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5 live Formula 1: the new season

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Andy Dill | 10:19 UK time, Thursday, 15 March 2012

5 live's F1 line-up: Jaime Alguersuari, James Allen and Jennie Gow


By Simon Crosse:

The 2012 Formula 1 season gets underway in Australia this weekend. It’ll be the longest season ever with twenty races to cover between now and the end of November and 5 live will be at every one.

The new-look 5 live team have arrived in Australia for the first race in Melbourne and it was straight to work for the blurry-eyed reporter Jennie Gow, who snapped up the chance of an invite to the Red Bull Launch held on the beach.

It allowed for the Red Bull drivers, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, to demonstrate their beach cricket skills (predictably poor) and give their thoughts on the new season (predictably confident).

Jennie is one of three new voices to 5 live as we re-constructed our broadcast team. Sky television are covering F1 this season for the first time and during the winter made a raid on our 2011 team, and while we wish Natalie Pinkham, Anthony Davidson and David Croft all the best with their new TV careers, we’ve put together a top trio of new talent.

Jennie has spent a decade covering motorsport and is as passionate about the F1 as she is about bikes. She spent a season fronting the BBC TV coverage of MotoGP and her other credits include the ThunderSport GB series, the Jersey Rally and Speedway.

She did a great job for us while filling in at the Canadian and Hungarian races last year so was in pole-position when we went looking for a new pit-lane reporter for 2012.

Stepping into the commentary booth is our new F1 correspondent James Allen. He’ll bring great experience and astute journalism to our coverage this year having spent over twenty years in motorsport as a writer and broadcaster.

He’s an absolute authority on F1 and won three consecutive BAFTA awards as part of the ITV team with whom he spent seven years as lead commentator.

Alongside James will be Jaime Alguersuari who, like no other broadcaster, can bring real first hand vision to our coverage. Jaime raced for the Toro Rosso team last season having a brilliant second half scoring an impressive 26 points including.

He’s driven the tracks and driven against most of this year’s grid after joining Toro Rosso in 2009 and becoming the youngest driver in F1 history, just 19 when he raced in Hungary.

The F1 community was shocked when Toro Rosso changed both of their drivers at Christmas and we were more than happy to offer Jaime the chance to stay in F1.

He’s with us for 2012, but there’s no doubt that the Formula 1 teams will be keeping close tabs on him for a return to a driver’s seat in 2013. I hope not for our sake! But being objective, he’s a brilliant young driver and I’m certain he’ll be behind the wheel of an F1 car one day.

In the meantime, he’ll also keep our on-air and production team bang up to date with the latest trends in music, and busy himself between races by DJ’ing, presenting his music radio shows in Spain and working in his home studio in Barcelona on the follow up to his album Organic Life.

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So that’s the new 5 live team for 2012. We have six former champions on the grid and this season will be full of stories and some thrilling racing and we will have every race in full on 5 live and 5 live Sports Extra.

The coverage starts early with commentary on both of the ninety minute Friday practice sessions with some special guests lined up to join James and Jaime in the commentary box and BBC TV commentary pair Ben Edwards and David Coulthard taking the mic too.

On Saturday we’ll have another hour of practice commentary before the heat of qualifying and then the race itself on Sunday.

You’ll find us in all the usual places; 5 live and 5 live Sports Extra, online and on the Red Button on your television. Then there’s the Chequered Flag podcast, available here on this website and all the usual places.

It’ll be an exciting and fun season ahead. Hope you enjoy it as much as we expect to!

Simon Crosse is Executive Producer for 5 live F1.


  • Comment number 1.

    Well, there's waste - moving a national radio station to nowhere & paying for the curtains - and waste - toadying-up to corporate greed...and waste

  • Comment number 2.

    Formula 1 - yawn. Grown up men going round and round a track in fast cars. Still each to his own.

  • Comment number 3.

    I've never enjoyed F1 on the radio. Too much yelling and not really knowing what is going on from second to second. It's not a radio sport at all. However it is a tv sport which is where I'll be. Also, if anyone has seen "Senna", they will know that the sport has now really become too technical, all the driver does is steer. No deaths or serious injuries now thank goodness, but somehow the disgusting amounts cities have to pay for the privilege of Ecclestone and his daughter increasing their fortune is absolutely abhorrent - Melbourne £37 million!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Pleased to see Jennie Gow signed up as pit-lane reporter, think she will do a very good job in this role. I also think James Allen could turn out to be the best signing the BBC have made for F1 this season after being gutted by Sky Sports.

    Not sure about the summeriser, has he not got over the fact he doesn't have a drive this season? In the advert he calls himself driver and summeriser. I hope Maurice Hamilton will pop up during the season.

  • Comment number 5.

    Agree David. Anyone better than bimbo Holly Samos.

  • Comment number 6.

    Anyone tell me why girls only do the pit lane? Why can't they commentate or summarise? Sexist rubbish.

  • Comment number 7.

    Nothing like a bit of eyey candy to add to the spectacle, she sure is hot, they are best making use of her talents, what is wrong with that, its not sexist its working to your talents, postive discrimination and all that.......................

  • Comment number 8.

    Shame on you.

  • Comment number 9.

    The truth hurts Carrie, its the way of the world, lots of Sports use the Eye Candy effect, Football,Basketball,Ice Hockey,F1,American Soccer, even Businesses do, Women dolled up greeting guests as they come into Clubs,Restruants, Airlines using their stewardesses as a selling point, the list goes on and on.

  • Comment number 10.

    ‘Been an F1 fan since seventies and while I still make a firm date with the telly for the races, I think the overall culture in F1 has gone seriously downhill. This is a great shame when we have such a good crop of drivers, especially Jenson, and the most remarkable cars ever, which of course costs.

    The way Mr Ecclestone has moneyfied the sport stinks to high heaven and while we all know advertising is a key part of F1’s finances, this has now become the reason for the sport, not an adjunct to the sport. It has become the wrong way around. I almost wish it would crash and burn (not literally perhaps) and do a ‘phoenix job’ to re-emerge once again as motorsport first.

    I always loved Martin Brundle as presenter/commentator but since he had no hesitation in selling out to the devil (is he really short of a few more bob?), good riddance and a permanent black mark. The new team seem great without you. If F1 were to re-emerge without Ecclestone and certain others, with a new culture and a fraction of the budgets involved, it would probably be a better sport, look just as good for spectators, be as much fun and competition for the teams and even be as good for ratings and advertisers too. Those involved would still be very well remunerated and the only losers would be Ecclestone and a ship load of others without whom we and motorsport would be better off.

  • Comment number 11.

    Bye bye Formula 1: I was thinking of buying into Sky this summer anyway - now will not as point of principle. Wish I didn't have to pay licence fee too. BTCC will now be my motorport viewing, is more fun anyway, but sad to see BBC not being able to realise what they had as usual.

  • Comment number 12.

    Whoever uses the women in their company that way, it is pathetic. But having heard a bit of Gow I don't think she would be up to watching the screens as she commentates - too much verbal padding when she was on. Sky coverage was excellent. If you hate Sky, too bad. For the moment that is where the best commentary is, Croftie did a great job.

  • Comment number 13.

    I love it how some F1 Fans are spitting their Dummy out, as i have said before:

    BBC TV have got the rights to 10 live Races, extensive Highlights of the others, every Race is live on 5live, the BBC F1 Website has got Blogs,Videos as well as loads of other fantastic stuff about F1, that is a fantastic offering by 1 organisation, there is more F1 on BBC TV than there is live Football!!!

    Yet still some fans are throwing a tantrum, unbelievable!!!

  • Comment number 14.

    The radio coverage was poor - unable to visualise the race. No details given of times between cars till 3/4 way through, switching to news at inappropriate moments (ie as the safety car came out) and, right at the end, rabbitting on about Jessica without commmenting on the battle for 2nd place between Vettel and Hamiliton or even mentioning that they crossed the line. If this is the only live coverage we have of some races, it needs to be much better.

  • Comment number 15.

    James Allen was just about OK as a commentator but the summariser, Jaime Alguersuari was hopeless. I could hardly understand what he was saying and his voice seemed to be continually drowned out by the background noise. I shall not be listening again but will watch Sky coverage with David Croft who is a superb presenter. If Five Live decide to "drop" Jaime I may give the coverage another try.

  • Comment number 16.

    Fedster - what planet do you live on? (Before you ask I cannot honestly I say I have ever listened to TalkSport so let's knock that one on the head) Back to you: Objectivity is the expression. I cannot understand why you so fawningly support the BBC. It's a massive organisation and they make mistakes - I happen to think Robbie Savage and Colin Murray are the two biggest. But at least they give listeners a platform. You like everyhting - I dislike bits of lots of lots of things. You dislike this blog, yet you contribute incessantly.

    The F1 coverage that I heard was not the best but the Beeb are on the backfoot here - lost coverage, defecting presenters and the new team need to bed in. I don't think dummy's are being spat, more that the first reaction ain't all that good. But read the Telegraph opinion column (in 'Sport' today) and he's not of the opinion that Sky are that good.

  • Comment number 17.

    Stumps i obviously live on a Planet, which is more Human like compared Planet Stumps,if you actually read my Comments carefully instead of having that pathetic Mole idea in your Head, you would have seen i have criticised Savage on this Blog before, its just through your Eyes you only see what you want to see, thus coming out with Comments such as post 16 (Describing it as a comment i am actually being generous, its more of a ill-informed nonsensical rant, but hey each to their own).

    Also i have not commented on the quality of 5lives F1 Coverage, i just merely pointed out that the BBC have got alot of different covearge for F1, more than BBC TV have live Football, just putting things into perspective, some F1 Coverage is better than nothing.

  • Comment number 18.



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