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Looking back on a great weekend in Oz

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Jake Humphrey | 15:04 UK time, Monday, 29 March 2010

This blog comes to you from 39,000 feet above Australia.

I can scarcely believe it but as I write, despite having been on the flight for four hours, we're still crashing through the sky above the country.

I'm glancing out of the window at the Northern Territory, an undistinctive, sandy landscape as far as I can see. And I thought Norfolk was flat!

This is a true F1 flight, with every seat filled by someone who works in the sport. Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn is in the first row, Nico Rosberg's race engineer Jock Clear is to my left along with Hispania Racing driver Karun Chandhok, who is undoubtedly one of the coolest customers I've ever met.

To a man, they're either sleeping or looking like they will be at any minute. Flights shared with F1 teams are sometimes like an 18-30 holiday in the sky, particularly if a team has something to celebrate, but not this one - we're all pooped!

The reason the Australian Grand Prix is particularly tiring is the combination of jet-lag and the late race start time. Let me explain how this weekend panned out.

You get hit by a real lull mid-afternoon because your body clock remains convinced 5pm is actually 6am and is totally unable to compute why you are sitting next to some tennis courts in Melbourne drinking instant coffee, so it tries to force you into a deep comatose sleep.

We managed to stave off the yawning by trying the 'Tim-Tam-Slam'. Tim-Tams are famous snacks out in Australia and the 'Slam' is where you drink your tea by using them as a straw. The fun soon spread to a Twix until Mark Wilkin, the boss, and I burned our tongues... Game over.

An hour after we'd come off air with the qualifying show on Saturday, the office looked like a a meeting of narcoleptics anonymous as we all worked away with lolling heads and droopy eyes.

Once you survive that lull, it's a case of forcing yourself out for a quick dinner, before getting back to the room about 11pm, when you crash out instantly. I then wake up feeling like I've had eight hours' kip, and look at the clock to find it's only 2.30am. It's then a combination of reading, watching shopping telly, or typing the script until breakfast was ready at 7am. My body just didn't want to sleep.

So you can understand that after little sleep, covering the race, then getting away from the track about 9pm, any requests to go out fell on deaf ears as far as I was concerned on Sunday. Never has a hotel bed felt so comfortable, even if I am considered a lightweight by the whole team.

One man who can't be considered a lightweight is Eddie Jordan. His energy is incredible as he races from working for us to rocking out some club in the city centre with his band every evening.

Mind you, we've actually worked out how to keep him quiet. We just need to take a fairground ride with us everywhere we go! If you were up early on Sunday (and well done if you were) you will have seen the video of myself, EJ and David Coulthard watching grass grow and paint dry as a jokey reference to the Bahrain Grand Prix.

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It ended with EJ and me being pinged into the air - and for an entire minute he didn't say a word. A whole minute. Without even a peep from EJ! Sadly, I just don't think the ride would slip under the plane baggage allowance.

Seriously, though, I genuinely hope I have EJ's energy and passion when I've seen and done as much as him.

He was standing in our less than salubrious office on Sunday morning saying to our director, Richard Carr: "Is this shirt too rock and roll for BBC One?". The answer should be no every time - if one man can pull off electric blue with white flowers it's EJ.

It was actually pretty rock and roll in the paddock on Sunday evening, too. I can't really put my finger on it, but Jenson Button bagging his first win at McLaren felt like so much more than that.

The team were beaming like they had won the title, JB was running around with snappers following his every move just like in Brazil last year, and the whole paddock gravitated towards the McLaren hospitality area.

I've seen a few F1 wins at close quarters and the atmosphere this time was unique. If you missed the F1 Forum on the red button then you can watch it again here on the BBC iPlayer. It was great to be in the heart of the party and hear from the man himself. I'd like to know why you think it was such an emotional win.

It felt as if we were witnessing a watershed moment in Button's career. But was it that the doubts about his decision to join 'Team Lewis' had been blown aside? The fact he hadn't won since Turkey '09 and it was a huge weight off his shoulders? Or perhaps the realisation that the new MP4-25 is a decent race-winning car?

Another tasty dynamic, of course, was that Lewis Hamilton went from his 'incident' on Friday evening on the roads to sounding very frustrated behind the wheel on Sunday.

But he was graceful enough to congratulate Button and actually drove an incredible race himself. It's also worth taking a look at this video embedded below. We shot it in Woking just a few days before the season started. What it doesn't show is that Jenson was even more relaxed off camera.

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Right, a progress-check.

We've just crossed the Australian coast and we're now over the Timor Sea. Chandhok just stopped by, too, and we discussed the weekend from his perspective. He was saying that in getting a Hispania car to the finish of the race on Sunday he drove a third of the laps that the new team have ever managed. Incredible effort.

Right, I really am just about the only person left awake on this plane so I'll try to grab some shut-eye.

I'm really pleased all you early birds got your reward this weekend. Once again, the sport delivers a truly cracking race just as we needed it!

Now we head west to Kuala Lumpur. And if we thought Melbourne was wet, just remember Malaysia last year.

By the way, I'll be a doing a Q & A session here on the BBC F1 website shortly. If you'd like to get involved then just post a question below! We'll answer as many as we can. You can also follow me on Twitter.


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  • Comment number 1.

    What a race. Well worth getting up for.
    There were a few things that occurred to me with this race. Lewis sounded naive, inexperienced and petulent. On the radio he expressed surprise that the drivers in front of him didn't have to stop again. Now he should be aware of strategies and permutations; he shouldn't be surprised by things like this. Does anyone think that Schumacher, Prost, Senna or Alonso wouldn't have the whole gamut of strategies in their heads? It was his responsibility to try his best to make his strategy work. He should have known that with Jenson in front with track position and better able to make his tyres survive, and that McLaren were splitting the strategies to give him - a man harder on his tyres but driving the best I've ever seen him - the chance on fresh tyres to catch and pass the Ferraris. He shouldn't complain about this strategy call and he definitely shouldn't criticise the team over the radio.
    Last year he seemed to have learned humility but this year he again seems, as I said, petulent.

  • Comment number 2.

    Brilliant. It's lovely getting such an insight onto the aftermath of a race weekend - thank you!

    My question is: You're flying with the teams, you're hanging out with them - do you feel like you are seen by them as genuinely part of the sport, or is there always a barrier because you're media?

  • Comment number 3.

    Great blog as always Jake, I don't envy you the jet lag, but you still have a very cushy job! I was delighted that the Oz Grand Prix went so well as I felt very deflated after the first race of the season.

    PS - You Twitter avatar seems to be a little unwell - Have you been fiddling?

    Keep up the great work, next weekend.


  • Comment number 4.

    Another great weekend of F1 on the BBC, and another witty, informative blog from you, Jake.

    As a worried Jenson fan, this victory meant more to me than any of his others. I am so happy he won so early with McLaren and, dare I say it, before Lewis! I can understand why the atmosphere afterwards seemed so emotional, as there was plenty of emotion in my sitting-room!

    Can't wait for next weekend. :D

  • Comment number 5.

    Hey Jake, my question is..what is the overall consensus on how the Mercedes car is developing..will it be competing for race wins and pole positions soon? Furthermore, Having been beaten by his team mate twice this season already, what are the pundits predicting about Michael schumachers fortunes this season? Thank you

  • Comment number 6.

    there are reports doing the rounds today saying michael schumacher should quit f1 again as he hasnt got it anymore but surely judging someone who spent a few years out of the sport and coming back with a different team, is going to do nothing but dent his confedence even more after 2 races no one should be being judged if they have it or not, even the slaying of the new teams in my eyes shoudl stop they need time and track experience to push them selfs furhter up the grid, the fact hrt finished their first grand prix yesterday proved that they are on the up.

  • Comment number 7.

    Excellent blog as usual Jake. Lets hope we have some typical weather to mix it all up like last weekend!

  • Comment number 8.

    I wonder how Buttons victory and the way the team celebreated it will effect Hamilton. Everyone has commented on how its Hamiltons team but you say on air that the atmosphere at the mclaren motorhome was completely different than the atmosphere last year when they won.

    This surely has got to have a psychological effect on Hamilton, as a team viewed as backing him over his team mate celebrate his team mates win more passion than his own.

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi Jake, Brill blog as usual. What a race, just what F1 needed after Bahrain - the Aussie race should go back to being the season opener. I saw the show live and it was well worth getting up for. Also the opening video shoot was really funny and also your guide around the McLaren Technology Centre was especially funny. I liked the fact that Jenson got lost as soon as you asked him "have you ever got lost around here?" also I liked the bit where you switched the lights off instead of just walking into the lift! Excellent all-round coverage and looking forward to next weeks show - can it get better...MAYBE...but F1 isn't boring!

  • Comment number 10.

    I got up early to watch qualy and the race in the UK....what an adrenaline rush. The race was all that F1 should be. The big issue remaining is can we get the cars not to need 3 secs a lap of more outright pace but to allow driver skill be the determining factor? Anthony Davidson mentioned a return to turbo's...what does the team think?

    A big well done to Jake and the team for not just fantastic insight and knowledge, but for the way it is delivered, a great balancing act between
    information, passion and entertainment and also to the F1 teams who gave us such a great race, roll on Malaysia. Thank you.

  • Comment number 11.

    Great race - even the 'experts' initially said that JB's tyre change was too early. Poor Lewis - sour grapes come to mind.

  • Comment number 12.

    That was worth staying awake for. I loved it - and the inclusive feel that the BBC gave.

    I was starting to think about how unlucky ITV were to give up the franchise, and for the Beeb to get *these* two years as the introduction. But then I realised that we wouldn't have felt quite so included by ITV's coverage. It's like being at the whole event, rather than just seeing the race itself. Even down to the chatting with mates about it on the way home.

    From the Forum, I recall how Button was trying to say how great *this* win was without putting down Brawn - who gave him the title last year.

    But in his comparison with 2006, you could see that he was proud of the fact that you could more readily put more of this win down to *him*, and a little less to the car. He is patently aware that his win last year could be ascribed to the car, and he's keen to show his driver skills now.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Jake - Do you think we are starting to see cracks in the Lewis / McLaren facade as Whitmarsh realises he has to give Button equal billing - and do you see Lewis looking for a way out if Button starts dominating?

    Also do you think Red Bull are going the same way as last year - Blindingly quick but inevitably breakable and therefore Championship costing?

    Keep up the good work!

    Phill Lawrence, Neath, South Wales

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    Great blog jake and an excellent GP which was certainly needed after the farce that was the season opener...anyway thats in the past now, but i am still concerned that the ability to overtake cars may still haunt us. Lets not forget the major incedents of this GP were caused through the weather.

    Anyway my question is regarding the BBC's coverage, i am aware that the BBC are not responsible for the camera coverage during the race however is it likely that we will see Formula 1 in HD?

    P.S. Putting the 1hr forum on BBCi is a super idea!!

  • Comment number 16.

    Great insight again, thanks for staying awake long enough to share it with us.

    The atmosphere in the McLaren hospitality area came across really well in the forum, though I'm not sure how much DC enjoyed his JB kiss. JB really did seem one relaxed and cool customer with you all, right up until you suggested getting Jessica in front of the cameras when he looked downright scared (maybe she'd had more than a couple of sherbets).

    Fingers crossed for Malaysia...

  • Comment number 17.

    I think the reason that victory seemed special is that there is a big elephant in the room with Jenson. The feeling that he still has something to prove.

    I hope that the race yesterday went some way to proving his detractors wrong because quite frankly the guy is damned good.

  • Comment number 18.

    My question Jake - The most refreshing thing about your coverage was the way you were a genuine fan chucked into the foreign world of F1, but now you are ingrained in the sport, know the people, the teams and the drivers, do you find it hard to still see the sport from an outsiders perspective?

  • Comment number 19.

    Lewis was so unlucky. He should have come second. It's disappointing for him and everyone at McLaren, but oh move on. I'm sure he has now. I don't see why he's getting so much criticism, he was clearly annoyed, as you would be on missing out on a potential 10 championship points.

  • Comment number 20.

    This is hillarious! I see my comment has been referred to 'moderaors'. For breaking which 'house rules'? None whatsoever! Other than pointing out the obvious fact that the BBC formula 1 reporting is pathetically anti-hamilton. Even now, after belabouring the issue of Hamilton's arrest on Friday, the BBC has found it in its 'wisdom' to refresh the issue by headlining an 'unprintable' name one Aussie minister used in describing Lewis Hamilton. This in addition to the endless emphasis on Hamilton 'accusing' his team, as though Button- who deserve all the accolade for his wn yesterday- didnt whine and complain on radio to his team last year...

  • Comment number 21.

    Jake this page is wrong:

    It should be the other way around on Easter Sunday. That page is useless

  • Comment number 22.

    I think JBs excitement at winning comes undoubtedly from the fact he was almost written off before the start of the season. Many were saying how he would be made to look like an amateur next to Hamilton, and as newly crowned F1 Champion it must have been quite a disappointment for him. He must feel a lot of relief upon winning the first race for McLaren this season, and it will be a boost for his confidence, as well as like a two-finger salute to his doubters.

    Also interesting to see Lewis throw some of his toys out of the pram - he does NOT like being second seed driver at McLaren (even if it is for half a race). If Jenson puts a few good results together things could become quite interesting!

    Well done to Button, great race. Enjoyed Kubica's drive too. Look forward to Vettel getting a run of luck and Forumla One being exciting once again.

  • Comment number 23.

    Shame this is on BBC2 due to that useless pope being on BBC One

  • Comment number 24.

    Hi Jake,

    Loved the coverage this weekend. It was so good to see an interesting race. Melbourne should always have been the season opener. The opening VT with you guys watching paint dry was hilarious.

    I can't believe you guys nicked my sprinkler idea, but I definitely think tracks should get them put in. So much cheaper than bringing back refueling. In fact if they got people to vote for when the sprinklers are switched on they could plough the money back into F1 to help the new teams buy bigger fuel tanks etc.

  • Comment number 25.

    What a contrast to Bohrain! Great Blog.

    I think Lewis was justified in being upset as he drove a brillant race and got very little for it. That move on Rosberg was stunning. It was a shame that he couldn't get past Kubica because that could have led to a great battle between Jenson and Lewis. It's great to have two brits at the front in a winning car.

    Jake, my question how long do you think it will take for Alonso to start to demand No1 status at Ferrari? I couldn't understand why Martin and the team where questioning Massa not letting Alonso through so much. I don't think Massa was ever going to let him through, and if he had done that would have been his fight for the championship over.

  • Comment number 26.

    A great race and it was one of the few times I was glad my baby woke me up so early - just in time for the start!

    Well done to the lads in Woking (even though it was Jenson's call that made the difference and the engineers got it wrong on Lewis). I thought the exuberance of the celebrations at the end said a lot about how Jenson has bonded with the team. Clearly the boys really like him and he must be adding something extra for the team. I just hope that Lewis does not do an 'Alonso' and start becoming paranoid about his new team mate.

    I doubt it will be the same outcome at Sepang where I can only see a Red Bull / Ferrari winner unless there is a real downpour. I fear we may be having the same conversation re overtaking, but lets hope not!

  • Comment number 27.

    Great Blog Jake

    I was confused by Lewis Hamilton in Melbourne. His incident on Friday night seemed to really get to him and he didn't seem comfortable all weekend. It must be said, however, that he drove superbly, but I don't think he could have finished any higher up because of his driving style. he was complaining on the radio at the end of the race he was complaining of 'shot' tyres, yet he pitted once more than everyone in front of him. If he hadn't pitted the second time, there would have been no rubber left.

    Button drove superbly and the timing for the slicks was perfect. It just shows how good he is- I believe he is a match for Hamilton this season. Kubica deserves a mention aswell- Outstanding.

    I'm worried about Malaysia- it could well be boring.


  • Comment number 28.

    What a quality weekend,
    Top race, top coverage...
    (Forget artificial short cuts or mandatory pit stops, I've always thought that sprinklers turned on at a random time would spice up the show!)
    and to cap it all City beat Leeds to go 11pts clear....
    Surely Mr Fernandes needs to see sense & get involved...keep on at him Jake,
    All the best

  • Comment number 29.

    "1. At 3:31pm on 29 Mar 2010, James McLaren - BBC wrote:
    What a race. Well worth getting up for.
    There were a few things that occurred to me with this race. Lewis sounded naive, inexperienced and petulent. On the radio he expressed surprise that the drivers in front of him didn't have to stop again. Now he should be aware of strategies and permutations; he shouldn't be surprised by things like this. Does anyone think that Schumacher, Prost, Senna or Alonso wouldn't have the whole gamut of strategies in their heads? It was his responsibility to try his best to make his strategy work. He should have known that with Jenson in front with track position and better able to make his tyres survive, and that McLaren were splitting the strategies to give him - a man harder on his tyres but driving the best I've ever seen him - the chance on fresh tyres to catch and pass the Ferraris. He shouldn't complain about this strategy call and he definitely shouldn't criticise the team over the radio.
    Last year he seemed to have learned humility but this year he again seems, as I said, petulent.

    Very dull and rather uninspiring summary of absolutely the best performance this season.

  • Comment number 30.

    Here's my question: How the hell do you get a tim-tam or a twix to act like a straw in a cup of tea? Have I even read that correct? How do you get what is to all intents and purposes, a chocolate biscuit to act as a straw? I cant feature that at all - I'm not even sure how its possible


    Is there something special about tim-tams that I'm not realising? And more worrying, is there something special about twix's, because I dont see how they can be used as a straw, either. These are important issues, mate - needs clearing up!

    Great race though!

  • Comment number 31.

    Yes JB did very well, particuly making that call to change onto slicks. But for me the real star of the Aussi GP was Hamilton. Those over taking moves against Rosberg and Webber were breath taking!! Also everyone seems to have forgotton how Lewis jumped JB just before he dived into the pits. While this win will no doubt boost JB confidence, he should enjoy his moment, as I think Lewis will be the man on top next weekend!!

  • Comment number 32.

    Having read this blog, and then MB's race summary, it seems clear to me who understands the sport and who is trying too hard to please an audience. Jake is a good frontman and is anchoring the programme with far more enthusiasm than Steve Ryder ever did, but his constant worship of Jenson is too obvious.
    I'm a Mclaren fan and support both drivers equally. Jenson was outstanding yesterday and I cheered his win loudly. However, I agree with MB that Lewis was the driver of the day. Many have commented that this was the perfect tonic for F1 after the bore in the desert, and the highlights clearly show that Lewis was the main catalyst for this excitement. Hopefully his overtaking audacity will inspire others to have a go instead of cruising around and complaining about dirty air.
    Jenson is the perfect companion for Lewis at the team because their styles are different and will ensure maximum points at every GP.
    Finally, sorry Jake, but the MTC tour video was a bit too CBBC for proper fans. The fuynny bits were too staged and made you look as if you were trying too hard to impress your new "friend".
    Stick to the good stuff...please!!!

  • Comment number 33.

    It doesn't matter how many times I say this one thing, it never changes.
    So please do not change them, they are superb. They bring us into your world and therefore make us feel a part of the sport we love and makes us feel as we know the drivers and teams really well. Pure brillance.

    I was so excited that JB won this weekend and I was so happy that the race was so so so good and as ever the coverage from friday to sunday was excellent. So well done to the whole BBC crew

    My Question to you
    If you could go to any race track, that has held a GP that is not on the calendar now, where is it and why?

    Sneeky Q2 (if thats allowed) What is your Fav track of the current calendar?

    See you next weekend


  • Comment number 34.

    Loving the coverage from Jake and the boys!!! Best sports presenters by far at the mo.
    I think everyone, including himself, is forgetting Lewis' problems started by qualifying down the field on Saturday. The pitstop/tyres would not have been an issue if he had qualified better. Having said that he is driving like a demon at the mo, and I wonder if this has anything to do with having a more capable team mate now?

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm so glad I staggered out of bed to watch this- not just the superb race but the fantastic pre-race features as well, even though Eddie's shirt was a bit garish for so early in the morning!!What a great way to start with the "grass growing " sequence. It takes a bit to make me laugh at 6am on a Sunday! And I thought the tour of the MTC with Jenson was brilliant- how relaxed does that guy look at McLaren? You'd think he'd been there for years! So pleased he got that win under his belt, richly deserved, and worthy of a Champion.

    As for Lewis- he drove superbly- that overtake on Nico Rosberg was stunning, but I thought his radio comment and his interview with Lee after the race were ill-judged and did him no favours, especially after the "burn out" incident on Friday night. He's had his father managing him right through from Karting. Perhaps breaking with him was not such a good idea?

    And isn't it interesting how little we're talking about Michael Schumacher?

  • Comment number 36.

    Hi United Dreamer.
    Sorry I was a bit dull. I shall try harder.
    Essentially what I was trying to do was outline the thoughts I had that *didn't* include all the eulogies that other better informed commentators would be making. I've been a Hamilton fan since following him in GP2 in 06 and I do definitely think, as I wrote in my first comment, that he was "driving the best I've ever seen him". Hamilton was driving as he is capable - gung-ho, skilled and with the bravado that draws those Senna comparisons. However, that drive was muted for me by his comments on the radio and after the race. And like I said, I was surprised by his surprise.
    His wasn't the only great drive on the day either. Kubica increasingly reminds me of Mansell: hard charging, no nonsense and brave. I've long been a fan of Button too and he's doing a very good job of rebutting the people who believed that he'd suffer in Team Hamilton. I suspect that while Hamilton is popular within the team he was definitely the apple of Ron's eye and that now that Ron has gone, someone like Button with natural easygoing charm can establish himself within the team.
    Melbourne was a classic, and I hope to god after the stultifying affair that was Bahrain, it provides the template for other races this season. We need circumstances in which teams have to throw caution to the wind and not settle down into eking out tyres and fuel. And we *definitely* need to find a way of reducing further the effect of dirty air on the aerodynamics of following cars. I advocate a return to the clean lines of the pre-2000/01 cars.

  • Comment number 37.

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

  • Comment number 38.

    30. At 7:15pm on 29 Mar 2010, Riggadon wrote:

    Here's my question: How the hell do you get a tim-tam or a twix to act like a straw in a cup of tea? Have I even read that correct? How do you get what is to all intents and purposes, a chocolate biscuit to act as a straw? I cant feature that at all - I'm not even sure how its possible


    Is there something special about tim-tams that I'm not realising? And more worrying, is there something special about twix's, because I dont see how they can be used as a straw, either. These are important issues, mate - needs clearing up!

    Great race though!

    I cannot understand how they did it with a Twix, either, but the Tim-Tam slam is easy. You unwrap a Tim-Tam (similar to a penguin), bite a bit off of the opposing corners, dip one end into your hot drink and suck the other end like your life depends on it. Et voila! The Tim-Tam Slam! :D

  • Comment number 39.

    I have been reading and hearing a lot of praise for JB, but let's be honest for once at least! Did he have any choice? The answer is big NO, he was losing grip and going backward not forward (something he clearly said)! And above all his team mate overtook him!

    Second, we praise the Australia GP as very exciting (yes, I agree with that after most boring race in Bahrain)! But who made it exciting? In my opinion, it has to be Lewis Hamilton! The boy is just brilliant, absolutely brilliant!!Best moves in the race by far, only IF Webber didn't take him out probably we would have seen another battle with Alonso!!

    I think we should not over praise JB, of course he won the race and he is a decent driver but honesty is the best way forward....he was LUCKY with Vettel going out and tyre change which he had NO CHOICE!! Did he manage his tyres...yes, so is Kubica, Massa and Alonso!! So most praise should go to Lewis for keeping us on the edge of the sofa for the whole race, otherwise it would have been a very sleepy morning!!!And Schumecher of course for fighting with Alguersuari, something nobody expected...hahaha!!

  • Comment number 40.

    Can someone please explain to me how Lewis can have the brilliant race he had and there being hardly any comments made about it by the BBC F1 team?

    I watched the whole coverage including the red button, and apart from Martin Brundle saying he would have to agree with lewis on it being one of the drive of his life THERE WAS NOTHING!!!

    But they were very quick to put jenson on a pedestal for a win that was gained mostly through luck.

    Jenson made the call to change tires not through insight, but plain and simple because he had destroyed his intermediates very quickly.

    Honestly I loose faith sometimes!

    P.s. I think you and martin brundle usually do a sterling job. I cant always say the same for your other 3 colleagues, namely, EJ, DC, and JL.

  • Comment number 41.

    Hi, alot has been made of JB inspired decision to switch to dry tyers when he did. However I suspect, due to the surprise and frantic movement of his pit crew, this decision was more to do with the humiliation of just being overtaken by his faster team mate???

    Great coverage by the beeb, Jake/Eddy, but could DC be any more biased towards his buddy JB???


  • Comment number 42.

    Look... I think it was a huge improvement and well done Jenson!!! Brilliaqnt result.

    BUT... is it me... why do you haqve no report (or even results) from the same day's World Superbike round at Portimao? Two 22 lap races with Brits taking up the majority of the top 10 in both races and some phenomenal and genuinely exciting, hugely entertaining, massively overtaking and visibly on the limit racing... please broaden your mind Mr Beeb - there's a whole world of excitement out there!

    Great F1 coverage, though... under the circumstances!!!

  • Comment number 43.

    Cool Blog Jake,

    Loved the Coverage at the Weekend and the F1 Forum was excellent as well. I am very glad that Melbourne lived up to its normal expectations and provided an exciting race for the F1 Fans.

    My Question is: Do you think that Michael Schumacher can make anymore impact or just struggle around the middle of the field?

    Keep Up Fantastic Work and lets hope Malaysia can keep the excitment going!


  • Comment number 44.

    Great race, and great coverage, also good to have the improved graphics for qualifying.

    On a separate issue, couldn't agree more with Victoria roads minister opinion of Hamilton.

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi Jake,
    Hope you got plenty of sleep on the rest of your journey. I recently went to Aus for 1 week for work. I flew economy, but managed to get a row of 4 seats to myself on both legs back and slept most of the way. I am sure it was easier for you in business!!
    Isn't one of the fascinations about F1 its unpredictability? After the yawn fest that was Bahrain, we have action from begining to end in Australia. Unfortunately most of the excitement was due to the rain at the begining of the race, the effects of which were felt for all 58 laps.
    Well done to JB and LH, two great drives though completely different in nature. It is a shame that the second pitstop for LH turned out to be the wrong decision. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    Although you cant please all the people al the time, I trust you know the vast majority of the viewers appreciate what you and the whole team do. Keep up the good work.
    As I live in Spain, I do not get to see the forum or other things on the red button or BBC iplayer. :-(
    ps if you ever need a rest, not that I could hold a candle to you, I am willing to sub for you! Do you need a hand in Barcelona or Valencia?

  • Comment number 46.

    Dear Moderators, with reference to fkatk above, how is a comment about the Aussie minister 'on topic' here. I didnt see any reference to it on Mr Humprhey's blog. There you go. Sometimes i just think the invocation of 'house rules' is routinely abused, and I bet this comment would probably not be published for beibg 'off topic'. Hamilton bashing is always "on topic"...

  • Comment number 47.

    Hi. I usually record the race and watch it when i can. The only problem is that i miss out on the forum on the red button as it is only available live.

    Could you make it available on the red button for say, 24 hours after the race? Thanks

  • Comment number 48.

    In answer to StKole:

    'Another tasty dynamic, of course, was that Lewis Hamilton went from his 'incident' on Friday evening on the roads to sounding very frustrated behind the wheel on Sunday'.
    Not my words but a direct quotation from Jake Humphrey's blog. This quotation also contains a link to the article.

    My point was not simply to jump on the Hamilton bashing bandwagon. (Granted he is a man who splits opinion and creates debate on a regular basis). Instead this is a serious point for the lack of respect Lewis showed in Australia for the of responsibility entrusted in him as being part of the motor racing elite. His talent is unquestionable, however, for a Formula One driver, with a seat with one of the sports most historical and successful teams, to be charge with improper use of a vehicle, is frankly embarrassing.

    For me, Button has the perfect mix of talent, charisma and common sense. This makes him far greater role model and ambassador for the sport we are clearly passionate about. Personally I am not a McLaren fan, but I was happy to see JB win on Sunday after such a great drive.

  • Comment number 49.

    JB JB JB It's all about JB.

    I actually like the fact that its all about JB. I get bored listening about how Lewis is the better of the two blah blah blah and how the team and the wrong move bringing him in........Lewis would not have been able to stay on those tyres as he is no where near as smooth as Jenson and would have destroyed them by the last 10 laps. Jenson is the smoothest driver out there and that could pay dividends in a season where preservation of the tyres is so important.
    And another thing...... I'm sure all you Hamilton fans are aware of this, but did you know that LH was signed up by Mclaren when he was 10 years old, from that point he had the best of everything, the budget was unlimited. I know the importance of having money in this sport, having raced karts at the same meetings as both drivers, if you haven't got the best kit, you will not win, although in JB's case he managed to win without the money, i bet you knew that Jensons Dad John had to borrow money to fill up his van with diesel to get back to Frome from Larkhall in Scotland after Jenson won the round of the British Kart Championship as well. And that didn't change until he was finally sponsored by GKS when he went to race in the European Kart Championship at 15.
    They are both world class drivers, there is very little between them, Lewis is is raw and super quick, Jenson is smooth, consistent and super quick, but just spare a thought about how they both got to the pinnacle of motorsport.
    I look forward to both drivers doing the business this year........come on blighty!

  • Comment number 50.

    Great blog yet again Jake, well done.

    I can't see Bahrain having the first race again next year, the sport needs a great race to start the season. This years was exceptional with great drives from Alonso, Lewis, Kubica and Button.

    I have always been a fan of Jenson but he has been put into the shade by Lewis until 2009. Very pleased that he has got a win for the new team and it will inspire Lewis to work even harder.

    As far as his rant goes it is nice to see a sportsman speak his mind, makes a change from the usual pc rubbish. The problem is that if anyone does this they are slated by the press for 'losing their cool' or 'being naive.' Lewis was showing his passion, nothing more.

    Lets hope that we can have more of the same this weekend, surely Vettal will have no more mechanical problems!

    Vettal to win followed by Lewis and Alonso.


  • Comment number 51.

    Article from the BBC News site: 'Australian minister criticises Lewis Hamilton' -

    "Mr Pallas criticised the 25-year-old British racing driver on the day that Victoria launched a Don't Be a Dickhhead road safety campaign.

    Asked whether Lewis Hamilton met that description, he said: "OK, I'll say it. He's a dickhhead."

    LOL! And here was me thinking politicians never simply blurted out the truth!

  • Comment number 52.

    Must admint I am new to the BBC Sport blogs, only joined at the tail end of the 6 nations! First time I have read yours Jake and I love it!

    Interesting comment about Lewis just being passionate and speaking his mind, certainly is refreshing! He needs to concentrate on knuckling down and foucs on winning. As Martin said in commentary, having words with your team during a 5 car train is not really what you shoudl be doing! Get on with the job in hand, you cannot change what's happened, but you can still influence the outcome of the race. It was obviously not a good weekend F1 aside for Lewis, in Malaysia hopefully he can get it back on track.

    Well done to JB, regardless of what anyone says I firmly believe you create your own "luck". It was his weekend, the right calls at the right time. Who knows, it could be Seb, Mark or Lewis next week.

    Also a mention I think for Kubica and Renualt, good to have a bit of a wild card thrown in there. Robert has brought Renault back to fighting fitness, it is much more exciting when a Mclaren, Red Bull, Ferrari or a Renualt can win (or at least have some serious competition between each other!).

    Vettel's qualy lap, need I say any more? Could watch it again and again. Some incredible speed there.

    Liking the beeb F1 team, DC is more comfortable now and the banter between you 3 is great. I liked the laid back approach that I noticed in Melbourne, suited the Aussie way ;-) Keep it up, makes the sport much more friendly and interactive.

    Heres hoping for a race even a fraction as good in Malaysia!

  • Comment number 53.

    Why can't we just simply get behind our sporting personalities on and off the track? The Spanish do it for Alonso, Italy rally around the Scuderia and the Germans 100% behind team Mercedes etc. Here we have a couple of true Brits destined for greatness and we're trying our utmost best to tear them down at every opportune moment. Enough of the pontification from the armchair critics and self proclaimed psycho analysts. It's perfectly okay for Lewis to get aggro over strategy etc, true blood. Common let's all get behind team team GB - Mclaren Mercedes

  • Comment number 54.

    I've done 'Industry' flights to another country and they can be an absolute blast. I remember the stewards getting really annoyed by the party/wheeling and dealing going on mid aisle as they were trying to do the safety announcements and the return flight always being a lot quieter as hang overs and late nights took their toll (This WAS the MUSIC industry, mind you!). Ref your recent tweet, I don't blame Lee for ducking the camera phone, which takes a pretty unflattering pic at the best of times let alone after a 10 hour flight. (camera phones in general that is, not necessarily your personal ability although your motion blur is often better than the F1 coverage for action!!!)

    The race was great. Jenson's win was awesome. Lewis raced like a demon and was utterly thrilling. Alonso also deserves a mention getting from the back of the grid (through his own fault maybe) to 4th, which Schumacher singularly failed to do. Massa really drove his socks off to keep Alonso behind him. Kubica did an excellent job all weekend. Webber is probably thinking he should sack the Aus Grand Prix in future. Vettel must be wondering what gremlin is at work on his car. I say it's the sisterhood's bad vibes for all those silly girl's names he gives his cars. And how, I mean HOW did Karun Chandok keep going when all were failing around him to get that HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy anyone?) to the end of the race?!!!

    A question? Hmmmmmm. Hmmmmmmm. Do you guys have to jump on any little bit of passion and strangle the red top headline out of it rather than just enjoy it as a revealing insight into an incredibly difficult sport? Rubens' aggrivation with his team last year or Lewis having a bit of a vent last weekend. I'd prefer not to have the surface, kneejerk, oooooo that's a good gossipy story reaction, if possible. The result is endless, characterless, politically correct, utterly pointless soundbites of no importance to mitigate any chance of the inevitable slamming that otherwise occurs. OK, that's not really a question is it? Let me try again.

    Hmmmmmm. I'd like to know a bit more about the racing line and the difficulties caused by going off it compared to the opportunities gained by using a bit more of the track. Hamilton's overtake of Nico Rosberg, for example, round the outside. Did Lewis really have a massively superior speed advantage? Had the rain negated the effect of a fast, rubbered in, shortest route? Could more drivers be that brave or was it just foolhardy opportunism that paid off? Is there really only one way round a racetrack or has the playstation/simulator generation been fooled into thinking so? Obviously not Lewis...

    And, on that long haul flight to Malaysia, who snored, who dribbled and who talked out loud in their sleep?


    PS Why don't you do a feature on what it's like being on the pit wall during the race. I saw a couple of shots during the pitstops of everyone turning round and watching the change going on behind them which was interesting.

    PPS The filming of the Aus race was MUCH better than the Bahrain one. some very interesting camera positions. Less pan and scan. Lots of onboard camera action. Showing us all the action in catch up moments if they missed it live, which wasn't often. Even some sweeping crowd shots. Can you ask the race directors to give us more of this please.

  • Comment number 55.

    Re my last comment. Of course there was actually a crowd to put the camera on, in Melbourne ;-p

  • Comment number 56.

    Can we have the 3rd practice session on BBC iPLayer please?

  • Comment number 57.

    I feel that, as of this season, Formula One really has three genuinely world class drivers all in competition. First time in a while - quite exciting.

    Alonso - Well, no news there, he's been the best for a while.
    Vettel - Rising star, & after Alonso, 2nd favourite to lift the championship.
    Kubica - Immense talent, now coming into his own. In a faster car, the sky's the limit.

    For anyone who thought I might mean Schumacher... ermmm... No.

  • Comment number 58.

    The people trying to write Lewis off are dreaming and hoping. Jake is bias toward Button and quite frankly hasn't got a clue,anything to undermine Lewis is good in his book.

    If you think Lewis is in corner somewhere crying then think again.Jenson got lucky,it was not his driving skills that won the race,it was chance and luck.

    All weekend Jake was gong on about Lewis and the incident on Friday night, all in the hope of unsettling him. The best driver of that race was Lewis but conveniently Jake and his Buddy DC have left out the bit where Button got his ... handed to him while Lewis was overtaking him,Button had to do something.

    Let's see if Button can do the same this week because up to now Lewis has out driven him in every quarter,button has had luck on his said but he can't gamble his way the whole season.

    This article sums it up nicely.

    The blogosphere has been bubbling in the last 24 hours with a special kind of anti-Lewis Hamilton article. Some glory in a ”idiot” quote from a minor Australian politician (see Marca, the Guardian); some still find tabloid inches from his minuscule motoring indiscretion; even respected commentators like James Allen are at the very least calling him “less mature” than Jenson Button. It seems the passion for knocking down those you have built up is not diminished. But Hamilton is still the pick of McLaren’s drivers following Australia, and here’s why.

    The decision to pit for slick tyres that Button made, while with hindsight extremely advantageous, was essentially a risky one. His crew were not ready when he made the decision, and this is anathema to an ultra-prepared team like McLaren. When he returned to the track, let us not forget, he immediately fell off the road and was lucky to avoid the quicksand-like gravel trap. It all could have ended so soon and in such ignominy for Button, but fortunately for him his luck was in. His luck was in that it didn’t rain again; his luck was in that Alonso was mystifyingly prevented from further attack; his luck was in that Vettel broke down. He was under no threat, and as such could drive in that silky way he does, and take the win.

    Hamilton’s only failing was that he, in contrast to Button and again to his own detriment, played the team game. He obeyed the team’s instruction to pit for a second set of dries, under the completely understandable misapprehension that the Ferraris and Kubica would have to pit again. Meanwhile, he had driven his heart out. He overtook Button in the early stages, fairly and beautifully, as well as Massa. He took Rosberg on, and passed him incredibly bravely at 150mph on the outside on the back straight. He chased the Ferraris down, lap after blistering lap, and would surely have disposed of Alonso and Massa in the final few laps. Many, not least Martin Brundle in his BBC column, agreed with the 25-year-old’s post race assertion that it had been one of his “best drives”.

    The belief that Hamilton would have destroyed his tyres because of a more ragged driving style is popular (and may have informed McLaren’s call), but unprovable. Hamilton has a reputation for being hard on tyres, but he did not suffer unduly in Bahrain. How tough the McLaren MP4-25 really is on its tyres, compared to its 2007 incarnation when shot tyres caused Hamilton championship woe in China, is yet to be seen, and could well be a 2010 weakness for the Stevenage man. But suffice it to say that some at Autosport actually believed after pre-season testing that it was Button who struggled to work heat into his Bridgestones, and wore them at a quicker rate, than Hamilton. All we know after Australia is that Lewis’ raw pace was enough to bring him to the back of the one-stoppers, despite he himself having made two. That means he made up a deficit of something approaching 30 seconds, an achievement that ranks with the very best. Surely that pace would have meant competition in the midst of the Ferraris at the very least had he not stopped again.

    The idea that Hamilton is somehow losing his cool, or that he is fazed by having Button in the team, is ludicrous. The mid-race transmission that Hamilton broadcast to his team and the world, about the second pitstop being a “freking terrible idea”, was inadvisable but completely justifiable, especially in the heat of the moment. Further to that, it is impossible to say his judgement was at fault when the team made the decision and he, in faith, followed it. McLaren also today ascribed Hamilton’s radio message to his desire to win. His adherence to the team line would seem to be much preferable to disregarding strategy, falling into the pits and falling off the road at Turn One, as Button did. Some have called Button’s win leadership from the cockpit; it could be called the luck of the gambler.

    Moreover, there is no justification for equating Button’s risky decision-making with maturity. Had Hamilton stayed out and it had turned out to be the wrong decision, he might also now be the target of jibes about cockiness and arrogance. In general, Hamilton as a man has come on leaps and bounds in the last year, particularly as he suffered the terrible MP4-24 and the Liegate scandal. The Australian weekend, even coupled with the road indiscretion, is in no way demonstrative of immaturity. There is something to be said for the idea, too, that it is Hamilton’s burning ambition that makes him such an exciting driver to watch. If (and it is a big if) it is an immature Hamilton that sparks such joy in the spectator, may he never grow up.

    With the exception of Australia qualifying, Hamilton has generally outpaced his fellow Brit up to now. Many consider him to be the fastest natural driver on the grid, with due deference to Fernando Alonso’s being the all-round best. Button is, as Mark Hughes has said, excellent when the car and the conditions play to his strengths. He has received the credit for the Australian win, as he should. But Hamilton is his superior in talent and speed, and Australia did not go any way to disproving that. Particularly as Button’s win owed nearly as much to chance as it did to his undoubted talent for tyre conservation.

    So let's get back to reality and my message to Lewis is,

    Head up mate the hate should only make you stronger because be in no doubt Jake and his Buddy DC want you to fail.

  • Comment number 59.

    Suggestions for Malaysia
    Do a piece on the Nivomat self levelling suspension, is it legal for F1? Also other systems for maintaining stable ride height that's not 'active suspension'. Also manual adjustable ride height, what's legal.
    Find out how much wear was left in Lewis's tyres in Oz

  • Comment number 60.

    "For anyone who thought I might mean Schumacher... ermmm... No."

    Don't worry G_K__ we read your posts for comedy value only.

  • Comment number 61.

    And DC should insist that you replay the pre-season question of "Who do you think will win the championship" You all laughed at him, but Vettel / Red Bull are the (fragile) team to beat

  • Comment number 62.

    Hi Jake, great blog and a wee observation on the coverage if I may... there was little comment on Buemi's qualification in 11th and less on Liuzzi's run to 7th. I think that these are interesting stories too and would like to hear your team views on these also.

    Otherwise, sleep, rise and realise that you are leading the beeb and F1 fans through a golden era in the sport. If you weren't so goddamn likeable I'd be even more jealous.

  • Comment number 63.

    #36 James McLaren - BBC much better post. I fear with so much emphasis being placed on Hamilton's emotional response we are at risk of making this an emotionless sport and as the first post it just emphasised that issue.

    I agree about the effect of Ron Dennis's departure. He was very much the old school and as a result very much more captivating as a personality even though he had his own language. Hamilton to me seems very much a product of his bullish result based approach who takes no prisoners. With Dennis gone I think he is making this fight his own and Whitmarsh, who is much less of a maverick, is struggling to handle him.

    Don't get me wrong Button's victory was effortlessly impressive and smooth but he did not provide the entertainment. Although I actually believe you need both ingredients to make a fascinating battle.

    For that reason I would hate this accusatory vendetta that seems to be waged whenever a driver, be it Hamilton or Alonso two years ago vent their frustrations. Do we really want this aspect removed from the sport? Are we so bent on proper behaviour we want to nullify the urge to watch the sport?

    For me it seemed a shame that the media focus on Hamilton's minor outburst over his scinitllating though ultimately fruitless drive. It also seems ironic that Hamilton was widely criticised as an emotionless automaton in his first two years and now he's a child who can't control his emotions - its a battle he can't win.

    However, I do think this is a watershed moment and I believe he will learn from this, in particular Button making a key strategic decision himself rather than relying on the team. Personally, I hope Hamilton blows Button out the water, not because I have anything against Button, but because he represents a safety first culture which runs counter to the spectacle provided by the sport. I would hate to see such an exciting talent cowed into an inferior car and ultimately out of the spotlight.

  • Comment number 64.

    Here's my question proper:

    In your interview with John Button at the end of the race, he suggested that a bit of brinkmanship could have been involved in JB running off track with slicks. While it was laughed off - could that really have been a possibility to throw other teams off the scent?


  • Comment number 65.

    Dane - great comment - thanks for the extract.

    One comment though - where is the soap opera in actually watching what happened on the track?

    Its the problem with so much of sporting journalism these days there are a few too many journalists who are not really fans of the sport who try to bring it into their comfort zone and away from the sport itself. I call it the Desmond Lynham factor. And in that drama they are free to spin it how they want away from the straitjacket imposed by what happens in the actual field of combat. Here they can impose their own rules and regulations as to who is the best using their own subjective criteria - reclaiming their power over the relatively level playing field that is sport.

    Having said that Button won it so credit to the man;)

  • Comment number 66.

    Think Lewis needs to reel back on the criticism - otherwise he could find himself out in the cold at Maclaren.

    Fair enough mistakes were made, but to publiclly beat on the team was out of order - particularly after only race number 2!

    Also on the coverage - I didn't stay up and watched the re-run - and shame on you lot for not including Martin Brundle's grid walk !!

    It's one of the best bits

    But a great race and a great job, so far, Jake !

  • Comment number 67.

    I live in Thailand and watch the F1 on ESPN/Starsports based in Singapore. Last year one of the main people on the panel was non other than Karun Chandhok. I found his comments and the reading of the race situation as it happened to be very informative. I hope he does well this year.

  • Comment number 68.

    Great blog as usual Jake and fantastic coverage of a brilliant race.

    However, I am disappointed with the reaction to Lewis Hamilton - he just can't win with some people. The majority of the action and excitement was provided by him, with some superb overtaking moves. He drove the whole race on the edge, never backing away from trying to secure a win. And he started 11th! Yet all the praise is directed at Button, who yes, did drive a good race and made a good call but let's not forget the help he received from Vettel's retirement.

    Lewis may have been frustrated with the team's strategy but he was completely gracious towards his team-mate.

    Lewis Hamilton makes F1 exciting and I hope people give him a break from the constant criticism.

  • Comment number 69.

    By the way Jake - a word to the wise - post moderation kills debate even if it might be a bit risky;)

  • Comment number 70.

    And I thought Button fans (of which I am one) had a chip on their shoulders! Hamilton fans seem, if anything, even more insecure! I can't imagine why.

    Anywho, this is about Jake's blog and not an open forum about the skills of drivers. Shall we show Jake a little respect and remain on-topic?

  • Comment number 71.

    Your blogs are rapidly improving jake, and a great drive from Jenson, but don't write Lewis off just yet.

    The only angst I have is with your view out of that airplane window, if you ever get the chance visit The Territory, and you'll see its anything but undistinctive, its gorgeous, wet or dry season.

  • Comment number 72.

    interesting thing for me is that jenson intimated that 'he' had made the call regarding changing the tyres whereas lewis was 'ordered' in by martin whitmarsh.. if lewis was so upset about changing the tyres why didn't he make his own call in jenson fashion??

  • Comment number 73.

    Seeing as f1 Needs " Spicing up " Threre's 1 thing Bernie needs to do . . . . HD HD HD ! Moto gp is now in HD as is World Superbikes!
    But alas the Pinnacle of motor sport is still in Bog standard vision :-(

    So my question is, is there any news as to when we can see f1 in HD?

  • Comment number 74.

    Suzanne - haven't you got some knitting to do?

  • Comment number 75.

    United Dreamer wrote [60] :

    "Don't worry G_K__ we read your posts for comedy value only."

    Confucius he say, 'Man who laugh at future, laugh at pelican in chip-wrapper...'

    See? I do Deep as well.

    Kubica, I tells ya, Kubica...

  • Comment number 76.

    United Dreamer - haven't you got a life to download?

  • Comment number 77.

    Although the Australian Grand Prix was thoroughly enjoyable, am I the only one who saw the seeds of a return to boredom in the coming races as a result of the new rules?

    It was rain that made the difference in Australia and if we get another couple of wet races this year, we'll be lucky. More realistically, just look at Schumacher's impotency in following Alguesuari for lap after lap and Hamilton's inability to pass Alonso for confirmation of the return of the procession that will be most future races. I sincerely hope I'm in error, but fear I'm not. I wonder if Bernie could gain control of the weather?

  • Comment number 78.

    66. JDizzle

    Lewis has moved on from the weekend but unfortunately people like yourself and Jake plus the media can't seem to. Now obviously you really don't follow Mclaren and comments they make on their site or you would know that they have no problem with Lewis whatsoever.

    Don't be blinded into thinking that because Jenson got lucky all of a sudden Lewis is second best at Mclaren, that's wishful thinking on your part and no doubt Jakes and DCs.

    Just to enlighten you in read the below posted Monday 29th April by Martian Whitmarsh.

    Monday, 29 March 2010

    “This was probably one of the drives of my life. Okay, it’s possible that the decision to make a second tyre stop wasn’t the right one, but my team are a brilliant bunch of guys and they usually get it spot-on. I guess things can’t always pan out right every time, but that’s motor racing.

    “It was disappointing to taken out by Mark Webber, but I hear he apologised for it after the race so I appreciate that. I’m happy with the job I did – I drove my heart out today and the car felt good.

    “Could Jenson and I have had a one-two today? Maybe, yes, but you can’t say for sure. One thing I can say for sure, though, is that he drove a great race. Congratulations to him for an excellent first win for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes – it’s a good feeling!

    "I’ll just keep fighting. It’s the only way I know.”


    Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
    "After starting 11th, Lewis once again showed the grit, determination, passion and bravery that has made him one of the most exciting racing drivers in the world.

    “In less than an hour this afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that he almost single-handedly debunked the much-touted recent theory that Formula 1 has become boring. On the contrary, he entertained millions of people around the world with a series of audacious and thrilling overtaking manoeuvres.

    “While we concede that, with hindsight, it’s possible that we may have been better served by calling Lewis’s tyre strategy differently, we’re enormously encouraged by his never-give-up attitude and his ever-exciting talent.

    “So we leave Albert Park hugely encouraged by the pace we were able to demonstrate, and we head to Malaysia keen to maintain that momentum."

  • Comment number 79.

    "76. At 12:42pm on 30 Mar 2010, Suzanne wrote:
    United Dreamer - haven't you got a life to download?

    At the moment too busy sharing my shoulder chips with the unininspiring. But I'll get onto it. What format do you need it in?

  • Comment number 80.

    Why is the BBC so anti-Hamilton?

    He's the best thing in F1 by some considerable margin.

    BBC suck!

  • Comment number 81.

    I am a Jenson Button fan. That is not to say I am not a Lewis Hamilton fan. It would appear that all Lewis Hamilton fans hate Jenson Button! Do they feel threatened?
    I aim this message particularly at 'Dane' who messaged at 10.10 this morning claiming the only reason Jenson won was because of luck. No doubt he believes Jenson won the 2009 crown out of luck and Lewis won his only on his brilliance. I point out at this point Hungary 2008. If Massa hadn't blown his engine, he would have won the championship. (that would be a large slice of luck then!)
    I do not deny that luck favoured Jenson and not Lewis in Australia but after Jenson's off when he went on the slicks did you see a single error from Jenson for the rest of the race? That’s 52 laps of perfect driving and the fact that he wasn't quite the quickest (over Vettel) was down to the car not the driver. To set a lap time only 1 second off lewis on old tyres in the last ten laps of the race, when Lewis set his on new tyre says something about his ability in the current climite that Lewis does not yet have.
    I know all you Hamilton fans won’t admit it, but to win the championship this year Lewis will have to drive more like Jenson more often. Although I personaly put the pair of them as third favourite to win the championship behind Vettel and Alonso.
    A final message to all the British F1 fans, support both our world champions and enjoy this season as it is shaping up beautifully!

  • Comment number 82.

    Many people are accusing the BBC of bias for failing to big up Hamilton's drive. I don't think this is fair, as all involved have mentioned how well he drove. However, after the 2nd tyre change, he never challenged for the lead, so why labour the point? And incidentally, that tyre change was universally acknowledged as a potential tactical masterstroke at the time. Hindsight is 20/20.

    Maybe Kovalainen or Chandhok drove a blinder, too. But as they were not challenging for the lead, they weren't the focus of attention, either. Likewise, double World Champion Fernando Alonso was in a poor car for the last 2 seasons. Are the commentators expected to ignore the winners of those races and concentrate on how well Fernando did in battling from 17th to 9th?

    Hamilton's drive was fast and committed. This may indicate that he will be a force in this year's Championship. But as regards the Australian GP, it's an interesting side story, nothing more.

  • Comment number 83.

    A serious question: Why does the BBC need Jake Humphrey on the F1 broadcast team? Martin Brundle, David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan are all ex-F1 greats, and talk with the authority of insiders about what's going on. They all, also, have great TV presence. Even Jonathan Legard has been covering motorsport for the BBC for 13 years and obviously knows what he's talking about when commentating with Martin Brundle.

    Jake's previous experience? CBBC!! I just don't get it. As far as I am concerned he contributes absolutely nothing to the coverage, has no credibility with the F1 teams and his comments on air are frequently ignorant and facetious. What a waste of time and money!

  • Comment number 84.

    Great Blog Jake.

    I don’t know what all the fuss is over Hamilton’s so called "outburst", lets face it, he will be pumped up with adrenaline, wanted to do well, and it’s the first un-edited, thoughtless comment which all of us would make in his situation.

    I like my racing drivers to have that edge and need to be at the top of their game, questioning the decisions as to why he came in.

    We don’t want to end up with 24 bland racing drivers, not commenting on anything and just accepting to come runner up.

    But that aside, a near perfect drive for Button to win his first race for McLaren, but I do feel for Vettel as he should be on 50pts if it wasn’t for the cars problems.

    My only worry is that we need rain to make the races interesting, im hope that we have some exciting races without the need for rain, and im sure some experts or pundits can put me straight on that.

    Final comment, people need to give Schuey a little bit more time, lets face it he’s not doing that badly considering he is not in the fastest car, he’s been out of competitive top class racing for 3 years, needs to get used to the car, and has managed to finish in the top 10 in both races! Good in my opinion, C+ but has room for improvement. My bet is he will be on the podium in Barcelona and Spa, maybe a win at one of them.

  • Comment number 85.

    I find it irresponsible that British journalists are trying their hardest to fuel divisions in a British team with two British drivers. It has become apparent that there is bias and favouratism towards one driver over another. Is one more British than the other? Anyone who has minimal knowledg about formula one will appreciate that Hamilton did deserve more than he got on that race, his reaction might polarise opinions but his perfomance was exeptional.

  • Comment number 86.

    "And incidentally, that tyre change was universally acknowledged as a potential tactical masterstroke at the time."

    #82 Now thats what I call potential base covering! I think the problem most Hamilton supporters have, me included, is the way that his comment has become the summary of the race when he, in fact, apart from the start, made the race universally acknowledged as entertaining.

  • Comment number 87.

    After all the moaning about F1 & BBC HD, why has no-one commented on the link below that was quoted in #21 -

    Seems to show that qualifying and the GP will on BBC HD !!!!

  • Comment number 88.


    1. Jenson did have a fair amount of luck at the weekend,yeah he made a bold decision but only after Lewis had come from 11th to pass him easily,Jenson had no answer to that other than the pit stop which paid off.

    2. Jenson did not win the race because of his superior driving,he won it because he pitted before everyone else and was not challenged for the rest of the race,of course he is going to coast home.

    3. Last year Jenson had a great car which dominated the first half of the season,it was impossible for everyone to catch up when he had that sort of head start. Look at the second half of the season when other cars/team began to come in line with him,he was lacking the second half of the season even being out driven by his team mate,this is fact.

    4. Every driver has had to have a bit of luck so yes you could attribute that to all driver since the start of F1.

    5. Jenson is not as quick as Lewis even on his best days,this is fact. Lewis does not have to drive like Jenson to win the WDC this year,he showed that in Bahrain,it was Jenson who was struggling with tyres not Lewis.

    6. The best driver in Australia was Lewis it was him that actually made the race exciting,i didn't see the camera on Jenson like it was on Lewis.

    7. I am a Mclaren fan but i will stick up for Lewis because the anti bbc and the likes of Jake and DCs are hoping he does lose,it's plain to see. Let's hope the excuses on why Button doesn't win another race this season our good because the unfair treatment excuse will not wash.

    Roll on this weekend.

  • Comment number 89.

    All this Button bias is really sickening me at the moment especially Legard's latest tweet, totally unproffesional and unnecessary. Doesn't bode well for the rest of the season.

  • Comment number 90.

    @ mautner

    Everyone has to start somewhere mate, and he is doing a good job whilst he finds his feet.

    I remember when Jim Rosenthal started doing it on ITV, he wasnt great to start with, and when he was replaced by Tyler I missed him. It was the same with Murray Walker as well, i never thought i would listen to F1 again with as good a commentator, but with Jonathan Legard its just sounds right.

    But i will never forget the Walker quote of "There's a BODY on the track"

    With Hunt coming in a saying "a piece of body work Murray"

  • Comment number 91.

    Jake...great blog and continued superb BBC coverage.

    just a quick thought re. Lewis sacking his Dad as his manager. whatever the reasons for it, i really think that Lewis could do with his Dad there at races right now as 'his Dad'.
    Sure, get someone experienced in to handle the multitude of bits like contracts, politics, behind the scenes stuff etc etc but looking at how Melbourne panned out, in my opinion, he could really use his Dad there not as his manager but for personal guidance, support even arm round shoulder type stuff.
    Think he got some of that from Ron Dennis in the past too so without AH or RD there this year then maybe bit more on his shoulders and having an affect?
    just my take on it but would be good to see AH in the garage again at Malaysia!
    keep up the great work, dont forget your Umbrella for this weekend!!!

  • Comment number 92.

    Question for Jake: When you are interviewing the drivers, how candid do you think they are with you? Do any of them seem happier to discuss things frankly or are they all just fulfilling team press obligations? And who's your favourite????!

  • Comment number 93.

    Don't worry maisie - they are just getting the celebrations in now while they still can;)

    Personally I'm loving the pedestal they've put Jensen on - I'm looking at it with the same fondness I imagine Fred Dibnah would have viewed a chimneystack (for those old enough to remember - alas);)

  • Comment number 94.

    @ Dane......loving your posts mate!!! Spot on in every way.....

    The whole truth and nothing but the truth.....

    I love facts because they can't be distorted or twisted!!!

  • Comment number 95.

    "But he was graceful enough to congratulate Button and actually drove an incredible race himself. It's also worth taking a look at this video embedded below. We shot it in Woking just a few days before the season started. What it doesn't show is that Jenson was even more relaxed off camera. "

    He was a damn site LESS relaxed when you drove him round the track last year Jake!

  • Comment number 96.

    88. DANE

    I will concede the point about Lewis passing Jenson before his pit stop, but I think that was more to do with the fact that Jensons tyres were shot and half a lap isn’t enough time to judge whether he could have responded.
    Behind Jenson for the majority of the race were 1 Renault, 2 Ferraris, 2 Mercedes, 1 Red Bull and his McLaren team mate. Surely if his driving wasn’t good enough to win the race, one of them would have passed him. They had 50 odd laps to do it and no one got close.
    Rubens Barricello only finished a race ahead of Jenson 4 (yes FOUR) times last year. Is that really being out driven? Bearing in mind one of those 4 was SPA where Jenson was taken out by Hamilton (who he himself was taken out by a Renault).
    I don’t think you can say Lewis is faster as fact at this stage of the season. Jenson has more points and Quali stands at 1-1. Also I don’t recall Jenson having issues with tyres in Bahrain, only that he couldn’t get past Schumacher, which was a problem Lewis had with Rosburg earlier in the race.
    The best driver is the one who wins. The one who makes the right calls at the right time. The best driver is not necessarily the most entertaining driver.
    As for anti Lewis on the BBC, I’ve never hear such drivel! They were full of praise for his drive. Only the slight immaturity he showed towards the team for there poor race strategy. People get things wrong and make mistakes and all drivers not just Lewis have to accept they will happen from time to time. Next time it could be his turn to apologise (I’m thinking here of Monza last year when he needlessly crashed out of third place on the last lap!).
    Looking forward to seeing who will come out on top this weekend. If it rains like they are saying it will then I can only see Lewis winning. I was at Silverstone in 08 and a better drive I will never see!

  • Comment number 97.

    McLaren is no longer Team Lewis. They've clearly taken Jenson to their hearts as they did with Hamilton in 2007, unfortunately on that occasion the tensions between Alonso & Hamilton split the team. The aftermath of this race reminded me a little of Malaysia '07, all smiles and hugs in the red shirts, but Hamilton coming on the radio at the end of the race to make it clear how he felt in both cases. It's gonna be interesting to see how the inter-team relationship pans out over the course of the season, will they both still be there in 2011? Lewis didn't do himself any favours with all his antics this weekend despite the great overtakes.

    Hats off to Button, we're only 2 races into 2010, but everyone slated him for leaving Brawn to take on Hamilton, saying Hamilton would walk all over him. It's gonna be a close fight between these two, and only one of them can win.

    Button won the race, Hamilton didn't. The best driver on the day was ultimately the guy who won the race.

    A lot of people are saying that the best driver didn't win the race and how regardless of where Hamilton finished he was the best driver due to his great overtaking. This reminds me a little of how Mansell used to be compared to Senna. Arguably Mansell's career was more defined by his fighting spirit and breathtaking overtaking moves. Examples: Silverstone '87, Hungary '89, Mexico '90, Barcelona '91, much like Hamilton. However Senna was always considered the better driver, due to his breathtaking speed and the fact that he achieved more results than Mansell. 3 World Titles and 41 race wins to Mansell's 1 World Title and 31 race wins.

    Unlike Hamilton in this race, no one ever said that Mansell was the better driver on some of those days, when he was pulling off these overtakes on other drivers, and Senna was up the front winning the race. The point is in F1 results are king. At the end of the season, no one will be saying Button got 25 points in Australia, but Hamilton was the best driver on that day. The best driver at the end of this season will be crowned the 2010 World Champion.

    I'm sick of Hamilton fans slagging off Alonso or now in this case Button. Button will beat Hamilton on other occasions this season, Hamilton fans - deal with it. Button will out-qualify Hamilton and finish ahead of him on some days. Button is too good, to just be beaten comprehensively by Hamilton at every time of asking. It's gonna be a close fight. Currently Jenson is winning.

  • Comment number 98.

    We all know how Hamilton doesn't like to loose and I'd imagine that is doubled when his teammate wins so how do you think he will respond in Malaysia?

  • Comment number 99.

    Haha - I've seen it all now. Button compared to Senna. Superb!

  • Comment number 100.

    How about a radical approach to the question of turbulence arising from the aerodynamics of one car in front of another? Why not just ban all the wings and fancy pieces of bodywork and diffusers? When I first started watching motor sport in the 50s there were no such accoutrements and we were often treated to wheel-to-wheel racing at all levels. Remember Hawthorn vs Fangio in the French GP of 1953? In those days cars would follow each other closely in order to gain an advantage from slipstreaming.Just a thought.
    Thanks for great commentary and analysis from all your team at the BBC.


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