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The chaos and thrills of a grand prix Sunday

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Jake Humphrey | 08:20 UK time, Monday, 20 April 2009

Hello,

Blog 12. 11.30 Monday morning. Terminal 2, Shanghai Airport. Double espresso and steamed pork bun just devoured.

I finished our red button F1 Forum on Sunday evening by saying that this sport has once again proved you can't take your eyes off it for a moment - another weekend packed with incident, controversy and, yes, rain. Unbelievable.

Anyway, thought you'd like to hear about how this Sunday felt from my perspective.

To start with the morning of race day just flies by. Up, shower, out of the hotel by 8.30 (apart from this week when my watch had inexplicably stopped at 7.45 and the production manager Anne called at 8.35 as I was still in the shower... whoops... we finally got away about 8.55!)

So, apologise to Anne, negotiate China's rather haphazard rules of the road with our driver Mr Hu and translator No No. The team all get to the circuit, make our way past security to the Portakabin-style production offices, where I get on the wireless, check the news, finish my script, have a production meeting to discuss where we will be for each segment and then put on my 'show clothes'.

At this point we're still about 90 minutes away from transmission and I go to see Sunil in VT to try to watch some of the items on tape. I think this is really important because if I don't see them now I realistically never will because once I link into an item live it's time to reposition to another area, welcome a guest, speak to the gallery or listen to some important info from the producer Mark. Unfortunately, this week VT were up to their eyeballs and just poking my head around the door I knew it was a no-go area!

I wouldn't want some presenter wandering in asking to stop the whole process, so as much as it pained me I knew this week it just wasn't happening.

Instead I set off to the paddock through a tunnel that leads under the start-finish straight to go through the show with pundits David Coulthard and Mike Gascoyne and make sure they're comfortable with everything.

Obviously there isn't the luxury of an autocue on a job like this so I read my script out loud as I go, trying to burn the words onto the old grey matter. I get some funny looks as I wonder along saying, "Good morning and welcome to Shanghai for our..." You get the picture!

This week we wanted to pre-record the very top of the coverage on the grid with some shaolin monks entertaining the grandstand behind me. I was standing in the pouring rain for 20 minutes waiting for the prime moment to deliver what I thought was a killer line and as I started to speak someone from Formula 1 Management threw us off the grid...

Frustrating, and a real shame as I was reduced to just doing a less jazzy intro live in the pit lane, and we'd missed our rehearsal window too. So no VTs seen, no rehearsal done, and no opener shot. Things were going well!

Once we were on air I was pretty happy with how it went, by and large. We got up-close and personal with Sebastian Vettel's race-winning car, hopefully conveyed the atmosphere in the pits, paddock, and this week even on the grid.

By the way, did you notice the guy try to stop us getting onto the grid until DC flashed his pass? Yes, stop me if you want to be officious, mate, but not the guy to my left... it's David blinkin' Coulthard!

Once that was safely negotiated, and DC and Martin Brundle had chatted to various grid guys - including a cheeky Seb Vettel - it was race time, and an opportunity for me to take a quick breather.

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During the race I tend to retreat to the Red Bull hospitality, mainly because with DC still heavily associated and involved with Red Bull he can get accurate race information in there, and he's more welcome than in other places. There's quite a territorial vibe in the paddock and it's harder for other teams to accommodate him.

It was fascinating to watch the race with DC and Mike. Mike pretty much called every strategy the teams should employ before they did it, and David has such a natural empathy with what the drivers are experiencing.

He was telling me that in the wet he is using his sixth, seventh and eighth senses just to keep the car on the road. It's a natural 'feeling' that you employ. Incredibly he says you actually listen to the car in front! Obviously, these cars have no break lights and being nose to tail in the rain at 120mph your eyes alone don't give you the info you need to stay on the track. Amazing insights.

I remember when I was presenting Football Focus one weekend and before we went on air I was watching Norwich v Tamworth in the FA Cup with Gary Pallister, who's won the trophy three times. Ninety minutes of pure enlightenment. Yesterday was the same.

And the atmosphere in there? Well, there was an intake of breath when Sebastian Buemi hit Vettel from behind, bitten lips when Mark Webber was sparring with Jenson Button and a real release of emotional release when RBR bagged their first win in a one-two finish. DC was quite emotional. He seems really at ease with the fact that it was the right time to stop and that a very, very talented guy has taken his seat.

What were your thoughts on the race? I thought it entertained once more and, apart from the front two, Buemi and the McLaren duo impressed me. We really have been blessed with the drama the racing has thrown up this season and I feel so, so lucky to be at the eye of the storm, bringing the show to your living rooms.

I appreciate how fortunate I am and I hope this blog continues to go some way to letting you all know what life's like on my side of the fence - and that I'm not taking this job for granted.

I hope you all pressed red after the race as the F1 Forum was fascinating at times this week. Cheers for your e-mails. Keep them coming next week to f1@bbc.co.uk and sorry I didn't get round to yours GFasulo.

I've read all your blog responses. Glad you like the added dimension of pit lane and grid movement. All comments noted and taken on board!

Right, off to Hong Kong which is our stop on the way to Bahrain, where knowing our luck it'll be raining in the desert!

Have a great Monday, I'll try to sleep for the next two days and drop by with a blog later in the week once the bags under the eyes have faded slightly. The jet lag was definitely worse here than in Oz.

Cheers as ever,

Jake

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Great blog Jake, the insights into the behind the scenes elements are really interesting. The race was a cracker, Martin and Jonathan seem to be gelling well and the DC/Mike Gascoyne partnership worked well - everyone seemed to really like Mike's inputs - hope you can get him to more races. The coverage has been excellent and the Forum on the red button brings an added dimension that is very welcome. Enjoy Hong Kong, stay off the blue duck eggs though - never again in my experience! Can't wait for Bahrain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Jake - it's great to get such a fascinating insight into how the programme is put together. It all looks seamless - although not too slick and perfect, which is just right. I love the insider view from DC and also Mike this weekend, it starts to fill in a lot of the gaps for us viewers. My two kids (6 year old son and 4 year old daughter) are absolutely riveted to the action and it's such a relief not to have to worry about (sometimes inappropriate) adverts suddenly appearing.

    I wish BBC1 could have given you slightly more time after the race had finished, but I suppose Andrew Marr waits for no man, or car! Roll on the later start times, although the breakfast races are a great way to start the day.

    Carry on the excellent, excellent work and safe travelling.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think this weekends coverage was better than ever, I like the aspect of having Mike Gasgoine in the mix coming up with the engineering side of the sport.
    I would like to have Martin Brundle technical slots to be more than a couple of mins, I understand you have to be careful of not over doing it, but I don't know it feels a bit too short.
    The overall feel to the programme is great and the website is great to, I think you and the team have done so well only 3 GP's back into F1 coverage

  • Comment number 4.

    Jake, I was wondering can you enjoy the race, or are you too busy practising and working out your next lines?

  • Comment number 5.

    The blog is good - nice to see behind the scenes of your race day. Also the BBC coverage, in it's many forms, is great. A real step up from the job ITV did, but keeping some of the best bits (like Brundle).

    Hope you get to cover GP2 when it starts in Europe.

  • Comment number 6.

    great coverage again this week, worth getting up early for and finally a race finish without the SC! Was great to see Mike Gascoyne as part of the BBC team and look forward to him being involved at other races. Also, thought the "year of the ox" intro piece to the GP was excellent, something the beeb does very well! loving the F1 forum, and had an idea... how about incorporating a "phone in" for the British GP or Euro races?

    P.S. Your blog is definitely a worthy successor to Ted's notebook!

  • Comment number 7.

    P.S. Have a really good sleep. lol

  • Comment number 8.

    Nice one jake,

    Didnt seem to get much easier then Malaysia with the ammount of water knocking about. MG was good to have in the team this weekend, especially considering the diffuser row this week. Looking forward to Bahrain next week. Have a good one.

    Facemandave

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi Jake, excellent Blog, and excellent coverage from the BBC. I think the format is very good, although would like to see more of Ted and Lee. EJ is not as bad as all that! although Mike was terrific yesterday, and to see him sometimes during the rest of the season would be good.

    One Negative, please ask the producers to get rid of Jonathan Legard, he is not up to the job, and repeatedly states the obvious! James Allen was far better, and had a good relationship with Martin. He would improve the commentary no end.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 10.

    DC and MG was inspired, and I thinkl should be a permanent solution. JL had a better weekend, mainl because it didnt seem like he as fighting MB so much. I undertand the want to be the best, but hs some severly heavy weight awards under his belt!

    Jake it was a great weekend, good links, i agree with the tech parts should be more in depth and longer as the season goes on!

    Carryon!

  • Comment number 11.

    hi jake,
    Really enjoyed it this week.Great seamless production,no errs or wells.You have taken to it like a duck in water,and the feeling of not being talked down to but being casual and still being informative that creates an ambience with the viewers.Really appreciated mikes comments more explicit and in plane language.DC seems to have found his forte after being a driver espcially his rapour with martin.keep it up and well done.
    stew

  • Comment number 12.

    When you were interviewing the Red Bull Boss, why did you not ask him the reason for wasting so much time and money on the recent Court appeal when his cars finished over 30 seconds ahead of both Brawn cars.
    Also I think you should keep Mike Gascoyne on the team for future races.

  • Comment number 13.

    Great show. I like the mix of DC & Mike as they both have great recent & relevant experience which they are able to share with us the viewer with ease. The pit walk with Martin & DC was another highlight. Here hoping that Mike can will be with the team in Bahrain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Good all round coverage by the BBC in my opinion.
    Loving…
    *The way DC has his notepad and obviously puts so much effort into prep when everyone else is winging it
    *All the different opinions - makes for good telly
    *Mike G and the way he never blinks whilst thinking
    *Eddie J and the way he never thinks whilst talking
    *The way Martin Brundle is morphing into Bernie Ecclestone with each passing season - I predict he will be running the sport within five years
    *The guy who hands out the red caps to the podium finishers backstage after each race. Cool job!
    Liking…
    *Commentary - I think it is developing into a good partnership
    *Insight and analysis is pretty good all round in my opinion
    *DC - I am lovin da crazy taste of da racin hotelier - getting better as each week goes on
    *The red button
    *Analysis on car weights - thought that publishing them had taken something away but am now quite enjoying it

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi Jake,

    Good luck catching up on the zzz's before you get to Bahrain. Great weekend's racing and I have to say the BBC's coverage is light years ahead of ITV's. The whole package is working really well from the programme's to the website info. And the Brundle and Legard combination I think is working really well. Personally i'm glad we haven't got to listen to James Allan waffling on and making ridiculous statements that take the attention away from the racing. He was always trying to make memorable quotes instead of just calling the action. I think Legard's doing an excellent job when its clearly a difficult sport to commentate on. The action's so fast and with so much happening I imagine it can be pretty difficult to keep up.

    So far the season's hotting up nicely, would have been good to see Sutil stay on the track though and pick up a few points for Force India. As if Ferrari haven't had a bad enough start ot the season, to see Force India above them in the Constructors Championship would really have given them a kick when they're down!

    Loving qualifying this year as well, so exciting to see the grid lineup change so much throughout each qualifying session. You can have people getting up to 5th spot and then 4 minutes later they're down in 15th as everyone fins an extra couple of tenths here and there.

    Anyway keep up the good work and great blogging and look forward to next week.

    Lee

  • Comment number 16.

    Mike Gascoyne is a revelation in comparison to Eddie Jordan. Can we make this a permanent switch please? I'm sure you guys review the tapes anyway, but if you just listen to some of the crazy statements EJ has made so far it is clear he is talking to fill up time rather than giving considered comments like Mike. Please keep Mike!

  • Comment number 17.

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

  • Comment number 18.

    Did I really just read someone ask for James Allen to replace Legard?

    Madness. Legard is a legend, but he needs a little time as he's more used to Radio. Give hime time, he'll pay it back in spades.

  • Comment number 19.

    Another great weekend, watched the post race forum for the first time and thought it was very good, Mike Gascoyne was a great addition and should be kept on board for the rest of the season.

  • Comment number 20.

    Good blog Jake, I was surprised to see that the emails were being read from the Blackberry that you had I your hand! I don't know how else this would have been done, I suppose a laptop but there you go.

    I can't believe that I am looking forward to a race in the dry! It was a shame that the race didn't dry up a little and inter's could be used, also a shame that we could start as normal. I'm sure Alonso was thinking the same!

    Looking forward to the next race in just a few days.

    What with the GP going into extra time and the football doing the same I watched about 6 hours of sport on Sunday, the wife wasn't pleased.

  • Comment number 21.

    More great coverage by the BBC, the team seems to work really well together. Mike Gascoyne was very good, could he be taken on full time as he certainly gave a very intresting 'pit wall' view of the race.

    Anyway keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 22.

    Hi Jake,

    No problem about not getting round to my question. There are always going to be a few people disappointed! I'm going to keep trying at every race with various questions until one of them is read out!
    Really enjoyed the Forum by the way.

    I do have a question which ties in about your insight into what you do during the race (which was really interesting by the way). Do you listen to Jonathan and Martin all the way through the race through your ear pieces? I notice you sometimes say "As Jonathan pointed out in commentary..." or "As Martin said..." Or does someone tell you what they said because they think it's relevant?

    Safe journey to Bahrain.

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi Jake,
    Pretty good show you, DC., and others are putting on: surely Bahrain can't be wet as were the previous two! Suppose it can do little if any harm to pray to Mecca for once during the next two weeks.
    Cheers, ChrisPSR

  • Comment number 24.

    Firstly Jake, congrats to you and all the staff at the BBC. You all do a fantastic job, and it's a thrill to have F1 back where it belongs.

    The only minor gripe I have is the commentary team. As previous respondents have said, It is a new pairing and will get better as they get used to each other, but that doesn't excuse silly mistakes with names/positions/not quite following the race closely enough. I can't think of precise examples, but I found myself quite often pointing out corrections.

    Which I think brings me nicely on to my main point of posting:
    When will Murray Walker be making a guest appearance?

  • Comment number 25.

    Jake, another great show, very impressed with presentation and coverage.

    Mike Gascoyne gave a fantastic insight - would be great to have him on the team on a more regular basis.

  • Comment number 26.

    Hi Jake, I'd just like to chime in with praise for Mike Gascoyne. I can well believe he called every strategy right, I thought he was fantastic - very alert to what was going on and very succinct. It was good to hear him clear up Brawn's role in the TWG with regard to the double diffuser, it sounded to me like Mike thought Ross had acted very properly; it would be wonderful to have Gascoyne full time. Great job from the team in Shanghai, I thoroughly enjoyed the race.

  • Comment number 27.

    Really enjoyed the race although it was such cruel luck for Sutil to spin off from 6th when he'd been doing very well.

    I'm enjoying the BBC coverage so far, it's great to be able to watch the practice sessions on the red button and the post-race forum is good too.

    I think Jonathan Legard is improving with practice. As 355gts pointed out, he had previously done radio commentary which is somewhat different from television. I hope Mike Gascoyne can guest at a few more races through the season as well as his insight was very useful.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 28.

    Hi Jake!

    Great GO this week, although unfortunately i had to catch the highlights due to playing golf, but it's a shame the highlights are so short at the begining, it's sometimes nice to have a bit of build up if you miss the main show. Do you know for any reason why BBC don't put it on loop on the red button like they do with moto gp?

    I think everything is working amzingly well, everyone envolved is doing a great job although i do agree with the EJ comments, he's too out of touch with the sport i think and MG is so the opposite having just come out of it.

    BBC sport have always had a great nack of summing up an event and the goodbye segments on the last three have been great, it's almost as if you guys have a complete department for this, so well done to the VT guys who must put it all together so quickly.

    Safe travelling dude! (so jealous) beeb comp to join you one day?

    Thanks

    Blaine

  • Comment number 29.

    I loved the MB & DC grid walk, maybe you should try that again it was brilliant.
    But please give Lee and Ted more air time, I always enjoyed Louise's interviews on ITV. Please give Lee more interviews and Ted.
    And what about trying to get Anthony Davidson into the pre-show or red button talks, he always had useful insights when ITV used him. Or is having 3 ex-racing drivers to many to try and get different opions from (even though Anthony should still be racing!!!).

  • Comment number 30.

    Hi Jake. Really loving the Beebs coverage, and your blog gives good insight to what goes on behind the scenes. I really liked MG this week. far better than EJ - could we have MG in permanent please?

    I'm still getting used to Legard. Some of his comments annoyed me, like when he said the softer tires seemed to be working well, even though every driver said they were rubbish. Hopefully he'll improve as time goes on.

    The pit lane wander was also good, and the combination of DC and MB on the grid walk was great. They were like the Bash Brothers this week, muscling in on interviews. Martin's comment to another presenter that he'd booked months ago was brill.

    Keep it up, looking forward to Bahrain.

  • Comment number 31.

    Overall it's been a great start to the season on the BBC.

    Mike Gascoyne - Revelation of the weekend.
    His insight into what was happening with strategies on track was simply exceptional.
    Perhaps you could persuade EJ to stay home more often? He's maybe the only week link in the production so far..

    Beyond that Jonathan Legard is improving with each race, yes it was somewhat painful listening to his commentary in Oz at times but he's clearly starting to become more comfortable with the TV role. Fingers crossed in a race or twos time he'll be on top form.

    Martin and DC on the grid was simply superb..

    Jake - your blog is great and you're style is very refreshing.

    I hope the year continues as well as it's started.

  • Comment number 32.

    To start off, I'm loving these blogs. You give us a really good insight into the behind the scenes stuff and how stressful (and sometimes improvised) this job is. Of course it must also be enjoyable. I also like the way you don't pretend to be an expert - you have DC there, after all.

    I still feel Jonathan Legard needs to get into it a little more but I think he and Martin Brundle just need a little time to gel as it is starting to improve. I know we can press the red button for Antony Davidson but it would be good to see (well hear) him on the main coverage along with Brundle and Legard. There is a saying 'three is a crowd' but I think that it would work really well.

    DC has been brilliant and he really seems to be enjoying this punditry role he has now. You could also see how happy and satisfied he was after RBR secured their first win. Gascoyne was also very good over the weekend.

    Just a quick question - do you have a favourite team/driver or do you not favour any?

    Anyway, keep up the great work.

  • Comment number 33.

    The only comment I would make would be to tell Jonathan Legard, that sometimes less is more, and the picture should do the talking.

    Apart from that, I'm enjoying F1 again after a few years of mediocrity... Could it be because Ferrari are not winning?? :)

  • Comment number 34.

    Great coverage again. Thanks. Mike's insight, especially around the race strategies and pit stop windows was fascinating.- Would love that to be regular part of the build up.

  • Comment number 35.

    Dear BBC, please, please, please keep Mike Gascoyne as he is a revelation in comparison to Eddie Jordan.

    BTW Jake, great blogs, good insight into your world, lucky s0d.....keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 36.

    Good work Jake, agreed about buemi and kovalainen, although i would agree with hamilton that it was actually one of his poorer races. obviously the graining of the tires limited what he could manage with the car but despite some fantastic overtakes there were certainly a few extra-curricular excursions whereas Heikki was just pure solid. Don't get me wrong im as big a Hamilton fan as anyone! Vettel and to a large extent Webber, were both fantastic in the wet, did anyone see Vettel make a single mistake?? buemi did everything he could and deserved his point. but my "other" driver of the day was Adrian Sutil. gutting for him to once again have his hopes shattered about 5 from home. Having come from 18th, fighting his way through the field against a lot of quicker guys in quicker cars proved that he has the ability if he cuts out some errors and even more so if the force india improves this season. Ferrari - dear oh dear... Jake your thoughts on the men and cars in red?

  • Comment number 37.

    Hi Jake,

    Have to say i love reading your blogs, what a great insight to the world we never see as the viewer (the off air stuff). Hope your enjoying the travelling and atmosphere of every race. Just out of interest how much of the race do you actually get to see as i'd imagine you only see the odd bit in between preparing for the end of the race and getting in position etc. Keep up the good work.

    David.

  • Comment number 38.

    Hi Jake.

    A very enjoyable Grand Prix, probably the best yet from Shanghi. It's a shame it came too late for Andrew Benson's internet vote.

    Good to see the drivers having to endure very testing conditions. Both Jenson Button and Mark Weber seemed to relish the challenge and looked very satisfied with completeing the race. That's a good thing because driving an F1 car should be a testing challenge.

    Great coverage again. My Sunday morning was wiped out by it completely. Congratulations to you and the team for four hours of quality coverage. In the forum a question about Lewis Hamilton being a wet weather master was tabled. I agree that in the past Lewis has performed well in the wet, however all drivers who have been labeled as such in the past have had the odd bad wet race in their career. Even Ayrton Senna and Micheal Schumacher! I thought both Mclaren drivers performed well in difficult cars.

    For me two things stood out. Jonathan Legard said of Vettel "He is in a class of his own", and I agree 100%. A very cool performance in qualifying with just 3 runs, followed by a calm headed drive in the race to take a victory similar to his win in Monza last season.

    And secondly, Mike Gasgoyne showed brilliant insight regarding the race stratergy and car design. I do hope he can cover a few more races this season.

    I agree with Kordith Post #29 that Anthony Davidson would be good addition to the post race forum. I suppose that depends on his availabilty due to his commitments with Radio 5 Live. Speaking of which I notice that when you trail forthcoming programes on the BBC you do not mention the Five Live formula one programme on Radio 5 on Friday evenings. Worth a mention as this is another excellent aspect to the BBC's F1 coverage this year.

    Now it's on to Bahrain. It should not rain, however I wouldn't rule out a sandstorm!

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm critical of some elements of the BBC sporting coverage, mostly around some of the terrible cricketing journalism, but this is a good blog and, more importantly, the BBC coverage has been superb. John Legard is getting more into it and viewers do need to realise that he is learning. Commenting on television, where you don't have to paint a picture of the action, is different to radio commentary. The choice of pundit has been excellent and has never felt like an unecessary distraction like many of the football pundits employed.

    The online coverage is great. Sitting in bed with the laptop on Sunday morning was great!

  • Comment number 40.

    Great weekend's coverage, really enjoyed it...the fluidity of you DC and MG moving up and down the pitlane and onto the grid works well. One minor thing get rid of the annoying beeps attached to the countdown clock...it's not 24!

  • Comment number 41.

    Hi Jake,

    This is my first time commenting on your blog, and the first thing I would like to do is to compliment you on it! It really is a very good read every time and provides a rare insight into the world of live sport presenting on television.

    With regard to presenting, I am again going to have to compliment you very highly. I started watchin the F1 the year it moved to ITV so have never known anything different to the ITV programme, until this season that is! What an amazing programme! The quality and content are supreme and, although this is not your doing, the racing is the best ever!

    It is a pity that the first three races were at such unnatural times of the morning in the UK. I know this is nothing to do with the BBC! I managed to watch all of the qualifying live but the chances of being up early on a Sunday morning, ..slim! I have been disappointed that the re-runs and the replay on the iPlayer have not featured the full programme. I was also annoyed that the Malaysian Grand Prix took so long to be uploaded onto the iPlayer. But nevermind, I got to see them in the end, and this isn't really your doing!

    I think the DC and MG combination with you this weekend was brilliant. I liked EJ, but only because it was funny to watch, that interview with BE was awful! Hopefully MG can be on more, don't get rid of EJ totally, his contribution is entertaining!

    Quickly, I have got to compliment MB for his comment when butting in on the people interviewing Alonso on the grid! 'We booked months ago!' Classic! I don't know where he gets the nerve to be so 'rude' (but in a good way!), all I know is that it is fantastic viewing!

    Finally, compliments to the graphics guys, the virtual grid walk before the race (the re-run of the programme on Sunday afternoon) featured virtual rain! Every detail is being presented to the viewer perfectly.

    I suppose that could be a summary of the BBC coverage as a whole. Every detail of the race weekend is being presented to the viewer perfectly!

    Keep up the great work!

  • Comment number 42.

    I realise time was limited but the coverage in the re-run was lousy. There was practically no introduction - we were just plonked into the race several laps in. I realise that the BBC F1 team's hands are tied but surely more time could have been found in the schedule. Ben Fogel could stand to be on telly for an hour less for a start. Anyone who missed him could just have switched to BBC2 and watched him there.

    Also - and this is a matter of personal taste - I don't mind if there are occasional patches of silence in the commentary. Does Jonathan Legard breathe in through his ears?

  • Comment number 43.

    I enjoyed the race. I agree with a comment earlier about spotting mistakes that JL was making on saying the wrong driver / team etc. OFC an odd mistake is understandable but it is, (or at least seems) a regular occurence.

    I would like to see the build up on the repeats as well, maybe not all of it but at least more than the current 5 minutes. I do try and wake up for the early races but sometimes my eyes refuse to open!

    Finally is only one thing I miss from ITV and it's from their website. They had a news story on Sunday evening after a race with a comment from each driver on how their race went. Was interesting to understand what drivers like Sutil etc were thinking as well as people who are a constant midfield.

    All in all though really enjoy it.

    P.S will the Bahrain practices be looped throughout the day on red button as I'm working when they are on.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 44.

    Lovin the blog, and the other articles by the presenting team so keep that up guys. Coverage is great and improving - Legard is improving with each race and is buiulding his rapport with Martin Brundle which is excellent news.

    My main gripe is still at the end of the coverage the "music montage" of the race - yes you used non-BBC music this time round but it always seems to be very downbeat. Come on guys, Formula 1 is excitement and glamour, the music should be upbeat and loud to reflect the sport!!! (Surprisingly ITV did do these really well)

    Apart from that - great coverage and articles - well done to yourself and the team

  • Comment number 45.

    Jake, another great post-race blog, very enlightening once again. Just one thing, for various reasons I am yet to have the chance catch the red button forum after the race, would be great to get it on the iplayer.

    Other observations: -
    Mike Gascoyne added a very good dimension to the show this week. A massive improvement from EJ.
    DC is great at answering questions, not so great at asking them.
    I want to like Legard, but aside from the obvious issue of still taling like he on the radio, he needs to give MB more opportunity to speak. I often get the impression that Martin is about to say something only for Legard to jump in with a pointless and/or inaccurate statement. I would prefer to hear Martin's voice predominantly with legard reacting to the flow of the conversation.

  • Comment number 46.

    Hi Jake,

    I'm really enjoying your blog! It's a great insight into behind the scenes and is really enhancing viewing pleasure for me.

    Do you have a Twitter account? Some other F1 observers do and I'm finding it very interesting too.

    My comments/suggestions about your coverage so far:
    -> The walk to the grid on the race build up was excellent, and passing to MB and DC for the grid walk was brilliant!
    -> I'm not so fussed on EJ, I have to be honest. I think he has great insight but I don't think he's the same level [of credibility] as the rest of the team. The disagreements between him and DC are good though and show real knowledge and passion for the sport.
    -> I would suggest that there is not enough in-depth pieces for die-hard F1 fans. MB's technical slots are too short (he won an award previously for his technical pieces, didn't he?) and infrequent. It was great that MG finally gave us the real low down on the diffuser issue - up till now, all we knew was it was the bit on the back of the car and we had to go to other sources if we wanted to find out technically what was going on (no one has even quoted the exact regulation that was causing the controversy, as far as I've seen, BTW).
    -> I liked MG too - a real complement to DC.
    -> I'm not convinced yet by JL. I know a commentary relationship requires time to bed in, but I'm not too impressed so far, and I feel that MB has actually weakened as a result. Give it time I guess, but I hope it improves.
    -> Finally, it would be great to SEE more of LMcK. With the glamour of F1 it would be good to see some more of it on screen from the BBC team! (no offence to you blokes of course... :-) )

    I hope these are constructive.

    Keep up the good work - looking forward to Bahrain!

  • Comment number 47.

    I thought the coverage this weekend was really good. As many have said, Mike was great. Martin Brundle provides a lot of the technical side of the sport but because he is a commentator he isn't used as much in the build up to the race but Mike covered this nicely. I think with you, DC and MG it makes a good combination, the presenter keeping it all together, an ex driver and an ex technical man of the sport covers pretty much everything you could need.

    The comment about DC's pink shirt was brilliant, I loved the way the camera quickly cut to him pulling a face while the show carried on.

    Looking forward to what has to be a dry race in Bahrain and seeing the comparison in performance of the cars compared to Australia.

  • Comment number 48.

    Thanks for the information Jake and can i just say what a great job you are doing. I was always a fan of Steve Ryder but you are just as good in my opinion (maybe a little better actually i would say). You ask great questions and hold the show together so well, the BBC chose right! Looking forward to Bahrain.

  • Comment number 49.

    Steamed pork bun?! I'm not sure I approve of that at all.

    Yesterday's race was amazing, the coverage was fantastic and your blog, as ever, is thoroughly interesting and enjoyable. Keep up the great work!

  • Comment number 50.

    Fantastic blog Jake, very insightful.

    I guess I'm a 'new fan' to the sport, swept along with the LH effect of the last 2 seasons, but the more I watch the more I appreciate the talent of the drivers, watching from the on board camera is amazing, those guys couldn't have seen more than a cars lenght in front of them at points yesterday. A combination of genius and insanity!

    Brilliant coverage, being able to watch from qualifying to podium is great too (glad to see the back of that Sony Poodle!)

    Keep up the good work and roll on Friday (in the sun!!)

    Beancounta

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi Jake,
    Really enjoying the F1 coverage. Think you are doing a great job.
    Couple of suggestions though - the bbc f1 site is a bit 'messy' and not the easiest to find what I'm looking for. The content is great, like the track guide, your blog etc.
    Also, I prefer the 5 live commentary to listening to JL (really like MB though).
    I think you should have a technical guest presenter every week like Mike Gasgoyne to join yourself and DC and get rid of EJ!
    Max

  • Comment number 52.

    I think everyone else has said it all about the standard of the coverage, so I'm not going to repeat it!

    Other than the usual suspects, one of the drivers who impressed me most was Adrian Sutil, who drove a solid race until the dying laps when he hit some standing water and aquaplaned off into the gravel. His car is obviously not on a par with the others, and then when he does a driver's job and gets in the points, he always seems to have bad luck. I guess at least this time it was the fates rather than another car which took him out, like at Monaco last year (naughty unpunished Kimi), and he can still be proud of his achievement.

    I liked that Mike Gascoigne, in a surprisingly confident manner given it's his first TV stint, interrupted the end of the presentation to give Force India and Sutil a plaudit they deserved!! That man has cojones!!

    Andrew B, the website is full of excellent content, but a bit of a mess to navigate - at one point over the weekend I went looking for Jake's blog, and had to go all round the houses to fund it, because the link had gone off the front page!! Criminal!!! :-)

    Keep it up guys, and yes MG would be a good permanent addition, but (and I know I'm in a minority here) I still like EJ's irreverence - can we have both at different times?

    Chris

    P.S. Norwich 2 Ipswich 3... :-(

  • Comment number 53.

    Oh, by the way, what's with the pre-moderation? This blog was reactively moderated until recently - have some people been naughty???

  • Comment number 54.

    ...monsoon conditions in Malaysia and China.......sandstorms in Bahrain? What will DC wear on top of his head to protect him from the sand?!!!

    Once again, you're doing a tremendous job, Jake. Keep it up, this season is proving to be one of the best I've seen in 20 years of following F1 - great to see the grid turned upside down. Sutil to win in Bahrain!

  • Comment number 55.

    "By the way, did you notice the guy try to stop us getting onto the grid until DC flashed his pass? Yes, stop me if you want to be officious, mate, but not the guy to my left... it's David blinkin' Coulthard!"

    Hi Jake - I'd love to but the BBC iPlayer isn't showing the full Sunday race - it says 3h10 duration when you click on the listing but when you actually click play, the duration suddenly becomes 2h15 and starts at the actual race coverage. Hopefully this will be spotted and sorted out soon as I'm sure many of us would like to see the build-up.

    In case you're wondering why I didn't watch it at 7am (hangs head in shame), I was watching the Family Guy marathon on BBC Three until 2:20am Sunday morning and I slept right through the alarm!

    Keep up the good work Jake and I think Mike Gascoyne did a great job this weekend too!

  • Comment number 56.

    I agree completely with comment 9 by Melscott. Jake, you are doing a brilliant job but I find Jonathan Legard very har to listen to. He gets excited in completely the wrong places, he talks far too much and some of his comments are poor, ie he found it strange that Trulli was out of the race when Kubica hit him but Vettel wasn't when Buemi 'tapped' him! BRING BACK JAMES ALLEN who was very natural, knowledgable and had a good working relationship with MB.

  • Comment number 57.

    Jake - so impressed with both the coverage and everyone's dedication to the info on this website. This blog is great and gives a real "behind the scenes" insight to sports broadcasting.

    Agree with many of the comments on here that Mike Gascoigne was a really great addition to the team and provided some fascinating viewpoints. I'm so impressed at how many people on your team, who have either never been involved with TV or with F1 before have been so excellent in their roles (yourself included) in what must be difficult circumstances bearing in mind what's been going on in the first few races. Whilst ITV's coverage was broadly good, you've all taken it on another level and I've never been so excited about the sport, which is at least partly due to the BBC. I'm proud that my license fee is being used for such great television and other media.

    And if anyone ever says to get rid of the gridwalks at the start - ignore them. They are (admittedly not always intentionally) absolutely hilarious. Martin Brundle is a comic genuis. FACT.

  • Comment number 58.

    Hi Jake..fascinating insight as always. i missed the first hour of the show on sunday morning as i was nursing a hangover but got in from a party for about 10 to 8 so i caught the race.
    i thought Lewis and Heiki drove superbly and Lewis in particular was really pushing towards the end, costing him at least a place to his team mate.
    well done to red bull though..seb and mark drove a fine controlled race and totally deserved to finish one and two respectively.
    Ferrari?? whats going on?? major concerns but as a Lewis Hamilton fan im kinda glad they are suffering.
    i watched the race online in me bed as i was still fairly canned and i was impressed that at the end of the normal transmission it automatically went straight into the forum without me having to get up and go into the living room and press the red button so top marks!!
    am so looking forward to an afternoon race! ha

    keep up the great work mate

    connors-75

  • Comment number 59.

    I know Martin Brundle used to be DC's manager, but it really seemed that they were linking up beautifully in the race coverage. MB stated a fact and then asked DC to confirm. They obviously have a good understanding of each other, perhaps more could be made of this in the future.
    As for the grid-walk, quite fascinating. The amount of respect DC gets from everyone is incredible. The "double" grid walk should definately be repeated, however, not at every race. (It is quite funny when no one talks to martin).

    As for the other pundits, while I love Eddie's eccentricity, maybe asking him to analyse every race would be too much (but I would like to hear him play the spoons again). Mike was great and perhaps the pundits (except from DC) could be alternated. It would be intriguing to hear fellow Conlig inhabitent Eddie Irvine trying not to swear live on air.

    As for you Jake, the coverage was fluent and, hearing that you have had a few close calls was surprising because of the way it has been covered up. The interactive forum was super, but I would like to see you clicking and dragging on the interactive tv in this section (that's why I liked Martin analysing driver lines in Malaysia and Mike analysing the diffusers in China).

    Keep up the great work. Can things really get any better (apart from what myself and others have suggested above)?

    Simon Hull (from Northern Ireland)

  • Comment number 60.

    Forgot to mention DC's sunglasses. Will they ever come off?

  • Comment number 61.

    By the way I disagree with those who say that EJ is not required/as good etc. Not only is he clearly still knowledge (as you would expect from someone of his experience) but he provides something F1 coverage has not really had before - banter!

  • Comment number 62.

    Hi Jake!

    My first reply to your blog but I have been following all the BBC coverage intensively, and as others have said your blog provides a fascinating insight into the sport.

    I'm delighted that you feel privileged to be in the presenting job and your efforts show in your high quality presentation. I first remember you presenting a computer games show on the E3 event in LA years ago, and I was jealous of you going to that then!!! Now you get to cover one of the best sports in the world.

    I really enjoyed the race and Mike Gascoyne was a great addition. Great to see Vettel doing so well and also nice to see Lewis passing a few people even if he did come off the track again.

    Can't wait til Bah'rain', without the 'rain'!!!!

  • Comment number 63.

    Another good blog and another nutty race. I assume you've seen the City score. It's not looking good.

  • Comment number 64.

    Where's the Sun gone another Grand Prix where the backroom boys had to find the right set up with tyres once again paramount.How refreshing to see a young German with a smile on his face and not a scowl like we used to witness from Schumi.Sebastian Vettle is a F1 star of the future and after last seasons race at Monza showed yet again he can be a rainmaster.Red Bull have worked as hard as anybody over the years and deserve their success at Shanghai.
    Ron Dennis can look back on a career with McClaren with alot of pride when Bruce McClaren passed on Ron took up the mansell sorry mantle and challenged the big boys of Ferrari and at the time Lotus sparring with the late great Colin Chapman and the head teacher like Ken Tyrell.It might be right to say that all the politics have had a detrimental effect on Ron's decision and whether Martin Whitmarsh can take McClaren back to the pinacle remains to be seen.Lewis Hamilton still has the driving force and the winning mentality it seems Ron Dennis has become somewhat cheesed off with complexity of it all. Anyway the Beeb are doing a fine job once again Bahrain no rain?

  • Comment number 65.

    Hi Jake

    A great blog, been reading from the start but this is the first post from me. I'm a massive F1 fan and I'd just like to say well done to you & the team for an excellent start to F1 coverage back on the beeb. Although I missed most of the buildup this weekend as I set the HD recorder to tape Red Button coverage which of course for some reason only starts 10 mins before the race. Anyway that will teach me to try & sneak and extra 30min in bed.

    This weekend's coverage was really good, I very much like having Mike Gascoigne included - great technical insight. The coverage after the race is great too, just sitting around having a chin wag, even seeing Martin struggling to hide his cuppa before the camera hit on him, it's great, makes it all so real and human.

    Keep up the good work you lucky "bleep", dream job or what but I can see it's also a hell of a lot of work (be it not propper work:-))

    Looking forward to Bahrain.

  • Comment number 66.

    Great Blog Jake,

    It sounds like it was a hectic time before the coverage but as usual the coverage was excellent which led to a fantastic Chinese GP, I also watched the F1 Forum and thought that to was very good with the analysis and the interview with Christian Horner.

    I am liking the music that goes with the VT's, so good job to the production team for picking the music

    I'm really excited for Bahrain this weekend and lets hope it will be a hot one to test the cars in hotter conditions

    Keep Up The Great Work!

    Jonny

  • Comment number 67.

    An excellent and insightful blog as ever Jake, it’s turning into a must read.
    I’m not usually a fan of the BBC but the Formula 1 coverage you are giving us is worth the licence fee on its own, words I thought I would never utter.
    This weekends race coverage was some of the best I’ve ever watched, I especially liked the return of the Forum with its extended post race press conference coverage and the very welcomed addition of Mike Gascoyne’s excellent technical input, if only his role was permanent. There seemed to be a more natural flow or chemistry between Mike, David and yourself, certainly more so than when Eddie is present monopolising air time.
    Keep up the good work, you’re doing F1 proud.

  • Comment number 68.

    I'd like Mike to be involved in future races. Although I enjoy EJ's opinions, the technical views from Mike, especially during the race, is definitely something that I like, and I think his thoughts during the race, like in China, is something that should be continued.

    A request for future shows, I'd like more interviews with other, lesser-known people in F1, for example, the pit crew, the mechanics, I think that would definitely help to get a feel of how much much team effort goes into these races.

    Other than that, I look forward to your coverage for Bahrain.

  • Comment number 69.

    Jake
    Great blog and even better presenting.
    Would you all stop making excuses for JL. He is an experianced commentator who really should have got his act together from day one.
    Jake is new to F1 but is miles better than Steve Ryder so why isn't JL better than we are used to?
    His knowledge is poor, fails to notice key moments, (Kimi ahead of Lewis, who was actually leading the race, etc) and seemed more excited about Vettel winning then Jenson in the previous 2 grand prix.
    Please replase him ASAP. He really is not going to get any better!

  • Comment number 70.

    Hi Jake,

    Thought the coverage was great.I would echo what other people are saying that Mike Gascoyne was an great addition to the team and hope he can be there more often.

    Martin was great as ever, the mans a legend! I still feel Jonathon Legard needs a bit of time to gel with him and tailor his commentry style to tv but hopefully this will come.

    Looking forward to Bahrain, and having a bit of a lie in!!

  • Comment number 71.

    Hi Jake ,
    Just a few quick things to say, Like most on here liking very much Mike Gascoyne this week , do try to keep him please , That and this weeks grid walk , dont know how they both felt about it but it seems that we all liked it alot . they really seemed to enjoy it , hope so .

    Lovin your work , Cheers .....

  • Comment number 72.

    Coverage was brill! This the first race I've managed to see from start to finish. Loved the double grid walk, and the fact that you managed to grab Martin when he was on the grid. There is a lot of natural banter between all of you which I love, ITV was so regimented.
    Will just echo the iplayer comments though, this really should be addressed, other programs get on their really quickly formula one should be too, and the whole program! I appreciate you want people to watch the reruns later in the day but they're different audiences. Also the reruns really could do with being a complete repeat of the whole program not just the race.
    Aside from those minor gripes, think your doing a brilliant job.

  • Comment number 73.

    Jake, I think your blog is the best part of the BBC F1 website! Please keep them coming.

  • Comment number 74.

    Great blog, Jake.
    You mentioned who had impressed you yesterday but there was no mention of Massa... he drove a fabulous race until his recurring bad luck struck again! Actually there wasn't much mention of Ferrari in the forum yesterday either; okay they may be a midfield team right now but it would have been nice to see an interview with Felipe after the race.

  • Comment number 75.

    Fantastic coverage Jake, keep up the good work with the race coverage, blog and the fan forum. I'm really enjoying the questions you gave to Mike and DC, really insightful on the technical/strategy side. You're asking the stuff that the hardcore fans want to know, from the people in the paddock! Trust me, the fans appreciate a presenter who knows their sport, keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 76.

    Jake (and the rest ofthe BBC team)
    Great coverage - fantastic this week to have a "pit wall" insight from Mike!

  • Comment number 77.

    I do like the red button chats after the race, it is nice to have a really informed view, even if I sometimes don't agree with them!!, but then how boring it would be if we all agreed with everyone else. This time I thought DC and Martin Brundle were a bit mean mouthed about young L.Hamilton's drive, he seemed to be the only one who was really pushing his car in the wet to try and make up places, and spent the whole race doing just that, after pushing it too hard a number of times and going for a few spins. It's been a good year so far, for once we seem to be having a season with hopefully lots of winners and not just two teams in the running.

    Well done BBC for a great program, just a pity about the boring titles though, I dare you to show that YouTube chaps opening titles version and ask us to vote on which ones are the best :)

    if you have'nt seen it, it's this one:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dtms1IppbPg

  • Comment number 78.

    Hi Jake,

    Loving the BBC coverage of the F1 still - it's fantastic! Did you manage to find somewhere to follow the NCFC game on Sunday afternoon? You were probably better off in China than over here!

    Hope you can keep up the good work throughout the rest of the season.

  • Comment number 79.

    I'm loving the Blog Jake. Great insight.

    Got to say I was sceptical about the 'transfer' across from ITV but you've not let us down. A great improvement. I enjoyed the movement in China but don't over-do the whole 'walking about thing' we don't want it to detract from Martin's grid walk.

    Mike was fantastic. Much better than what we get from the 'EJ show'. Please get him back. He really gives a new dimension and is a huge improvement on Eddie. Mike over Eddie for 2010 without a doubt.

    Missed the Malaysian GP coverage as I was at the track.....and stayed dry! under the amazing grandstand....but from what I read you 'filled' tremendously.

    I'm looking forward to catching a forum on the Red Button after Bahrain when live coverage reaches a more sociable hour. Enjoy Hong Kong. Looking forward to Bahrain.

  • Comment number 80.

    I think I'm summarising a lot of other people's comments:

    - Great blog - very insightful
    - Great presenting - as a viewer you feel as though you're there with your mates, not being presented with a fashion show
    - Keep MG in a permanent role. A fantastic addition to the team.
    - Use EJ more sparingly
    - I presume you do actually employ TK & LM? If so, please don't waste them.
    - Get JL some tv commentary guidance from somewhere, please! Plus extra practice with MB so they get to know each other's styles.
    - Some really nice graphics being introduced. A particular favourite is the fuel-adjusted qualifying lap order. Keep 'em coming.
    - Extend MB's technical pieces, on the website if necessary. In fact, more technical pieces generally, please.
    - More stuff on iplayer too: full coverage, red button, Friday practice if you can?
    - The tag-team pit walk worked fantastically well. The two of them not necessarily required every race (I still demand MB every race!), but so insightful, and comedy gold as well.

    You are giving us such great coverage that we're all just lapping it up. More please!

  • Comment number 81.

    G'day Jake

    I think what you lot on the BBC are doing is fantastic. Having these blogs makes it feel like we know you all personally. Well done indeed.

    What a fantastic race we had in China. What do you reckon the odds are of a wet Bahrain though? Remember it rained in Qatar for the bikes, so you never know. Great to see RBR do so well. Button still for the drivers championship though. Maybe RBR to fight Brawn for the Constructors perhaps.

    Who was that lady that was having a go at Martin when he interviewed Fernando? I saw her at the end of the race and she seemed like she was getting in everyones way. Funny to watch.

    Keep up the good work!!

  • Comment number 82.

    Hi Jake,

    You are all doing a fantastic job, great insight into the sport. Being a fan for 20 years you are doing a brilliant job in giving us all the info we want and need, what's more I love;

    loving the blog, commentary, RED BUTTON FEATURE - simply brilliant and needed and the fact that every race has been so mad you are all scrambling around doing a great job!

    I would love to see a little more technical information but so far brilliant - great job everyone.

  • Comment number 83.

    Jake,

    Just wanted to say a big thanks for the blog and the quality of the coverage so far.

    The blog gives a real insight into the preparation and behind the scenes activity.

    Keep it up, its great,

    Cheers
    Richard

  • Comment number 84.

    As my mum never ceases to remind me

    "You should take a leaf out of that Jakes' book, never forget your roots"

    Well done on stating you are from CBBC and that not all childrens tv presenters are one dimensional and intolerable in real life. Congrats and hope all goes well for you

    Not much F1 so far, but here it comes

    The interactive function is definitely useful, but the main view is not of the race (just the onboard cameras) and because of that, i tend to not to use it. If that is rectified, id definitely tune in to interactive BBC more often, cant wait till the race is on at a sane time, as im sure are you!

  • Comment number 85.

    Hello Jake another great blog! Usual complaint, please edit.I know I don't get it right, but people are not reading me! Sorry about jet lag I think it is all catching up. But after this race in Bahrain(lose the rain please) All should be well. Please don't let the BEEB get rid of EJ, he should be used in a different role. For instance EJs prediction on the race result. There have been a lot of posts about a "fantasy" F1 team. Can't think of anyone better than EJ to add an extra bit of spice to an already brilliant coverage. As to "when are we going to get MW" Just imagine Murray and JL together! PRICELESS! Heart attack time Martin! Hope you got noodles for your wife in China. Now the big question, what on earth are you going to bring her from Bahrain? Answer please!

  • Comment number 86.

    Jake, extra tip. Wear a blindfold when you sleep, just like movie stars. When you wake up you will still have no idea where you are or what time it is,but who cares? you have arrived!

  • Comment number 87.

    Hey Jake,

    Your blog is fast becoming one of my most frequented bookmarks!

    Another excellent weekend, and yay for Vettel! Great coverage as ever. The highlight for me was probably DC on the grid walk with Martin - it was like David was on work experience or something - being amazed at Martin's bravery to dive in and get every interview (particularly with Fernando, and his jumping infront of that other TV reporter due to having 'booked months ago' and appearing to be Patricia's best friend!). I totally noticed DC having to show his pass to get onto the grid too - lol!

    Looking forward to Bahrain and to hearing more your thoughts and insight on what its really like to have what appears to be the most amazing job in the world! One suggesion - can you do a photo blog of a race weekend from your perspective?:) Always great to see those behind the scenes shots (e.g. of the not-so-glamorous portakabin-style facilities you get to work in!!)

    Keep up the great work!!

    Naomi

  • Comment number 88.

    Great blog Jake! Loving the coverage so far... and a bit of rain about halfway through the race wouldnt be too bad in Bahrain would it?

  • Comment number 89.

    Jake, Fantastic blog, excellent coverage, no advert breaks, F1 heaven!! Keep up the great work and enjoying your insight behind the scenes.. Brilliant stuff.

  • Comment number 90.

    I agree with all the positive comments about you, Jake. This blog is excellent, but it's your cool confidence on screen which really steals the show. You're doing a terrific job as link man.

    I'm afraid I also agree with the negative comments about Jonathan Legard. It's all very fine making allowances by saying he's still learning and that it's 'only his third race' and so on, but that still doesn't change the fact that he's annoying, prone to silly mistakes, gets excited at inappropriate times, harps on about irrelevant things, and indulges far too often in the dreaded commentator's disease of phrasing things in terms of questions: 'can so-and-so do better this time', 'will we see such-and-such', 'how will so-and-so fare' -- all that sort of thing. It's a habit which he needs to be aware of and correct. It seemed to me in China that MB was doing his best to pat JL on the back whenever he said something insightful, but those moments made me cringe a bit. Also, JL has too great a tendency to dig into a seemingly bottomless bag of facts and trivia and statistics. That's all very fine on radio, perhaps, when it can be handy as filler material, but it really isn't necessary on TV. Being a good radio commentator (and I'll accept that he was, even though I never heard him in that role) doesn't mean you'll also be good on TV. In JL's case I'm hugely disappointed so far.

  • Comment number 91.

    Jake

    Another excellent addition to your blog and another great GP performance by the Beeb.

    MG has to be the find of the century! He was excellent, explained things well and his knowledge was excellent. He of course has a vast range of experience at different types of F1 team which undoubtedly helps, he added an extra dimension to the coverage, which was much appreciated. He is much better on TV than on 5 Live IMHO. Much better than EJ and worked very well with DC. Please can we have him every race?

    JL is improving. Some complain that he makes stupid comments etc but that really is no different to half the commentators in live sport. Live sport is an incrediably hard thing to commentate on when you are the lead commentator rather than the expert. One would expect MB to outshine JL so I dont see what everyone is complaining about. JL clearly has great knowledge (just read his blog on this site) and is imporving. IMHO people should give the guy a break or go an attempt the job themselves. One would imagine that if half the moaners attempted JL's job we would have some horrid motorsport hybrid of that other channels "Fanzone" in the football.

    Jake you keep going from strength to strength. I always knew you would be a great choice. Watching SR on Sunday made me realise how "old hat" he is. You are the future and doing an excellent job.

    Keep up the good work guys.

    PS: Jake this blog is the best of any on the BBC. I feel we get a real insight into the F1 coverage life and are able to provide you with constructive feedback which you take on board. Just a shame your BBC footballing colleagues don't follow your lead.

  • Comment number 92.

    The world has gone mad. People saying James Allen should be brought back - are you out of your mind? Remember his cringeworthy effort at the end of Jenson Button's first win in Hunagary 2006? If you can't remember, then go and find it on youtube to be reminded of how awful he was.

    Jonathan Legard is a breath of fresh air.

  • Comment number 93.

    Mike Gascoyne was a very enlightening addition to the team and would be my preferred choice over EJ.

    Leggie's getting better, he didn't seem to feel the need to fill every moment of silence this week.

    Great to see RBR with a 1-2.

    Interesting that for all the complaining from the have not's that you don't actually need a double diffuser design to win races, perhaps Mario should button his whining about enforced costs. Especially if, as Mike said, at the technical working group last year Ross highlighted that the rules were open to interpretation and BMW were one of the teams that declined to re-look at them at the time. Seems to be a bit hypocritical complaining now if you didn't want to make them unequivocal when you had the opportunity!

    Coverage is still good, roll on Bahrain and a hopefully dry race. Be good to see a strong performance from Toyota and Williams this weekend just so the mix is there of teams performing well.

  • Comment number 94.

    Hi Jake,
    I am new here and your blog is so popular.I really enjoy reading it.
    I am from China,where you just stayed and suffered from heavy traffic.and as for that man.forgive him.haha. He just did not know it.
    it is a pity that i did not have a chance to go to Shanghai this year but i do hope to meet you there next year. I really like the coverage, commentary.and british accent..(you have fans in China now.haha)
    The race was exciting in the rain again and it was great for Vettel to win the 2nd race so soon. A really bad start for Ferrari.hope they can catch up soon.
    It's really nice to know what you have experienced in a country:) but it would be much more interesting to put more attention to the crazy fans sometimes,haha...
    have a nice day
    mandy

  • Comment number 95.

    Hi, Jake
    Great Blog! It was great to see you in paddock on Sunday evening. We really enjoyed talking with you for a while. And we called you and waved to you on the grandstand before the race. We are glad to see Mclaren duo scored points in Chinese Grand Prix. We know you are very exhausted because of the jet lag and the changeable weather in Shanghai. Can't wait for Bahrain and your update! Good Luck! Cheers!

  • Comment number 96.

    Hi Jake ,I'm Susan!
    You said you loved my pinky hat when I first saw you. I've still remembered.It's a pity that I didn't take a photo with you on Sunday. Seen your Blog, finding your article is pretty good!
    Finally, wish you happiness everyday!!!

  • Comment number 97.

    I agree with some of the below comments and I also think that this weekend’s coverage was one of the best I’ve ever seen. The joint commentaries of Mike Gasgoine and DC were informative and insightful and later on the Martin Brundle/DC combo was extremely entertaining. I have to admit that Eddie Jordan wasn’t missed at all. Keep up the great work, F1 coverage hasn’t been this good and entertaining in years!

  • Comment number 98.

    hi jake,

    love reading your blog and the coverage on bbc is fantastic!!
    cant wait for the european races, hopefully ferrari will have their act together by then!!

    looking forward to the next blog,
    Jen

  • Comment number 99.

    Jake and Co.

    Simply loving it, the whole package from the Spine tingling Intro music to the presenting from around the track and just dragging people in for a chat... brilliant.

    But I have to ask why you thought it necessary for David to join the pit walk... is this something we will see regular from now on?

    Steve

  • Comment number 100.

    Hi Jake,

    Just thought I'd email in to say your doing a great job both on the TV - really linking the show well and speaking with real knowledge and passion about the sport - and in writing this blog - always very well written and interesting.

    Keep up the good work. The season has been brilliant so far - both the racing itself and the coverage.

    Cheers

    Ben

 

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