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Fighting Schumacher continues to dream

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Jake Humphrey | 14:35 UK time, Wednesday, 13 April 2011

This blog entry is being penned as I fly over Quanzhou on my way to Shanghai at 3,9101ft, travelling at 616mph.

I've just watched possibly the greatest boxing movie ever made, in my humble opinion. The Fighter is a gritty, emotive film about human endeavour, sporting brilliance, and defying the odds. Christian Bale is a master of his craft, isn't he?

It got me thinking of some of the greatest sporting tales ever told. I grew up with my Dad regaling me with tales of watching George Best's electrifying feat at the 1968 European Cup final. We all know about the sheer bravery and mastery that Sir Steve Redgrave displayed in winning Olympic gold number five or Red Rum's historic third Grand National win in 1977.

Now, imagine seeing Michael Schumacher crossing the line to bag win 92 of his career. In his 40s, having had three years in retirement, his return initially fails to deliver... and then, finally, it happens. Where would that rank, do you think?

I know opinion is divided on Michael and it's a shame some of his incredible drives fight for space in our memories with the controversial battle with Jacques Villeneuve at Jerez in 1997 or his demotion to the back of the grid during qualifying at Monaco in 2006. However, don't underestimate what a win would really mean and tell us about him.

This sport moves at such pace that, within a season or two, reining in these cars is like going into a cage with a totally new species of wild animal. They react differently; the cars evolve during the race to such an extent a completely new driving style is suddenly required.

Michael Schumacher (centre)

Fans of Michael Schumacher would love to see him do something special again (AFP)

The demands on a driver's time are greater than ever and unlike in his first career, Michael's perfomances are immediately live on the internet, being discussed on message boards and the subject of 140-character reviews courtesy of the Twitter revolution.

Not only is Michael compared to contemporaries in his 20s, but perhaps even more unforgiving is that he's compared to himself in his 20s.

We arrive at a circuit and immediately mention Michael 'has won here more than anyone else', 'took pole here by over a second in 2002' or said it is 'where Michael secured his seventh title'. Sometimes, living up to your own legacy must be that hardest act of all.

One thing is for sure, just like the film, Michael is a fighter and will battle on. Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn will be aware every time he looks at 'Schumi' that if he can produce the car, Michael can produce the drive.

Mind you, he'll have to go some way to beat the current drivers' championship leader. The last time a driver won the first two races and failed to take the title we were watching Back To The Future and listening to Bros, so history is on Sebastian Vettel's side, but I get the impression that the sport isn't.

What I mean by that is that these days the rate of development and evolution is so unrelenting and punishing that I'd be surprised if the lights at Brackley, Woking, Milton Keynes, Grove or Maranello are ever turned off.

The same incredible process of change also applies to each grand prix itself. Pirelli deserves a huge round of applause for giving us tyres that are delivering precisely what the sport wanted - drivers flying on one lap and driving like my Grandpa Bernard used to in his white Maxi on the next. The 24 gladiators may hate having a chariot that performs so differently during the space of 50-something laps but it makes it great for you at home.

I know with DRS, KERS, tyre degradation, Plan A and B along with all the other elements of a Grand Prix, at times it must seem like a Higher Maths A-Level lesson but I must say Martin Brundle and David Coulthard do a great job at making sense of the madness.

Lewis Hamilton

Some bad luck and his old adversary Fernando Alonso cost Hamilton in Malaysia (Getty)

Ooh, we've just been told 30 minutes to landing, as the season-long treadmill really gets into its stride. We'll be at the track before we know it and I think this is a good weekend to keep your eyes on the men straining every siney, making every move on and off track, and not resting for a moment in an attempt to ramp up the pressure on Seb.

Lewis Hamilton. I saw him after the last GP, a race where strategy, bad luck and his old pal Fernando created the perfect storm to wreck his race. He said 'that's racing' but he knows the facts tell us he was as quick in race-pace as Seb, and he'll take heart from that.

How about Mark Webber? If something is going wrong with one of the Red Bull RB7s it seems to go wrong for his. Two difficult GPs, a dodgy KERS system and four stops compared to just two made by Kamui Kobayashi in Malaysia. However, 12 months ago Seb had no luck and hardly any points. Mark, by contrast, has had two strong finishes - and points mean prizes.

And what of Fernando Alonso? I spent a week at the same holiday resort as him after the Australian race and we were laughing together as he went out day after day to play golf in the driving rain whilst I used the weather as an excuse to do a LOT of sleeping. A bit of rain? No problem for Fernando and that sums up his single-minded determination to achieve what he wants and it won't change this year. A car noticeably slower than McLaren and still managing to race Lewis on the track.

Two races in and I think that the competition at the front seems more aggressive and competitive than I've seen since I started this job. Another great reason to leap out of bed early on Friday morning, hey?

And finally, on that note, thanks to the millions who sacrificed a Sunday morning snooze for last weekend's race. The Malaysian GP enjoyed the highest viewing figures on record and the whole production team were delighted when we discussed it the morning after the race over a breakfast of roti bread and vegetable dhal. Great motivation for all!

Looking forward to sharing this Sunday morning with you too.



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  • Comment number 1.

    Craking commentary, crackin g production and what a cracking race sunday was,this thesis is being written in haste so I can have Sunday morning off to watch the chinese grand prix.

    It would be quite something for Michael to gain one more race win but with that race do you think he will bow out for good or stay on a little longer like Damon did in '99?

    Although there has been a lot of "it's not racing" regarding the KERS and DRS I personally think they add to it, I thought we saw a fair few manoeuvres thanks to both on the weekend and I'm looking forward to seeing it at the next races. I also know it would be controversial for both drivers to use it but it would be exciting to see them go into that straight not knowing the outcome wouldn't it?

    I really can't work out which season has been the most exciting so far out or '09, '10 and this one but as ever this one is hoting up to be one that will remain quite fresh for a fair few years at least.

    Keep it up Jake and the team, if possible can we have Martin's bit on Petrov's flight on the forum put up please?

  • Comment number 2.

    F1 racing is more about the car, the rules, the tires, the team and less about the drivers. Give Louis hamilton the Red Bull car, and he will win. The same goes for Alonso, Shumacher, Button(?), Ruben Barrichello and some others.

  • Comment number 3.

    Great read Jake.

    I second the little mention you gave to Brundle and Coulthard regarding their commentary. Especially DC, very insightful and spots the tiniest detail. A great move by the BBC I think, keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 4.

    Schumacher does indeed have a mountain to climb, but if you can't stand the heat and all that. The whole thing makes for interesting viewing. On top of that I'm just hoping that all of the talk about bringing the fight to Vettel comes to fruition.

    Enjoying your coverage and the commentary from Martin and DC, keep up the good work.

    Oh, on a side note, a Maxi? Are you kidding me?! Known globally for its aero-dynamic lines and Italianesque styling… nice!

  • Comment number 5.

    Neither Back To the Future nor Bros were around in 1982 :P

  • Comment number 6.

    It would be something if Merc can pull it out the bag soon and get on the podium/win races. It would be really exciting interesting other teams in the mix and not the usual suspects. I am a McL fan but seeing the Renaults doing well is good to see.
    As #1 says, the soft organic bit behind the wheel is a small part of the race winning formula, if all were in the same machine it would be the deciding factor.
    I would love for Merc to get the performance and let Michael loose just to show the current crop how it is done. It would be a huge spectacle!

  • Comment number 7.

    Excellent coverage as ever Jake. Well do I remember having to wait till Autosport came out on a Thursday to find out the real detail from a Grand Prix, now, by the time you've watched the forum, you kind of know it all - amazing! I only heard my hero Ronnie Perterson's voice via YouTube recently, he was never interviewed on BBC coverage in the 70's, its all come a long way. So all round top marks, apart from: 1. Eddie's babbling 'round the houses' introductions to any questions he is building up to ask, (if he can remember them at all) which are longer and more confusing than the actual questions and answers. 2. Mr Coulthard has christened Mr Heidfeld (rhymes with weld) Mr HeidFIELD (rhymes with...well field!) Why?

  • Comment number 8.

    agree, BBCs coverage has come on leaps and bounds. although still a big lack of features that Martin used to do on ITV f1. lets have more featues on the cars and drivers :-). For instance it's difficult for viewers to understand how the cars have come on. How great would it be to put the Red bull and say an Fw14b around silverstone for 5-6 laps at max chat, just to see the progress over the years visually. I know the cars are very different, but what an interesting feature that would be, and I bet the older car wouldnt be as fas back as you would expect it to be. It would also highlight how colossaly expensive it is to "buy" .5 seconds a lap with "progress". I wonder what the young guys would make of a machine like the Fw14?

    The current regulations have made for more excitement, but I cant help but think it is quite forced. much about the car and not the driver really. In the 80's and 90's a talented driver could outdrive is equipment, which is almost impossible to do with the current cars.

    I cant understand the logic behind allowing drivers to active DRS anytime during qualifying, but only once or twice a lap in race conditions??. Surely leave it up to the drivers jugement, which would introduce more variation in performance, according to different driver's thinking and talent.

    As for schumi, well it has to be said for a 42 year old he is still mightily fast. people forget that there is less than a second seperating the top 7-8 cars now. Cars were never as close together in his time. last week he was quick. If Merc can sort out the car, hell be mixing it up in the top 5 along with Nico.

  • Comment number 9.

    Can't agree with

    "Two races in and I think that the competition at the front seems more aggressive and competitive than I've seen since I started this job. Another great reason to leap out of bed early on Friday morning, hey?"

    a few years ago the top 10 in qualifying were seperated by less than a second and the whole grid by 2-3 tops. Now we are seeing more than a second across the top 5.

  • Comment number 10.

    If you look at Q2 (as that doesn't have the fuel) the top 12 are less than a second apart

  • Comment number 11.

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

  • Comment number 12.

    I'm wondering what a presenter with no technical knowledge of F1 even knows about what drivers need.

    The coverage was ok, but I wish you would stop with the Anti Ferrari quips. Review your presentation and cut out the bias.

  • Comment number 13.

    Another cracking blog Jake. Keep up the good work.

    You are fast becoming a British treasure.

    P.S, give Bernie a slap and tell him to stop coming up with these crazy ideas. Sprinklers at races to make it more exciting, do me a favour!

  • Comment number 14.

    Well done on this Blog , Jake .... you've proven beyond doubt that people whose forte is the 140 characters on Tw@tter should not be allowed space for anything longer.

    Stick to the 21st century version of the crayon, you're not ready for the sharp pencil or the ink pen just yet!

  • Comment number 15.

    so true @ 14. The funny thing about Jakes blogs, is for the most part it would read the same regardless of how close the season is or is not, whether DRS is or is not an improvement, everything gets that fake american presenter gloss that children's presenters put on everything. Isn't it all super and fabulous and better than last time, without really looking or caring. This is the BBC, do you really need to sell stuff like a bad american car salesman.

  • Comment number 16.

    re Schumacher - always been a fan always will be - flawed genius yes - but then any driver can be criticised for actions and the longer the career the greater the chance of criticism.

    Remember the achievements 7 titles 91 wins. I can recall wondering if anyone would ever beat Jackie Stewart's total of wins........will Schumi's ever be beaten I actually think not.

    To me there is still the question before any race, what will Schumacher do? That's still the attraction - will there be more wins yes there will once the car is to his liking, it's just a question of when that is.

    I'd like to think in my old age (afew years off!) if I'm asked what has a lifelong interest in F1 given me I'll say memories - Peterson in the 72, Stewart in the inconic Elf Tyrells, Mansell, Prost, Villeneuve, Damon and Graham (just) and the Schumacher years which I've been furtunate to have lived through and witnessed.

    He will prove the doubters wrong there are more wins to come.

  • Comment number 17.

    Bit puzzled about Schumacher not having the right car, perhaps someone should tell Rosberg. Perhaps he wont drive so fast in the future.

  • Comment number 18.

    Whilst I always read these Blogs, and normally enjoy them, I'm rarely moved to provide comment.

    However, what a great read! I'd be the first one cheering if MS managed a gp win (I hated the man with a vengence in his first incarnation and now I'd love to spend a night down the pub with him).

    But, despite your blog 'pressing the right buttons' as it were, it reads more like a decent piece of journalism (and better than a lot) than an online diary entry - so thank you. Keep 'em coming...

  • Comment number 19.

    Yet again another great blog and tyour handling of the coverage is fantastic Jake.

    Only problem is that it seems to be turning into 'The Christian Horner Show' with no end in sight of Eddie and DC waxing lyrical over Red Bull. Try to interview more team principles.

  • Comment number 20.

    I agree with #17. Schumi has a better car than he is showing. It's not the best car but the Schumi of old would have got more out it and been faster than his team mate, that's for sure, a bit like what Alonso is doing with the Ferrari and what Schumi did with the early Benetton.

    Let's face it, he's still very, very good, but he's not the best any more.

  • Comment number 21.

    Dear Jake,

    I just wanted to say that I think the BBC's coverage of F1 is unparalleled and that I think it outperforms any other form of sports coverage on national television. Back in the days of ITV I thought "hmmm...the F1's on...I'll keep an eye on the race but I can really watch something else as the ads break up the whole flow so what's the point in watching it anyway", I'll never forget Japan 06 where ITV cut to the ad break just as you saw the smoke pouring up ahead of Alonso, thinking "oh my god, is that Schumy?" which it was, the most dramatic part of the season spoiled by the ads.

    Which brings me back to the BBC, who's coverage entices me to keep my eye on the website all week for columns, news and analysis and makes me get out of bed in the morning to watch all 2/3 hours of the show instead of waiting till the afternoon replay because the pre-race and post-race coverage is excellent. I will admit when BBC first came back with F1 I went "Jake who? oh yeah I've seen him around a bit...wish they'd used Rosenthal or Ryder though" but now I'd be dissappointed if they used anyone else. The team I think is a great balance and you suit the hosting job greatly as with no actual F1 experience you balance all the knowledge of the other 3 excellently, I really think you do a great job.

    On Schumy, well he's my all time favourite driver and so what if he's had "dodgy" moments, it's his instinct to do absolutely anything to win that sets him apart from the others. Whether he'll win again I don't know, I don't think that Mercedes is up to much at all, which is surprising considering Ross Brawn is overseeing the team.

    Vettel doesn't have the title sewn up yet, that's for sure.

    p.s. The Fighter is an awesome film, glad we're on the same wavelength ;).

  • Comment number 22. anyone else getting rather tired of the " Gee whizz,aren't I a lucky boy doing this job " approach to the blog ( indeed even the TV presentation?).One day Jake ( if not now) you'll be a seasoned pro and this style really won't do...

  • Comment number 23.

    Jake I think that you and the other commentators are doing a great job. There is a ‘but’ though, David Coulthard, is just a tad biased when discussing Red Bull. I am aware there is a relationship between him and RB and it shows. My other point is yes Michael was great, but keeps complaining about the car, when he first joined the team Nikko was doing a fantastic job, but the care was changed to more suit Michael. I am aware that Nikko said that this was also fine for him, but he has not done as well since. In my opinion the team should be giving more support to Nikko. For your information I am a Jenson fan who was also treated badly in the early days by Williams.

  • Comment number 24.

    Nice work bbc , keep up the great work to all. As for schumacher , well we all no the wins will come , but only when the car is able to do the job. lets face it , its not the best car he has driven, just give the team and both drivers time to sort the car out ,and it will deliver the goods iam sure. its just a case will the other teams move on more quickly and merc will have a even higher mountain to climb ??????.

  • Comment number 25.

    All this talk of Schumi... it's understandable given he is the best racing driver ever to grace F1... or if you don't agree with that, he is arguably the best ever.

    Bottom line is though, he's past it... DONE. BANG. GONE. FINISHED.

    The best two drivers on the circuit are Hami and Vettel - both incredible.... Alonso of course is a consideration / arguable.

    If Schumacher had Webber's or Button's seat then he would get nowhere close to either of them. Not now... not any more... once... yes... the PAST.

    So let's appreciate Schumi for his amazing past brilliance but let's not kid ourselves that a 42 yr old ex-retired driver is anywhere close to the top any more or will ever be again.

    It's possible he could get on the podium this year and the reality is that 7th place is his realistic finishing position which would be a great drive from him this season.

  • Comment number 26.

    14. At 17:20pm 13th Apr 2011, Ramilas - SAVE 606 wrote:
    Well done on this Blog , Jake .... you've proven beyond doubt that people whose forte is the 140 characters on Tw@tter should not be allowed space for anything longer.

    Stick to the 21st century version of the crayon, you're not ready for the sharp pencil or the ink pen just yet!


    A SUN reader per chance?

    Ramilas, let's just say that punctuation and sentence construction are not your forte!

    Perhaps you should think twice about criticizing others until you learnt of the basics yourself. There are at least four grammatical errors in your first sentence! You know what they say about people in glass houses?

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • Comment number 28.

    3,9101ft is an entirely new number.. this is coming from an accountant!
    great start to the season and your reporting jake!

  • Comment number 29.

    Kenneth Gooswit post #2


    Kamui Kobayashi is a really good driver with an average car, he's managed to secure points for his team in Malaysia after the disappointment of Australia.
    He must be getting a look from the bigger names in F1 with exceptional resources that provide fast reliable cars.

    So far, he has been the only driver to impress me and it seems he's impressed some of the pundits at the BBC because he keeps on getting mentions on various blogs written on here.

    As for Micheal Schumacher, I think the less attention he gets, the better. Expectation and the pressure is getting to him because there are always question marks on his perfomance, Nico Rosberg is not helping....

  • Comment number 30.

    Firstly I want to say what a cracking race the Malaysian GP was. Plenty of action. Plenty of overtaking and something which wasn't mentioned at the time - a lot of the overtaking wasn't in the DRS zone either. I can't believe that after years of people saying that F1 is too processional people are saying it's too confusing!! Thanks to the BBC it was perfectly clear what was going on!

    Secondly thanks for your kind words regarding Michael. I have been a fan for over 15 years now - not an easy thing in the UK. It's strange how your standards drop. 5 years ago 9th place would have been a disaster but on Sunday I thought he did a great job with what he had. Next target has to be a podium and then that 92 win and I'm sure that when he gets it it will feel like the first (it will for me anyway)

    Lastly after reading all the comments on here can I just say that if you're really an F1 fan and watch it on TV and read the websites then surely you must know how drivers names are spelt!!
    Lewis not Louis, Jenson not Jensen, Nico not Nikko, Michael Schumacher not Micheal Shumacher. It's not rocket science!

  • Comment number 31.

    I think the pit stops and built-in tyre degradation result in unnecessary distractions. Why not build a tyre fit for the cars and all weather conditions to last the whole race. That will test who can look after their tyres! Changing parts (noses, tyres, wings etc..) in pit stops consists of using resources. This should be accounted as well as the pit stop time. There are already penalties for "misdeeds". why not for resources used over and above what the race started with. Too many pit stops.

  • Comment number 32.

    @26 "...think twice about criticizing others until you learnt of the basics"

    I can happily say that I have English (not criticising American, of course) as a first language, and I 'wuz learnt' good and proper; but much more than the basics!

  • Comment number 33.

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

  • Comment number 34.

    For me Jake is the best possible man for the job! Great blog, great live coverage, nice bloke.. what else do you need!?

  • Comment number 35.

    Jake, question; If Hamilton can get penalised for a very dubious move on Alonso, why then wasn't Vettel penalised at the start. If you watch it you would see Vettel changing direction 3 or 4 times going in to the first corner trying to stop Hamilton.

    Or is it one rule for one and one for everyone else !

  • Comment number 36.

    Hi Jake. Entertaining read as always. Still incredibly envious of your job - going to all the GPs (unless the Commonwealth Games or somesuch are going on...), holidaying on Hamilton Island with Alonso (oh, the oh-so-obvious irony), hobnobbing with the A list, etc.

    I'm always surprised by some of the comments on features like these - I thought they would only be read by people who are avid F1 fans, but clearly a lot of people don't even know how to spell a lot of drivers' names. Mind you, one of the BBC commentary pairing appears not to know how to pronounce the name of a certain Renault driver who finished 3rd at Sepang. How difficult can it be? Maybe the FIA should provide a DC-proof timing screen (e.g. #1 VET-ELL, #2 BUTTON, #3 HIDE-VELT)...

    When ITV took over F1 from the BBC in 1997, they took it such a long way forward. Having reclaimed it and given it back its rightful home, the BBC has taken it so much further forward again - and congratulations to each and every one on the BBC team for a job brilliantly done.

    However, while the mainstream BBC1 and 5 Live/Sports Extra coverage has again been top notch, the F1 Forum seems to have gone massively downhill in 2011. Both (so far) have been far too rambling and directionless at the beginning (not only EJ, who we have come to expect to do that), and not having a proper base in a hospitality area seems to have destroyed the forum. Hope you will be back to the 2010 format before too long. While Martin's analysis features have been very insightful and entertaining, his steadying influence on the otherwise ramshackle proceedings post-race has been sorely missed. It would be great to get Anthony Davidson more involved as well, or Crofty if he is not too heavily involved in the post-race press conferences when James Allen is not at the races. Sadly it looks as though EJ is nearing (or, as some say, a little way past) his sell-by date while DC has been solid but by no means spectacular in his pre- and post-race duties and mildly irksome in his race commentary.

    Lastly, if you could manage to have a word with one of your bigwig friends at the FIA... It would be nice to know, on what should be the very rare occasions that it is not available at the end of the main BBC1 race feature (although ideally that would be the case), that watching the F1 Forum would give an absolute guarantee of a final finishing order to the race...

    Thanks again and keep up the excellent work.

    Oh - one more thing. Any chance of%

  • Comment number 37.

    That "one more thing" - any chance of not doing a piece to mic in front of a revving engine in the pitlane for the whole of the Shanghai weekend?!

  • Comment number 38.

    The quality of the competition for Michael is the highest that he's had in his career, and the highest I've seen since 1987.
    It'll be tough for Michael. Getting destroyed in qualifying by Nico, isnt helping the situation either.
    I think the heart is willing, but the body's reactions just cannot be what they used to. An ageing footballer can use experience to get into positions, his youth would've gotten him to - ahead of time. Theres no hiding place in an F1 car.

  • Comment number 39.

    hi everybody
    to be honest am not against any body in f1,but please why everybody talking about micheal schumacher like that
    first of all he got 7 champion in his hand,no one is even nearly to that number and bet no one can beat tha number ,does nt matter what he is doing right now,its matter he is 7 times champion and he has got the guts to come back to f1 again and race,he knew that he is not in a competetive car or age,but still he is racing.
    2nd,so many driver are now keep wining ,do you think if they were in hispania or virgin team.are they still were winning,so please realise that and bit all of you,fan of f1 knew already that they are winning becouse of their car,for example las race vettel won the rece AND THEY were talking non stop how he drove oincridible or ,,,,wat he did ?did he took over nybody in a hard situation or did he drove from back to front of race ?
    no just he drove fast as his car is race we have to talk about drivers they do something great like webber as he did a great performance
    do you think if vettel was in virgin car still he was a good driver

  • Comment number 40.

    I'd like to know more about this furore over Red Bull's wings, I'd like to know why the BBC is still pressing that issue.

    Why do you keep asking Horner about it when he's not ever going to give you an answer unlike the other 100 answers he's given you every time you've asked him about it.

    I get the feeling that the BBC likes to make trouble between Red Bull and McLaren, probably for entertainment purposes, gives them something to talk about but the rest of us who have been watching the sport for year are'nt buying it.

    There is only a furore over RBR's wings (still) because BBC insists there is......they NEED it for the drama. In reality, nobody's actually bothered about the wings anymore.

    And please stop trying to turn F1's coverage into the McLaren/Red Bull Story. You desperately need to vary things up.

  • Comment number 41.

    @35...Errr...yes it is, as you have just illustrated. We could add a glut of other evidence to the case for the prosecution...but I see nothing to show that those making the decisions are remotely interested. Is there a sinister 'other' agenda in play? :)

  • Comment number 42.

    Excellent blog Jake. I do really enjoy the BBC coverage of the races, and I would especially like to pay tribute to the Radio 5live team that cover the practise sessions, great work there too. And just when you think it's all over, the F1 forum comes on! I'm desperate for someone other than Vettel to be on pole, it's all been too easy for him so far this season and I'd like to see if his overtaking skills have improved since last year! All the best :)

  • Comment number 43.

    @14 and @15.
    Good shout.
    You'd swear Jake was an expert.
    It's so annoying the way he thinks everyone in the paddock is his "mate".

    MB and DC are doing great.
    Id love to see them doing some driving in old and current F1 cars like MB did on ITV.

  • Comment number 44.

    Of course for real racing in which the competitors ability is far more critical we can watch Motogp.

  • Comment number 45.

    Further to the comments on pronunciation, I can cope with the Anglicised versions of Michael (mai-kul, rather than mi-xa-el) and Fernando Alonso (usually Anglicised with the "r" not pronounced and the "s" pronounced as a "z"), but Martin Brundle's pronunciation of Alguersuari should surely be corrected. What on earth makes him thing the "gue" should be pronounced "ja"? I can't think of any words in English where a "gue" is pronounced this way, so it's not even an Anglicisation. Please pronounce it with a hard "g" Martin!

  • Comment number 46.

    "Rome wasnt built in season". We have seen the magic that Ross, Red bull and Williams have made in the past so it will take some rule changes or certain upgrade to unlock the desired performance of the Mercedes-Benz W002. It looked great for Michael and Nico in Barcelona testing so this can only provide hope for his many fans (myself included). Michael and Nico are shrewd men and can see that team they are in won the 2009 constructors championship, but dont forget that Mercedes as it is only joined F1 in 2009 like Lotus, Virgin and Hispania yet they are in a position similar to the established team of Williams. Everyone knew that Jenson was a World champion in the making before 2009 and when this potential was tapped it was a special season. Michael needs to stay in there along with Nico because life and F1 performance is a revolving door.

  • Comment number 47.

    @14, 15, 22, and 27.

    Your criticisms of Jake are ill-founded. You find it annoying that a presenter is joyful and involved in the program they present? You think having a relative layman to bridge the gap between the casual public and the world's most technical sport is a bad idea? You think children's television is _easy_?

    Were we to listen to you and have an anchorman along the lines of your preferences we would have... Steve Rider or Jim Rosenthal. Both of these men were seasoned professionals, neither would ever make the mistake of appearing excited by anything, and both made for incredibly boring viewing. This blog itself reveals that Jake is aware of the constant scrutiny of the instant media age and nonetheless he throws himself with relish and enthusiasm into an arena populated by people more difficult to satisfy than my ex girlfriend. (It was mutual, honest)

    He's blogging from a laptop on board a plane. A place where most rational human beings would likely be getting some sleep or poring over a chinese phrasebook for the mandarin words for "more peanuts please". Instead he's providing something for us to get all snide about and he's doing it for free.

    Every race weekend Jake brings warmth, excitement, and professionalism far beyond that of many of his contemporaries. Those who criticise him would likely only be satisfied with having the race telementary appear on monitors beside their perfect scale mock-ups of Suzuka whilst pondering why no one has come to visit them for seventeen years.

  • Comment number 48.

    Jake, you are just a bit too pleased with yourself when you are on TV. Try and tone it down a bit, your job isn't exactly rocket science, any reasonably intelligent person could do it.

  • Comment number 49.

    @47 I don't mind how he presents, I just don't expect it to be full of false hoods just to make good viewing. All the stats show this to be one of the least competitive starts to a season for years if not decades, and yet it is being over sold as being THE most competitive season yet at the sure. Enthusiasm is good, but don't change the facts to suite it, either talk about a different aspect, or stick to the truth.

  • Comment number 50.

    "Not only is Michael compared to contemporaries in his 20s, but perhaps even more unforgiving is that he's compared to himself in his 20s."

    Great perspective Jake, beautiful analysis.

    For the people who whing about the BBC's coverage, try watching the Australian commentator's. BBC is in a class of it's own and every time a grand prix starts I get butterfly's waiting to watch the preshow, postshow, and red button. This is ana amazing team of people who make the Formula 1 weekend even better than just Formula 1 alone.

    My favorite part of the weekend other than the action? The MB grid walk. He is so ruthless and has a mutual respect with the driver's.

  • Comment number 51.

    Oh get over the anti-alonso feeling. i do understand its bbc and u are british. however, the incident at malaysian gp was due to hamiltons stupid driving and dual change of direction while overtaking. he was anyways losin time after his tyres were recked. you are a bbc presenter- atleast get ur facts straight, rather it cost alonso the podium. and good luck your schumi-dream.

  • Comment number 52.

    I am probably one of the many millions who just wishes that at some point in the not too distant future, Schumacher finds himself at the front of the grid, or better yet...on the podium. I think people forget how great a driver he is because he is buried behind other great drivers. I for one, am sure that once he gets there...your production team will be milling over how the viewership figures have tripled in his successes. I'm a McLaren fan, but you cannot ignore greatness.

  • Comment number 53.

    Get used to it. This is the new tabloid version of F1 & it isn't going to change. An X factor style production designed to appeal to the masses therefore justifying the phenomenal amount of money it cost the BBC to buy & broadcast it.

    Wonderfully inspiring articles on this F1 site like 'Hamilton thinks this...' 'Button says that...' 'Alonso can to do this...'

    Meanwhile Kobayashi entertains us battling with Schumacher for much of the race, eventually beating him - but gets no mention. Kovalainen's fastest lap beats Alguersuari & only Kravitz briefly points this out. The list goes on.

    Anyone would think, if you didn't actually watch the race, there where only six drivers in it...if that. Possibly less than the amount of BBC journalists covering it (yet still managing to report identical information).

    The sanitized, smiling, family face of F1. Not too much emotion. Keep the engine noise down. Lot's of information about what are considered to be the main drivers. Even more shallow information about those drivers. Constantly make ridiculous claims about the championship from day one. Don't say anything too technical. Most important of all... keep smiling & make out everyone is your friend.

    Alternatively... you could turn on a couple of minutes before the race & listen to the 5Live commentary, then turn off once it's over. Sweet.

  • Comment number 54.

    I can't help thinking, slightly cynically i admit, that Mr. Humphrey is acutely aware that just mentioning the word 'Schumacher' in a blog post/article will have the 'hit-o-meter" going crazy and tongues wagging with opinion in the comments section guaranteed - and that this (loads of hits/popularity) was the sole reason for mentioning the '42 yr old mercedes driver' in the topic and no other.

    that just leaves a dry funny taste in my mouth, as if this has become a marketing campaign or something, sending you spammy emails, targeted tweets, 'keyword' loaded blogs and all those things about modern life that make me want to vomit.

    -- anyway..

    I am finding the unhealthy obsession with ratings and twitter a little annoying now, its the bbc, we pay the license fee, the ratings only matter if you're trying to convince a fat controller somewhere to keep you on air, viewers are not really that interested in that.

    the whole 'bring the coverage home, beeb is great' nonsense is quite funny, all of us pay these guys ALOT to provide this coverage. just an example for perspective - an anonymous unpopular welsh tv soap costs £10 million a year to make. yes.

    am growing weary of the often slightly disrespectful attitude and tabloid leaning comments coming from the main man a little too often too, 1 example:

    Heidfeld in response to 'we've got questions coming for you from twitter'
    asks Jake (understandably, seeing as there is more than one person with a twitter account in the world) "is that my twitter?"
    to which he gets a very short, surprised, 'how dare you imply that' "no, its mine" from Jake.
    a bit unnecessary ? why say that?!

    compare that to Ted Kravitzs little piece from the pit lane that communicated some genuine warmth and respect to the driver and also between the interviewer and interviewee.

    one other thing, there does seem a definite 'must we really say something good about Hamilton' attitude that pervades the 3 man chit chats - its as if the producer comes down the ear piece with "we must talk about hamilton for at least ten seconds..."
    and everyone groans...

    its no easy job am sure, folk gibbering down your ear whilst you pull a face that says 'im not really listening'.. but if thats the case, lessen the workload for the guy! it would improve the personable factor no end.

    i sound like an old whinger, and maybe thats true but these minor grievances only show how good the rest of the coverage must be, so i only critique in the hope of positive change. best o luck

  • Comment number 55.

    No matter what you say about schumacher returning to formula 1 he has struggled to beat his team mate in the same car, so if the car was more competitive his team mate would be favourite to win not him.

  • Comment number 56.

    Great blog, great show, even if Eddie forgets his questions. I would however have a word with your pilot on landing, 616mph is ok at 39,000ft but highly illegal and frankly dangerous at 3,910ft.

  • Comment number 57.

    @38 @55 it is utter rubbish to say that Nico "destroyed" Shumacher in qualifying or that he is struggling to beat his team mate in the same car. The practice data and the race result of the last race says so! Shumacher 9th 2 point Nico????? yes 12th 0 points. As explained by both RB and MS there was a problem with the car in qualifying. If you do not like MS 100% no problem - but at least be accurate and fair

  • Comment number 58.

    Nice read Jake, however, one thing. Michael is now too old to produce the same sort of drives he used to do. This is shown in his observed lack of pace compared with Nico. His reactions and 'brain speed' are just too slow now to cut it in the top flight.

  • Comment number 59.

    I've been a schumacher fan since I started watching formula 1 in around '93/'94, I watched him move to ferrari which people slated as they had one of the worst cars at the time, but he did great things there, & I for one am hoping he can get to the top step once again, with a further goal of one more world championship, It would be excellent to see that happen! As for the BBC coverage I think its loads better than ITV, I hated the ads & especially James Allen on commentary! I love the HD coverage this year but will stop watching if James Allen ever gets a job with the BBC F1 team, It made my year when Martin Brundle got the commentating job without him, makes it sooo much better for me, & also good work on the show Jake, I enjoy watching, but more features like ITV had would be an idea.

  • Comment number 60.

    Hi Jake,

    Excellent blog and once again excellent coverage from the BBC on the Malaysian GP.

    People say it was a confusing race I was pretty much able to follow it.

    Also this week the commentary was much better than Australia.

    One thing I would like someone to show this weekend is why did Lewis get a penalty? What I've heard is that he was only penalised because of Alonso and Ferrari complaining. Lewis DID NOT make two blocking manoeuvres and as far as I can see should not have been penalised. Even Eddie and DC on the F1 Forum said that nothing should come from the FIA - but it did.

    The forum was again an excellent feature and funny when Eddie was going to ask Jenson a question and forgot - classic!

    Looking forward to this weekend's GP and am hoping someone can ruin Red Bull's dominant start to the season - some needs to do this ASAP otherwise Vettel will be the 2011 champion sooner than later!

  • Comment number 61.

    "F1 racing is more about the car, the rules, the tires, the team and less about the drivers. Give Louis hamilton the Red Bull car, and he will win. The same goes for Alonso, Shumacher, Button(?), Ruben Barrichello and some others."

    Maybe one race out of the full calendar, all the drivers have to swap cars. This could be achieved by picking car numbers out of a hat, they then drive that car in the race. Random, but at least we get to see the above point come to light.

  • Comment number 62.

    I'm sorry but when a "presenter" starts writing a blog containing cliche's like "points make prizes" and "Michael is a figher and will battle on" you get the feel that its just another GCSEesque essay.

    I am really uninterested in what hotel you stayed in and which driver you sucked up to. And frankly I'm uninterested in the views of a young TV presenter with no technical or motoring experience.

    I am a Jenson fan, who is once again frustrated that the top British driver in the last race and the person in 2nd in the Championship is disregarded in favour of the more popular Lewis.

  • Comment number 63.

    Yes great blog, I do agree with the bias query about DC and Red Bull, but, at least he is up front about it, I also like the fact that Paul D is doing so well and DC's quite unabashedly *Scottish biased comments (and some of the others) are great and heartfelt.
    As for the season I once heard a comment that F1 was akin to playing Chess but at 200Mph, I like that and subscribe to that view.
    As for Schumi, he will (paraphrase here) Never Give Up and never Surrender and I hope he gets a win this season.
    *I am West coast Scottish so biased myself-lol
    Regards to all

  • Comment number 64.

    Another small point about the coverage, perhaps being addressed with your Filming in Shanghai, but I always loved around 1-5 minutes of footage etc. of the country the race is held in, either in the quali preview, or the race preview show. It is always nice to see a bit of the country it is set in, the travel side of it, the people, the setting. Both Aus and Mal were lacking in that. Even 30 secs.

  • Comment number 65.

    Great write up Jake. I would be foolish to have a guess as to whether Shumacher would ever be able to win again as F1 has proved so many times over the years that anything can happen. Remember Damon Hill winning for Jordan at Spa 1998? Regarding the coverage people have been crying about I think you are all doing a great job. Two things I would ask to change 1) Why not do what ITV used to do and have races where you spend the whole weekend with a team and follow the race from their perspective, I used to really enjoy that, especially when they focused more on how the back markers weekends were different from the front runners. 2) Martins grid walks are as brilliant as ever however I would like him to talk to the back of the grid more. The guys up the front get enough spotlight plus Martin needs to start making friends with the newer drivers as he is running out of people who remember him. And dont let him ever talk to the politicians, those people just ruin my weekend in an instance!

  • Comment number 66.

    The title is misleading!

    I am not interested in Jakes's personal views, who he's rubbed shoulders with, where he stayed, what he had for his tea etc etc!

    Since when has the presenter become a pundit?!

  • Comment number 67.

    @ 47 - I agree with everything you say...apart from the bit about your ex girlfriend who I have (probably) never met, perhaps luckily so by the sounds of it.

    Some people who comment on here seem to misunderstand the role of a presenter. If you don't like the way Jake presents then don't watch the pre- or post-race shows. If you don't like his blogs or the other news on the BBC website then don't read them. Simple. Just watch the race.

    Personally, I don't like potatoes so I don't eat potatoes. It would be totally irrational of me to eat a load of them and then log onto a potato blog and complain about their taste.

    So to all the irrational people, why don't you leave Jake alone - he's just doing his job. Stick to your excel spreadsheets and microwave meals for one.

  • Comment number 68.

    jake great coverage. Always had respect for MB and DC as drivers, now their commentry skills have yet again given me immense pleasure and more importantly a great insight. Well done BBC , and thanks to all at BBC F1 to make my saturday and sundays afternoon very enjoyable, even if the misses gets a bit upset:)

  • Comment number 69.

    Jake - brilliant blog and coverage. I've read a lot of comments on this page, and seems like a lot of people try to find the negative, but I really don't think a lot of those opinions hold much truth, if any.

    British drivers & teams should always have a slightly higher prominence in discussion as this is the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation, but we did get to hear from a large amount of drivers and teams at the last race anyway. And surely, there should be a bias to the teams at the front - which is McLaren & Red Bull.

    I don't quite agree that Lewis had the pace this race to challenge Seb - it dropped off well before the accident damage which allowed Jenson to close up enough so that he could take advantage at the pit stop and allowed Alonso to reduce a six second gap to nothing very quickly. But we may well see some close races soon, and I certainly don't blame you for putting a 'isn't this a competitive season' spin on things!

    One more point - the commentry was the best we have seen for a few years. Martin was fantastic, and whilst 5Live are still very good at keeping exitement going for the whole race (including quieter moments), DC's insight and some of Martin's one-liners made it an absolotely brilliant race to watch.

  • Comment number 70.

    I agree with #62 Football_Fan 2010 comments about Hamilton/Button. I think that Hamilton's body language after the last race was because he was outpaced by Button rather than his clash with Alonso which happened after Button had overtaken him. He realises that tyre management is needed throughout the weekend and not just during the race. This may not sit very well with his current driving style.

    Hamilton should also drop his use of the royal "we" in interviews. People will assume he means McLaren whereas I'm sure he means his half of the garage. It is a little disrespectful to other team members and Button in particular to state after the race that "we" didn't have a good one. Button may not agree.

    Keep up the good work Jake

  • Comment number 71.

    Good blog Jake but can you do me a favour?

    Tell Hamilton to get rid of that god-awful drawn on beard. It actually upsets me.

  • Comment number 72.

    Hi Jake, great coverage so far. Thanks.

    OK, so we're two races in and fast approaching the third. Having now seen this year's changes in action I have formed the following opinions:

    1. Tyres. The new tyres Pirelli are supplying do make it more interesting, but they, like the Bridgestones before are flawed. They produce marbles, and I believe that this is the main reason for lack of overtaking in F1.

    The racing line the drivers take is simply the fastest and most efficient way to circuit the track, however, the Bridgestones of before rubbererd in the track along the racing line, which as a result was grippier than the rest of the tarmac. To make matters worse, marbles collecting off-line, actively make these parts of the track less grippy. This unlimately makes overtaking very difficult, and in some cases impossible.

    From what I understand, the new Pirellis do not rubber in the track, which is good, because this would have the effect of making many different driving lines possible at various points and without the racing line having the grip advantage, overtaking would happen more frequently.

    Unfortunately, this positive effect is cancelled out by the enormous amount of marbles and chunks of tyre debris collecting off the racing line, making it virtually impossible to go off-line to attempt an overtake.

    What is required in Formula One is a tyre that does not rubber in the circuit, which we now have, but also one that produces little or no marbling.

    The effect of this would be that a if a driver wanted to use an alternative to the racing line for a particular corner in the hopes that he might overtake the car in front, he won't lose grip from moving from a rubbered in line of track, nor lose grip for the next few corners as a result of picking up rubber from the marbles.

    DRS is to gimmiky, and though KERS shows potential, and will be better once they increase the power boost from it, both systems suffer from the same flaw which hampers their effectivness: Gear Ratios. The final gear is optimised to hit the cars top spead quickly, but without hitting the limiter. With KERS and DRS, the extra power (and reduced drag) means this final gear has to be longer to avoid the limiter, but this means that for the sections of the circuit that DRS in not in use, the car will accelerate slower and be unlikely to reach top spead before breaking for the corner.

    Kers could be improved if energy was also gathered from the fron breaks as well as the rear. This would certainly aid the break balance and stability of the car and improve safety as they will be less tyre lockups due to KERS. Are the technical or regulatory reasons why this has not been done already?

  • Comment number 73.

    Few days back i watched the documentary "Senna" and i loved it, there was a bit of Micheal Schumacher in it on a podium. The first F1 race i ever saw was the race after Senna died. I remember visiting a friends place when he told me that Senna died and he was devastated, it was all over the news.
    I never knew Senna than but i fell in love with Micheal Schumacher's Driving skills and started admiring him as a person, the passion grew and i never missed an F1 race since, till he announced his retirement. F1 was not the same after he left and my love affair was over, it took me an year to come back to F1 and i was still supporting Ferrari. Than he came back and i see his struggle in an uncompetitive car, it makes me happy cause i can see his desire to do well, to be back on the podium. But since seeing the movie "Senna" i am just afraid what an uncompetitive car can do to him, as he is putting his 200% to muscle a monster traveling more than 300 kph. God bless him and keeps him safe but more than this God give him a victory, so that he can retire in peace.

    Mr. Jake Humphrey, An excellent post, i liked it very much.

  • Comment number 74.

    I'm sorry Jake, but Michael Schumacher needs accept that he's had his day and retire while he's got some credibility left. Neither he or the Mercedes team are up to it this season. Yet again, despite F1 tinkering with the rules, we have one team well ahead of the rest and a confident world champion looking like he'll have an easier time of it than he did last year. Is that exciting? Really?

    Your Dad's memories of George Best in 1968 are very rose-tinted indeed. Even George himself said he had a crap game until one moment of genius in extra time. Bobby Charlton was the real hero that night, he kept United moving forward the whole evening.

  • Comment number 75.

    I hope the fact that "The Malaysian GP enjoyed the highest viewing figures on record" will make the BBC think twice about the alleged plans to consider dropping F1 coverage please!

    For the record I'd also like to say I think the new commentary team of DC + MB is working well and is a definite improvement.

    Well done BBC - please keep up the good work! Your excellent coverage of F1 makes me a very happy license fee payer...

  • Comment number 76.

    Great piece as usual Jake. As an F1 fan for 33 years I have always loved the boyish enthusiasm that Michael has shown after winning all of his races (his Mothers sad death and Imola 1994 aside). Todays podiums are so very predictable and robotic. I would love to see the Schumacher smile just once on the top step this year.
    With regards to Martin and DC, I thought DC came of age during Malaysia qualifying 2 minutes from the end of Q3 when he said "I think we are going to see something special here". The qualifying and race chemistry has only taken 2 races to gel, and any reservations about the 2 drivers being in the box have completely disappeared.
    From "way out Eddie" to Lee McKenzie, and yourself, a great and passionate team.
    I thank you all for your brilliant contributions.

  • Comment number 77.

    F1 racing is more about the car, the rules, the tires, the team and less about the drivers. Give Louis hamilton the Red Bull car, and he will win. The same goes for Alonso, Shumacher, Button(?), Ruben Barrichello and some others.

  • Comment number 78.

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

  • Comment number 79.

    Is there some in-built desperation for M Schumacher to win just once more?
    What would it prove?
    Let's remember that he's driving the current car from the team that was Brawn, that did what no-one thought was possible, just a couple of years ago. We now see the dominance of a team that were just part of the mid runners a few years back, much like Williams, who are no-where to be seen now.

    Rosberg has consistantly out performed his team mate, even after they had redeisgned it to be kinder to Schmacher.

    It must be some kind of obsession that Mercedes have, to hold on to him, and I really don't think it does anyone any favours. Particularly when you consider the new generation of drivers fighting to get their seats.
    Schumacher gave us one of the dullest seasons when he won race after race. Then he came back and is now in danger of messing his already tarnished reputation without needing to.
    Please, time to retire with dignity, eh?

  • Comment number 80.

    Nice to see some positive MSC coverage from the BBC for once. The man's a legend and should be respected for his achievements.

    I notice you mention Twitter a lot, Jake. Are you a shareholder or something?

  • Comment number 81.

    62. At 09:26am 14th Apr 2011, Football_Fan 2010 wrote:
    I am really uninterested in what hotel you stayed in and which driver you sucked up to. And frankly I'm uninterested in the views of a young TV presenter with no technical or motoring experience.

    So why are you reading his own Blog? If you expect an immensely technical discussion then maybe try searching out something else hmm?

  • Comment number 82.

    62. At 09:26am 14th Apr 2011, Football_Fan 2010 wrote:
    I am really uninterested in what hotel you stayed in and which driver you sucked up to. And frankly I'm uninterested in the views of a young TV presenter with no technical or motoring experience.

    So why are you reading his own Blog? If you expect an immensely technical discussion then maybe try searching out something else hmm?

    Well said sir.

  • Comment number 83.

    I don't understand people slating Schumi for the season so far! have you actually watched any of the coverage?

    First race, problems with set up in qualifying, good start but gets hit by a Torro Rosso and has to retire, second GP quick throughout practice but has a DRS issue in Q2 of qualifying, race makes a very good start (the best according to Brundle), finishes 9th, where was Rosberg?

    Its very apparent the Merc does not have race pace, I don't think any driver on the grid could have got more out of it at Malaysia.

    Unfortunately it does appear DC has some 'issues' with Schumi, doesn't seem to miss a opportunity to put him down.

    Also considering he's clearly taken a interest in fellow Scot Paul Di' Resta race progress, he failed to mention Schumi overtook him near the end of the race.

  • Comment number 84.

    @83 Couldn't agree more, I do wonder if half the people here are just repeating some of the negative coverage verbatim. Without really watching all the sessions and performances and understanding reasons behind finishes.

    I would like to ask why Jake during the race finishing points and position round up just skipped over Schumacher each time yet covered the position before and after and didn't appear to skip over any one else, even though it is fairly usual to mention the first and only point scorer of a team, especially one as famous as Mercedes. It seemed rather odd and deliberate at the time. Every time Rosberg twitches an eyebrow better than Schumacher it deserves a 2 minute discussion about how he is too old. Yet every time he performs competitively it isn't news worthy to the BBC.

  • Comment number 85.

    Cracking blog as usual Jake! Bit shorter than most tho :)

    Keep up the good work :) More of Lee Mckenzie would be good too!

  • Comment number 86.

    Great commentary on the abbreviated feed that we see in Canada. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to hear over the high background noise levels that someone must think we appreciate. Am I the only one that would like the volume turned down?

  • Comment number 87.

    looking forward to the next race!! lets see if lewis can get pole ahh.

  • Comment number 88.

    to be honest i think F1 has become a joke..

    what is fun about seeing people pit 5 times as tyres are designed to do that?

    which brings me to my first point..

    why should drivers have to use both compounds?
    as with pirelli it seems there is no difference or very minimal in the life span of the two compounds.

    point 2.

    im a very green minded person, i choose not to have a car, and use enviromental companies to give me my electricity...

    that does not mean i want to see 1 litre engines in F1 at anytime in the future.
    F1 was the only time i got to see stupid cars with super engines ,blaring around, if the whole world goes green it would be the only time we get to see ridiculousy sized engines blaring around a race track!!

    soon we will have 4 cylinder turbo motors in F1 with a very small capacity..
    what have Ferrari to do with anything other than twelve cylinders?? Or BMW or Mercedes??

    Refueling was taken away due to the cost of transporting the rigs around, but in Indy car they do ok with big bottles they haul to the car. what would be the cost of hauling 30 big bottles to each track?? not much i think...

    Back in the day we had different engines, drivers using a mix of hard and soft on the car at any given time.... and used to have super races...

    After the days of Prost ,Senna, Mansell ect they have tried to fabricate close racing, but all the rule changes have in most cases done the opposite

    F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport!!!!!
    Of course we need saftey for the drivers, that goes without saying, but i would rather see different engines, and tactics giving us the racing of old.

    Im 42 years old and have watched and loved F1 my whole life, but today its more like Penelope Pitstops wacky races!

  • Comment number 89.

    Ignore some of these folk Jake my whole family consider you one of the best broadcasters on the box at the moment. BBC F1 team better this year just need to lose EJ now (sorry).

    So after years of watching F1 what is it I'm watching now ? The Malaysian race just further demonstrated that those in charge think making the driver less and less relevant is the way to go. Well sorry not for this fan. I just thought the sight of great drivers losing because their tyres hit 'the wall' or their KERS didnt work pretty ludicrous. We all know the answer: steel brakes and manual gear changing, its that simple.

  • Comment number 90.

    Dear Jake

    Why haven't you taken up with Martin Whitmarsh his interesting comments from the Australian F1 forum?

    There are some important issues that appear to remain outstanding.

    It is not clear why an allegedly impartial outfit such as the BBC F1 team have not pushed McLaren on this one.

  • Comment number 91.

    Oh Lord> Jake, for what it's worth; I enjoyed your presentation last year, and also to the start this year. You're all different: Brundle, Jordan, Coulthard, yourself. No one's born an experienced professional. You have to 'do' in order to 'become'. e.g. I felt Coulthard mumbled and dithered several times now his comments need to be much more precise and far quicker. I'm sure he'll be up to speed by the middle of the season.

    Of your blogging, I was critical last year, and couldn't read it at all, but you'd stated there was a narrow focus: your personal experiences of F1. For me there was too much personal experience, and not enough F1. So fair enough. I read the other blogs with more excitement!

    I didn't like the first three short paragraphs here. And was worried we'd be in for more of the same. There's no F1 in the first 3 paras, which s no good for me as I now have the attention span of an internet junkie. Luckily I got to the 4th para, where F1 debate begins, whew! And read on. And the rest was fine, dependent on individual subjectivity. Which you have absolutely zero control over.

    So thanks, good luck with the writing, it's a tough gig, but think you are a natural presenter on TV, very convivial to watch, so keep up the good work! (In your next blog, if you talk about F1 from the get-go, and leave the contextualisation for later, you'd have my very short attention span a lot quicker ;-0)

  • Comment number 92.

    I have faith in Michael Schumacher to achieve another win because of drivers like Mario Andretti who won races in indycar in 4 different decades, and won his last race in his 50s. Obviously indycar is not the same level as F1 but performances are relative. Physically are todays F1 cars really more demanding than they were when Schumacher first entered f1? I remember Senna struggling to lift his trophy after his 1991 Brazil victory, Mansell collapsing whilst pushing his car home and think no, In fact i think it is a great deal less demanding these days than it was back then and this is contributing to extending the career of Schumacher and Barrichello, It is now the starship enterprise console on their steering wheel they now have to contend with.

    The difference i can see with Schumacher now is in the 90s he could win with a bad car, he could develop it into a winning car, put simply he did not need the best car to win but now he does, in fact you could say every driver needs the best car to win these days. Gone are the days a driver could win a race on merit in inferior equipment to the opposition Why? Is it because this generation of drivers are all much faster than the previous generation? Is it because today's cars are much easier to drive than they used to be closing the gap between the average and the talented? I would love to see this generation of drivers in F1 cars from 10 to 15 years ago and see.

  • Comment number 93.

    Cracking article Jake - BBC coverage is fab as always (although must admit I'm really liking DC and Martin!!) I'd love to see Schumi on the podium, any step would do, although preferably the top one! Have a great weekend and look forward to joining you all on the box over the weekend (although you might be recorded!)

  • Comment number 94.

    The BBC coverage is brilliant.

    Except for one tall thing in a purple shirt.....

    Id love to see Ted Kravitz present the show. His knowledge is outstanding.

  • Comment number 95.

    F1 is boring and predictable. It's not even a sport anymore. The 80's was the pinicale of the sport. A race now is always won in the pits rather than on the track! Thats just the pits man. It's a high speed procession for the sponsors.

  • Comment number 96.

    I have a few points i'd like to post,

    Jake, i would ignore any digs about technical knowledge around the sport. Your job is to present the F1 (which i think you do really well), if you were a technical genius on the sport why would you have Eddie Jordan or David Coulthard on ?

    Also, before anyone starts going on and on about the BBC's coverage can i remind everyone what it was like a few years ago on ITV. You know ... the adverts.

    As for Schmacher, his difficult return has just shown that F1 is now about the cars/designers and the technology than pure driver ability. Take Luzzi for example, although in a Force India he wasnt very high up he was still competitive ... now hes in the doomed HRT he can bearly qualify. F1 like football has turned into a business. Although i know this, i will never loose interest in F1.

    Finally, can Martin Brundle step in for David Cameron and Nick Clegg. I personally like the quote "It's all turned to custard for D'Ambrosio"

  • Comment number 97.

    BBC F1 coverage has been a revelation, with Martin Brundle and Jake Humphreys particular strengths. and now i hear that the BBC are considering dropping it to save money along with Wimbledon.. F1 on TV has never ever been so good and F! Forum is just the icing on the cake. So we should start to consider how to persuade the BEEB to keep one of its jewels.
    However the FIA need to have a major rethink on how to maintain spectator interest -it has become too over-regulated in all respects, too many gizmos etc, racing rules (how can even one defensive "move" be acceptable?) and how can the thought of a 4 cyl turbo engine maxed at 12000rpm be anything more than a turn-off - just listen to MotorSport weekly video podcast to understand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 98.

    The whole BBC Commentary team are a big bunch of HEROES! Ye guys have the best job in the world and its great to see people who enjoy it and don't take it for granted! Awesome job! :)

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm just crossing my fingers for a little rain in China over the weekend.
    Red Bull look awesome in terms of their single lap and race pace.
    Mclaren, Ferrari and Mercedes all need to up their game a few levels because I'm predicting a cruise to the title this year for Vettel.
    The viewing may look great at the moment Jake but if Red Bull and Vettel enter a Ferrari-esque period of dominance the casual viewer is going to be switching off.
    Also please please can we have a little less focus on Red Bull on the race show and some features about the other teams lower down the order???? The show needs more balance rather than an unswerving loyalty to covering the top teams and drivers.

  • Comment number 100.

    If Humphrey is such a BBC 'golden boy', why is it, that by his own admission, most drivers and principals avoid him and his ''team'' like the plague. Of course he has support of those on this blog sharing a brain cell. The obvious exception is Martin Brundle, who is solid gold.


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