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Crashing the F1 party

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Jake Humphrey | 12:46 UK time, Friday, 23 October 2009

A bleary-eyed good morning folks, I'm writing this while watching the new BBC Life series on the iPlayer... I thought the TV we produced at the weekend was pretty cracking, but seeing a frog escape the clutches of a spider by rolling up into a ball and tumbling downhill takes some beating...

Anyway, let me start this latest entry with an apology... You might be thinking I want to say sorry for my green v-neck fashion faux pas in Japan (blame my wife, she said it looked good!).

Or perhaps to Patrick Head who, by all accounts, Eddie Jordan got in a headlock and dragged onto BBC One during our Scolari (as in Big Phil - geddit?) in the rain on Saturday.

Or how about to the viewers of Strictly Come Dancing who had to wait an extra 15 minutes to see Chris Hollins take to the floor... he's really rather good, isn't he?

Well, I'm actually going to apologise that it's taken the best part of a week for this latest blog entry.

However, since landing home on Monday afternoon I've been a little ill, and I know just what to blame.

Here's a quick story, and to spare his blushes I'll use his nickname.

'Fisheye' (so called because he brought a Fisheye lens camera to Malaysia and proceeded to take about 10 rolls of film every five minutes) wasn't too well in Brazil. He was traveling to the track on Saturday morning when he felt a little queasy. However, a carrier bag was found for him to do the necessary and all was well. So we thought.

I arrived in the TV compound (always the least glamorous place and the worst toilets at any race track, cue the violins...) a few minutes after the guys, to see Fisheye walking towards a bin, a trail of drips behind him and some concerned looking colleagues.

It seems all was fine, until it became clear the 'sickbag' he was using using turned out to have quite a large hole... whoops!

Fisheye went home, we cracked on for the day and he returned on Sunday, producing his usual high-quality stuff.

Well, on Sunday evening as we came off air I realised it was about 7pm and all I'd eaten all day was a banana. I don't know about you but I thought the team did a great job so before I grabbed some grub I just went round the gallery, edit suites and office to shake hands and thank everyone... before devouring anything near me in our temporary office.

Now, I certainly don't blame anyone but perhaps I should have washed my hands first. We all assumed Fisheye had eaten something dodgy, but it now seems that maybe there was a sickness bug going round. Let's just say when I arrived home 12 hours later it wasn't the romantic reunion my wife had in mind...

I'm fully recovered now though, as has Fisheye I'm pleased to report!

Anyway, even if I'd been fully fit it may have taken a few days to recover from the incredible scenes that it was a real honour to witness at first-hand on Sunday.

Despite working on World Cup finals and Superbowls, I've never felt such electricity and genuine human emotion at any sporting event. At one point post-race I could hardly breathe, but perhaps that was more to do with having a hundred keen snappers desperate to shove me out of the way to get "the shot" of Jenson Button... more on that in a minute.

So, Brawn GP...

For many people the Brawn story really got going in Melbourne in March. I certainly hadn't felt such a highly charged atmosphere during a podium celebration at any race since then as Jenson and Rubens Barrichello shocked the world with that one-two finish. I remember even Sir Richard Branson was stuck for words... so decided to swear!

Anyway, our Brawn GP story began a few weeks prior to the first race. Just after I had, very unexpectedly, been offered the job as F1 presenter we accepted a kind invitation to visit the Honda factory in Brackley. There were five or six members of the BBC F1 team and we chatted to Nick Fry, met members of the team, saw the wind tunnel in operation and generally marveled at the slick, professional operation.

Everyone was at pains to point out how Honda DNA pumped through the place, and how the team existed solely for the pursuit of winning motor races. They were committed, hungry, motivated for the new season. Just days later they were no more.

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Having met regular, hardworking, mortgage-paying members of staff, it was a real shame to see the confusion, sadness and fear when watching the news reports at home. People always think that the media know some kind of inside gossip but the only thing we were hearing at the time was that a rescue package wouldn't be easy.

The remarkable phoenix from the flames rescue act combined with getting to know a few of the guys who work on the cars and seeing that it's an operation with a real family feel, meant that the one-two finish in Oz, right up to the fairytale ending on the Interlagos tarmac last weekend was an amazing story for us fans, but even more incredible for the team. No wonder they decided not to fly back with us on the Sunday night - they had some partying to do!

Mind you, Mark Webber did his best to turn our plane into a party-venue at 38,000 feet and who can blame him - top guy, great driver.

So, back to last weekend. After the incredible Brawn soap opera, which was just one element of an amazing season, we arrived at a weekend that could seal the deal for all involved - and then qualifying happened!

While EJ's enthusiasm and respect in the paddock means he is able to manhandle various team principles and technical bosses so they willingly appear on the show, Saturday's qualifying session wasn't easy for anyone, particularly Jenson.

I remember waiting outside the Brawn garage to interview the ever easy-going, eloquent and affable Rubens when JB wandered over for a chat. He clearly wasn't happy and was off for some dinner with his infamous crew ahead of the biggest day of his life.

We actually walked out of the paddock together, and as we went our separate ways I remember wondering if, after 21 years of dreaming, he'd go to bed for the final time as just regular old Jenson Button. A.N Other racing driver.

After the late finish and effort expended in keeping the show on the road on Saturday, I had one of those dreaded pre-race Sunday mornings that I've only experienced a couple of times this season.

The night before we all left the track about 8pm. By the time we'd battled the traffic, got back to the hotel, ironed my clothes for Sunday and packed for home, it was 10pm and I was absolutely exhausted.

Suddenly, it was 7am, time to head down to breakfast and I'd had no time to even start writing the script or thinking about what was potentially the biggest race of the season. The time I spent with John Motson in Vienna at Euro 2008 affirmed my belief that preparation is key to any successful sports coverage and I really, really dislike the feeling of being under prepared.

However, I had little choice on this occasion so I just cracked on with writing the script the moment we got into the office, and thought about what points we'd need to cover during the build up.

As is typical on a morning like that, the time just flew by, and before I'd really had time to learn the script (we don't use autocue) or contemplate what might happen that afternoon, Norma was counting down in my ear, and the penultimate race show of 2009 was on the air.

The show whizzed by as quickly as ever as EJ and David Coulthard built the tension; Jock Clear, Rubens Barrichello's race engineer, demonstrated a keen sense of humour despite the scale of the task ahead of him that afternoon; and Felipe Massa reminded us all that the world title isn't necessarily the most important thing in the world.

Build up over, grid walk despatched and more Sky Deutschland people riled by Martin Brundle, I watched the race with DC in the cramped Williams hospitality area. The paddock at Interlagos wasn't built with modern F1 in mind and isn't really up to the job, however the racing dominated our attention as David told me time and again that we were witnessing a champion's drive... and so it proved!

After the race as the top three guys, who all drove exceptionally, left the podium, we were crowning our first British world champion on the BBC since Damon Hill in 1996.

On that day I was watching in our living room in the Norfolk countryside with my dad. Thirteen years later, despite being somewhat closer to the action, I was just as emotional and delighted as I was as a spotty 17-year-old hearing Murray Walker call the action.

Sunday was my first experience of being close to the very heart of a global sporting success. We weren't stuck behind glass in a TV studio or watching on from thousands of miles away in Television Centre... we were right there in the eye of the storm, and we loved it, particularly EJ!

The moment it genuinely felt like a storm, however, was when the man of the moment joined us in the Brawn garage.

We all agreed that the most important thing after the race was to make sure that you guys at home were able to hear from the new champion as soon as possible, however, as we all saw in 2008, despite best efforts, that's not an easy task moments after the end of the race.

Brawn, and in particular Nicola who looks after all the media enquiries, were great however, and promised us they'd do their best. They duly delivered.

With no prior warning and with just a few seconds left on the VT that we were playing, he appeared. Distinctive in his bright white cap and stubble, a wide-eyed Jenson Button, clearly high on a mix of adrenaline, disbelief and sheer joy was ushered over to us, followed by the most incredible flood of people.

I thought at one point we were going to lose Eddie in the crush but the priority soon switched to being able to do an audible interview worthy of Jenson's achievement.

I thought Jenson (sweaty, scratchy kiss on the neck aside!) was fantastic. It was clear we were witnessing a guy still unable to quite deal with the emotion of finally realising a dream he's held dear for over two decades.

It was wonderful to see an unbridled, emotional interview. Keeping sponsors happy and fulfilling corporate requirements were at the very back of his mind.

Yes, the past few weeks had been tough for him, if we're all honest it had become crystal clear, but on the day that mattered, when it counted more than at any other time in his life, he did what was required.

I'll never forget the incredible privilege of sharing those few minutes with him. It's fantastic to see someone's dreams come true, particularly when it's so well-deserved. I'll also never forget the prods in the back, cameras in the face and microphones up my nose and I tried to keep my composure and remind myself that lashing out on live TV isn't the right way to deal with things... even the guy pulling me backwards by the belt just so he could get the photograph he was after escaped scot-free!

I think I may have said it on air that those few minutes with the world champion offered enough of a snapshot into the madness that that this does genuinely mean everything to a driver who has never had it easy in F1 and has learnt an awful lot along the way.

Anyway, that was the weekend from my perspective. I'm now going get back to Sir David and the rolling-frog.

It's quite apt to be watching a series called Life. Last weekend, Jenson's changed forever...

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Awesome blog, Jake! I've been waiting for it all week, and of course you don't disappoint. I'm glad you're feeling better, even if you made me feel a bit queasy!

    It's 2am here in NY, and I'm actually watching a rerun of the race right now. I cannot imagine what the atmosphere must have been like at Interlagos and I'm really looking forward to seeing the BBC coverage of the weekend.

    I still can't quite believe that my boy is WDC. After almost 13 years of unwavering support, he realised not only his own dream, but mine too. I never stopped believing, not even on the darkest days, and although at times he has frustrated his fans, he came through in the end. Jenson is one of the nicest men I have ever met, and I don't think anyone deserves this more than him. I thought he drove the whole race like he just had to win it right there and then, that there wouldn't be another race in two weeks time. I agree with DC, it was a champions drive. I still can't watch the last few laps without getting a bit hysterical!

    I've loved this season so much, and I'd like to thank you for giving us a different view of events every race weekend. I've enjoyed your blogs immensely. I promise you, you won't know what to do with yourself once you return home from Abu Dhabi!



  • Comment number 2.

    Jake

    brill blog (as usual) thanks for sharing all that happened with us.

    I reckon that almost everyone who reads this, even if they are not JB supporters, are green at the gills (and not because of a lack of personal hygiene causing a dose of the squits) with envy at what you DC and EJ experienced.

    The race was fantastic to watch and all credit to yourself and the team for the superb coverage (ther MUST be a trophy or something that you lot should win at Sports personality of the Year for the superb coverage)
    The excitement was palpable and I spent most of the race texting my son who is at uni in St Andrews (he is probably realising esiotrotsdad is now) about the race progress.

    Looking forward to Abu Dhabi now and a race for the sheer fun of it with no drivers championship to contest.

    Quick question though from all of us who foillow the blog....

    What will happen during the closed season ... do you intend to keep us up to date with all the biz???

    Cheers...

    P.S. If you get caught short apparently Simon Cowell uses black loo roll - I'm sure he would let you borrow some ..... just a thought

  • Comment number 3.

    Great blog Jake, and an awesome weekend. Can I just add that throughout the whole weekend in Brazil, the rain on Saturday and extended programme, and the exhilaration of Sunday and the F1 Forum programme as well, it became very clear that the BBC crew are respected and held warmly in the circle of F1. (With the possible exception of Martin and the lovely Sky Deutschland lady, who's name escapes me). But really there is a genuine feeling that we are right in there with you, and really it is that warmth that shines through and makes the BBC coverage all the more special.

    Can't wait for the last race, although I am going to miss F1 through the winter more than I have before!

  • Comment number 4.

    That post-race interview with JB was fantastic Jake! What a moment. You obviously have a good relationship with him which was abundantly clear, even getting kissed by him! It will be there as part of history now and was amazed at your decorum handling the shoving and poking. Brilliant telly! Well done.

    Do you have any of your own photo's of the weekend though please? They're always good to see and much enjoyed!

    Abu Dhabi might be quite flat after the emotion of Brazil I think...!

  • Comment number 5.

    Great Blog yet again Jake,

    It has been a season of great stories, some very uplifting and many not so. The release of pent up emotions was a joy to watch, as I a viewer looking through a cathode ray tube (yep no plasma for me), picking up airwaves transmitted from a weak transmitter, whos signal was indirectly linked to a camera man (another unsung hero of the beebs coverage) many thousands of miles away from where I sat. But I still felt the emotion of the moment and felt like it was almost within touching distance.

    It has been a fantastic season as a viewer, I have felt many times the feeling of wanting a time machine to skip to the first Friday practice session, as I click to watch online, to wrapping up the racing weekend by watching the closing forum, then waiting for the blogs from all the beebs team and reading fans like myself responses. I feel like I have indirectly got to know many of the lucky people working up and down the pitlane, and feel richer for the experience, it really has been compulsive viewing.

    So as much as the story of Brawn GP and JB, the story of this years return to broadcasting of F1 by the BBC has also for me been a very satisfying one and while I'm so looking forward to the last race of the season, it also means that this up and coming winter, is going to feel even more at times too long. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all those involved in bringing me and others, what has turned out to be compulsive viewing, and as its front man, I would like to congratulate yourself Jake for a job well done, you have helped make it feel like I want to pick up the phone and talk to you or EJ, DC and MB just to talk F1 for a few more hours, of course not possible, but the style of the production has helped to feel as a viewer part of this years championships and stories. THANK YOU!!!

    Anyway enough of gushing (not a normal thing for me), what will you being doing during the off season Jake, any planned extra F1 features we can look forward to? I bet your looking forward to spending some quality time at home. :)

    One last thing, I don't usually vote for much, but please let us know which awards the F1 BBC team are going for, you'll certainly all get my vote, you all in my opinion deserve it.

  • Comment number 6.

    Great blog as usual, Jake! Don't worry about the overlap on BBC One for Strictly Come Dancing! I hate it, anyway! And great effort by the Brawn team to not only get Jenson for a post-race interview but for giving us all a bucketful of laughs on the forum straight afterwards!

    Can't believe I saw Ross Brawn in tears that night! See you and the rest of the team in Abu Dhabi! Should be quite something!

  • Comment number 7.

    The interview with Jenson at the end was awesome. I remember commenting at the time that it was amazing how the BBC managed to get it above anyone else in the world.

    Just as Jenson and the Brawn team should be very proud of what they have achieved this season, so should the BBC for truly world class coverage.

  • Comment number 8.

    "Felipe Massa reminded us all that the world title isn't necessarily the most important thing in the world."

    Nice comment, Jake. I definitely think his recovery has been the biggest victory of this year.

    Great blog as always!

  • Comment number 9.

    Jake, is there going to be a season review over the winter?

  • Comment number 10.

    Great blog Jake. Last weekend was incredible! Seeing the complete joy in the Brawn garage and on Jenson's face was something else. EJ jumping up and down with the mechanics was brilliant.

    Thought you guys did a great job with the rain interrupted qualifying. I even skipped watching to see the end of the session. Unheard of!

    I'm so looking forward to being able to watch the last Grand Prix without having to yell at JL to stop jinxing things ;-) Should be fun! That tunnel coming out of the pits could see some action.

  • Comment number 11.

    Jake

    I can see a 'book of the blog' padded out with your pics etc and some other bits of writing .....

    Ideal Chrimbo pressie methinks ..

    My cut would only be 10%..................

    Just think how many new pairs of jockeys you could buy and never run out again as you sit squirming in a bus in Japan..

    Cheers

  • Comment number 12.

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

  • Comment number 13.

    What I loved was the feeling that I was a part of this. I have followed this sport for too many decades and I have never felt as included as this. You have managed to strip away the haughty and aloof nature of the many highly paid superstars (as does Martin Brundle) to get to the heart of the issue. The way you and the BBC crew were welcomed into the garage to get that interview just confirms how you are obviously respected there. And I wonder how much is due to the sensitivity that was shown leading up to the race. Many sports journalists would, and some did, have just poured out the critism and bile on to Jenson Button regarding his apparent inability to fall over the line. But the BBC team discussed it without gloating or sensationalising it. And look what the effects were - we were treated to being part of the celebrations.
    When Mr Button kissed you on the cheek, I laughed through my tears. It showed how the BBC team have become a part of the action, and it felt that I was there too.
    I have been too excited in the past when watching James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Lewis Hamilton win. But I have never felt as close to it as now. Great stuff.
    So, a question.... How are you going to maintain this relationship between them (the drivers) and us (the duffers at home)? As time passes it will be easy for you to become more of the scene, and automatically you will gravitate towards the teams, drivers and perhaps away from us. Then you might lose that special relationship. I hope not, it has been great. And one of the great moments of the season was when you got in a car and showed what you could do around a track. And to my delight, it was what I can do around a track. It helps maintain this strange cyber-relationship. Fantastic.
    And the race! Usually there is that first lap red mist that seems to temporarily remove the aerodynamic effects, allowing cars to get around on the exhaust pipe of the car in front. However, with my heart pounding I remember seeing the lap 7 sign. The longest first lap madness that I can remember.
    And this carp about Jenson Button not being a worthy champion! How British we are. I think a champion who had to battle out results for minor points, once the competetive edge of the car was lost, is much more impressive. So many 'great' champions in the pasty have only had to beat their teamate in a two horse race. Not so this year. And I think it was worth the extra worry, although Jenson Button may not agree with me.
    I am looking forward to the next race. And I want repeat the request from someone else here, please will you keep posting through the winter. There are many anoraks here who are interested all year round.

  • Comment number 14.

    Great Blog Jake.
    Thank goodness that its back on the Beeb.
    Wonder of the uproar if ITV had it still, would have slid it onto ITV4 to finish the rest of the session.
    You guys have done a wonderful job this season when rain interrups coverage, you, DC and EJ were talking when the Malaysian GP was redflagged and you guys going over the coverage and going to Ted and Lee for reaction and you did it again.
    Switching it over to BBC2 did get me slighty annoyed, surely Brucie and co could have slipped onto BBC2 instead of interrupting this fabulous Qualifying session.
    The Race was magnificent, if ITV won an award for the coverage of last Years Brazilian GP, surely the BBC should win one for that, it was put together brillaintly.
    Now, just one more race left....I hope the BBC's return to F1 goes out on a good note, how ironic that ITV's coverage finishes with Lewis as WDC and the BBC's coverage opens with Button as WDC...lets hope we see a British Champ in 2010...dont think many will agree with me on that!

  • Comment number 15.

    Another great Blog Jake. I would just like to concur with all the above posts, it was a wonderful weekend. Very well done to you and the BBC for making it feel like we were a huge part of it all.

  • Comment number 16.

    I like the idea of a faux par, isn't that some kind of golfing offence? Just like green pullies, though yours was pretty understated compared to the sartorial sins of the walk spoilers. Do people really allow EJ to manhandle their principles?

    Thank Jenson not for winning but for overtaking someone. Now, here's an idea for cost saving: a season's tyre allowance and no ridiculous "got to use two types in each race" rule, while they're at it abandon the absurdity of 13" diameter wheels only; and fermez le parc ferme for ever; Forcing teams to use a single setup throughout a weekend of changing conditions is about as sporting as drawing the grid by lots.

  • Comment number 17.

    Smashing blog Jake.

    I also would like to complement yourself and all the rest of the bbc F1 team on your excellent coverage of what has been an enthralling season.

    Formula 1 is in its rightful home on the bbc and I am sure I speak for all the viewers when I say thank you for making the season as enjoyable for us, as I'm sure it has been for you!

    Enjoy Abu Dhabi and we all look forward to another great season with you and the team next year.

  • Comment number 18.

    Cool Blog Jake,

    Glad you are feeling much better. What a race in Brazil...it was Amazing! and I am glad Button has won the championship.

    You did well battling through the photographers and it made me laugh when the microphone kept getting in your way and you kept pushing it away.

    So move on to Abu Dhabi, which I am really excited about (liked the VT of Abu Dhabi in Brazil) especially the pit-lane exit, that looks such a cool feature to the track, and then after next weekend we have to wait until March, but I hope you still update your blog and tell us what you have been up to.

    Anyhow Keep Up Fantastic Work and Let Abu Dhabi be an exciting debt race!

  • Comment number 19.

    Jake

    For someone who lives in the US at the moment, and has to find 'alternative methods' to watch the BBC coverage (nothing wrong with the Speed coverage but it doesn't enjoy the presence of yourself and the rest of the BBC team and for me being British its just not the same), I have to say that the post-race coverage was quality. The interview with Jenson straight after the race was exactly what I wanted to see. It was pure raw emotion, making it very difficult to eat my Sunday lunch through my tears

    I suspect that several TV awards will come the BBC's way for their coverage of the season and especially this race

    Thank everyone there for their work and when we return to the UK next year let hope for HD coverage and British GP @ Silverstone to be sorted

  • Comment number 20.

    F1 on BBC has been fantastic this season, adn the Interlagos weekend just topped it off beautifully. There's talk of Abu Dhabi and Brazil swapping their provisional 2010 dates so that the season ends in Abu Dhabi again. I beg them not too- Brazil is the best place to end the year (just as Melborne is ideal to start it), and has developped a habit of deciding titles, just like Suzuka used to!

    Abu Dhabi could well be a very flat weekend now. Running the race under lights and having a pit tunnel does not hide the fact that it's another Tilkedrome, which traditionally don't make for good racing racing. I'll be at the Rallycross Superprix at Croft instead, the F1 can wait!

  • Comment number 21.

    I would just like to say thank you to the BBC for sticking to prime time telly on BBC1&2

  • Comment number 22.

    From Interlagos in Sao Paulo to Pride Park in Derby, what a life eh!

  • Comment number 23.

    I'd like to second #20 and congratulate you and the team on the coverage by the BBC this year.

    I've followed Jenson through the very dark times as well as the great times - 2004 was an incredible season - so to see the unbridled passion, joy and emotion last Sunday was sheer bliss for me.

    The BBC have been fantastic this year. F1 is rightly at the top of sporting news again and the interactive and website coverage is superb on the BBC. Funny how I was indifferent about DC when he was a driver and now find myself enamoured by his knowledge, wit and personality, he is a truly entertaining co-host and a coup by the BBC!

    Yet again, Brazil has had me on my knees screaming at the tv - in past years I was elated by Alonso's victories, last year I cryed like a baby as Massa's heart broke on live tv, this year I saw Jenson finally take the championship and I will never ever forget it.

    Congratulations BBC, Jake, EJ, Brundy, Leggie and DC..........and to all the F1 crew, I literally cannot wait for 2010.....and we've got Abu Dhabi still to come!!!!



  • Comment number 24.

    Jake
    I wasn't at home last Sunday night. I was in brazil, I was standing next you with everyone there enjoying this victory. I was in tears of joy, I was horse from shouting, I was jumping up and down with all of you.
    This is how your superb coverage makes me feel, it takes me from my living room and transports me around the globe to where you are. But last weekend was amazing, truly amazing

    Well done to you and the entire crew, for keeping what must of been a very difficult Quali going on, and doing your best to bring in unexpected interviews. You handled it so well.
    Then well Sunday from the start of your coverage to the Forum, just excellent.

    Well done Jenson and the entire Brawn Team on both there championships, so deserved. I have followed JB since his F3 days through thick and thin. I have believed if he just had the right car under him he would win his WDC, and when he did have that car he got his result. I am not a ferrari fan at all, but the one person I followed in that team was Ross, and I am so happy for him that his team with his name above the door got the constuctors

    Been a brilliant year for F1 through the championship and the BBC coverage

    Thank you

    Amanda
    x

  • Comment number 25.

    Jake

    Once again a great blog, it really has been interesting to discover more about what goes on behind the scenes. I also want to congratulate you on your brilliant presenting throughout the season, it must be extremely difficult to present live TV! You have a relaxed confident style and to watch it always feels as if you are interacting with the viewer, making it very easy to watch and listen to you! Im sure you will finish off with another great performance in the final race, and i look forward to seeing you presenting F1 for many years to come!

    As I am sat writing this im watching the Derby vs QPR game on the BBC and was pleasently suprised to see you presenting it! Its good to see that you are getting oppurtunities to present even more live sport, and I believe you have a great future in front of you!!

    However I do have one gripe with you!! During the half time analysis yourself, Les Ferdinand and Lee Dixon were commenting on how it was "clever" of the two players (I think it was Dickov and Routledge?!) to win the two free kicks which led to two of the goals. In my eyes both players involved dived and I was suprised to hear the comments made. If it was in the penalty box and a penalty was given I have no doubt that the three of you would have criticised the player involved and would have stated that it is something that needs to be kicked out of the game.

    Anyway considering I have watched you on live TV all year this is the first time in my eyes you have done anything wrong which isnt too bad!!!

    Im a big fan and want to finish by saying keep up the excellent work!!

  • Comment number 26.

    Great blog. Thought maybe the pressure and excitement of last week had got the better of you. Great job done with what was no doubt a mega busy paddock. Well done jenson and every one at Brawn. You were all fantastic!

    Dave

  • Comment number 27.

    Superb blog Jake, and it's been a super year of coverage of the Formula 1 on the BBC. I especially love the feeling of interaction you get from not having a studio comfort zone, and the fact you could bump into anybody on the grid...memories of the mystery girl appearing halfway through an interview spring to mind!

    It's that feeling of unpredictability that gives the BBC coverage the feeling of freshness over the former channel's coverage. It's changed how sport can be covered and made it better. One thing for next year though...I know you like to stick around the British team HQs and that, but it'd be nice to see the focus of next year's coverage be the new teams that are coming into F1, maybe do a season-long feature on the perils of starting an F1 team from scratch.

  • Comment number 28.

    I have to commend you for not smacking the guy sticking the microphone in front of your face. Shame not everybody has the same level of professionalism but I guess that professionalism has made the BBC's coverage so fantastic.

  • Comment number 29.

    Another good blog. I thought not only that the BBC did very well in interviewing Jenson so soon after the race, but that he himself was fantastic at managing to keep himself together the way he did. If I was in that situation, I wouldn't be answering any questions other than what I wanted to drink.

    I don't think Jenson or Brawn will retain their titles, but I'm delighted that he's done so this time around. Those calling him an 'average driver' and criticising him for not winning an F1 race until 2006 are clearly very recent 'fans' who probably only got into the sport because of Hamilton. Jenson had more podiums ironically enough in 2004 than he did this season, so he's always had the talent. This year, finally, it all came together for him.

  • Comment number 30.

    By the way as I said your the twitter page, I think you need to get that pic of you and JB made up framed and signed. What a life time memory to keep.

    I was at Bluewater on Tuesday, when JB had come from the airport to do his promo day. He spent 2 hours driving people up and down a track, he then signed a lot of autographs, got changed and came back signed more. Then he went inside did a Q&A session and then signed even more.
    Even though I was unlucky enough not to get his signature (I did try), I appreciated how much time he spent with the fans who were there and how many items he had signed. He must of been exhausted and yet he didn't ignore people, he took his time and that must be a sign of a world champion and a real person.

  • Comment number 31.

    Jake, great blog.

    I was so happy to hear Formula 1 would be back on BBC, and you guys - EJ,DC and all the rest - have done a terrific job. My hat goes off to all of you.
    The interview was incredible, how you kept your composure with all of those photographers was fantastic, and it was a joy to see how happy Jenson was. I am a fan of him, and I'm so glad he won, he deserves it! And Brawn GP, they deserve their Constructor's title. Well done to both of them!

    I can now look forward to Abu Dhabi without having to shout at the screen!

  • Comment number 32.

    Jake if you and the team don't get an award for the Brazil weekends coverage there's no justice in the world!!
    Filling in the time under very difficult curcumstances during practice was exellent and as for the race and post race forum, well what can i say? you and the team are heroes.
    I think it's the fact you all come accross as normal blokes (OK with EJ not that normal ;) ) and that is what makes the coverage so special for me.
    Not that i disliked the "other" channels coverage but the BBC gives it a warm family feeling in opposition to the "other" channels slightly sterile feel, bring on the ice creams i say in fact last Sunday i had a tub ready expecting to Join Martin in a post race slurp :)
    What a great year for The whole Brawn team, if a film came out with that storey line it'd be concider too far fetched and over the top, i meen JB paying for his own travel to go win the championship? i meen come on that'd never really happen, oh wait it did how great is that!
    i felt so bad for Rubens but the elation of Jenson title i'm affraid soon out that to the back of my mind (and the large ice cream.

  • Comment number 33.

    I think that the best aspect of the coverage on the BBC this season has been to bring us viewers right into the heart of the action and to deliver access to all of the key players. Good to see the human side of so many F1 people not just last weekend in Brazil, but throughout the entire season. Well done.

    Anyway we all move on and I notice what seemed to be a more ordnary asssignment for you at Pride Park this evening. Was Flavio Briatorie there? That would be an exclusive for you! Is it Wembley tomorrow for the NFL International? I am really envious that you get to all of these events and then on to Abu Dhabi next weekend. Keep up the good work Jake. Well done on your maiden F1 season.

  • Comment number 34.

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

  • Comment number 35.

    Another great Blog Jake.

    I will add my name to the list of people congratulating you and the BBC for the coverage this year.
    Great discussions with you, David and Eddie, great commentary from Jonathan and Martin, and the quality of the coverage as a whole has been superb.

    As I said over on 606, if ITV can get a BAFTA for their coverage, the BBC deserve an OSCAR!

  • Comment number 36.

    Post Brazil; post JB's championship, post Brawns' phoenix like 1st year, the dust is beginning to settle, dust that will blow onto the yet explored adventure that is Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Yet here we are with the Formula being dominated by British based teams, with British drivers, engineers, designers, managers, sponsors etc all contributing to the success and yet Bernie is happy to dismiss the need, our need for a British GP. He must know that without the British teams his circus would be nowhere near as popular and successful. Someone needs to make him see sense. It's not all about money, it's the pride, the passion, the desire, the dedication that the British teams and all the British fans show, that makes this sport such a spectacle. Bernie, if the boot was on the other foot and the British teams where to not want you, how would you feel?

  • Comment number 37.

    Great job well done all over the weekend - especially for the marathon qualifying session; also thought you handled getting woken up all through the night by Moyles and his lot with the patience of a saint.

  • Comment number 38.

    I absolutely agree with all the other bloggers here, you really are doing a wonderful job this season, I congratulate you and thank you for truly enhancing my F1 TV experience. On another point, I've just managed to check out what happened about all the stewards enquiies after the Brazil race, and understand all their pronouncements except for one....why aren't they doing something about the way Kobayashi drove the whole race? He was an absolute menace, and if he thinks he can continue in the same way I reckon he's going to cause a serious problem for both himself and others. I wonder if anyone else agrees with me? I know the guy's new to the pack, but I just think he needs a "walk in the woods" from maybe DC,MB,DH,or another respected driver, to set him straight.

  • Comment number 39.

    #38 PNH-123

    Kobayashi is exactly the sort of driver F1 needs. Someone willing to take the fight to the opposition, put in some overtaking moves to get the job done. There's not enough of them in the F1 midfield at the moment. Sure, he's a pretty raw talent, but he'll soon learn for himself. His debut reminded me of how Massa was when he first started, talented, but aggressive, and something of a liability. He turned out ok though! Except he doesn't overtake enough either...

  • Comment number 40.

    I haven't read all the other comments but I bet I am not the only one to say what a superb job you did, Jake and the team, of giving us something interesting to watch during the Brazil qualifying delays. Thank you.

  • Comment number 41.

    The season was a farce because of the early tehnical issues with teams letting Brawn get a jump. Buttons no more a world champ than i am. Hamilton beats him hands down as a driver.

  • Comment number 42.

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

  • Comment number 43.

    Big props for your coverage and reporting on the F1 this year Jake. I have to admit, my initial thought when you got the job was 'why is the long bloke from CBBC now doing formula one?'. However after listening to you and reading your blogs for the last few months I have to say you have been a massive addition to the coverage. And also after listening to your regular reports on Chris Moyles show in the morning you are also a thoroughly good guy, even after being woken repeatedly that morning. So please accept my apologies for thinking of you as the long idiot, and I look forward to hearing from you next year. Peace

  • Comment number 44.

    Hi Jake
    Congratulations on excellent coverage of an awesome weekend.

    The adrenalin rush, as just a viewer, on Sunday evening was pretty intense so I can't imagine what it was like for you guys and particular for everyone at Brawn. For me the best moments were every single one of Jenson's overtaking moves, Lewis overtaking Rubens (Sorry Rubens!), Ross Brawn crying (the intensity of that moment seemed to take even Ted by surprise), the scrum in the Brawn garage and in particular the Brawn team singing the Brazilian chant they'd obviously picked up over the weekend "Champione, Champione, Ole. Ole. Ole". I couldn't help but chuckle at the irony as the Paulistanos poured out of the circuit in disgust.

    Just like Jenson, I'd felt sick at the conclusion of qualifying. Being a Strictly fan AND an F1 fan made for some complicated viewing on Saturday evening and the TV remote batteries nearly giving up on me made it even harder. I really thought the driver's championship had ben thrown away and although I think Rubens is a top bloke, we'd only ever have remembered it as the championship Jenson LOST. Now instead, we can remember it for a fantastic win.

    I've loved the coverage from start to finish this season. Both Scolaris were highlights just for their unpredictability. Hanging out in the Brawn and Red Bull garages has been fab from a fan's point of view - lucky that you guys employed insiders at both teams. Will you get as lucky next year? I wonder, at some point, if you can do some more 'little guy, behind the scenes' coverage as it's fascinating to get a sense of the whole of these extraordinary teams.

    Here's hoping we ALL get a British GP to go to next year.
    Best regards
    Jess

  • Comment number 45.

    Just one thing to remember Jake. If Lewis Hamilton wins next year, be just as happy for him. At times it has been a Jenson Button 'love in' on the BBC this year, and while I guess Lewis was happy to have all the media attention taken away from him this year and get some rest from the spotlight, he is already a world champion and will inevitably reclaim the headlines.

  • Comment number 46.

    Jake, I think YOU should be Sports Personality of the Year! I've been watching F1 since 1996 and you're probably the best presenter I've yet seen.

  • Comment number 47.

    Glad your feeling better Jake, the bit in the pit with JB looked really uncomfortable with all those other press around you and I thought you did well keeping it together as our cameraman (& our view) slowly got maneouvred back by the thrusting masses. Also liked to see the mechanics celebrating and how refreshingly "normal" they were as opposed to PR talk about team effort, sponsors etc etc.

    As a JB fan and a Kent lad I hotfooted it over to Bluewater Shopping Centre on the Tues after the weekend with my 4yr old and we got up close and personally congratulated JB while he signed autographs. Literally touching distance from the 2009 WDC! Unforgetable.

  • Comment number 48.

    Jenson Button for BBC Sports Personality of the year.

    A mention in the New Years Honours list for both Jenson and Ross Brawn would be well deserved too.

    SJH

  • Comment number 49.

    Hi Jake,

    I have no idea if you actually read the responses you get from these blogs, but just encase you do, I have to say that you are probaly the best presenter i have ever seen on tv (especially live tv!). All your research is spot on and your scripts are great! I have enjoyed watching formula 1 more this season then I ever have before.

    Keep up the good work mate!

    James

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi Jake,

    The Brawn team came from nowhere at the beginning of the season and so did the BBC. And what a brilliant job both of you have done.

    Congratulations on your first class coverage all season, on TV, online and even on the Chris Moyles Show! I can't wait for Abu Dhabi, now that all the championships have been decided.

  • Comment number 51.

    Although I've never really been into F1, through a combination of the BBC's fantastic coverage and an enthralling season, it has thoroughly captured my imagination this year. Button clearly wanted this championship as badly as anyone out there and that(plus the fact I'm English!) makes me massively pleased for the bloke. I'm hoping next year is as entertaining as this one and that my dire tv reception clings on to the bbc channels!

  • Comment number 52.

    I think a Save the British F1 website should be started up! Anyone know how to do it then please do? I would but have not got a clue!

  • Comment number 53.

    I have read many of the blogs this year and each one has made me laugh but also informed me of the things behind the scenes we as veiwers rarely if ever get to see/hear about - brilliant and funny.

    However this w/end of viewing was one of the best ever:-

    1) EJ running off to get Patrick Head - that in itself was great but the look on JH and DC's face was a picture
    2) EJ basically making a mess off himself when he thought he'd been tapped by the car passing - the look off camera - wonderful, not to mention the smug DC look and JH just smiling
    3) Martin Brundle cleary has no shame - and good on him - heres to another season of hacking off all the other TV companies "now he'll say all that in German"
    4) The final scenes in the garage - quite how JH didn't lamp someone is commendable although DC was verging - again classic.
    5) Oh and the racing was not half bad either

    Just imagine that with adverts! Well done all at the BBC Sports Dept for the fantastic coverage.

    One final thought though, its time for Jake to accept responsibility for his attire and not blame others! Though it does at least give a great conversational aspect to the general viewing but if the coverage ever goes HD please bear it in mind!

  • Comment number 54.

    Jake,

    Is it just me, or did DC look completely terrified during the Brawn GP celebrations? In fact, while Eddie was enjoying the craic, DC seemed to mysteriously disappear. Was he a bit ruffled?

    Salvador

  • Comment number 55.

    41. At 6:17pm on 25 Oct 2009, OUFCLS68 wrote:
    The season was a farce because of the early tehnical issues with teams letting Brawn get a jump. Buttons no more a world champ than i am. Hamilton beats him hands down as a driver.

    42. At 6:47pm on 25 Oct 2009, OUFCLS68 wrote:
    I dont like people called 'Jake' anyway.

    Dear OUFCLS68, Re your first comment, the other teams could have built a triple diff but didn't, that doesn't mean that Brawn had an unfair advantage, just a better design.

    Re your second comment, completely unnecessary comment, I am amazed that no one has complained and its been allowed through.

    Jake - fantastic report this week, glad you are feeling better. Looking forward to the final race, then no F1 for months :-(

    K

  • Comment number 56.

    mate...not only did Sao Paulo make Jenson, i think its also made you. You did a great job there in the paddock. Well done.

    If only the Beeb had the premiership rights.

  • Comment number 57.

    Great blog Jake :) I must echo the view that the BBC coverage this year has been nothing short of amazing, for me the non-race coverage especially.....the practice sessions with the 5 live chat, the after race forum, the blogs, the online videos, the pre and post race interviews....it's these things that have lifted this years BBC's coverage way, way, way above what we have ever had before. You and the whole team have hit the perfect balance between entertainment and information. You all deserve a big pat on the back for making us fans feel like we are part of F1 and also showing us the 'human' side of F1 beneath all the corpoate gloss. I feel like I know the people in F1 like I never knew them before.

    anyway don't stop now, keep up the good work and we'll all be watching next year.... Thanks Jake and thanks to the Whole BBC team.

  • Comment number 58.

    The coverage in Brazil reached new heights, quali, race and post-race were exceptional.

    Congratulations to the BBC and the F1 team for doing such an amazing job this year. Roll on Abu-Dhabi!

  • Comment number 59.

    Hey Jake. I must say oyu've done great coverage over the year on F1. Brazil was great as well, despite me only being able to see it on a tiny screen in a pub full of footie fans watching the big plasma screen. You've certainly come a long way from those days in Elstree on BAMZOOKi with me from the Pickton Predators.

    Can't wait for Abu-Dhabi!

    PS: Unlucky for Fisheye's bag problem.

  • Comment number 60.

    Great work Jake. Am a mum of 2 kids and an Italian husband who love F1 but since living in Turin our enthusiasm for the sport has been waning. We missed Murray and it just wasn't the same on Italian tv (I've had to resort to doing a commentry on the goings on in the safety car for the kids) and wondered when after 5 years we got our dish installed how the coverage would be....WOW!!! you've nailed it, we love what you do, you bring to life something which was as dull as dishwater on Italian. Yes I'm proud of many things the BBC do but the coverage of F1 is at the top of the list and I know it's down to a lot of skill and dedication of a lot of people so congratulations to all of you.

  • Comment number 61.

    Jake, you have done a simply awesome job presenting F1 for the bbc this year. The coverage has been flawless and my mates and I all agree that BBC have stepped up to the mark with their F1 coverage. The bbc f1 website is awesome visually and with its content.

    Amazing thrilling season, thanks for your insightful blogs and well done for staying grounded in the circus of formula 1. Cannot wait for next year and another british champion driver and team.

  • Comment number 62.

    Fantastic blog Jake, as well as brilliant coverage! Both brought tears to my eyes. Everyone in England has waited so long for Jenson to become World Champion and I'm so happy he has done it - and in such style!!
    I also want to say I completely agree with Comment 36 - with back to back British World Champions and so many British teams involved in F1, how can Bernie even consider not having a British GP! I watched at Silverstone this year and it was fantastic - the atmosphere was electric.
    Perhaps you need to collar Bernie at the weekend and let EJ at him to talk some sense in him!!!!!
    Looking forward to the coverage this weekend and gutted that we have come to the end of another F1 season!

  • Comment number 63.

    Jake,

    Excellent blog as always! To echo some of the comments already on here, the BBC team have really made the viewer part of the whole F1 experience this year and I think that your blogs have helped people see the real 'behind the scenes' life of F1 staff. You only have to look at how many team bosses, engineers and drivers that are willing to stop and talk to BBC staff to realise how well respected the team is as a whole (Sky Deutschland aside, obviously! Boy can that girl strop or WHAT?!).

    Obviously congrats for Brawn and Jenson go without saying! What a race! And I think the heartfelt thanks from Ross Brawn to the staff that were sadly laid off earlier in the season was telling of what an honest, kind and fair man he is. And the emotion he showed when asked why winning under his own name was special made for a magical moment. I don't usually enjoy tv where you feel like you're intruding on private moments but I really think that he didn't care who saw how happy he was and the BBC have been nothing but polite and have held their integrity throughout the whole season (again, Sky Deutschland presenter wrestling aside....!!).

    I really enjoyed an article on the site straight after the race weekend (Andrew Benson I THINK) where it pointed out very simply that Jenson Button did not have the leg up into F1 racing that not only have other drivers have had, but people often assume he has had. Although yes, his father was a noted motorsport 'name' he did not join an academy, a programme for future F1 stars in the making and pretty much went from Formula Ford into F1. I found this reminder of his background really made me think about how well he has done and how well the Brawn team has done this year. You do need talent to pull off a world championship and boy has he got some! The very fact he said something about F1 drivers seeiming like a different class of person to himself shows that not long ago, he was just a kid who wanted to win and be like Nigel Mansell (bad 'tash not included, I would assume). Good on him for living the dream! I mean he is only 29 after all!

    Can't wait for the final race and I hope you have one hell fo a re-cap planned! Aim xx

  • Comment number 64.

    Dear Jake,
    Could you and your team please quiz Mr Ecclestone over Donnington.In the financial pages of The Sunday Express it was stated that Donnington ventures leisure ltd (DVLL) is "tecnically insolvent" and has been so since the end of 2008.If Mr Ecclestone is the shrewd business man he appears to be then how the hell did he miss this and why has he given DVLL so many chances.Surely if your committing something the British GP to someone then surely you make sure they have the finance in place,especially in todays financial climate.Call me a cynic but i reckon its been Mr Ecclestones intention to get rid of the British GP all along and hes given Silverstone and DVLL enough rope to hang themselves,which they duly have.I would really appreciate you and the team questioning Mr Ecclestone over this,alot of us feel very strongly over the demise of an event which should all ways be on the f1 calender,
    cheers

  • Comment number 65.

    Quizzing DC & EJ about the levels of 'bravery' needed for a particular manoeuvre... oh dear, F1 for the kiddies. Mmmm, there's a connection here, isn't there?

  • Comment number 66.

    Dear Jake,
    I want to congratulate and thank you, Eddie and David on giving us a truly fantastic commentary to the 2009 F1 season. I looked forward to every GP knowing that the insight from you and the guys would be interesting, humorous and just great. For me watching F1 for many years it was the best season ever from the BBC team (and any other channel).
    Just to say thank you for making the season so very enjoable
    Bernard Cogan

 

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