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Can't wait for the start of the season

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Jake Humphrey | 09:50 UK time, Friday, 5 March 2010

Welcome to my first blog of the 2010 Formula 1 season - it's good to be back!

I was actually flicking through my F1 photos earlier on the laptop and saw a snap of myself, Eddie Jordan and Lee McKenzie clambering out of a taxi in Melbourne as we arrived at Albert Park for the opening race of the 2009 season. How on earth was that a year ago?

I'll never forget that first weekend. The heightened emotions that we were all feeling as F1 made its return to the BBC were like nothing I've ever experienced before - and will certainly live with me for the rest of my career.

Hearing The Chain through my earpiece as I stood in the pit lane preparing to welcome F1's hardcore fans - and my parents, who were up at 5am for an F1 race for the first time - particularly stands out!

I've actually missed my regular blast of Fleetwood Mac, as I suspect has EJ, who never fails to do a little air-drumming as the track reaches its crescendo, while David Coulthard also allows himself a little air guitar every now and then if he's feeling especially rock and roll!

Working in F1 has a strange effect of warping time, it honestly feels like five minutes ago that we heard the tune last, in the Abu Dhabi desert.

After the race I remember we were offered some schnapps shots to celebrate the end of an incredible season. The only slight issue was that our friendly, impromptu barman had got his timings slightly wrong - we were still live on the BBC! I think EJ has enjoyed the F1 Forum enough without the added encouragement of a shot or two!

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Mind you, if you crawled under a rock after the final race of 2009's surreal season, emerging only recently, you'd probably wonder what you had been drinking!

Time after time last year, either here on my blog or via my Twitter account, I enjoyed discussing with you all just how incredible last season was as it unfolded. But this year is shaping up to surpass last year's madness, and we've yet to see a car driven in anger!

People keep on asking which of the big stories I'm most excited about, and while I won't deny that a wry grin crept across my face as I heard that Kamui Kobayashi, he of the cheeky overtake, had found himself a drive - it's the return of a man 17 years his elder who has occupied my thoughts.

Will Michael Schumacher still be fast? How will he cope physically with a return top-level racing? When he goes wheel to wheel with one of F1's talented youngsters who will lift off the accelerator first?

It's actually that last question that really excites me. It was clear when we sat down with Schumacher at last year's German Grand Prix that he was missing some kind of adrenalin rush as he discussed his new passion for skydiving (which I'm sure he's shelved for now!).

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However, has he really considered how much of a badge of honour it will be for the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton or his former team-mate Felipe Massa to get one over the old master during the course of the season? I'm not so sure. If he returns and wins the title he'll confirm his brilliance. If he doesn't impress and slinks back to retirement, how much will his legacy be affected?

Imagine you're Hamilton, you are gunning it away from the line in Bahrain and find that you and Michael want the same piece of tarmac into the first right-hander... what would you do?

So, Schumacher is back after three years, and the Silver Arrows after considerably longer. And chatting to British fans of the sport, that's not the only return that's setting hearts a flutter - particularly those in my native Norfolk!

It really is a glorious fairytale that Mike Gascoyne, Tony Fernandes, and a band of loyal workers are helping to create with their revival of Lotus, making the return of one of the sport's most evocative names a reality.

And if Lotus achieve that incredible challenge of scoring points in 2010, part of the credit can go to a man I know quite well - my little brother!

Tom (even taller but annoyingly much thinner than me!) works at the school in Norwich where we both studied our A levels, but he loves cars, especially working on his long-term restoration of a Ford Prefect in his garage.

I took Tom to watch Norwich City, along with Gascoyne, just after Christmas and Tom mentioned how much he loves F1. Well, it seems Mike saw an opportunity to benefit both parties. A couple of weeks later I was bumbling up the A11 on the way to visit the folks when I swung into the car park of the Lotus factory in the picturesque village of Hingham.

I chatted to the chief operating officer, met a few of the guys there who are clearly relishing the challenge ahead, then wandered down to the race bay... and there was my brother!

Tom was spending his week's half-term holiday doing some Lotus F1 work experience and was busy wearing a dust mask and protective goggles while making a fan to help cool the cars radiators at the track. Unbelievable.

He was in his element but I've told him if I see a cooling fan not working at one of the races I'll know which he made! Only joking, Tom!

I think that story sums up just how incredible this sport is shaping up to be in 2010.

From the most famous driver of all returning to the track in a blaze of publicity and about to roll back the years in front of millions to my little bro' doing his bit to help a team that have galvanised an entire county around them as they bid to do justice to the brilliance of the legendary Team Lotus founder Colin Chapman.

I can't wait for lights out on 14 March in Bahrain. I'll be especially intrigued to see how DC reacts to the return of a man who was his nemesis for so long and I'm sure EJ will remind us (quite a bit!) that he gave Michael his first F1 break.

I'm so delighted to be sharing the pit lanes of the world with Eddie and David once more, and the three of us have had plenty of meetings about how we can make our coverage this year the best you've ever seen. It's certainly going to be a season worthy of our efforts!

Don't forget that I'll be sending behind-the-scenes photos and tweeting regularly from every race too so follow me on Twitter too.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Great blog entry Jake. Well done - Is it really that time of the year again?

    Speaking as someone who worked for BAR between 1998 and 2000, I will always remember the Iceman Schuey sitting on thepit wall eating his breakast whilst JV and Ricardo were hammering round the track. He would finish his breakfast, have a slight stretch, get into his car and casually blow everyone away. Well now he has returned to F1 at what is in essence the same team I used to work for. I would give my eye teeth to be there when he gets into the Merc and shows the young upstarts a thing or two!

    Cheers,

    Kev Williams

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm with you, Jake.
    I can't wait for the season to begin. Looking forward to the BBC coverage -its still a joy to hear The Chain and to have absolutely NO adverts during the race!!!

  • Comment number 3.

    Can't wait for the new season. If only there was a way of getting you coverage in France. Any ideas??

  • Comment number 4.

    Great to hear from you again Jake, I just hope that you can maintain the brilliant standard you set in 09, if not improve on it.

  • Comment number 5.

    Less than a week to 1st practice. This is ridiculous it's only sport why am I this excited? aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

  • Comment number 6.

    welcome back jake!! we have missed your blog over the winter

  • Comment number 7.

    Great to see the blog back Jake. Hope this season is as good for you and the team as last season.

  • Comment number 8.

    Great blog Jake.
    With all the excitement of the forth coming season, i cant help there should be a little sadness in there too.
    I persoally was lookng froward to seeing Jacques Villeneuve return, and with the failure to make the grid of USF1 and now Stefan GP, i can't help thinking that the negative politics of F1 have reared their ugly head again.
    While i undrstand that USF1's failure was their own doing with a lack of financial support, i feel Stefan GP should have been there with bells on.
    As far as we're aware they had a car good to go for Bahrain something that can't be said for Campos or USF1.
    Also i think the fact that the Serbians have saved a fair few jobs from the Toyota ashes may have been overlooked.
    None the less i won't let these dissapointing factors get in the way of what could be the greatest F1 season (since last year), and i think it will also open the door for a British double world champion in Jenson Button.

  • Comment number 9.

    Really looking forward to the new season Jake - and BBC's coverage!

    I think the novelty of the new teams will wear off after the first few races but they will still bring the most off-track story lines and big news stories. Last year we had Lie-gate, crash-gate, the civil war between Fota and the FIA and also a fair bit of chat about double diffusers. I think this year will be battle of the budgets - the new teams struggling to match the pace of the more established names and the ultimate arguments over rule changes and budget caps.

    Don't get me wrong I'm really looking forward to the on-track action and believe it will be better than ever with the likes of schumi, Lewis and Alonso all battling out for the title but the F1 circus always tends to thrive on the soap opera style story lines that follow it around over the course of the season and I think 2010 will be no different.

    Good luck to the new teams I'm really glad to see them there especially the Lotus name. I just hope they can stay there.

    Roll on the 14th!

  • Comment number 10.

    Genuinely very excited about the new season – I think everyone wants to know which Schumacher will turn up in 2010……….the fantastic sportsman or the competitive driver who will do anything to win and if he doesn’t have the pace on the track then what tricks we he turn to, and will it a) endanger other drivers or b) just alienate himself from the paddock?

    Button to complain about unfair treatment at Mclaren by race 8!

  • Comment number 11.

    Excellent blog, it really chimes with my sense of excitement for the new season!

  • Comment number 12.

    It is like going back to School! Wellcome back Jake. Your coverage with EJ and DC was great in 2009. Initially there was some on the air fighting between EJ and DC but you all found your groove and there is a good rapport in the group.
    I will say more of the same coverage from 2009 in 2010 please.... The action on the track should take care of all the excitement. I am actually looking forward to see how Kobayashi gets on slight more than Schumi because Kobayashi did what many upstarts in recent times except Buemi and Hamilton- challenge the status quo and have fun doing it :)

  • Comment number 13.

    sweet la, the Humphrey blogs are the best of the bbc F1 crew!

  • Comment number 14.

    Glad to see you back Jake - Roll on 14th March i can't wait!!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Like no.5, I'm really excited, and nodded in agreement when I read his post. Then I got to thinking, 'Man, I've been this excited for the start of the F1 season for a few years in a row now, and with the exception of last year, maybe, they've all struggled to keep the excitement levels up'.

    Now, I remain a huge optimist, but unless they can really manage to have wheel-to-wheel racing and decent overtaking on a regular basis, this sport will continue to decline.

    In other news, the forthcoming FIA GT1 World Championship might be REALLY good news for motor-racing fans.

    Jake - will we be seeing any coverage of said championship on the Beeb?

    Cheers,
    Jock

  • Comment number 16.

    Great stuff Jake!

    Just incase you are reading these comments, how are you feeling about the first race being Bahrain this year instead of Australia??

    I personally am really disappointed about this, as the early-morning Australian GP is the perfect way to start the season, getting up at 2am for tea, toast and a certain F1-related stimulant drink! Bahrain has little GP history and meaning, not to mention the average racetrack hampered by dusty conditions.

    Oh well, enough with the negativity. Can't wait for the new season!!!!

  • Comment number 17.

    Best of luck Jake!!! Great job last year!! Also is there any chance some of the bbc videos can be viewed in Ireland?? Theres a lot of BBC fans over here who can't access the videos.Thanks. 1 week cant wait!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    As ever Jake you bring us into your world. I have missed your blogs, 140 characters on twitter just isn't quite the same!
    Hope your 'little' brother loved his time at Lotus (I wonder if he will be spending his Easter there as well).

    I can't wait till next Weekend, made sure I'm not working. 5 months is a long time for my favourite sport to be away and i'll be glued from free practice, quali, the race and your forum.

    This will be the best season in a long time, I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!


    Amanda

  • Comment number 19.

    Welcome back Jake!! I Cant wait for this new season, its got some much promise and i dont think I've ever been so excited about a coming season.

    Cant wait to read all your blogs through the season, keep up the good job.

  • Comment number 20.

    Welcome back Jake!

  • Comment number 21.

    Can't wait for the new season. Schui risking his legacy. McLaren with 2 British drivers, current and previous world champs. Hopefully 24 cars on the grid. 4 Cosworth powered teams. Lotus reappearing on the track. A Virgin team to add some more fun no doubt. Teams and drivers from a host of different countries, more of a spread than any other season I can remember.

    (and its also nice to see that even in a recession and even with the large number of F1 people having been layed off and out of work that one can indulge in a little light nepotism. Living the dream Jake, living the dream ;)

  • Comment number 22.

    Welcome back Jake. It's been a while - on here at least.

    Really not sure about this Schumacher thing. I've not been overly-impressed by some of his actions in the past, so the label of 7-times winner doesn't really make him into a revered great, at least here.

    I wonder whether that side of his temperament has been, well, tempered. I guess we'll see in 5 or 6 races time, when the pressure is on him and some of the newer generation

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi Jake,

    Great Blog.

    So looking forward to the season ahead too, it will be the most competitive racing in years with any of 5 to 6 drivers in a shout of winning the championship.. Have a good season and hope for another British success.

  • Comment number 24.

    You are probably the most fortunate man alive, being able to go to all of the GPs and analyse them with some legends of the sport! I agree with pomwombat in that I'm not so sure Schumacher will be such a hit anymore as cars have changed since he left - although I do think that we shouldn't take our eyes off Kobayashi or the Sauber team for that matter. Force India and Toro Rosso look handy as well. ROLL ON 2010!

  • Comment number 25.

    Anyone else noticed the South Korea track looks like a hang-gliding rabbit?

  • Comment number 26.

    Great stuff Jake.

    Someone really needs to keep track of how many times EJ says 'when Michael first sat in one of MY cars' or 'when I gave Michael his big break'. Perhaps there should be a little counter in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

  • Comment number 27.

    Cracking blog to start the season!!

    The only things you did miss is the in-house battles at Mclaren and Ferrari finally getting their man!

    I think Schumacher is still going to be as tough as ever! Expect wings to go flying, especially if him and Lewis get near each other.

    What a season we have in store. I can't wait to see you, DC and EJ on the screen... 8 days to go!!

  • Comment number 28.

    Nice work, I can't wait. So many changes I need to sit down and get my head around it, is the BBC doing a pre season show?

  • Comment number 29.

    Roll on next week.
    I am still worried that this season will not be as exciting as last with the new rule changes.
    Will qualification be as tactical now that it is a dash to top spot regardless of fuel load?
    Will all teams naturally start on the Prime tyre, trying to cope with the weight of full fuel tanks?
    Will any car be able to stop in time for the first corner with cold brakes, cold tyres and heavy, fuel landen car?

    Oh, I'm not really worried. I can't wait tbh.

  • Comment number 30.

    Wecolme back Jake, seems such a short time.......but feels like forever when you are waiting!! Great to have you back and really looking forward to your blogs, some of the best on the BBC site bar none!! Heres to a great season ahead.

  • Comment number 31.

    looking forward to the new season and to seeing Jake and the guys entertaining us as well.

  • Comment number 32.

    Dellarwoo .. not sure it is a hang-gliding rabbit, but it does look like a rabbit with a sauber engine cover wedged on its back ...

  • Comment number 33.

    Hey Jake,

    As a Flemish (i know, it sounds like a thing coming from the back of your throat) speaking Belgian i prefer the F1 coverage by the BBC over the coverage by our own VRT. Did not miss a single race covered by you guys last year and not intending to do that during the 2010 season. My wife only understands the noise the cars make, but that makes up for the fact i sometimes have to endure watching Home & Away, cooking shows, Trinny & Susannah and the occasional "chick flick". Keep it up!

    Cheers from the continent,

    Marc Vleminckx

  • Comment number 34.

    It'll all be fine, once the first qualifying session happens, everyone will forget previsou seasons and how exciting it'l all be, coz all us die hard fans will just be so happy F1 is back after 4 months. Drivers have recharged their batteries, so have the fans, we're all ready to go, with a new bolt of enthusiasm....and I'll be first in line to buy the new Mercedes GP Schumi cap!

  • Comment number 35.

    It's almost time now!!! I only got to follow 2009 season from the halway point so i'm very excited about starting this one from the get go. I'm touring Egypt during the 1st race, so won't be catching it live but it'll be the first thing i watch when i return on the 23rd. Should be a cracker.

    It's good to see Schumacher coming back, it'll be very interesting to see how he finds it. In my opinion i think there will be a few people on the grid faster than he is, but he still has a chance. I fully understand his wish for more rushes...i have the same myself. Must be nice to get paid to do these things!!! I have to pay a small fortune to get all my rushes. Mainly Snowboarding and Ice Hockey. But i just can't imagine not having something fast and crazy to do. It just makes you feel alive, makes you feel that's where you belong. On the track, on the mountain etc. So i know how he must have felt being out of F1.

    Anyway, enjoyed the coverage last year and these blogs are a nice way to stay involved in between races. Especially while i'm sitting at work!

    I hope it's a very close season with plenty people fighting for the title until the end. It'll be tought for the new teams but i think the mid range teams have plenty potential to get in the mix on a few races and make the title more interesting. I forsee a few of the middle grid teams getting a few wins between them. Roll on next week...holiday, then F1 afterwards, something to come home for.

  • Comment number 36.

    The formula for this season is so exciting. Massa to win in Bahrain :D

  • Comment number 37.

    Great to have you back Jake (I must be like the eleventy seventh person to have said that already).

    Just one thing, could you have a word with someone and get the show times sorted out on your website. And another one of those files so I can upload all the show times to my calendar in Outlook would be great - you did it last year so it's now my right to demand one!!

    Thanks

  • Comment number 38.

    Good luck Jake with 'The difficult second album'!

    Looking forwards to catching you on twitter at random hours of the day.


    @3 try http://www.viewmy.tv/ for watching Jake et al overseas

  • Comment number 39.

    Yay! Welcome back! Can't wait to see your blogs unfold again. No leaving your underwear around the globe this time, eh?

    I'm so glad someone else is excited about Kobayashi. I actually jumped up and down when I found out he had got himself a seat!

  • Comment number 40.

    Nice blog, Jake. But you ask, "Will Michael Schumacher be fast?". I think the answer to that is pretty obvious - he will be. I don't think he'll be Alonso/Hamilton fast, but I expect podiums from him at least.

  • Comment number 41.

    Linking into Post 26 - How about EJ puts in a 100 quid to sport relief everytime he mentions that he discovered Schumi!

  • Comment number 42.

    Year for Force India

  • Comment number 43.

    Hi Jake, good to see you back in driving seat so to speak. I've been enjoying your coverage of the 09 season and am so looking forward to what is shaping up to be a very tasty season this year. I do have one comment about the opening music and was wondering if others felt the same. Although I have appreciated the Fleetwood Mac intro for a screed of years now I think that it's about time for something more modern and updated which reflects the energy and drive that is to be found in the current crop of drivers now making the scene. FM has become dated I'm afraid. Anyone else in agreement?

  • Comment number 44.

    Im a massive Ipswich Town fan Jake. And i think your a great presenter. And your blogs are always very interesting and readable.... Surely as an Ipswich fan i must have given you the best compliment of everyone!

  • Comment number 45.

    At last... brillaint!

    Hamilton? Button? Massa? Alonso? Vettel?
    Mclaren? Ferrari? Red Bull?

    I don't know but am very excited about finding out and if Schumacher can be thrashed off the calender then all the better!

    Rosberg to score more than Schumacher?

    Kind of glad Villenueve didn't get a drive to be honest as he had destroyed his race reputation by the time he left originally and then spoilt it further by returning for Renault. Time to accept it's been over for quite a while now.

  • Comment number 46.

    Go Team Lotus!!!

    Whoop Whoop!!

  • Comment number 47.

    Wb Jakey, you have been missed!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Great to have you back mate :)
    cant wait for the first practice on the BBC live

    Heres to a good, fun and exciting season and may the best team win /cough Mclaren :)

  • Comment number 48.

    It's good to be back, going to be a great season, one week to go! Glad to see the line up has not changed - really do love the combination of you, EJ and DC. The banter between EJ and Bernie on the grid is also quite amusing so look forward to that too!

    Anyone care to place a wager on whether a certain presenter's pink shirt will be making its 2010 debut?

    And whether Martin Brundle will finally get slapped on-air by the lovely German Sky presenter he enjoys cutting in front of during the gridwalks?

  • Comment number 49.

    # Kev TrickyTree Williams

    May i ask what you did for the BAR team and how did you come across a position in Formula 1 as i am looking myself

  • Comment number 50.

    Biniinyy - get yourself a freesat box and a 120cm dish, then you can watch F1 (and all beeb stuff) for free from France

  • Comment number 51.

    FranklyF1

    No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no!

    Don't you remember the terrible ITV years and their awful themes including that junk by Jamiroquai? None of there tunes were hummable, toe tapping, catchy or any phrase you wish to use

    The Chain was one of the main reasons for my excitement when it was announced the F1 was returning to BBC. My biggest fear was that they would make the mistake of trying to fix something that wasn't broken and try to trendy up the music.

    You are so wrong it's painful. There is no tune that captures F1 like The Chain no change will improve on the theme. Mark my words get rid of the tune and a couple of years down the line any tune that attempts to sound modern and now will sound dated and weak almost immediately.

    Leave well alone and stop trying to tinker where no tinkering is required

  • Comment number 52.

    Great to see your back Jake! I imagine right now your all nerves for the upcoming season, potentially so much to talk about in the F1 Forums afterwards I imagine.

    EJ air durmming and DC air guitaring? One word Mr. Hymphrey I'm sure a lot of people demand....FOOTAGE! We simply must see this with you perhaps singing. ;)

  • Comment number 53.

    Great blog Jake and a big well done to all the BBC team for giving us brilliant coverage of the 2009 season.
    Cant wait to watch Schumi roll back the years at places like Monaco, Silvertone and Spa and to show the youngsters how to do a propper victory jump up on that top step!!

  • Comment number 54.

    Post 43 - FranklyF1;

    Though I understand why you make this suggestion, I got goosebumps when I heard THE tune again last March. I would like to keep it.

  • Comment number 55.

    Welcome back Jake.
    Firstly top blog, well done you. After such an interesting off-season I can;t wait for the real fun and games to begin (on track)!!!!
    Secondly, #43. Years and years we waited, then finaly in mach 2009 the most iconic piece of sporting music returned to our screens. The classic Bass, kickin' drums and the howling guitar that is The Chain.
    Please Auntie Beeb, never ever change this music!!!!!

  • Comment number 56.

    Watching the red button video from last year its so funny to see Eddie again making a wrong prediction!!! He said Lewis and Jenson in the same team wouldnt happen!! just like the McLaren was an unsaveable car!!

    I'm going to moniter what Mr Jorden says wont happen to have a better idea of what lies ahead for his coming season!

    Really gunning of a great year, it wont disapoint!!!

  • Comment number 57.

    Nice for you to be back, can't wait for the new look grid with most of the teams in different colours or new colours

  • Comment number 58.

    Looking forward to a fantastic season Jake. I was always a big Schumacher fan so I'm especially looking forward to 2010.

    Shame that Stefan GP didn't get a grid spot. The more teams and drivers the better. Still, 12 teams, 24 drivers, 19 races. That's more of each than 2009!

    Couldn't agree more with Number 51. The BBC can't (and I don't think ever will) break The Chain.

  • Comment number 59.

    hi jake. glad to see you back. it has been a long boring winter without f1 and the bbc. this season promises to be the best of seasons. the mighty schuhmacher is back. best thing that could happen, especially with all the bad pulicity the sport got last season. new teams and new cars. will lewis hamilton be able to keep michael schuhmacher at bay? I think this will be hamiltons best year. I think maybe he will be crowned world champion again. with maybe michael coming second or third. I'm really looking forward to seeing the old faces again, martin brundle and the hilarious disagreements between dc and ej. it should be a good summer. all the best for the new season.

  • Comment number 60.

    Many Happy Returns Jake, a refreshing addition to our F1 Team, alongside my favourite man Martin Brundle. Keep up the good work, its always a pleasure to watch F1 with great commentary, comments and no advert interruptions to spoil my pleasure.

  • Comment number 61.

    Hi Jake, welcome back!

    Must say i'm ver excited about this year.... it seems an age since the race at the end of last year.

    I must add, don't have the tune changed, as love it. I have the full album (Rumours) on my phone.

    The main things that will intrigue me this year are the new teams and drivers and how the teams will find out what the best tyres to be on depending on haw much fuel is left in the car.

    I'm not going to miss all those fuel rig failures that happened. I always felt bad for the drivers whose race would be completely ruined by that.

    Cheers
    Lordwoz

  • Comment number 62.

    #55. Totally agree. The ITV years were most memorable for the horrible intro music. The Chain is iconic. Every time I (and I expect hundreds/thousands of others) hear it I automatically think of F1 on the BBC.
    Good luck Jake, I can't wait for the 'lights' to go out for the first race.

  • Comment number 63.

    Hi Jack,

    Welcome back.
    Good luck and plenty of success for you and BBC F1 team during 2010 season
    Hope to see you in Montreal
    Best regards from Mexico

  • Comment number 64.

    I truly cannot wait for this season! This time next week Practice Sessions 1 and 2 will have already taken place and we'll be sitting back waiting for Qualifying! Where will Schumacher place? Will he blow the collective socks off Button, Hamilton, and Vettel? We will just have to wait to find out!!

    And The Chain ...

  • Comment number 65.

    Hi again Jake

    Looking forward to another interesting & exciting season, I think that the end of the season will see both Schumi & Jenson fighting it out for the title as the longer wheelbase and heavier cars will suit both their driving styles.

    By the way re: Lotus F1 why has everybody in the media not given the credit that is due to James Hunt's little brother for keeping the name alive all these years by refusing to sell the rights to the name unless they would actually be able to compete in F1 grand Prix? David Hunt has enabled the Litespeed team to Morph into Lotus F1 by not just selling it to the highest bidder for the money, now there is a true F1 fan who is a businessman. Shame Bernie never followed his example!

    Anyway cannot wait for the racing to start, with the bass line of the chain introducing it.

  • Comment number 66.

    Ah, first blog of the season - now it really does feel like the first race is just around the corner :)

    You all did a fantastic job last year, so I'm interested to see how you'll top that this year! Best of luck to you, DC and EJ for a great 2010 season; it's going to be one heck of a ride!

  • Comment number 67.

    Great stuff Jake - I'm just disappointed that my gap year travels mean I'm gonna be out here in South America missing the excellent BBC coverage. One question though - will we be seeing a new video to go with "The Chain" theme? I'm sure you recall the general disappointment expressed by many people this time last year about the BBC's decision to avoid any real footage of F1... I remember hoping that maybe one year down the line there'd be a new one with The Chain being blended with action-packed clips of real cars (and memories) - a far more exciting and exhillerating TV experience than meaningless CGI-stuff.

    Will there be a new one, or is the same as last year? Either way - all the best for Bahrain and onwards, and I look forward to seeing BBC F1 once I'm home in May!

  • Comment number 68.

    I just cant wait. Saw the button trailer yesterday and that got me even more in the mood, plus we dont have to wake up stupidlly early. Roll on next weekend!!

    Dave

  • Comment number 69.

    Jake:
    I'm looking forward to meaningful racing commentary that I suspect that you can provide.
    I agree with 8. At 10:30am on 05 Mar 2010, Cronnie wrote:"... looking froward to seeing Jacques Villeneuve return, and with the failure to make the grid of USF1 and now Stefan GP, i can't help thinking that the negative politics of F1 have reared their ugly head again. ..."
    I therefore disagree with 45. At 1:44pm on 05 Mar 2010, sirjawa wrote: who is glad Villeneuve is not back.
    I am Canadian.
    I'm not particularly fond of herr Schumacher, though he is a benchmark, and it may be interesting to see what happens entering a tight corner opposite Lewis Hamilton; I look forward to seeing Lewis not giving an inch.
    This scenario of going into a corner with the Schu, is an interesting one, especially if you look at him as a benchmark. In many of these posts, you see a level set at Lewis/Alonso, including 40. At 12:57pm on 05 Mar 2010, Oliver wrote:"... I don't think he'll be Alonso/Hamilton fast, ...". These two are often cited when referring to the top calibre; with good reason, in my opinion. I think both would old their line against the German. Would Jenson? Will Filipe, Vettel, or very relevantly, Nico Rosberg?
    This is the dividing line between those who have and are willing to do what it takes, and those who aren't. I believe Jacques Villeneuve is above this line, as many would agree Kimi is above this line. It's too bad neither of them are on the grid this season. It's a shame the 2010 Toyota doesn't get a chance to race; if the team was run by one of the 'friends' of the F1 court, they certainly would be there.
    But back to those confirmed for the season, 2010. I believe that Webber will step up, over the line, and I won't be surprised to see him hold a line against Schumacher in a corner. The McLaren is good, The Ferrari is good, both teams have excellent drivers, but I've come to expect a championship winner from Red Bull, based on what we've seen so far.

  • Comment number 70.

    Cool Blog Jake,

    I am so glad your blog is back!

    This season is going to be more gripping as it will be more down to the drivers than the cars in the fight for the Championship. It was a shame that USF1 could not make the grid in time but I think that their place should have been given to Stefan GP, but still 12 teams is more competition than 10.

    Anyway I am extremely excited and I cannot wait until next weekend, as I especially booked it off from work so I can see the season opener, but I have not seen a trailer for F1 on the BBC Channels is there one out yet?

    Anyhow Keep Up Great Work Jake and Bahrain is within touching distance now...Hooray! Roll On Next Weekend!

  • Comment number 71.

    Welcome back Jake. I can't believe we only have to wait another week. Kobayashi is going to be a lot of fun I reckon. Much as I hate to say it I think Alonso is going to win the first race but will be very happy to be proved wrong! I hope you've got the pink shirt packed.

  • Comment number 72.

    Dean Cassady

    Hello Sir.

    No offence to Villenueve ment I just don't think he'll be able to improve his reputation by coming back
    However if he wants to then absolutely fair enough. I always liked Jacques especially for his courage and lack of fear of Schumacher.
    It's just that once he won his title his luck seemed to evaporate and he failed to finish races for season after season after season. Generally these failures weren't obviously his fault but one has to question that slightly as if one driver keeps having mechanical failures their driving style is brought into question.
    The repeated failures at BAR can probably be put down to mechanical parts due to it being a new and small team that eventually evolved into Honda, Brawn and now Mercedes which developed the cars reliability.

    At the end of the day though it seems that good or bad luck follows drivers in F1 and either you are or aren't lucky or you are but you use it up. Sadly judging Jacques last few years with Renault, Sauber and BMW Sauber I think his luck has totally expired.

    On the plus side I think Schumacher was well off the boil two and a half years before he retired so his chances this year are negligible at best.
    If one were to review the final time he won the title his performances were a little patchy and once the title was secured accidents and mistakes began to creep in and continued to follow him around in his final two seasons.

  • Comment number 73.

    Sirjawa

    I think the deteriation of JV's career was due to what the cars developed into. Villeneuve always prided himself on being a race car "driver" and not a race car "pilot". Coupled with the bad management decisions at BAR/Honda of Craig Pollock, and the fact the cars became hugely assist orientated with regard to traction control etc, Villeneuve found it very difficult to become motivaed in the Formula 1 environent. I think these are the major contributing factors to his career decline.
    I try not to think of the bad when it comes to JV i think of things like the pass on Schummi at Estoril 96. Arguably the greatest overtaking manouver ever.

  • Comment number 74.

    Cronnie and SirJawa:
    Thank you for being here. Your commentary is good; I agree with both of your, especially your perspectives in 73. and 72.
    It this package of characteristics that I admire in drivers, as people as well. This is probably why I like Kimi so much; I believe Kimi to be the fastest driver, now. Maybe we'll have another line on that....
    I was hoping to see JV this one more year, partly out of curiosity; because, as Cronnie has noted, he, "...found it very difficult to become motivated in the Formula 1 environment. ..." I think he could motivated in this new formula; the politics will be there, but he knows how to deal with that. So, I really wanted to see how he could match up; I'm a big believer that he would do very well; I want to see if I'm right!
    Love him or hate him, no matter what Schumy does this year, as I mentioned in 69. above, he is going to be THE BENCHMARK, for the 2010 season.
    Go Nico, go!

    I'm eagerly anticipating the trial and error of strategies with the refueling ban; it could favour completely different driver styles, than the previous formula. I like the rugged style, Hamilton, Alonso, but this year could favour the Button, Webber, even, (yuck) Glock (but in a Virgin, it won't make much difference, will it?)
    At Red Bull, Vettel (I like him) has a pretty rough style; he's talented, he'll adapt fast, but Webber has never really had a chance to show what he can do fully healthy, in a top notch car. And he has the smoother style; he could be the real surprise this year. Australians, like Kiwis, are cool. I'd like to see Mark do well; so I'm picking him to win it all. I usually prefer the underdog.

  • Comment number 75.

    Jake,
    Thanks for the Blogs. I work weekends but have the luxury of watching the race online, but i miss the F1 Forum (no red button on my computer !!!!) so will you be putting the Forum on the website so i can watch it later in the week ????

    Also i must say, i really dont understand why,
    1) why no refuling ? bad mistake.
    2) no Villeneuve, 5 world champions and in a re named toyota.
    if you ask me, its politics, they only want new teams to use cosworth.

    Paul

  • Comment number 76.

    Good blog, been missing them. Highly anticipating this season lots of potential. The field looks extremely close, maybe not so much over long runs but on single laps it looks like one mistake and they won't make it through to the next round of qualifying which no doubt will make for some interesting races if some of the top dogs do make mistakes on their hotlap.

    Just wanna say go Rubens i'm hoping for another great year.

    Oh and don't ever change the intro song from the chain.

  • Comment number 77.

    Great to see your first blog of 2010 Jake!

    Have loved every minute of the BBC's coverage last year so much better than ITV was!

    Is there any new features on the BBC this year? Any improvements that might be happening?

    I'm over the moon to see Michael Schumacher back in F1. He was the reason I started watching F1 in 1995 and have always followed it incredibly closely since.

    I will be cheering for Michael and Lewis this year as also a big Hamilton fan. As long as they are both in the top 2 I will be happy, with JB And Massa battling for 3rd and that'll be wicked!

    I'd really like to see DC going on more of Martin's gridwalks this year and I'd alos like to see Martin interview Schuey and Lewis on the grid a bit more this year if thats possible and also a bit more of Lee Mckenzie please. Keep up the good work Jake am raring to go for this year!

    Ps looking forward to Norwich vs Leeds 27th March, I'm a Leeds fan so I'm hoping we'll get something out of it!

  • Comment number 78.

    Great to see the blog back Jake, been keeping an eye on twitter for the build up to the blog's relaunch!

    Cracking read as usual, lets hope this year is as good, if not better than last year! But who to support eh.... Jenson or Schuey??? I'll go for JB I think! :)

  • Comment number 79.

    I too was looking forward to the up coming F1 season on the BBC, unill it was confirmed that Jake Humphrey & Jonathan legard have been signed up for yet another year of torturous BBC commentary.

    I just hope enough happens on the track for you Jake to bring something new to us viewers, because last year every weekends commentary brought with it the same repetitive speil, as for Jonathan Ledgard there is more than one driver in a F1 race & It would be nice to have a more none biased commentary with the attention always towards one team in particular, thanks be to God Martin Brundle is still there to give us the real commentary which we should be getting.

    At least if there are no big improvments with you guys this year waisting licence payers money with what was more like the Jenson Button show, we can watch it on Setanta Ireland, Sky Germany & TF1 who report and produce a non self opinionated broadcast in there F1 coverage.




  • Comment number 80.

    Great blog and a welcome retun Jake - did you realise you've made the official F1 review video on the f1 website - looking at the rear of a female model no less (though looking slightly grumpy!), good work, bring on 2010!!!

    http://www.formula1.com/video/

  • Comment number 81.

    Hey jake_Downunder support here...looking forward tothe start of the season and the updates. Question how bug are the new fuel tanks on the cars now there is know refueling and is it true they are running new eco feul this year? if so does it effect speed?

  • Comment number 82.

    I used to watch F1 but now only glance at races and look at the standings. The sport is corrupt, 9/10 races are boring, and the fact that Schumacher is back is an example of how barren of talent the sport is.

  • Comment number 83.

    oh ya nearly its nearly here.I have been afan of f1 for longer than i care to remember , but i haven't this excited about the start of a 1 season in a very long time and not just beacuse of the return of mr suhmy , i think this year will be one to remember and hopefully for all the rite reasons, the only thing we are missing is kimmi, but you cant have everything perfect.My tips for the season is lewis if he has the car underneath him ,and if not i think alonso will be the man to watch, so go on lewis and jenson have a good year, and hopefullt the returning 7 time world champion will have a few things up his sleve to ad to the mix, so to finish im as giddy as a school girl in wait for the 14
    paul from ireland ......

  • Comment number 84.

    I'm really looking forward to this season, I've followed all the testing all the reports, it looks fantastic!!! Roll on Friday! Only small fly is, and again Red Bull won't leave it, same as last year. GET OVER IT. Mclaren have a new wing that looks better than yours! Lets not spoil the start of the season with more technical bikkering.

  • Comment number 85.

    Hi Jake, keep up the good work! I believe 2010 will be a year to remember. As usual yourself, Eddie and David will be doing a fantastic job but it would have been great if the legend James Allen was behind the microphone together with Mr Martin Brundle!! Jonathan Legard is just tooooooo boring!!

  • Comment number 86.

    Ahhhhh finally new season a week away and your great blog is back
    to get us all throughly reved up for the start of the season.

    What a season this is going to be four world champs and potentially
    four realistic wannabes.

    Jake do know if there is any plans for iPhone users to be able to
    watch BBC online video content as presently we cannot, very frustrating!!

    Cool Blog mate keep up the good work.

    Ps Where does Eddie get his inside info from??

  • Comment number 87.

    Excellent! I saw the F1 ad on the TV the other day and looking forward to it all kicking off next weekend! The Beeb did a great job last year - the build up felt like you were stood there with yourself, DC and EJ :-)

    "I've actually missed my regular blast of Fleetwood Mac, as I suspect has EJ, who never fails to do a little air-drumming as the track reaches its crescendo, while David Coulthard also allows himself a little air guitar every now and then if he's feeling especially rock and roll! "

    Jake/someone in the production crew, please please please film this! You coud even use the resulting evidence to raise some money for Sport Relief? I've got a brilliant mental image of one day the starting VT not playing and we just see EJ and DC rocking out... with you looking bemused Jake :P

  • Comment number 88.

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

  • Comment number 89.

    Jake, looking forward to the new season with you and the rest of the team. I think it will be Hamilton's year again. Interesting that he's the only other driver that Schumacher seems to mention.

    Re: 82. If you only glance at the races how do you know that 9/10 are boring?
    Also, while there may be a lot of politics in the sport, it is much like any other; and rather like football it is an integral part of the rich fabric that many of those who like to watch the sport like to talk about.

  • Comment number 90.

    I wish you would have a talk with the video director responsible for filming the F1 races about just how to convey the speed of the cars. All I see are close-ups, splendid views of the cars in action, panning, tilting the camera moving all the time. I have been filming wildlife for 40 years and in order to convey speed the camera must be still, the shot wide enough for a 3 to 5 second take and only then can the audience see the real speed. Even the helicopter shots are in constant motion and these, if done properly, could convey speed. As a note I saw the same problem with the skiing, particularly the Downhill in winter Olympics. Tight shots, moving camera, but no wide locked-down shots with the skier at 80mph rocketing down the hill.

  • Comment number 91.

    Abdi

    You must be joking? James Allen was the worst commentator I've ever heard.
    You may (incorrectly) think Legard boring but you would be wrong. Commentators are supposed to explain whats happening not espouse their own theories and witter on endlessly about Schumacher and Ferrari eulogizing his favourite drivers and shouting unnecessarily at the start of races and when Schumacher wins.
    "and the lights are... GOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

    He was a total clown and clearly felt the racing wasn't what people tuned in for instead it must have been to hear his shouty unintelligent commentary. Plus being as he was from the school of cable and commercial television he felt the need to dramatise events in the race and make up suppositions on what might happen as if we viewers were so stupid we a) couldn't understand what was going on and b) couldn't see he was describing things that could happen but probably wouldn't just to create added tension which any simple minded fan could tell wasn't occurring.

    He's a classic ITV commentator who never tells the truth due to commercial pressures to convince viewers their witnessing unmissable tv so even if you've just watched the most tedious parade of a race he will talk about as if it were the greatest event ever seen.

    Prat.

  • Comment number 92.

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

  • Comment number 93.

    To Biniinyy,

    Get down to a pub with Sky TV and get them to tune in to BBC. Then under the RED button you can watch Free Practice live and also watch some great background pieces, interviews and archive coverage of previous GPs at each circuit. You can watch Qualifying and the race live with NO adverts.

  • Comment number 94.

    biniinyy , absolutely no problem at all to watch the best coverage of F1 anywhere , and in france

    all you need is

    a sky digibox or freesat branded digital demodulateur so that you have the red button facility [ have a look on ebay uk and you should find some ]
    satellite parabole with universal lnb ..... a standard 85cm should be enough anywhere in france

    a TV !

    point the parabole at astra2 , 28.2 degrees ...et voila ; enjoy ...lots of other interesting available from BBC as well !

  • Comment number 95.

    This one of those times of the year when I am reminded how much better the BBCs coverage of F1 is than ITVs! I'm actually reasonably excited to see it back on the air. Great presentation that actually seems to explain succintly the joy of the sport, commentary that adds something to the pictures, and great music to open the whole thing. Good luck to all the BBC team this year!

  • Comment number 96.

    It's going to be a very interesting season. You can make a case for maybe as many as 10 drivers to challenge. Of course, some cars will not live up to their early promise and some drivers will disappoint but the ingredients are there for the best season in years. The changes in rules, changes in tactics and the foul weather for a lot of the pre-season training add interest to the mix. There may be a surprise winner or two early on. Bring it on!!! :-)

  • Comment number 97.

    Schumacher is in the best possible position to win the title in 2010 and it's very simple ...

    Lets go back to 2006 , If Felipe Massa won a couple of more races that year or finished more times on the podium , Schumacher would be champion of that year since Massa would of taken alot of points away from alonso and thus not allowing the spaniard with such a huge lead in teh first half of the 06 season ...

    In 2010, with the competetion being alot tighter ( not harder ), Schumacher would'nt need to win as many GPS because there will be at least be 4 teams and 8 drivers taking points away from each other !!

    MS has to be consistent enough to finish always in the top 3 and win a race here and there, the championship will be his in no time.

    Not like in 97 ,98 and 2006 where it was Schumacher VS 1 team to beat and the 2 drivers of that particular team , so it all looks pretty darn good for the rainmaster in 2010 !


  • Comment number 98.

    EthanX

    But if he hasn't got the car then he won't win races. Simples

  • Comment number 99.

    Hi All

    Yes 2010 should be brilliant, with few twists in the tails as we go throught the season I suspect.

    The big one for me is I am so going to enjoy Hamilton showing Button how to drive a race car. Button for me is an overated driver who, unless he has a perfect car, and the best car on the grid under him, will amount to not a lot.

    Come on Lewis!!

  • Comment number 100.

    Marky1701

    Couldn't agree more

 

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