely nice person), its going from strength to strength in some ways I can't wait to see what the 3 of you will be like together a couple of years down the road (assuming you all keep on doing the job).

  • Comment number 44.

    DC at the wheel of the Ferrari would be interesting although I would not like to see him compared to Badoer i.e. making a pigs ear of it

  • Comment number 45.

    Yep, have 2 races at Spa!!1 Great idea.. have the second one go the other way round the track!
    Awesome place, the sound of the cars in the distance if you've ever stood at La Source is truly haunting and the atmosphere of the fans is superb, just a very friendly place and perhaps one of the only tracks that dominates rather than the drivers.

  • Comment number 46.

    #30 #38 #39, Have to agree with their comments, the whole production is great, the program is so much better and more interesting than when on ITV. Well done for that.

    Now the gripe!, Jonathan Legard is absolutely terrible, he not only clearly doesn't know his facts, but his delivery is awful. Please get James Allen in for next year, and then maybe Martin will be how he used to be (Great).

  • Comment number 47.

    Good Blog Jake, interesting as ever.

    Good to hear your comments on DC. As a Driver i was never a fan, but the guy has won me over as a pundit. Not only does he know his stuff inside out, but he has a dry sense of humour. Some of the stuff he says is quite tongue in cheek and is great to watch. He also cuts through the bull and gives his opinion regardless of who it will offend. Eg, His comments over Badoer were hard but spot on.
    Its also obvious you and DC get on when on screen. I've seen you both giving each other a sneaky wink and smile as Eddie struggles through asking another overly complex and controversial question. Love it.

    As for EJ. What can you say. Yes he's not a TV Natural, Yes he answers his own questions whilst asking them, yes he stumbles over his own words whilst making controversial statements, yes he will disagree with practically everything DC says.. but would i swap him for anyone else? No Chance. He's hilarious to watch on occasion. Also, who else are you going to get who can grab Schuey by the ear and drag him in front of camera or go round to Rubens house and start doing press ups by the pool before slapping him on the cheek every 5 minutes. Great TV. We shouldn't take F1 seriously all the time.

    Also, though the jury is still out on J. Legard from the posts i've been reading all season, Spa was his best commentating stint so far. There's still hope JL, stick at it.

    Infact you, DC and EJ are a great team now. Keep it as it is for next season

    I've been looking forward to this stage of the Season where we get to go to all the good tracks, Spa, Monza, Interlagos, Suzuka and i'm sure the BBC's coverage will make these tracks even more enjoyable.

    A good weekends coverage. Well Done

  • Comment number 48.

    Good race weekend, good to see Fisi up there again. Shame about Rubens start tho. If Eddie Jordon brings up anything about his team again think I'm gonna cry, he can't stop talking about himself lol.

  • Comment number 49.

    @HHFrentzen - you better get a supply of Kleenex in for Monza then as no doubt Eddie will be waxing lyrical about Force India with constant reminders that they used to be Jordan once upon a time...

    I am bemused by all the criticism of ITV, I felt their coverage was excellent... in fact I find myself missing their convenient toilet/tea/sandwich breaks that they used to give me... The BBC coverage has me scared that I will miss something whenever one of these needs overcomes me. I still think the BBC has some way to go to match the quality and more specifically the in depth nature of their 'info pieces', I find the BBC's spot pieces to be rather bland and uninformative because they seem to be catering entirely to new fans.

    On a similar note I wish to congratulate the BBC and especially DC for his piece on tyres, I think that's been the best so far this season... its the 1st one that has told me something that I didn't already know (the dispersal rates of inter and wet tyres, and that the contact area increase under load). Great piece can you try and make all the features this in depth please!

  • Comment number 50.

    As for Legard... he was better this race, but he is still keeping Badoer company.

  • Comment number 51.

    Legard's constant use of the phrase, " the wars..." is very irritating to me. Could someone at the Beeb not help him find some other phrase to use? Please???? And sorry, I do agree with Melscott - bring James Allen on board - he wasn't Murray Walker, but he's a damned sight better than JL and brings out the best in Martin - a star all on his own.

    I have to say I laughed out loud at the piece EJ did with Rubino - when Eddie dove into his pool and Rubie just looked over his bowl of cereal and said, "That's the last time my pool will ever be clean again," that had me choking with laughter. I will admit to being one of the earlier critics of EJ - I think now that he's found his comfort level and interacts much better with darling Jake and DC - who, I wouldn't be surprised, eventually takes the commentary seat with Martin. One can only hope.

  • Comment number 52.

    I think Martin would strangle Eddie with the mic cord if they had to share the booth together.... Eddie would get to excited LMAO

  • Comment number 53.

    Methinks you have a bit of a "mancrush" on Mr Coulthard!
    He does seem a good bloke though and hope he invites you in for a cuppa in Monaco next year!!

    Mind you, me missus said I've got one on you!! Can't stop reading the blogs.....

  • Comment number 54.


    Glad you feeling well again.(Beeen near Ferrari anything, prob wants to make any no Ferrari fan, Vomit in the bins he he .)

    I have watched F1 a long time now, I was like. Omg it's going to be dreary an boring. Now i's going to be on the Beeb. But i thankfully was proven sovery wrong.
    The coverage is so awesome. I'm lovin you an DC an Eddie and co

    Hmm wonders if someone was to dare, you three to wear no matching clothes. What you'd wearing.. Hmm Dc in a kilt maybe he he ...

  • Comment number 55.

    Either I thought I had low contrast on my TV or you put on factor 50 for looked so pale!
    Did you find Badoer's ripped-up contract in the Ferrari bins when you paid a visit?
    The BBC commentary is great. The chemistry between the three of you works so well, so much so you're starting to colour co-ordinate for each race.

  • Comment number 56.

    Didn't see the show as I was at Spa. By the way thanks for the wave from across the track prior to the race on Sunday! Got some nice snaps of you EJ and DC whilst you were at the back of the Mclaren Hospitality building. Looked like you spend a lot of time going over your notes prior to show opening.

    I do think Jenson can pull of some stronger results. Probably in Singapore, Tokyo or Abu Dhabi. One more win is not out of the question.
    However I think the races will all be tight from here on in. The pack has really bunched up.

    Looking forwrd to watching the rest with you guys.

    Jake, let me know where you want the snaps sent to!!!

  • Comment number 57.

  • Comment number 58.

    Hi Guys. I've just signed up to congratulate everyone involved at the BBC for the first rate coverage you are all providing us this year. Jake is the perfect choice and has been supreme in his mastery of his new role. The combination of DC and ET was inspirational and works really well. Keeping Martin on board was absolutely right with Jonathan. The red button coverage with detailed analysis and commentary is first rate. The quality of the graphics and video playbacks also deserves special recognition. Great job all round.
    Now keep it up until the end of the season, and for goodness sake don't get complacent again!

  • Comment number 59.

    Great Blog mate.
    I was there all weekend from Friday through to Monday, and thought the atmosphere was just brilliant. Had a crazy moment on the Saturday when my car was following Kimi into the circuit. He was driving his Maserati like he was already on the circuit. Maybe it was because he was running late, but he was driving like a caged animal. I had him down for a win from that moment!!

  • Comment number 60.

    Great Blog Jake, really interesting reading. I love some of the pieces you do on the race day, this week when all the guys were talking about Spa was great! Great music as well normally.

    One question, why is the F1 Forum not online this week? I missed it unfortunatly.


  • Comment number 61.

    The most exciting part of race weekend, is Martin Brundle pushing past every other camera crew on the grid to get the BBC the best F1 coverage in the world, pure class.

  • Comment number 62.

    Jake....good stuff from you. But............. please can you desist from copying almost all TV presenters from waving your arms and imitating karate chops every time you talk solo to the camera ? You are NOT guiding in landings s on an aircraft carrier !

  • Comment number 63.

    PS Jake: Can you extract £10 for charity EVERY time every commentator, driver and 'celebrity', uses the now stone-dead words "Great", "Fantastic" and "For sure"? If not, please present them with a synonym finder!

  • Comment number 64.

    You would raise billions off 'for sure' alone.

  • Comment number 65.

    Hi Jake

    I especially loved hearing the Spanish national anthem at the Belgian Grand Prix. Classy work.

    But well brought back afterwards. Made me laugh a little.

  • Comment number 66.

    OH, and Legard, yeah, at the start, always:


    Why can't Martin do the start? He's amazing! His grid walk makes me laugh, and he is hilarious!

  • Comment number 67.

    Brilliant Blog, Brilliant Coverage, Brilliant Race. Well done Jake, just brilliant. Although, I'm disappointed in the lack of a replay of the Forum on the site!! Other than that.....brilliant! ;)

  • Comment number 68.

    I was going under when button crashed out on the first lap. i really thought he would have battled his way through the field. even so spa was fantastic, my favourite ever track. will be there next season, hopefully witnessing hamilton win. still loving the blog.

  • Comment number 69.

    Please Please show a clip of EJ Looking into the camera with a really dissapointed look when one of his cars had retired from a race. it made me laugh everytime.

  • Comment number 70.

    I've just had a driver training day canceled on the 9th October so they can train you instead ahead of a race on the 10th - thanks Jake!
    (I've moved training to the 8th so it's alright really)

    Good luck with your new racing career!

  • Comment number 71.

    Jake, Great blog as ever, just one thing from me that you may or may not have any control over is the time it takes to get the forum up on the website, I never get the chance to watch live and enjoy seeing the discussion afterwards when it's on the BBC F1 pages. Heeeelp!

    Good to see that Giancarlo will get a dream drive at Ferarri and news has it that Kimi may switch back to the MacMerc for next year not sure that's the best option for them. I know he's quick but he had a quick car last year and didn't make the most of it.

  • Comment number 72.

    I agree with comments made about the excellent coverage provided by the BBC this season, the on screen banter and better use of the web has certainly moved things on however I will also say that ITV, apart from the adverts of course, did an excellent job moving things on from the earlier BBC coverage which apart from the brilliantly entertaining and enthusiastic Murray Walker was in need of a change. The features and commentators brought in by ITV were in the main really good and at the end of last season I wasnt sure what the Beeb would do to improve but they have...well done all!

    I also agree with comments about Jonathan L, the in race commentary isnt as good as last season. I think Martin does an excellent job overall especially the pit walk, its just that last years dynamism and passion is not coming thru right now during the race. I think Martin should lead more as it often seems that Jonathan does and this isnt working as well. sorry JL I recognise last years team are a tough act to follow, good luck over the next races.

  • Comment number 73.

    Jonathan is doing a great job and why would anybody want James Allen back? We've only just got rid of him and his boring tyre and fuel strategies.

  • Comment number 74.

    I agree with 73, James Allen was appalling. Ben Edwards has been mentioned but when i've heard him on a1gp or btcc, i haven't found him to be that exciting.

    Jonathan and Martin are starting to gel nicely now and i'm really enjoying their commentary.

    Jake, can you look into Friday practice been replayed on the red button on a friday please. Some weeks it's shown, and others it isn't and you can't record on sky.

  • Comment number 75.

    awesome how you managed to not menion force india even once in your blog in spite of their remarkable achievement.. kind of like pete windsor on speed tv in the US. i don't believe he's ever interviewed any of the force india drivers before last weekend. (too busy talking to mwebber...) ok, you guys can eat your hats in about a week when FI demonstrate their sparkling pace once again at Monza. it wasn't a fluke...

  • Comment number 76.

    Hi Jake. Hope your well for the next race as I love the banter between you, DC & EJ!!! Looking forward to Monza and I can't wait to see what Fisi will do in his 'prancing horse!
    Best of luck Jenson :)
    Not sure I agree with some people's comments on JL, maybe he needs more time to get into the swing of it. Chill out JL!! He's still better than James Allen.
    Ciao Monza.

  • Comment number 77.

    I was dissapointed and a little saddened whilst watching the F1 forum after the belgium GP, I am a big fan of Kimi Raikkonen I appreciate there probably are not as many Kimi fans as Lewis Hamilton fans in the UK however it seems that the BBC pundits have a real hard time finding anything nice to say about the guy and were even mocking him after an interview. The guy won a race in a car that is not the best, even the force india is faster. But had I been watching F1 for the first time I would have been convinced that it was the KERS button on his stearing wheel that had won him the race. Super aggresive at the re-start behind the safety car getting the jump on Fisi, thats not just the KERS, thats having the presence of mind to grab the only oppourtunity he would have to win the race and getting as close behind Fisi as he possibly could, he did it and won the race with a great drive. Come on EJ even you have to admit it was a great drive.

  • Comment number 78.

    I don't remember anyone mocking Kimi, they just commented on his laconic nature.... because he is errrr.... laconic perhaps?

  • Comment number 79.

    Maybe he is racing driver that just wants to race a racing car, sorry if he isn't still whooping and jumping up & down two hours after a grand prix has finished.


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