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An eventful day at Monza

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Jake Humphrey | 17:17 UK time, Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Hi there, thanks for being patient waiting for this week's blog. I had plenty of Twitter messages asking me to pull my finger out and well here it is, finally.

I try and get these posts written in the immediate aftermath of a race weekend but with a busy time in Italy I didn't quite manage it, here's why.

After an incredibly emotional win for Ferrari, and an F1 Forum that lasted well over an hour, I was dragged by EJ into the Sauber motor home as soon as we came off air. Eddie was remarking that I am 'too polite' and have 'too many manners'. Essentially, what he meant was that I shouldn't be shy about the fact that we'd snuck in, plonked ourselves in the middle of the Sauber staff trying to clear up and then nicked the delicious lasagne reserved for the muscular blokes packing away their 'paddock palace'.

Fernando Alonso celebrates victory at Monza

After almost nothing passing my lips since breakfast, I was grateful for the food and the ice cold beer that the staff were only too happy to provide. One thing EJ always manages to get is what he wants, it clearly stood him in good stead in his team boss days!

Anyway, this weekend's prep actually started a couple of days before when I was in an empty school playground in south-east London driving a moped that wasn't mine. Now, don't panic and think that between GP's I'm out joyriding around the capital, I was in fact doing my CBT course to ride a motorbike.

I love the fact that the F1 team come up with the kind of ideas that no normal person would even consider such as a hot air balloon with EJ over Silverstone, the glitzy Monaco opening in a helicopter and Martin and his E-Type on the Channel Tunnel. This week the inspiration was 'Jake, DC and EJ arriving in Monza on scooters'.

The only problem being that while David and Eddie were fully qualified, I wasn't. Therefore we found a CBT course in London and there I was in a bright yellow jacket and L-plates doing a figure of eight in a school playground.

Almost every question my incredibly patient instructor Simon asked me I managed to get wrong. However after he re-educated my brain and I'd got control of the bike on to the roads we went.

Now, I sometimes long to be back where I grew up in Norwich with my family and this was one such moment. As I gingerly pulled out on to the main road I thought that it was busy -then I remembered it was a tube strike day.

The roads were heaving and I was suddenly crossing Battersea Bridge, motoring in front of the Houses of Parliament and trying desperately not to ride with my fingers over the brakes, which I kept doing.

Thankfully the day ended with Simon signing my certificate and so I was able to take to the streets of Monza with my pals, despite EJ ending up on a yellow bike (rather than a green one which would have gone with our white and red ones to replicate the Italian flag). However, in his words "Yellow is in my veins!".

Actually, when I saw the edited opening piece and Eddie standing on the podium celebrating a Jordan win, it reminded me just what these two guys have achieved. Once you get to know a person you quickly forget the baggage they carry and focus on the individual, personal relationship you share. It is a bit like having a scary boss who becomes a good mate. To that end Eddie and David have become friends rather than the famous people they were when I first met them.

It's amazing how life has changed for them both. I was getting my earpieces and microphone fitted in the paddock about an hour before the show and DC and I were chatting to a couple of the Virgin Racing guys when Sebastian Vettel sprinted through the paddock followed by a surge of media people.

I looked at David and thought that 12 years ago he wouldn't be able to just stand and chat about life because he, too, was inside the F1 pressure cooker.

I just hope the current crop of drivers appreciate being the centre of the F1 universe because it doesn't last forever!

F1's loss is our gain as we now get to hear from the boys every weekend. Mind you, this one was trickier than others to actually hear what they were saying.

On the Saturday it was such a crush outside the Ferrari garage that I lost my essential communication with the gallery. People were squeezed up to the pack on my belt so closely that all suddenly went quiet. Not good when the only way I can hear Eddie and David is because they are fed electronically down my ears.

It's so loud in the pitlane that we have to wear ear defenders and what we say to each other goes down the microphone, into the sound gallery and back into our earpieces.

Thankfully the crowd moved slightly and I regained my communications and hopefully you didn't even notice!

It was an early reminder about the passion that courses around that place and sometimes overflows.

On Sunday it was quite funny because we were surrounded by the red-clad crowd as 'The Chain' was ringing in our ears and I was all geared up to ask David about the Italian love of Ferrari.

Then, with seconds to go until the show went on air, FOM suddenly closed the pitlane and cleared the crowd. I needed a quick rethink of my first question!

One of the aims of the show is to get you guys even closer to the action than you've ever been before, that's why I quite like a bit of madness and the odd badly-behaved member of the crowd or a cheeky pitcrew member. Take Saturday and one of the Ferrari guys who clearly knew we were on air and could have waited but decided to wheel a whole rack of tyres in front of Eddie who promptly disappeared behind them. All good fun.

From the huge roar that went up when Lewis ended up in the gravel, to the sea of Tifosi who descended onto the pit lane at the end of the grand prix, I think the fans were the main story of the weekend and I for one would love to see more of that kind of thing.

It was clear that part of the elation in Italy was due to Fernando being smack in the middle of the title race and this is an interesting part of the season to chat to the drivers.

I reminded Jenson last week that in 2009 he looked seriously stressed and under pressure at this point. By contrast, he looks super chilled-out this year. Is that the confidence of a champion?

The same applies to Lewis. Perhaps after our console exploits with Nic, when I took on the Hamilton brothers at the latest F1 video game, he thought he had the damage option turned to off in the opening lap of the race.

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It was great to see Lewis and his bro interacting with each other and he is another man that doesn't seem in the slightest bit phased by what may lie ahead. He was relaxed, confident, and joking about the rival cars, of course.

I won't criticise his over-exuberance or Vettel's recent exploits. They might not be conducive to winning a title but they entertain and that is why we watch the sport isn't it?

Anyway, whilst Lewis, Fernando and Jenson will be reveling in the moment, do spare a thought for poor Karun Chandhok who seems like he's driven his last race of 2010.

I'm off to India to see the new circuit and get a Delhi tour with Karun before heading to Singapore, which is great, but I'm sure he'd rather be behind the wheel of an F1 car. If you don't already, I'd suggest you get following me on Twitter and I'll post plenty of photos of the trip.

Right, off home to watch back the F1 Forum. If you missed it then you missed plenty so have a look and I'll see you for more in Singapore.

I'm also going to make dinner as I need to be the perfect husband whilst I'm actually at home. Have you seen the 2011 calendar...!?!


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Jake, excellent blog as ever and great coverage.

    You asked for coverage ideas on Twitter, I hope you got mine.

    You and the whole team (each and every one of you from in front of camera to behind) do an outstanding job. If you don't win a Bafta this year I will extremely shocked!

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Jake
    Re coverage ideas, how about following me and my family on our first visit to a Grand Prix. We have been gifted tickets to the Abu Dhabi race by my sister who lives in Abu Dhabi. My husband and I have been life long fans and have passed the bug to our 17 year old daughter who is in love with Alonso.
    How about showing an average family's first time experience of a very glamourous event.

    The Clark Family

  • Comment number 3.

    Great blog as always Jake. Its such a shame about Karun but hes an excellent commentator in the practice sessions!

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Jake. Great coverage as usual.

    One suggestion - how about updating the BBC screen graphics for F1, such as the driver standings and name captions, to include the new font that the BBC use for other sports. It looks much better with white text on a black background and the new font than a big screen full of white with black text (I notice that you do use the new font in the 'F1 Forum coming up...' caption on the red button).

  • Comment number 5.

    Nice1 Jake.

    Thumbs up to Karun. I've been damn impressed by how silky he is at the broadcasting game!

    Hope he gets a drive sorted out soon. He's still ahead of Bruno, Sakon and Timo in the Championship table.

  • Comment number 6.

    @ 3

    I thought exactly the same thing when I was watching the practises last week. His knowledge was spot on, and guessed the positions from rough timings fairly accurately during qualifying. I'd be very happy if the BBC managed to persuade Karun to stay on the commentry permanently. Thoughts?

    @ Jake- Excellent blog as always. Are you going to buy a motorbike now then? Or stick to the scooters?

  • Comment number 7.

    I really hope Karun gets a race seat. If the Indian gp goes ahead and you have an Indian driver ready to go it would be insane not to use him! It surely must be a sponsorship issue because Sakon Yamamoto has had plenty of chances and never really impressed and I don't think we have even heard from him. Karun is a good commentator though. Cannae wait for the next race, hoping for a Jenson victory or Fernando or Sebastien just to keep it interesting although I want either Button/Webber/Hamilton to actually win the title.

  • Comment number 8.

    Loved the forum and the bit with Eddie Irvine was superb - Schumi mucking up his 1999 title challenge, EJ getting $4mill for EI going to Ferrari.

    Please try and get more of the "old skool" drivers telling us the truth behind what happened in their careers on future forums.

    Aldo thought Karun was great on 5 live and the podcast, Ant D has got a fight for his day job

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

    Idea for coverage.

    A few years ago on the other side, they showed laps of leading drivers, and drivers at the front and rear in like a overlayed shadow mode so that you saw both cars on track at the same time and could see the fractionally different lines taken by different drivers.

    This would be good to see again.

    It would also be great to see the same driver car replay two different laps to demonstrate how well the replicate the same lines and times lap after lap.

  • Comment number 11.

    Have to echo the other sentiments here, have been an F1 fan since the days when (the legends) Murray Walker and James Hunt were commentating and have to say you've completely revolutionised the coverage since it returned to the BBC. The inside info and footage you get during the weekend is superb, and the forum adds the sort of detail every F1 addict loves.

    The various intros are also great, with the Brundle 'roadtrip' a particular favourite, and the tour with Karun sounds good. But please ignore the suggestion in #2 - no offence to the "Clark family" but there are enough reality shows on tv, we'd far rather spend our viewing time on the sport itself, and those characters such as Eddie Irvine with real stories to tell.

  • Comment number 12.

    Hi Jake,
    This season is the best ever and you, DC, EJ and the whole team are fantastic. I'm a student so getting up before 2pm is tough (even tougher than it is for Alonso to forget there is another F1 driver other than LH), but I find myself up by 11am having breakfast ready for the race build up! Its testament to the effort you all put in!
    Im hoping to be a journalist in the future, so maybe we will cross paths in the future, I hope we do and I hope its because of F1...
    If you see Lewis Hamilton, tell him theres 6 pints of the finest riding on him, no pressure.

    George, Wales

  • Comment number 13.

    I remember doing my CBT.

    OSM PSL etc.

    Great fun and a good lesson in road awareness.

    I know a few drivers who could benefit from it.

  • Comment number 14.

    Yes, I do spare a thought for Karun. He drove really solidly. He's still ahead of Senna and Yamamoto in the Drivers' Championship, and I reckon he'll still be ahead of them at the end of the season. And he was good on the show.

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi Jake, loved the blog.Hi Harriet, how are you.Really loved the Scooters it was such fun.A good race but MY HUSBAND reckons if Alonso is in for the championship well he will be gardening more and more.OH DEAR.any way we should have a great garden.Was down in Norfolk last week.Thought of you.Looking foward to Singapore,have been there not racing a stop over from f1 Australia.Night night .Kath.x

  • Comment number 16.

    Another great insight into the F1 life we rarely get to, cheers Jake keep it up mate ;)
    i have to agree with the Karun theme going on on here, i love his easy style when commentating, 5 live for practise just gets better and better, i love Ants input and with him and Karun we're pretty spoiled really, nice Beeb :)

  • Comment number 17.

    If you do read the comments Jake, here are some stats (I know you like your stats!) Using the old scoring method (I couldn't sleep, so I thought it add it all up :), this is how the top 6 would stand -
    Hamilton 75
    Webber 74
    Alonso 67
    Button 67
    Vettel 66
    Massa 50
    Also Schumacher would have amassed only 15 points!
    Pretty much the same really, top 5 covered by one win, but Hamilton would be on top, does the new system really reward guts and aggressive driving?! Alonso’s points also suggest he’s been inconsistent despite the three wins. Massa isn’t a million miles away; he would be 2 points closer if it wasn’t for the fiasco with Ferrari! The new system looks like it rewards the mid to low teams really but I guess with a big grid its fair.

  • Comment number 18.

    Hi Jake,

    Glad to see your blog at long last!

    Excellent coverage of the Italian GP from the BBC as usual and I enjoyed the opening with you, EJ and DC on mopeds.

    Also I enjoyed the video with Lewis, Nick and yourself playing the F1 2010 game. I cannot wait until this game comes out next week and put my skills to the test. It would be good to "hook up on line" as Lewis says and challenge you!

    As for the race, great start by Button and Lewis - shame that Lewis make his first mistake of this years championships.

    As for Button in particular he was a sitting duck on the straights and was it was only a matter of time before he would lose the lead unfortunately.

    Its a shame that Alonso won especially after the German GP and lets hope he doesn't win anymore.

    As for Hulkenberg on Webber the guy should have picked up a penalty as he was cutting every corner when he was shown on screen.

    Looking forward to the nightrace in Singapore its a shame this race can't be in HD because it would be fantastic.

    Only 5 races left and this championship is up for grabs - pressure is now on drivers and teams and no one can afford to finish outside the points.

  • Comment number 19.


    I had to laugh, you say you have been a fan since Murray Walker and James Hunt were commentating. I started watching in James Hunt championship winning year.

    OMG I feel old

  • Comment number 20.

    Jake ,

    I have to say that when you got the gig of presenting F1, I was less than impressed - I thought that an ex Ch5 american footy presenter was going to be a disaster.

    Now, I eat humble pie. The chemistry between yourself EJ, DC and Martin B is unsurpassed, and makes the whole programme unmissable.. well, usually the race itself is missable, but not the build up and the forum.
    Its a brilliant production, and you are exactly the right man for the job. Brilliant.

    Also, I have to say that I like Karun as a driver, but on R5 Live and the podcast, he is excellent as a co-commentator :: I think that Ant D had better watch out !!

    Monza? Oh yeah, the race --- it was OK I suppose ...

    Victor Meldrew

  • Comment number 21.

    Hiya Jake,& whoever else reads this comment..I'm a first time blogger if thats the term used so please be patient.Many years ago a certain M.Schumacher and D Hill were neck and neck in the title race at the end of the F1 season,and lo and behold Mr Schumacher took Mr Hill out of the race(as well as himself)but he still won the championship.In your (or anyone else's opinion)is that sort of thing likely to happen this year,if the drivers are very close at the final race...will there be a bit of skullduggery taking place with team mates who have no chance of winning the title,or are the powers to be expecting something like that,and ready to come down on the culprits like a ton of bricks.

  • Comment number 22.

    Have to say it was great to see Eddie Irvine on the F1 forum (god only know what it must have been like to be in a team with him and Eddie Jordan back in the day!!). As for the race personally i like to see the young up and coming drivers like Hulkenburg getting up the noses of the older established drivers (all adds to the drama and excitement). Shame Lewis and Jenson couldn't do better.
    On a seperate note nice to see Hiedfeld returning to the F1 grid for the last few races (suprised he didn't get a drive in the first place, plus the fact he always has the coolest shades on the pit lane!!)

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi Jake,

    Nice blog as usual. I have been waiting to hear an anouncement about Indian Grand Prix since 2006. The Venue was changed everytime in different parts of India. At last the Capital Delhi got the opportunity. Heared from friends the work has been going very well and quick inorder to finish by May. Thank God, atlast "WE" are going to have "Indian Grand Prix". The dream come true and Thanks for Jaypee Group, Vijay Mallaya and whoever involved in this to be success. As Herman Tilke said the circuit will be 5th greatest and tricky circuit in the world.

    Can't wait to see the Indian Grand Prix when itd finished and Ofcourse the Race live in India. BTW dont forget to taste the greatest and famous Indian Dish "BIRYANI" when you get there. The taste is differnt than what you get here.

    Have a Nice Journey and Cant wait to see the Pics.

  • Comment number 24.

    From all the comments above it looks like Karun will have a great career as a commentator if we have seen the last of him in an F1 car - even so I hope that isn't the case and gets a drive for 2011

  • Comment number 25.

    Good morning Jake

    Excellent coverage as usual. One thing I would really like to see, and I think someone else mentioned it a few weeks back - following the crews on their journey from one race to the other, showing how those massive motorhomes are put together, how the cars and equipment are transported and everything else that the wider F1 team members have to do to set up for a race. That would really interest me.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 26.

    Hi Jake,

    I enjoyed the BBC F1 Monza coverage and the feature on safety was interesting but I think you should have also mentioned one of the major contributors to improving F1 safety - Professor Sid Watkins!

    The FIA has recognized Watkins for being largely responsible for the modernization of medical standards in Formula One as well as the saving of many lives including Didier Pironi (1982) and Rubens Barrichello (1994). Watkins demanded that Ecclestone provide better safety equipment, an anaesthetist, a medical car and a medical helicopter (Medevac)and so I think his contribution should be recognised!

    Why was nothing mentioned regarding his involvement in improving F1 safety?

  • Comment number 27.

    @17 - It is no surprise that the results are so close on the old points system because the new points system was based on the old points system multiplied by 2.5. They made a couple of tweaks, the most significant being dropping 2nd place from 20 points to 18 points; it was originally 20 when the system was designed, but they took two points off to give more value to a win, to appease Bernie who had been very vocal about drivers settling for second place.

    The reason Mark and Lewis swap around is that Lewis has one more second place than Mark, and has scored a lot more lower points positions which have been rounded up to allow for the points to go down to 10th place. All in all he has effective gained 3 points over Lewis on the old system and is only 2 points out, which is why they swap around.

    As I have said, it is no surprise that the championship is so close, because anyone with a basic grasp of mathematics can tell you that it is virtually identical to the old points system, and thus it irritates me when I hear people continually banging on about "how the new points system is giving us such a close championship"

    No! The new points system has NOTHING to do with the closeness of this years championship whatsoever. It is entirely to do with the fact the top 5 drivers have managed to extract a very similar overall level of performance from their cars.

    What would make a big difference to the closeness of the championship are the older methods of scoring from before 2003, where a win was substantially more rewarded than it is today, and points only went down to 6th place (at a time when we had larger grids than we do today).

    Under 10-6-4-3-2-1 (Column 1) and 9-6-4-3-2-1 (Column 2) the results would be like this:

    Mark 70 66
    Lewis 61 58
    Alonso 53 50
    Button 49 47
    Vettel 48 46
    Massa 30 30

    Vettel and Button are two wins off of the front, and Massa, needing 4 wins to Webber no scores is all but mathematically out of the championship.

  • Comment number 28.

    Hi Jake, as usual fantastic blog! the clip with you, EJ and DC driving round on your bikes was just brilliant, and with regards to your comments in your blog about them going from F1 to co-presenters with you, Its just great for us fans too to have Martin commentating and EJ & DC alongside you presenting it! its brilliant, and the banter that goes on between the three of you - classic! Obviously I love watching the GP! but now I'm switching more and more to the RED button just to watch and listen to your guys comments afterwards. I've actually got friends who watch you guys, then Martin's grid walk and only watch the beginning and the end of the GP! I have to watch the whole thing just in case I miss something :0) Anyway, fantastic as always, thanks to all you guys.

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi Jake. Like so many others I really enjoy the coverage of F1 on BBC. Unfortunately, when the other side "had it" I got fed up with the constant interruptions and lack of professionalism and drifted away from F1 altogether. I was so relieved when the BBC got it back and have once again been hooked, to the extent that I refuse to work on Fridays cos that is my day for watching P1 and P2! I am part-time in my dotage but sometimes get asked to do extra days. As for new ideas, I agree with 25.Alex and would also like to see more behind the scenes stuff, e.g. the motorhomes moving from venue to venue etc., and how come we never get to see the pre-race parade? As far as I can remember it's been shown only once. Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 30.

    As commented above, I also tend to prioritise pre and post race coverage over the race itself if I know it's a track with few over-taking opportunities.
    Jake - could we have more technical discussion and analysis? E.g. what is a flexible front wing and how does is give an advantage? How exactly are certain cars better suited to certain tracks, rather than general statements about high/low downforce? And if this kind of thing doesn't have a broad enough appeal, maybe it could be reserved for the website/red button?
    F1 is the ultimate in motorsport for driving skill, personalities and politics, but it's also the ultimate for technology, and understanding more about the development and 'technological arms race' would also be great. Especially as the relative performance of the cars is such a big factor in the overall outcome.
    And yes, I hope Chandok gets back in the car soon, though he's such a great commentator/pundit, he might be inadvertently lining himself up for something else!

  • Comment number 31.

    I'd love to get one of those driving set ups featured in the video above. Does anyone know what model of game pod (im guessing) the seat, pedals etc is and where you can buy one? I'd even like to know what type of head sets the guys were using if possible so I can recreate the whole set up as it looked great fun. Anyone know anything that could help me get this stuff?? Cheers

  • Comment number 32.

    Great Blog, Great Forum and Great Show - not to mention a Great Weekend.
    As always the coverage is brilliant, you could even say Fantastic !!!! (does that sound like Murray ??)
    Seeing EI on the Forum was amazing, especially the way you called him over in the Lotus Hospitality area.
    It is such a shame about Karun, but hopefully the Beeb will continue to utilise his services during the Practice sessions, as it adds an extra dimension to the Crofty and Hammy show...
    Keep up the good work (I know you will) and roll on Singapore.....
    btw Glad to hear that EJ is looking after you - you don't want to end up unwell and miss out on the action..... especially when it is this close.
    As for other ideas, more of the same hopefully with more interviews of past champions, that still travel the F1 Circuit, and get there views on how things are and there take on the current F1 era.

    Jenson for the Championship - hopefully......

    p.s. Ask DC if he thinks Paul Di Resta should have a seat in F1 next season, he had a great Drive at Brands Hatch the other weekend...

  • Comment number 33.

    Great coverage once again. Mixed feelings over Lewis's weekend - it wouldn't be him if he didn't go for that move and he was unlucky to hit wheels as he did so something broke another inch either way an he would have been fine - but all is far from lost.

    As for coverage ideas I have to agree with others here, more behind the scenes stuff showing what the unsung heros who keep the circus on the road would be great - I know that the BBC has to appeal to everyone and the big stars are important, but please remember you have to also pander to us F1 nerds who want to know all the ins and outs!! Also none of it would happen without the ''back room'' staff, also the marshalls - a feature on a day in the life of would surely encourage more volunteers for all the smaller tracks around the country.

    Looking forward to Singapore, night racing is a pure spectacle, all the sparks and flames and back to a street circuit - bring it on!!

  • Comment number 34.

    @27 - Very astute analysis, one worthy of the great Eddie Jordan

  • Comment number 35.

    I have a simple suggestion that would improve the coverage no end. Swap jonathan legard for david croft. Come on BBC its UNANIMOUS now. Legard is a nice person i am sure, but his talents are far better suited to radio.

    Thank you for reading.

  • Comment number 36.

    I Know McLaren have video footage of how they transport and erect their motorhome and hospitality area on their website, quite a feat in the time they have.

    Great coverage and debate as usual guys, totally agree about seeing more behind the scenes stuff, how about profiling the role of various team members from the factory workers, engineers and pit boys, to the roadies.

    Also they come in for a lot of stick so how about a day in the life of the stewards and FIA delegates, maybe if we saw how they arrive at their decisions and police an F1 race within the obvious time constraints, we wouldn't be so critical, or maybe we would?

  • Comment number 37.


    May I take the opportunity to gently chastise you? In the show prior to last Sunday's race there was an excellent piece, involving Jackie Stewart, about safety in F1. At the end of this you stated that the last fatality in F1 was that of Ayrton Senna. Senna was the last driver killed but sadly not the last person to die in F1. Since his death there have been two further fatalities, both involving marshals who were killed in seperate incidents (one in China and the other in Australia). Both were killed by being struck by flying wheels thrown from crashes.

    I fully share the sentiment at the end of the item that F1 remains a risky activity and it is when rather than if the next fatality occurs. However in the modern sport it seems much more likely that the next victim will again be a marshal, or a pit crew member rather than a driver. These remain high risk activities, essential to the sport, involving people with rather less profile or remuneration than the drivers, and we must be careful not to overlook them.

  • Comment number 38.

    Great blog as usual!! Just one thing regarding the feature on safety in F1. In the report it said that no one had been killed in F1 since the 1980s until Ayrton Senna died. I was a little disappointed with this, as a lot of people forget that the day before Senna was killed, a much lesser known racing driver Roland Ratzenberger was killed after crashing in qualifying for the San Marino race. It would have been nice for him to have a mention too.

    On another note, I completely agree with JCF1 about Jonathan Legard, he just doesn't work well as a commentator and constantly talks over Martin Brundle!!

  • Comment number 39.

    Hi Jake, DC and EJ
    Occasionally on the BBC F1 prog we get to meet some of the new up and coming young driver stars. At Monza there were a couple of interviews with the young British GP2 and carting talent speaking about their hopes for becoming F1 drivers.

    But where are the next Adrian Neweys of this world?
    What about all the unsung heroes of F1 who make the automotive motorsport industry the British success it is at 1% of the GDP. That’s huge!

    I notice that on the BBC F1 website there is a “Want To Race in F1?” link. But why isn’t there a Go Design page?

    I’m sure there are lots of budding designers and engineers out there who are thinking “How could I become an F1 engineer? How did Rob Smedley do it? How did Rob Marshall get to be sitting on that pit wall?”
    My son is a Motorsport Eng Tech BSc student. Today is the last day of his industrial placement at Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes. He’s spent this past year from Monza to Monza working his socks off in the design office. He’s had an amazing year.
    Anyhow- I just think that it would be a nice piece to do on the BBC F1 prog to encourage not only the British driving talent, but also all those budding engineers and designers out there wondering how it’s done. There is a lot of luck involved but it you don’t ask the questions!! And it’s not all about Formula Student!

    I’m sure Martin and David would agree that without the talent behind the scenes, which makes the British motor racing industry so great, there would be no F1. Where would we be without Adrian?

    BBC F1 is fantastic. I’m even hooked on the red button! It’s a brilliant team. Keep up the great work, we love every minute.Bi

    F1 Mum, big fan!

  • Comment number 40.

    > Scooters were nice.. riding along the Eddie and Dc.. cool
    > Show DC real home sometime
    > Stop showing so much of "fernando is faster than you" It hurts being a true F1 fan and I start hating FA ever since he was anti schumi at renault. although I like Massa but I think that was his fault, and moreover FA not accepting that is bad on his part.
    > There are sometimes people come very close from behind the guests, I advise the crew to add the cable rods or soemthing to avoid that. bcoz sometimes its not nice when the drivers get disturbed bcoz of some stupid guy.
    > Eddie: Start wearing blazer ..
    > Jake: try to wear same color shirts at weekends so that you guys look smart as a team. just text Eddie and DC for it.
    > On Karun-> Yeah its too bad that he is not driving ..hope he gets the drive seat for 2011. Can you tell whats the news going around in paddock about him where he is going? and other drivers too?
    > About your Trip to Delhi with Karun:- Nice to know that.. sure enjoy that.. there is so much to see in Delhi .. hope Karun takes you to nice places around there, though he is from Chennai he might know a bit around the city I guess. Do let us know ..what you like there. Good Luck.. enjoy! Chao..

  • Comment number 41.


    I just wanted to know are we going to see you in a F1 car, to challenge EJ or DC or other F1 drivers race of 5 laps around any of F1 circuts for charity because it would be good to see how good you are at racing in a F1 car.

    BBC F1 is fantastic. I’m even hooked on the red button! It’s a brilliant team. Keep up the great work, we love every minute.

    F1 Fan

    gavt1976 (Gavin T)

  • Comment number 42.

    Hi Jake

    Again, a fantastic weekend and I second most of the opinions on here (especially Karun having a natural flair in front of the camera!).

    Can someone please tell me why Hulkenberg did not get penalised when the stewards this year have seemed pretty tight on rule infringements? Not just coming from it as a major Webber fan, but it seems like he was doing the dodgy for an extended amount of time and not just a whoopsie one off!

    I have to say, I am totally addicted to the red button. I have a friend who is very upset now as they are unable to get me to come out at all on a Sunday afternoon as the forum is avid viewing for me and I cannot miss it. It gives an extra insight and we get to see the drivers and team members a little more relaxed (or not!), you get some amazing interviews and even Eddie Irvine (who I personally did not like as a driver) gave some excellent views and some good banter with the whole panel. It's nice to see that you guys are friends and not just work colleagues, it makes it feel that we are part of something special too. I love the way the interactive side works, people can actually get through to you and get a question answered almost directly. Love the age of technology!

    Well done on your CBT, I passed last November as I had moved to Edinburgh from London (roads are dramatically quieter and drivers generally more pleasant). There is NO WAY I would have done it in London let alone have my first proper ride anywhere in Italy. good going!!

    PLEASE don't wear coordinated shirts... chances are EJ will get colour choice and it will be a sad day for you all! :O)

    So, looking forward to Singapore...I am really getting into the night race. Getting my arguments ready for my sister about the carbon footprint as I know that will come up!!

    Things I would like to see: More of everything please... I cannot get enough!

    Have fun and don't forget to eat something! :O)

  • Comment number 43.

    Do I detect, watching the prog, that Martin's gridwalks are becoming increasingly difficult, partly through the level of competition for access to drivers, partly because some drivers don't do interviews on the grid, partly because some drivers are more interested in dashing off to the bog and partly because the teams don't want the TV cameras to look too closely at the cars..?

    Its a great shame because that's one part of the show (on the BBC and yes, on the other lot too) that I have always looked forward to. Too many people seem to have copied the idea...!

    Thing is though, what the drivers say is usually rather predictable. You know what I mean, things like "I'm not on pole, but second is OK coz I'm on the clean side of the track" or "We'll have to wait and see what happens" or "The only chance I've got of getting on the podium is if it rains"...

    So is there another way of doing the gridwalk which avoids most of those problems...?

    What if Martin and somebody else (not DC or Eddie, but a special guest, perhaps a different guest for each race, somebody like Ron Dennis or Mika Hakkinen, Damon, Jackie Stewart or even Capt. Slow from Top Gear) walked the length of the grid, not reliant on interviews but grabbing them where they can and otherwise just talking between themselves and explaining what they see going on...?

  • Comment number 44.

    hi jake ive heard your not going to be at the japan GP, and that lee mckenzie will be presenting, your very good at your job, so im glad your taking some time off mate, you deserve it :) im sure lee will be very populer tho, me and the guys all think so haha

  • Comment number 45.

    coverage idea, on sky they have fans that commentate during the match i think this would be a good idea for F1 and all that goes with it etc

  • Comment number 46.

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

  • Comment number 47.

    If the powers that be thought Ferrari were wrong in the team orders saga enough to fine them, then why did they not take the points gained illegally from Alonso and give them to Massa?
    Team Orders are completely wrong - just like match fixing is in cricket.

  • Comment number 48.

    Sharon wrote:- ''At 9:27pm on 15 Sep 2010, Sharon wrote:
    Great blog as always Jake. Its such a shame about Karun but hes an excellent commentator in the practice sessions!'' I have to say I agree with Sharon, for someone who seems to have been around F1 for a short while Karun is well informed and makes his comments easy to understand, he's easy to listen to, but saying that his place is on the track I hope he gets a seat real soon.

  • Comment number 49.

    Hi Jake,
    Can you please explain why, in the list of leaders and positions that is displayed on the TV screen during qualifying and the race itself, when all the other driver are represented by three letters from their surname, eg; HAM,BUT,ALO,VET,WEB etc, does Michael Schumacher get to have MSC ie a letter from his first name??
    Is this some sort of deference to someone who pushed barged and crashed his way to several world championships??

  • Comment number 50.

    To answer PC incorrect in #49, "MSC" is a throwback to the days when his younger brother Ralf also raced and was known as "RSC" to avoid having two "SCH"s. The abbreviation just stuck, I guess.

  • Comment number 51.

    This is cracking, shows it isn't just the drivers who are under pressure and have to multi-task.

  • Comment number 52.

    Watching the blogged TV feed from Singapore my respect for your presentation skills has gone up another notch. Calm, assured and thoroughly professional. Good stuff!

  • Comment number 53.

    What a great race, this season is really hoting up!

  • Comment number 54.

    What a brilliant season. Although Red Bull won the constructors, BBC as usual were the team of the year. I couldn't imagine watching a race without the extras, and nobody does it better than you guys. The pre-race build-up, (often with Jake and the team travelling to or around the destinations), the expert analysis from Martin, Jonathan, Lee, Ted & others, the humour/rivalry between DC & EJ (and their insider connections) and of course the ultra slick presentation skills of yourself make this an unbeatable combination. Every race weekend I felt as if I were there with you all. What an escape!! And so with a tear in my eye I saw the final F1 Forum, but I can't wait for 119 days when we start all over. Very well done to all!!!!


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