BBC BLOGS - Jake Humphrey
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Starting the season in style

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Jake Humphrey | 13:59 UK time, Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Can I start by saying how great it feels to have F1 back on the BBC, and in HD glory?

I loved the tweets telling me about all the F1 parties going on around the UK and, even though many of you had to do some serious coffee drinking to cope with early morning action, #bbcf1 was trending on Twitter the whole weekend, which was awesome.

Mind you, it's funny how life can conspire against you sometimes isn't it? Having waited all winter, and an extra couple of weeks, I wanted to have the perfect preparation ahead of the opening race weekend of the 2011 F1 season. But it didn't quite work out like that.

Now, I'm an eight-hours-a-night man at the best of times, so having spent the day grabbing the latest info in the paddock and then grabbing a late dinner, I was already worried about finally getting to bed at midnight ahead of Saturday's first qualifying session of the year.

However, an hour or so later and my night was set to get worse. A lot worse.

Australian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel is sprayed with champagne by runner-up Lewis Hamilton

Australian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with runner-up Lewis Hamilton. Pic: Getty Images

You know those horrible, startled wake-up calls that you get sometimes when you spend the first 20 seconds just trying to remember where you are? That was me, staring into the darkness trying to work out what the sound of rushing water was in my hotel room at 2am. Moments later I was flying across the room in panic as out of the ceiling, on to the laptop, all over the desk... a water leak!

Thankfully, I managed to rescue the computer and, after moving rooms, eventually got my head down - welcome to the new season, Jake!

It felt really strange starting the season off in Australia again, actually.

The last time I welcomed you guys to the BBC's coverage of the opening race there, it was 2009 and I was in a serious state of panic. I'll never forget standing in the pit lane in Melbourne and hearing 'The Chain' for the first time. I'd never stood under the winner's podium, interviewed a driver, or even done live TV with Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard before. It's amazing how quickly you can get used to something isn't it?

Mind you, after a break of a few months it always feel a little bit like it's the first time you're popping in your earpieces and hearing the seconds count down until we're on air.

Like anything that involves a group of people working together, you get a great flow going when you do something regularly, and equally after a big break you can feel pretty rusty. I'll certainly admit to feeling like a badly oiled bike this weekend.

Before each show we always get together in the production office to discuss what's on the programme and watch the taped elements of the show. I also talk with Steve Aldous the assistant editor about where we want to be. We try to inform the teams so we don't surprise them by suddenly appearing inside their garage live on air and then we take to the pit lane - all seven of us!

With Steve, a sound man, monitor man, a couple of cameras, me, and two pundits we can be quite a big group to negotiate what is at times a really rather claustrophobic pit lane.

Australia was particularly busy, with my random moment of the weekend being former Westlife member Brian McFadden having a beer with Beppe Di Marco from EastEnders while Leo Sayer and Danny Cipriani wandered past...That's F1 for you!

One element I really did enjoy was the F1 Forum and if you're in the UK and you've yet to see it I'd suggest you take a look on the iPlayer. We had the Sauber drivers, Paul di Resta, Sebastian Vettel, and DC getting cake in his face - so pretty much something for everyone.

So, what did you make of the first race of the year?

I feel really sorry for the Sauber pair of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez after their cars were ruled illegal. Perez in particular did an awesome job, just one pit stop, great speed and points on his debut that have now been taken away from him.

If you check out the F1 Forum it's interesting to see the surprise on Kobayashi's face when talking about Perez. If there is one thing an F1 driver likes less than a slow car it's a fast team-mate!

We'd actually made it away from the track when the Sauber news broke and we were heading out for dinner. A quick U-turn in the car, though, and it was back to the track for a late-night piece to camera. It happens every season!

One rookie was certainly not left frustrated. It was great to speak to Di Resta live ahead of qualifying. We always ask for drivers to join us live before the action gets going on a Saturday and they frustratingly rarely say yes.

But Paul was happy to chat and I think he did a great job. He was pretty candid in saying that he thought his car could struggle to make it into the top 17 in qualifying, so to finish with points after the stewards had punished Sauber was great news for him. He did, however, let his team-mate through twice so we'll have to watch that situation carefully.

Despite all that was going on, it was all about one performance this weekend, wasn't it? Vettel's dominance was incredible. No Kers power-boost system but the best start on the grid, masses of speed over a team-mate who he really does have the beating of currently. And most pleasing of all? He's still such a normal guy!

There are a few drivers in F1 that I have interviewed numerous times now yet they still wouldn't give me the time of day. They'd walk past me in the paddock, probably not even know my name. They're so intense that whatever you do you just can't get close to them.

Vettel definitely doesn't fit into the category.

He took the time out to congratulate DC on his 40th birthday having just started his title defence in style, not scurrying off for a massage and avoiding the media at all costs. Relaxed, approachable, honest and stunningly fast, I think it tells us so much about him that he can put in such amazing performances and enjoy it at the same time. He will go on to be an even bigger star if he can marry up such personality with such speed for seasons to come.

So, we head to Malaysia with Red Bull looking like they're around a second quicker than the rest with a super-confident driver very much playing a game of 'catch us if you can'.

The best news of all, though, is you'll only need an 0800 alarm to enjoy the action on race day, so I hope I'll see you then.



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  • Comment number 1.

    Its an amazing start indeed to the season Adrian Newey(yes him), Petrov and Hamilton are on fire, amazing. My only concern is David Coulthard, im not an expert on conflict of interest but if a Red bull drivers does something reckless or breaks a regulation, does anyone see David Coulthard being brutally honest in his assessment or will he gloss over the negatives to give Red Bull complimentary PR. I thought i saw an element of that in the race, anyway what do i know. Its not the first time i've seen/heard him on TV kissing Red Bull's 'diffuser'. Am i wrong?

  • Comment number 2.

    Good job all round - especially keeping EJ in check somewhat.
    Coultard and Brundle were so much better - I enjoined not having to listen to off track gossip while the race was going on.

    only a couple of things peeved me - the cutting away from on track to watch drivers interviews when the audio is all thats needed and the driver tracker taking precedence over the in car view on freeview. For bandwidth reasons i suppose, because if there is anyone on the planet that thinks a track map is more relevant than watching the drivers at work they REALLY shouldn't be working on F!.

    I'm pleased that Newey and his ilk are finally getting credit for building great cars, also the guys slaving away in the Mclaren factory making that car better. Good job.

    The rewriting of last years events is getting a bit grating though. I think Red Bull are LESS dominant than they were last year but you all seem to forget how many points Vettel (the new greatest ever) threw away over the course of last year while becoming world champion. Lets see him perform at the top for a few years before we anoint him as the G.O.A.T.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'm sad to say Jake that I think the BBC coverage has deteriorated badly over the last year, and continued to do so this weekend. What used to be great balanced & fair coverage of the whole grid is no longer that.

    The actual race coverage & new commentary team were great, but the pre and post-race have become so ridiculously biased towards Red Bull and McLaren it has become almost unwatchable of as fan of any other team - in my case Ferrari.

    Take the start of the coverage:
    - Nice discussion about Red Bull Racing & VT with the drivers
    - Nice discussion about McLaren & long VT with the drivers
    - Negative comments about Ferrari - team orders & Abu Dhabi strategy mistake - then accuse Ferrari of "poaching" other teams staff to fix the strategy problems. Don't let the facts that in the way of a good story - the two people in question were on their way to Ferrari long before the Abu Dhabi events. Not to mention that staff move between teams all the time - did Red Bull "poach" Adrian Newey from McLaren? No VT with anyone from Ferrari.
    - Nice discussion about Mercedes, VT with drivers.
    - etc.

    The bias and disproportionate Red Bull & McLaren coverage continued up to the race and was no better post race - in fact it was probably worse.

    In the hour+ of post race "analysis" of the race there was no mention or interviews with Ferrari, Lotus, Virgin, Toro Rosso, Mercedes... why not?

    You spend 10mins discussing the Button overtake on Massa - you interview Button & Martin Whitmarsh about it. But don't ask Massa's perspective? How about the FIA perspective? How about why Vettel on Button off the circuit was OK?

    Ferrari were in the thick of the on track battles throughout the afternoon, had both cars in the points, half the cars in the points had Ferrari engines... yet no discussion of Ferrari at all, no interviews with Alonso, Massa or the teams representatives? Were you not able to find a negative spin?

    As for other teams, for example...

    Mercedes have a terrible start to the season after the promise of the final test - what was Ross Brawn's thoughts? Norbert Haug?

    Lotus have not caught up with the midfield as hoped/thought - maybe it would be interesting to know their thoughts?

    I know you can't cover every story in detail, but at least 50% of the forum was McLaren & Red Bull, with repeat interviews with Vettel, Whitmarsh, Hamilton, Horner... where is the BBC impartiality?

    The BBC F1 team to think about all the fans - not just the fans of 2 teams.

    And please stop believing everything that Christian Horner tells you. Red Bull are not a 7 year old team - they have been going since 1996, they've just changed their name twice. If they want to claim they only took 6 years to win the championships then Brawn did it in their first year! Ridiculous.

    I hope things improve, if not then I guess I'll just be tuning in for the race itself - the rest just ruins the afternoon right now.


  • Comment number 4.


    This is a very poor response to your blog three days after the race. You need to improve. Eddie was exellent. Martin has said he and David were at about 80 percent, I would agree with that, but they will get better with age.

    Your editorial team do need to watch the bias towards RB and Mclaren. David should finish his conections with RB. Commentators should be unbias.

    The HD coverage was fantastic, thank you Bernie E. When can we expect to see HD coverage from the incar cameras, soon I hope it would make a great difference to the overall coverage.

    BBC you need to up the varied content and just be as balanced as you can be. Just look back to the ITV coverage. It was , Lewis, Lewis, Lewis and yet more Lewis.

    How bad was that


  • Comment number 5.

    DC was ok at the actual commentary but was bias towards Red Bull. When there was the question that Vettle did an illegal overtake on Button, he sprung to Vettle's defence and said that the overtake was already complete by the time Vettle left the track. But what he failed to say was that Vettle could not have made the overtake without using the extra space off the track but just defended him through and through. And to top it all he went and celebrated and joked around with Vettle after the race and said nothing useful but just kept talking about his birthday cake. It was very clear where is loyalties lay. Brundle on the other hand was very good and did not get sidetracked about the F1 gossip like Legard use to .

  • Comment number 6.

    The bias is an interesting thing, because I wonder in part if this what Jake is alluding to in his blog where others won't give him the time of day. My intial thoughts are that BBC requested interviews with Ferrari and they were rejected.

    I doubt they would not ask Ferrari. Additionally it is the first race so lets see, before we complete the judgement.

    RE DC and Red Bull, DC at this point does not need to end all ties. Brundle would openly criticise DC when he was poor and he was his manager. Let's give them all a chance. Whilst DC has screen tested it was his first go.

    I can understand why the BBC probably focussed on Red Bull and Mac for the first race. The first are the current world champions, the 2nd is home to our top 2 british drivers. Had they not spent much time with Maclaren, I would imagine that people on hear would be calling for thier heads for a lack of patriotism/home support.

    Lets see by China....



  • Comment number 7.

    A reasonable race in Melbourne but not a classic.
    Let's just hope Mclaren can continue their upward performance trend in the coming races and Lewis can challenge Vettel's present dominance.
    I appreciate Vettel has shown incredible qualifying speed and maybe is the fastest driver over a single lap but I still think his race craft under pressure is questionable.
    One request though Jake? Please please can we have more interviews with teams and drivers other than the main protagonists?
    What about a piece about Team Lotus or some interviews with the rookies like Pastor Maldanado or Sergio Perez? I'm not always able to watch the forum so getting some interviews with these guys in the main programme would be good.
    Finally, I know it must be hard to get hold of him but please can we have a longer interview with Lewis.

  • Comment number 8.

    I don't really agree about the Mclaren and RBR dominance, there was so much more. Di Resta was interviewed pre and post race, Petrov post race with Eric Boullier, and the two Sauber drivers, (shame about their penalties) Yes some of these were in the forum, but there is only a certain amount of time in the main show, and I think Mclaren and RBR are probably the easiest teams to get hold of and join in with. - probably the most amenable to the BBC if we're honest!

    HD was awesome, really so much better, in fact even the recording of the first part of the programme (sorry I only got up in time for the race, then watched the pre-race bit later) in SD was much better quality.

    MB and DC were fab! I was a touch concerned at the very beginning of Quali, when MB seemed to have acquired a "commentator's voice", sounding just a touch strained as he welcomed us all and gave us the low down on track temp etc. but that soon left and the commentary was really good.

    All in all, yeah, there could be improvements but I don't think anyone would expect any programme ever to be perfect, especially when it's live and happening in front of all our eyes! - it's not like anyone knows what's going to happen is it?

    Personally (yeah it's all about "me") I'm just pleased F1 is back, and loving all the extra stuff that the BBC give us, in the form of blogs, forums and twitter coverage. It's going to be a great year! Splendid! ;)

  • Comment number 9.

    If we're talking about apparent bias, what about that shown towards McLaren during the forum? Martin Whitmarsh clearly didn't have an answer for Jake's question (about Button passing Massa off track) as he remained silent in response to Jake's question. There was no pressing for an answer. Why? Did the McLaren PR people have any role in that, as the Apple PR people did in stopping a Channel 4 news interview (see youtube for that one)?

    DC did a feature at the McLaren "mission control" during the Korean GP (2010). He showed us what the team actually do in "mission control". Among the many staff McLaren have, he explained there were several who were there to watch the TV feeds. He specifically showed that there are McLaren staff who watch the BBC1 feed including commentary to make sure they don't miss a thing on track.

    With this in mind, why was Martin Whitmarsh not challenged further when he claimed that he had not seen the incident, that the team had not seen the incident and that apparently the only member of McLaren to have seen it was Jenson Button?

    It was replayed on the TV feed several times and clearly the people at mission control saw it and therefore we must consider how truthful Martin Whitmarsh was when he spoke to Jake on the forum.

    Even if he was telling the truth we must consider how well he is running the team if the entire McLaren team staff miss an incident such as this one which was replayed several times on the TV feed (don't forget they have the TV feed on the pitwall).

  • Comment number 10.

    Petrov, 1st Russia driver, now 1st Russian driver on the podium. Quite a remarkable thing. Quite a remarkable drive. Quite a remarkable car. Wouldn't you agree, JH?
    Apparently not.
    In the post race forum both yourself, EJ & DC completely ignored anything Russian, quickly congratulated Petrov, made a couple of jokes about his prize, then...
    Oh yes... turned away from him to speak to the Renault team boss about Kubica.

    No what, pray tell, could have possibly occurred during the length of the race, or since your last interview with Renault, to Kubica... prompting such a barrage of discourteous questions in front of the obviously unsettled Petrov who'd just won a podium for his country, & himself, for the first time.
    Indeed, even the Renault boss seemed aghast that the questioning had returned to Kubica once again, & so quickly, so pointlessly.

    You all spoke at great length to other members of the F1 fraternity throughout the forum, time was not an issue, so therefore I found your actions with Petrov quite insulting - despite the fact that he's a big boy now.
    Credit where credit's due. Journalism where journalism's due.

  • Comment number 11.

    It was reasonable race with some interesting performance by so called 'big three' Red Bull, Mclaren and Ferrari. I would fear if Mark Webber repeatable failed to match Vettel's pace in before the halfway of races, then he would undoubted quit the team in middle of the season. Look at him in Australia; poor, struggle and confused where Vettel, once again, looks so comfortable in his 'crazy' car.

    I was impressive, or two words, very impressive with Lewis Hamitlon who managed to nurse his car as same time as pushing so hard to ensure his second place is secured. Without having problem in his car, there is no question he would keep close and put under pressure to Vettel which would certainly provide a tense finish! Good job Hamilton. Fair performance by Button who pushed as much as he can after harsh penalty. Finished 6th is a good result.

    Similar to Hamilton, Alonso drove fantastic and is exciting to watch him but the AUS Grand Prix had quiet him and wasn't good enough to chasing 'excellent' Petrov. Same old story, Massa had a poor race with poor start. I cannot blame Massa for blocked Button as it is a part of F1 but he was pretty slower, 5 times slower than his 'big brother' Alonso

    Huge credit to Perez, Koby, Petrov, Di Resta and Buemi who caught out attention as possibly future world champion! We wants to see more from you!

    In conclusion, Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso will once again battle for the tittle! Roll on Sepang!

  • Comment number 12.

    F1 is a fantasy world almost completely divorced from reality which is clearly the reason so much hype can be served up by Jake and the rest of the BBC pundits who persistently sing the praises of Vettel with scant acknowledgement that the car and Newey in particular - last year and now this - is so obviously the star and (unfortunately for exciting racing) the overwhelming difference at every race weekend. Even Vettel himself is downplaying the dominance of the car as - smart lad - he knows that a world title in such a dominant car is a 'cheap' title.

    Everyone who is a true F1 fan should be praying harder for Ferrari and McLaren to get close enough to challenge the Red Bulls else this season is already finished as a sporting experience and Vettel is ceremonially given the schumacher-esque fantasy title of the greatest-driver-ever at the end of the year - Jake is almost there already!

    Please get some balance BBC! Vettel is a supreme driver but owes everything to Newey.

    Gut feelings if recent history is any guide:

    Hamilton will have more DNF's to Jensons' due to mechanical failure alone.

    Alonso and Hamilton will be in the mix - if they both can get some decent competitive hardware under them

  • Comment number 13.

    Great coverage from the beeb, however I do agree with the above about the bias towards certain teams, namely Red Bull. It seems before and after every race the coverage is shown from infront of the red bull garage.

    Also as stated above I do believe that DC is particularly biased through his commentary, especially towards RB again. Quite disappointing when you are supposed to be informing us of facts and not biased opinions.

    Hopefully if this is sorted I will be happy...otherwise I will be pressing the red button for five live!

  • Comment number 14.

    Good race, good commentary, great pre and post race shows.

    The VT of the Macca boys driving the lorry against EJ and Jake was great, the build up was spot on.

    The race could have been better but could have been A LOT worse ie. Bahrain '10.

    Interesting that Red Bull have still got whatever it is (possibly a trick engine map) that makes them supreme in Qualy and less supreme in race trim. Lewis was able to close the gap to Vettel between lap 3 and the first round of pit stops, which bodes well for Mclaren's race pace when they get their exhaust and diffuser developed further. Fernando looked very good in race trim too, it's a shame that he got such a bad start, it would have been a good battle between him and Lewis. Vitaly drove a well deserved great race, after I feel he got a bit more pressure than he deserved last season, and being dismissed as "just Renault's second driver" after Kubica's accident, it was great to see him make such a big statement, and to see him get some good air time on the forum also. Perez was just unbelievable on those soft tyres, stunning drive.

    @Lopek - Do you not think they covered Red Bull so much because they are the defending champions? Do you not think that they covered Mclaren so much because they had such a bad car in testing, and had seemingly performed such a miracle to turn it around in time for the GP? Maybe they'll do interviews with Ferrari at Sepang and ask them what they've done to sort out their Qualy pace... Keep some perspective, they did the most interesting interviews, they can't talk to everyone at every race :)

    @Stee_vee_E - They did an interview with Vitaly and Boullier... Just like they did an interview with Perez after his incredible drive, and Kobayashi... But I don't see you moaning that they asked Kobayashi questions when he was quiet in the race. Again, perspective... They interviewed Vitaly, which is more air time than a lot of other drivers get.

    Back on topic... Can't wait for Malaysia, keep up the great work in all aspects of the coverage!

  • Comment number 15.

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

  • Comment number 16.

    @Adam Carpenter

    14. 'But I don't see you moaning that they asked Kobayashi questions when he was quiet in the race'

    Mmm, well, Adam, by the simple law of physics... Kobayashi was stood there, Kubica wasn't.

    Get it yet? No ? Try this then...

    Substantial time had already been delegated to Kubica's terrible accident by the BBC, & so, on the forum, the same questions were asked of Boullier as before. Due to the ludicrously short period of time that had elapsed between the penultimate interview with Boullier, & the Forum one in front of Petrov, there was no new information for him to impart - unless Kubica had been abducted by aliens.

    1st Russian podium... they should've pointed this out & left Kubica alone for once.

  • Comment number 17.

    I have a couple of questions if anyone can help with the answers...

    Firstly, some of the rear wings seem to open further than others when the DRS is deployed. Seeing the views on TV at the weekend some teams definately had more of the wing opening up than others and for longer durations and more ofter during qualifying. I am more than aware of the rules about how much the wing is allowed to open and when and where, but some cars' wings definately open further.

    Also, being in a different country with TV in a different language, i saw Mark Webber stop his car after the race in an unusual place, at the pit exit, rather than do a final celabratery lap, like everyone else and like he does every other time. I know there was little for him to celabrate after his home GP, even so, stopping like he did seemed to be more than just a dissapointment of his finishing position. Was there more to this?

    BTW. Come on the McLarens!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    @Jon #17

    I can't really help you with the first one. I'm guessing it's just the camera angle which makes it look like they aren't opening as much as the other teams? I don't know, though.

    Mark Webber must have stopped because or reliability. There's no other explanation for it.

    Interesting reading everyone else's comments.

    About the bias. I'm sorry, but anyone who says 'I'm going to turn over to 5 live!' is really a bit silly. It's the racing that matters, isn't it? If the after race coverage (which I thought was great - a mix between fun and seriousness, a few flaws but it really doesn't matter to me) is great then it's a bonus to me.

  • Comment number 19.


    On the forum can you ditch Martin in his 'tactics truck'. It didn't work for Andy Townsend/ITV and doesn't work now. Now a separate VT (for the website perhaps) of MB analysing parts of the race might be a better route. To separate MB from yourself, DC and EJ (as well any drivers etc) just seems silly.

  • Comment number 20.

    And there off...
    A great race and a good start to the season, But... hey...

    what's happened to the race count down timer?
    as a busy sports enthusiast i like to be able just to flick through the site and having the countdown timer on screen i felt was really usefull as at times you forget when the next race is... (There not EVERY week you know)
    PLEASE bring it back. are there any other fans thart found this usefull please show your support

    Thanks and keep up the good work

  • Comment number 21.

    Excellent coverage as always! I agree with the sentiment that DC appears to have a bit of RB bias, which for me is fine during build up (as I believe it gives him better access) but should be eliminated when it comes to the race commentary.

    I don't agree that there was too much build up focused on McLaren and Red Bull, as they happened to be the main stories on the day (McLaren's improved pace and Red Bull, title holders and team to beat). I do think that the BBC have better access and a better relationship with those teams (and the British based teams in general of which they are currently the best), but after all the BBC is British and so are they so it does make sense. I also believe that the only people stopping there being more coverage of Ferrari are Ferrari themselves, as with the road car division they seem to show a certain distain for the media which is only exacerbated by the likes of Alonso... not the most candid of drivers!

  • Comment number 22.

    RE: Bias,

    BBC in 'concentrating on the teams who did well at the race (RBR, McLaren)' shock.

    of course thay did. If they had instead got interviews from Ferrari, Mercedes etc )If those teams wanted to talk - winners are frequently more likely to talk about their performance than the losers) they'd have just got a load of pat answers about develpments coming on line etc and people would be annoyed that Vettels blistereing start and Mclares Lazarus-like rising from the depths of winter testing were ignored.

    Thought the programme was great, Jake, but i guess you can't please all of the people...

  • Comment number 23.

    #12 Mark Webber has the same Newey-designed car as Vettel but was completely outclassed over the weekend. Yes the car is a MAJOR part of an F1 drivers success, and we'll never know if another driver on the grid could go even faster than Vettel given the same equipment, but there is another guy who has the same equipment as Vettel and he was outdriven in every respect.....

  • Comment number 24.

    @ Jon #17
    The flap opening was alluded to in one of the quali/ practice session by Ted Kravitz (unsung hero of coverage for me).
    The rules for DRS define the distance the front edge of the wing can move, with the back fixed, so if the wing element is shorter the angle will change more , giving a wider opening and in theory a greater advantage. TK had noticed that the McLaren wing element was bigger than other top teams, therefore a smaller opening.

  • Comment number 25.

    All in all, it wasn't a bad opening race to the season....
    But I haven't noticed anyone talking about or posting about the fact that poor old Jenson would probably have had a much better race if his team mate hadn't had such a rubbish start.
    It didn't affect Lewis (luckily for him), but that delay put Jenson at a disadvantage before the first turn.
    As he didn't get a clean (and clear) start it meant that the poor lad slid back a couple of places and then had to fight an (oddly) slow Ferrari for what seemed liked years!
    I hope Jenson begins to either out qualify Lewis or at least is lucky enough to get the opposite lane for the start.
    I think Jenson could have a really good year if he can achieve this!

  • Comment number 26.


    Are you saying that Ferrari did not do well in the race?
    Both cars in the points, 5 Ferrari engines in the points, Alonso gained positions throughout the race, Ferrari had 1st & 2nd fastest laps with it's cars?

    Alonso was ahead of the Saubers & Mark Webber yet both of those were interviewed?

    Massa was involved in the big talking point of the race - the Button pass off track - yet was not asked his opinion?

    If you don't think a Ferrari opinion was warranted on that basis then I'm at a loss.

    If it is a case that Ferrari are not giving BBC access to staff then say so - I'll happily complain to Ferrari. The evidence is to the contrary as there was an Alonso interview post quali and the BBC managed to ask Alonso the ridiculous "Will team orders being allowed help Ferrari?" question in the buildup?

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi guys,

    Just catching up with the blog responses over here on the other side of the world. I appreciate how much of an effort getting up at 6am on a Sunday is, particularly when the clocks have gone forwards so thanks for the your dedication to the F1 cause. It makes the winter's planning all worth it when we see the numbers of viewers who made the effort to watch the race.

    I appreciate your thoughts on the blog too and impartiality seems to have been a 'hot potato' since the very first blog I penned way back in 2009.

    We on the F1 team are totally aware of the importance of giving every team up and down the grid the coverage they deserve, whilst at the same time we have to follow the stories and reflect accurately what is going on on the tarmac. Take this weekend as a prime example. We know there is masses of interest in Lewis and Jenson for obvious reasons so therefore we had some fun in a huge articulated lorry before the season and transmitted the piece before the race. If you've yet to see it, take a look on iPlayer...and yes, EJ did claim to have once driven the Jordan trucks...hmmmm!

    As well as that it was important to have the first interview with the World Champion ahead of what is looking like it could be a successful title defence. Unlike some drivers past and present, Vettel is incredibly approachable, warm and honest and I know if I was sitting at home I wouldn't get bored of seeing someone with such talent talking such a relaxed approach to Formula One.

    However, we fully understand the importance of remaining impartial. We had a Paul Di Resta piece and he joined us live before his first ever F1 qualifying session, followed by a good chat on the F1 Forum too. We heard from the two Sauber boys about their incredible first race that was sadly taken away from them as well as a good interview with Nico Rosberg and seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher. It was also fantastic to be joined by Vitaly Petrov on the F1 Forum and as he sadly could only be with us for a couple of minutes it was also important to reflect the fact that Robert Kubica wasn't with the team.

    Also, we push the teams when we need to. Martin Whitmarsh claimed he hadn't seen the Massa v Button moment so we replayed it to him and asked why with all their millions they couldn't have watched it back during the race and avoided a drive-through? We pushed Ferrari last year and Max Mosley the season before. We'll never shy away from the tough questions.

    Do remember we are also governed by the access we were given. Why did Jenson join us after qualaifying? Because he decided he wanted to as he often has done, any F1 driver at any time has an open invitation to be part of our coverage and we encourage it. We have also been told that some time with Ferrari will be made available at the next race so watch this space.

    I really appreciate your thoughts, do keep them coming and I hope this goes some way to answering your questions on impartiality. 'Reflecting the whole pitlane' was a mantra that we adopted when the BBC won the coverage in 2009 and nothing has changed.

    We've got some great ideas lined up for Malaysia and you only need to be up at 8am so see you then, thanks for your continued support and here's to a close season without one team dominating hey?

  • Comment number 28.

    @Jake, I don't think Red Bulll have a one second gap. Hamilton was faster at certain times and was only one 'dodgy overtake' away from being in the lead after Seb's stop (yes, Seb DID put all four wheels off the circuit when passing JB and should have been penalised).

    @MiG2009, I don't think DC will have any problem at all in being 'brutally honest'.

    @Jon - I heard that Mark stopped immediately after the race as he was concerned he wouldn't have enough fuel left for the post race fuel check.

    @ Martin and DC. Not a bad first day at the office. Just chill a bit ass you tended towards the Murray Walker 'pants on fire' at times.

  • Comment number 29.

    great race coverage but would desperately like to see more coverage of the other teams before and during the race. Feel like I know Mclaren and Redbull inside out now and have come to expect mainly hearing from those two teams.

  • Comment number 30.

    Thanks for the response Jake, reading between lines, Ferrari are the most difficult team to get interviews and comment from... but I understand that you saying that would result in them being even less likely to play ball!

    I've not watched the F1 coverage in Italy, but they must be a bit more open on their own stations? Anyone know?

  • Comment number 31.

    Hi Jake and welcome back!

    So pleased to have F1 back on our screens and in HD!

    The race wasn't the best but a superb result for McLaren.

    Questions have to be asked about Nick Heidfield who should have done a lot better than he did considering his experience.

    Also the Forum was superb especially with the cake in the face of DC excellent stuff - a classic bit of TV!

    Now looking forward to the next race in Malaysia.

  • Comment number 32.

    Well done to the BBC team on continuing to improve their thrilling F1 coverage!

    The new commentary team is the best it's been since the Murray Walker days and Martin Brundle's grid walk was the best he's ever done in my opinion; much more reserved and considerate.

    I disagree with the mentions of coverage bias towards Mclaren and RedBull at the Melbourne GP.
    RedBull are the reigning constructors champion and have the reigning world champion driving for them. Mclaren are one of the top teams with an all British line up. They were one of the biggest talking points of the weekend with their drastically improved car and on track action from JB.

    When two big-hitters from the football premier league go head-to-head on an FA cup weekend you see the majority of the coverage and VT's on those two teams, not Alfreton Town vs Droylsden in conference North.

    There was plenty of coverage, gossip, and VT's on other teams, I don't see it being the BBC's fault if the likes of Ferrari are more reclusive than RedBull and Mclaren.

    If there is blame to be pointed anywhere it should be on the teams and drivers who aren't open to the cameras.

    Well done to the BBC F1 team and keep it up!

  • Comment number 33.

    1/ MB/DC was better in race than qualifying - perhaps trying too hard so I hope it evolves during the season.

    2/ So little information about teams other than Red Bull & McLaren - I complained about it last year and it seems it's more of the same this year. The 'love in' is quite nauseous.

    3/ More time should be given to Lee McKenzie and Ted Kravitz as they get amongst the interesting stories. Why don't they get more time on the forum?

    Enjoying F1 means different things to different people - so you need to mix the content up more - it is becoming formulaic - a bit of banter with DC/EJ/JH - an interview with Christian Horner a walk along the pitlane and then an interview with Martin Whitmarsh, perhaps a word from Mike Gascoyne. Some time spent talking Massa down etc.

    Perhaps interviewing HRT properly or understanding the new Williams design. In fact anything other than the continuous RB/McLaren stuff.

  • Comment number 34.

    Thanks for another fantastic weekend of coverage Jake - big congrats to the whole crew for trying a few different ideas over the weekend.

    As for the so-called 'biased' coverage that many seem to be complaining about - I can't think of any F1 driver outside Hamilton, Button, Vettel, Webber and Di Resta, or any team principle other than Horner or Whitmarsh that would be so willing to talk openly with the BBC. For the first race of the season I would certainly rather see the hot-topic drivers talking freely than the others carrying a standard interview. This could be seen by the level of interaction even the Sauber boys and Petrov gave.

    As for the DC commentary - as a McLaren fan (like most here) I had to disagree with David, and Vettel had 4 wheels off track when making the pass on Button. That means a penalty. However, as a neutral, Vettel had already made the pass, was clearly much faster, and Button had just been given a drive-through. Considering the Stewards never took any action, I don't think anyone can complain that DC was being biased towards RB - unless of course they are then claiming that the stewards are RB biased.

    Again, great coverage over the weekend Jake. Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 35.

    @ # 24 Simon, Thanks for that, yes the length of the flap would do this. Thanks for your explanation.

    and @ # 28 thanks.

  • Comment number 36.

    Great Blog Jake.
    Shame about the late finish though - The Sauber drivers had a great race then to be dq'ed was such a shame. Hopefully they will be able to get this technical issue sorted before Malaysia.
    Great coverage, even though there are elements of which have been discussed before.
    Have to agree about Martin during the Forum - get him out of the VT truck and back with the '"The Three Caballeros", that works so much better.
    you can still do analysis during the Forum, which you have done before - just don't need Martin on his own to do it.
    Keep up the good work, and roll on the rest of the season - I think we will be in for another good one

  • Comment number 37.

    Unfortunately I missed the first BBC F1 broadcasting for this season. I was away in Spain and could only see the GP and pre-post race interviews on Spanish tv.

    In relation to Jake's comment and #30, after following F1 regularly both in the UK and Spain for many years it appears to me tv channels seem to have different level of access to teams/drivers. In Spain for example, it's quite easy for Antonio Lobato (the reporter from La Sexta, one of the Spanish tv channels with broadcasting rights) to get interviews with Fernando for various reasons, I presume one being Lobato becoming a personal friend of Alonso's, close enough to, say, attend the funeral of his grandmother Luisa two years ago. This said, it is not much more you would get in the UK when Fernando talks to the Ted Kravitz or Holly. As a Fernando fan I enjoy the focus that Spanish tv has on him and I wished the BBC would give him more coverage, but then, this is just a purely personal preference.

    As for other teams, it seems that access to Carabante (HRT boss) is relatively speaking easy, but not so in the case of Ferrari. I think Ferrari has always been somewhat more reserved (much less now with Domenicalli than in the past) than other teams.. Not sure if this is also the case with Italian tv..

    In any case, well done BBC. In my honest opinion, your F1 coverage is the best.

  • Comment number 38.

    Incidentally Jake, and regarding your tweet..

    Is Fernando still braving the elements and playing golf under the pouring rain in Hamilton Island?

    (much appreciated :D)

  • Comment number 39.

    Thanks Jake, and all the BBC crew for a great start to the season.

    The Mrs and I were discussing "bias" last night - after sidepodcast on twitter posted a link to a time analysis of the BBC coverage - and it was quite interesting to try and think who the "faces" of the teams are.

    Red Bull: Christian, Adrian, Mark and Sebastian are all willing to chat to the BBC and are all so chilled and laid back it's great to see

    McLaren: Martin, Jenson and Lewis all have a great rapport with the BBC guys and, once again, are relaxed and quite open.

    Ferrari: Stefano is always great when the Beeb can grab him, much better that Jean Todt ever was, and Rob Smedley is a guaranteed good interview. Fernando is always guarded and never fully at ease and Massa seems quite anonymous a lot of the time.

    Renault: Eric always comes across as a background type of guy who is not comfortable in front of the camera, and the two drivers this year are always friendly but never too chatty.

    Williams: Hmmm... this is where things get interesting. Who is there to speak to. Sir Frank isn't at every race, Patrick isn't at every race and is stepping back a bit, Sam Michael used to be available but seems to be quite busy nowadays. Rubens is always friendly, and it's too early to comment on Pastor but Williams need to get some BBC friendly people available. Claire Williams on Twitter would probably be great but I do think that until Williams become more Beeb-friendly they are going to be quite quiet.

    As for the other teams - it's pretty much the same as with Williams... apart from Team Lotus who have the ever approachable team of Tony, Mike, Jarno and Heikki. I suspect we'll see more from them in coming races but they *did* have a fairly anonymous weekend really.

    One thing I will agree with is that DC needs to be careful not to be seen to be too much of a Red Bull PR guy. I don't think he actually *is* but I think, as with McLaren, he has a sense of loyalty to the teams and that can sometimes shape his comments. Over time he'll hopefully learn to be critical without compromising on that loyalty and friendship (which do help with access to the teams, there can be no doubt of that).

    All in all - it was a good start to the season, with a great forum afterwards. 2011 is gonna be a good'un :-D

    P.S. Oh yes, please don't leave Martin in the Truck for the forum - he can surely do the same job with an iPad (or other generic branded tablet media device) and it would be good to get the banter and comments between DC, MB and EJ.

  • Comment number 40.

    Enjoyed the coverage as usual especially with the introduction of HD. Two things though:

    1. Why are the BBC using the 4:3 feed for on screen graphics instead of the 16:9 feed on the HD channel?

    2. On the Forum can we please remove Martin from his multi-million pound shed it just doesn't work!! He should be with the rest of you joining in with the banter and general chit-chat. Persnonally it looked like he didn't want to be in there either. Martin not being with the rest of you ruined the whole Forum experience for me.

    Keep up the good work!!!

  • Comment number 41.

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

  • Comment number 42.

    I do hope that all the 2011 changes will eventually spice up the race for I found this opening race quite boring in parts and it was only the intervention of two great commentators that kept it going for me.
    Didn't notice any obvious bias just well founded observations.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 43.

    Another season another very poor Aus GP, only thing that impressed me was the superb commentary. Much better pairing and the right man chosen for the lead. Just a shame they had very little to talk about. As for Vettal I'm yet to be convinced of his talent, let's not forget his overtake on Button was illegal, as mentioned on the forum. And as for Ferrari good to see there sticking to the number 1 driver team orders bag. Should make for another manufactured season.

  • Comment number 44.

    Yes , With regard to DC rather obvious bias to RB , He really should cut his ties with them completely , Even if it is just to show balance , if he doesn't he will always be open to criticism .
    And yep get Martin out of the shed , The idea of doing someting like this is fine , but NOT there , Also when he was doing this we ( rarely ) got a screenshot so we couldnt really see what he was talking about !... oh and ps , get rid of the tracker , waste of time . .

  • Comment number 45.

    I didn't see the main race programme - only the highlights a few hours later. Generally the coverage was ok athough the new race commentary team will need to get better, something Martin Brundle has already alluded too. It was a bit painful at times, as they were unable to keep up with things as they happened, and you could hear them floundering. But now they have got one race under their belt, I am sure this will improve.

    The bias towards McLaren and Red Bull is still in abundance. This is something I have mentioned several times before but it seems it may have gotten worse as having glanced through the posts above, more and more fans seem to be of the same opinion. Maybe the BBC will listen now!

    Although having read Jake's rather defensive response, I think the bottom line is that he and the rest of the BBC team have built up a good relationship with McL and RB (and like them a lot) and so it has become easy for them to pad out the coverage with interviews etc from these two teams meaning a lot less work and aggravation for them.

    But maybe it's about time they started cultivating relationships with the other teams on the grid so we, as F1 fans, get the unbiased coverage we deserve!

    I understand some teams may not be as open as others, but they are not as defensive as one supposes. I have been lucky enough to go to a lot of GPs and spend time with various different teams. I remember being told that I shouldn't bother approaching Ferrari as they were a "closed-shop" and didn't appreciate outsiders. I didn't believe this, and as they are "my team" I was determined to visit them and prove the doubters wrong! And I did! They couldn't have been nicer to me. Made me dinner, took me to see the drivers, spent time explaining some of the technical issus on the car, even asked me to help apply one of the logos to the car!

    I'm not saying this is the sort of reception everyone is going to get, but it proves that personas can be wrong, and if only Jake et al would spend some time getting to know the other teams on the grid BETTER, maybe this bias will go away.

    Time to get to work lads!

  • Comment number 46.

    hi jake..

    really really enjoyed the entire coverage over the weekend...
    yourself and EJ were very informative and good fun..EJ seems more grounded this year!! no harm!
    i do agree with some previous comments on the bias issue though..
    i know you boys are all British( with the exception of EJ whos one of mine!) but its a little tiresome to watch you all constantly banging the lewis,mclaren,red bull, milton keynes,horner etc etc drum..
    BBC is watched wordwide,....
    F1 is a world sport...granted F1 has many UK based teams and exceptional engineering skills but give the rest of the teams and guys a louder shout!!
    brundle played his game well...DC was very technical with lots of % talk and i dont think he was in anyway biased...he was fair and quick with his eyes...they are gona be great when they settle in.
    i wish you all luck for the rest of the year !!!

    p.s....your tweets are great...keep them coming

  • Comment number 47.

    I really enjoyed the coverage of the Australian GP. Even though the race itself wasn't the most exciting, it was great to have F1 back on the screen. I watched it all the way through from the practice sessions on the red button to the Forum after the race.

    I too was slightly worried by MB at the start of qualifying as he seemed to sound like he was trying a bit too hard with his "commentator voice" but this settled down back to something sounding more natural. I thought him and DC did really well considering it was the first race they did together. A couple more and im sure they will be perfect.......everything takes time.

    I understand that some people were worried that the BBC is slightly biased towards certain teams, but they can only speak to teams/personnel if they are given the access. Give it time. There is only so much time in each show and they cant talk to everyone. It may be the case that each show they focus on a couple of teams and then in the next show they moved onto the next couple of teams etc etc. I'd be worried that if by the middle of the season, the focus had only been on 2 or 3 teams, but as i say, if they give coverage to each team as the season went on, that would be fine. Also as Jake said, it may be the case that some teams are more approachable than others. Its difficult to interview personnel and give teams TV time if they don't get access to the people they need. Of course if the likes of McLaren and Red Bull give greater access to the BBC then they are gonna spend more time with them and give them greater coverage. Lets give it time and hopefully after a few races we will have seen and heard from more of the teams up and down the pit lane.

    Keep up the great work. Really looking forward to the up coming BBC coverage and hearing from JH, EJ, DC and MB.

  • Comment number 48.

    It was a mistake to change the time this race is run at. It is best when it is run earlier in the day. Drivers don't get dazzled by the sun towards the end of the race. People watching from home can then, instead of getting up VERY early to watch the coverage, all bleary eyed and needing lots of coffee to clear away the fuzz that early on a Sunday morning, they can instead stay up through the night having an F1 party, doing something with friends...

    No one is very sociable at 6am on Sunday morning! Bernie, do us all a favour and run the race earlier in the day next season, please? It might also ensure the support of the Melbourne authorities in the funding of future events.

  • Comment number 49.

    How the producers think they can put someone on the payroll of a team into the commentary booth and think it'll remain independant is beyond me.
    There's a certain "Crazy Dave" on a site not-too-dissimilar sounding to "smell fuel" which sums where this is going to end up. How long before we hear DC start cracking open cans of a refreshing and energising beverage on air?
    Martin is great as the front man, it was strange hearing him in that role though after years of dealing with "experts" who evidently were nothing of the sort. I still believe Mr. Davidson would be a better bet as his assistant, although, obviously, he still has a day job with the team that pours money in his pocket.
    I wondered why you'd lost the digital rectangle too, Mr. Humphrey. "What's with the skanky clipboard?". For a second I thought you'd renounced that brand, but sadly not it seems.
    Can't comment on the forum, I didn't watch it, but in the main show there was no kind of independant viewpoint, after all that had happened for all the teams over the winter, why was 90% of the time given to RBR and McLaren?

  • Comment number 50.

    @44 - NOOOOooooo - Please don't get rid of the tracker! Well, certainly not on the Website. I can accept losing it on the Red Button as it always strikes me as odd it being there (especially in place of a driver cam) but my personal setup on raceday is:

    Phone: Live timing from
    Laptop: Twitter and Driver Tracker
    TV: BBC1 HD :-)

    And if I'm feeling really geeky I'll get the PC in the lounge setup with Mercedes and McLarens own tracker pages just for the sheer fun of it

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi Jake, brill coverage from yourself and big congrats to dc and mb , I'm one the ones that tune into every single practice session no matter what time of day or night. After reading some other comments though I have to agree and this may be one for the BBC that I was watching the main broadcast on free view hd brilliant, but on another tv I had it tuned to 301 the red button channel on free view, I must say that the driver tracker is not what I really wanted , I wanted the on board camera so I could see the drivers at work permanently , is there a way we can get this on freeview because if so it's just about as close to the racing as I could wish to be. Pleaseeeeeeeee. Nigel f1nutter

  • Comment number 52.

    it was a great race and BBC coverage was great as usual loved EJ driving the mclaren truck. DC get cake face was hilarious. and i was surpised that 2 million people got up at 6am that was to early for i would it would be nearer 5/6 million when include rerun viewers and people who tape it

    good work keep it up

  • Comment number 53.

    I've said this many times before, and I never hesitate to repeat myself. You chaps at the BBC are doing the most terrific job with Formula One. If we cast ourselves back to the ITV days, the extent of the improvements comes clear. Well done Jake.

    Good opening to the season, I enjoyed the race. Red Bull seem to have an advantage at the moment, but McLaren are not that far behind (I assume - and hope). It would've been interesting to see what would have happened if Lewis Hamilton's floor hadn't broke and if Button hadn't been embroiled with Felipe Massa.

    And on that note, it's safe to say that Ferrari have a couple of questions hanging over their performance. One thing that is worthy of note, is that both Ferraris set the fastest two laps of the race! However, one feels that fastest laps will count for much less this year, what with different tyres performing at different levels with varying fuel levels as the race goes on.

    Disappointment for teams like Mercedes, Williams and Lotus, non of whom seem to have improved on their form from last season, although it is only early days yet.

    Special mention must go to Renault and Sauber, who's drivers Vitaly Petrov and Sergio Perez did terrific jobs! In my opinion, it was them who produced the starring performances in the race. Excellent work. Despite Sauber's disqualification from the results, In don't think this will harm their pace, and I expect them to be back among the points in Sepang.

    Force India bagged the final points, although they're another team who've seemingly failed to produce a step forward. Well done to Paul di Resta on his debut however.

    So, questions for next race?

    * Will the order of the teams we saw established in the Australian GP be maintained? Or will it fluctuate again?

    * Will Red Bull still have a large margin over McLaren, or can the Woking squad reel them in that little bit more?

    * Will Sauber maintain heir performance level?

    * Will Hispania manage to qualify for the race this time?

    All exciting stuff. Can't wait.

  • Comment number 54.

    I think it's going to be tough for Hispania, they will improve, but the problem is that the other teams will probably be improving at a faster rate, thus keeping the gap too big for them. Especially when you consider that all the other teams will have tyre data from a full race as well now which will help improve the set up of the car.

  • Comment number 55.

    This is my first post and straight away i'd like to thank you Jake for the interesting behind the scenes info you give us which makes F1 all the more exciting and fascinating to follow.

    My issue which others have mentioned is DC's obvious bias whenever asked for comment in analysis or now on commentary towards Red Bull or maclaren. DC was an excellent F1 driver and I respect his views but it is clear that on a subconscious level he is clearly still bitter about the way he was treated at Maclaren (clear no.2 driver) and has a skewed positive opinion about Red Bull and can't see any of their failings.

    He also at times shows a similar Mansell trait in his dislike of LH and how his career has apparently been served up on a silver platter( Comment as Lewis looked at undertray of car in parc ferme was clearly inflammatory especially if the stewards were listening!). If someone just let him hear back what he said I'm sure he'd understand the views expressed

    As for Maclaren and Red Bull favouritism don't forget Perez was driver of the day and Ted did a big piece on Ferrari online with the pit lane report.

    Love F1 so happy it's started all over again!!!

  • Comment number 56.

    I've just been reading some of the comments. I do think DC was overly defensive of Vettel on the Button overtake. I'm not surprised that DC didn't question Vettel about it at the Birthday celebrations - it wasn't the time.

    I am surprised no one picked up on Vettel's bad laguage when he pondered on the thought that he too would one day reach 40.

    I dissagree with a lot of comments regarding a greater time was spent with RB & Mac. This is understandable and unfortunately unavoidable. With only a set amount of time on air, the BBC could show a piece on each team for every race, either live or VT. There wouldn't be much time, so don't expect it to go into any great depth or detail. I prefer these longer, in depth segments. Gradually throughout the season I would expect to see similar lengthed and detailed segments for all the teams and drivers.

  • Comment number 57.

    Come on guys after years of itv the bbc do a great job with f1...Im sure we will hear alot about lotus, new drivers etc in the coming races.Jake you do a great job and Martin and David did a good commentary.The forum is great to watch after the race and gets better and better.Dont moan as the rumours of bbc dropping f1 might come true and it will be back to itv and the adverts!!!Keep up the good work its awesome

  • Comment number 58.

    The fact is RB and Mac was the two top teams in that particular race therefore it's logical the BBC covered more about them than the other teams. In malaysia i'm expecting the same thing to happen, the two top teams will get more cover.
    if people expect all the teams to get a fair share of the time before race and after then BBC Needs more time on then it already have!

  • Comment number 59.

    I think the folk on here complaining about bias from the Beeb towards RB and McClaren need to spend some time watching F1 in Italy or Germany. Having lived in those countries I can assure you the bias is far more obvious in those countries.

    The BBC may not be totally unbiased. But frankly look at the face of Alonso when he is interviewed and then compare it with that of messrs Vettel, Webber,Hamilton and Button and tell me who is more likely to want to be interviewed by a British channel?

    Its an absolute no brainer and just a shame that Jake has to counch his comments about Ferrari and Alonso to the extent that some on here dont get it: Ferrari are difficult to deal with.

  • Comment number 60.

    Just another call to get Martin out of his 'shed' and back on the forum with JH/EJ/DC please.

  • Comment number 61.

    Hi Jake,
    I must echo the comments raised about Martin Brundle. He is wasted on his own doing the analysis in a shed without having the banter of his comrades during the forum.

    Things have changed and not necessarily for the better...if it ain't broke don't fix it (or just tweak it slightly).
    You, Eddie and DC complemented each other perfectly.It should be kept that way.
    Jonathan Legard had his critics and has since "moved on". I found him to be very good in setting up the occasion and stoking the emotions towards the end of a race, but where he fell short was his occasional meandering during it and his over-reliance on Brundle. He would have been better suited to radio where it would have been necessary for him to constantly describe the action without getting lost in his own thoughts...
    So this leads me to Croft/Davidson. In short, brilliant. I love the chequered flag podcast. Keep it. Don't touch it. The Radio 5 Live team is great and it would be a pity to change it, but Croft needs to be promoted.
    Move Croft over to head the BBC1 race commentary with Brundle. As much as I admire everything Brundle does is he really the right man to head the commentary? Would you have Alan Hansen take over Match of the Day with just Lawrenson in tow?
    Croft has proved time and again how good he is in following the action - He would work well with Brundle. I don't see why Legard couldn't have taken over a share of the radio/TV commentary from Croft when the BBC decided to shift things for this season.
    Bring DC back to the fold. The trio works best.
    Brundle bulldozing his way through the grid is a must should forever be part of the show.

    ...and why has the countdown clock disappeared from the web page?

    Still a great show, but the tweaking and tinkering has not made the show any better. In fact, it's made it more frustrating because all the ingredients are there, but they just haven't been put together properly.

  • Comment number 62.

    Hi Jake, not your best blog (bit woolly) but I am sure there will be more to talk about here as the season progresses.

    As far as bias is concerned; in the last two years I have argued strongly that the BBC coverage has been bias-free and the only things not factual are opinions which make the show interesting. Also, being a McLaren and Red Bull fan and not a huge fan of Ferrari (team or drivers) at all I guess I wouldn't have had any complaints. However, this year I may concede that comments made by some (eg @Lopek) have some truth. I guess we at home will never know the real story but, judging by your comment on drivers who won't do interviews or indeed give you the time of day, I am left to conclude that you ask everyone to participate in interviews and forums etc and the ones we don't see have declined - nothing really the BBC can do about that, is there? I think that the fans of the teams who we don't feature in amusing VTs or even pre/post race interviews may have to come to realise that this has something to do with the team PR machine and the driver's personalities and not the BBC excluding them. Lewis and Jenson are British - therefore expect to see more of them. It's the British coverage!! Consequently, Paul di Resta featured heavily this race as well and deservedly so - wowzas what a first race! Also have a look at the personalities - your Lewis/Jenson/Seb Vettel types clearly love a good laugh and are happy to be lighthearted as well as comment on the race eloquently. People like Mark Webber may not be as light hearted all the time (!) but are always still happy to give opinion. Alonso? Not so much. But the guy is entitled to be like that if he wants. Imagine how bad the programme would be if these drivers were forced to sit and answer the BBC's probing questions? It would not be good viewing.

    The commentary from Brundle/DC was great - I felt they gave a great insight and opinion into what the drivers were going through and seemed happy to discuss all sides of the argument regarding incidents, new rules etc even if they had given a different opinion - good work guys.

    As much as I am a HUGE supporter of the show - this weekend didn't feel quite right. I think maybe the praise for the BBC coverage has meant that the team is a little complacent - but then there is a good balance between EJs long-winded opinions and factual VTS about new rules/designs etc. It is a long programme, we have to remember. I am looking forward to the next race (in HD baby, yeah!) and hope that the feel of the build-up returns to being a bit more excitable and light to balance the tension of the race instead of the arrogance that came across a bit this weekend (eg whispered commenting on Mark Webber's state of mind with him still just about in earshot was a bit much Jake! Don't say anything on TV you wouldn't have said with him still there.). In the last 2 years viewers have felt truly part of the experience becasue of your honest and easy-going presenting style - please return to that and ditch the conspiratorial gossipy ways of last weekend. It cheapens it a bit.

    I still think the BBC does a great job overall and we should all be grateful that we get to see as much of the race weekend as we do. Keep up the good work guys! Oh, and please don't let Eddie loose on the road in a truck....

  • Comment number 63.


    The coverage was quality this weekend.

    The BBC have fixed the only week link, which was the commentary. Now its as good as perfect.

    As ever, EJ gets the odd bit of criticism, but as i've said before, his sometimes unprofessional approach to TV is a good thing and makes the overall coverage a bit more 'edge of the seat' as you see him either stumble over an overlong question on grab some 'untouchable' F1 figure by the arm. I real asset to the BBC.

    Can see why some criticise the 'apparent' bias and i got that impression slightly, but i'm sure it'll even itself out. I still don't think Red Bull are going to walk away with it this season despite Vettel's blinding pace.

    As others have said last year, get Irvine on the telly when you get chance as he was great at Monza on the forum, and lets have Murray give us some gems when we head to the UK.

  • Comment number 64.

    Added to my previous comment (51) please please BBC f1 online give us iPad 1/2 enabled video please god please I ask you, ps don't forget onboard cams on red button free view plllllleeeeeeaaaasssssseeeeeee

  • Comment number 65.

    I agree 100% with Lopek. Jake, i stopped watching your pre and post show towards the end of last season all i do now is tune into the races. The bias was borderline pathetic back then and reading Lopeks comments nothing has changed if anything its got worse.

    Were not all Red Bull, Mclaren, Button, Hamilton fans. To be honest i cant stand any of them. However i dont mind you talking about them as long as the rest of the teams and drivers receive the same treatment.

    To be honest i think Ferrari has more fans than the 4 mentioned above put together.

    Looking forward to the next RACE.......


  • Comment number 66.

    It seems to me that any time Red Bull gets praised by the BBC F1 team a lot of people on here immediately shout "Bias!" simply because of DC's links to the team. Could they please open their eyes a little wider and appreciate that all that praise is fully deserved? They are doing a terrific job, car and driver (Vettel) are working in perfect harmony. McLaren were praised for having made an enormous leap forward from when Martin Brundle had some harsh words to say about them during testing.

    I don't mind a bit of bias; DC focussing on Red Bull is not going make me buy more of the stuff, just as I wouldn't switch my mobile phone contract from Vodafone to Virgin if they suddenly started beating McLaren. ITV's massive focus on Lewis Hamilton was over-bearing. The BBC has done nothing like that. At the end of the day we want to mainly here about the big performers on any given weekend. If Jerome D'ambrosio scores Virgins first point in Malaysia I can guarantee we will hear from him. The BBC's coverage is the thoroughest the Sport has ever had in the UK, and we should be appreciative of that.

    One completely separate point; Hispania's failure to qualify. Really the 107% rule isn't 107%. It's always 107% of the quickest time from Q1, which is invariably set by a car using the harder tyre compound. Hispania's relative pace can be maybe 109% of the fastest car, because they will always use the softer, quicker tyre, giving them an extra bit of performance. So really they have very little excuse not to qualify. Many more failures and I think we might be down to 11 teams...

  • Comment number 67.

    Jake, Fantastic to have you guys back! :0) and I had to laugh at seein DC getting cake in the face (bless him!) by Vettel - I think he handled it very professionally actually! :0) anyway, back to the race, thank goodness Hamilton finished and the plank was ok! that could have been a different story altogether eh. Good race, well predicted though that Vettel was going to win but all in all good stuff. So glad to have you, Martin, DC and Eddie back. Sometimes I enjoy the banter between you more than the race...did I really just say that? :0) Thanks Again Guys! Haze, Abingdon.

  • Comment number 68.

    I think some of you moan simply because you have this platform to do so. Please explain how it is biased to focus on the current world champion & constructors championship winners. Also, concentrating on the 2 best teams in the field (based on last years performance).

    Remember, this is journalism for the masses. The majority of the audience don't want to see a 10 minute piece on how hispania have failed. They care about the frontrunners ... If you want in-depth stuff look to places like this site or the variety of other F1 websites / twitter accounts out there.

    That's not to say the public don't enjoy the technical details. I'm sure many (including myself) do.

    Great coverage Jake + Team. I do however agree with the point raised about Petrov. It was a little rude (burning bridges?) to get him on then have him stand there while questions were directed elsewhere & about another driver. I do however realise that his English may not be 100% so he could be a difficult subject to interview.

    I absolutely love the BBC coverage, it is of a very high standard. Long may it continue (without the annoying ads too!) :D

  • Comment number 69.

    I think the drag reduction system introduced this year has been a terrible waste of resources. The whole concept of artificially introducing overtaking in this manner is against all that F1 is. There was plenty of overtaking last season and an even more ingenious drag reduction system invented by McLaren in the F-duct. If they had to try and boost overtaking why not use the F-duct system where, once again innovation was the key in how good a teams system was.

    With respect to the race, I am surprised as Martin Brundle pointed out, that Vettel and one of the Toro Rossos got away with an overtaking maneuver which meant they had to use more than the track boundaries. I don't think the rule of who goes into a corner first should apply if the car has to go out of bounds. If there was a wall there they wouldn't do it is always the response of Brundle, and I agree. Vettel and the Toro Rosso should have had at least a time penalty.

  • Comment number 70.

    I don't agree that the BBC is biased. McLaren and Red Bull are always going to get more attention than Virgin and Hispania. As a Brit watching a British TV channel I would expect nothing more than to see Button, Hamilton and McLaren getting most of the coverage, and there seems to be a genuine rapport between the team and the BBC. I think overall though the coverage is pretty well balanced.

    Keep up the good work Jake.

  • Comment number 71.

    Firstly, I think it was a great program Jake. Commentary was a big improvement.

    Now...will all the armchair producers please give the BBC team a break. It's all too easy to sit at home and say 'I want to hear from this driver or that team' but the reality is that it is just not that simple. There are masses of press, PR, team managers and minders to negotiate. Take Ferrari for example, the Italian press must place huge demands on the team and drivers and as a consequence they have less time for the BBC.

    As for bias, this is the first race of the season. It is a tad unfair and unrealistic to expect every driver on the grid to be interviewed or featured this eary on. Give them time and I'm sure they will cover everyone.

    However, the BBC F1 team are journalists and therefore they have to report the 'news'. In this race that news revolved around the speed of the defending world champion and the rise of Mclaren from their poor pre-season. There was also good performances from Sauber and Petrov - all these points were covered in the pre and post race. Other teams/drivers did not merit as much attention as they were not as 'newsworthy'.

    This is not bias, it is simply journalism. Can you imagine if the world's media decided Libya and Japan are getting too much attention at the minute and so they started ignoring them and concentrated on Canada and Brazil instead!?

    I'd also like to say that I really enjoyed the MB analysis feature. Am I the only one?! I have to admit that I missed the forum live and watched it back on iPlayer after watching the MB part as a separate feature on the website. I can understand that people want MB to be part of the forum rather than in the back of the shed. Maybe you can still run the analysis piece and have it embedded in MB's post race report?

    Thank you for listening

  • Comment number 72.

    #26 - Nowhere in my orifginal posting (#22) did I say that Ferrari did not do well in the race, although I'm sure that a 4th and 7th place is not considered by them to be a successful weekend, despite their other achievements as you haves listed.

  • Comment number 73.

    Hi Jake, great first weekend back.

    Was awesome watching my first F1 race in HD!

    A lot of my comments echo those above: the emphasis on Red Bull and McLaren was obvious, although unlike some other commenters, fully justifiable. You guys focus on who's in the news off and on track, no big surprises there. Quite frankly this weekend I couldn't give a toss about Virgin or Williams.

    The commentary is SO much better this year. He seems a decent bloke but I am glad Legard's now commentating on lower league football in 5-10 minute snippets.

    Although DC's bias is still unfortunately very clear to see. Considering the man is still on Red Bull's payroll for various functions (as stated by Horner live on air) it does seem strange that he'd be put into a role that requires even more professionalism and impartiality than his previous guise as pundit and opnionater.

  • Comment number 74.

    @71: DexterisDelicious : No I too really enjoyed MB's analysis. It was thorough, professional & technical - exactly what the forum is there for!

    In my view, the forum is the TV equivalent of a blog vs. newspaper... The forum is (and should be) both more relaxed & informal as well as more technical so that we techy viewers can really understand the inner workings of the teams / cars & also see a side of F1 that perhaps doesn't come across on TV - the human element.

    On a slightly unrelated note I was surprised by the lack of posts on the site about the Sauber disqualification since I saw it on Sky Sports new before you guys ... then I checked here to get more info & there was none.

  • Comment number 75.

    Hi Jake & BBC F1 Team,

    Congrats on a great start to the F1 season. I missed Qualifying due to me missing my alarms on my iPhone! Argh! None the less i was up for 6am and enjoying the coverage in HD.

    First off a big congrats to DC & MB who i thought were brilliant as race commentators. We didnt get any idiotic hyperbole or nonsense, the commentary was insightful and very interesting to hear the guys talk about different aspects of the race from a drivers perspective. I think only F1 drivers can accurately convey the various situations throughout a Grand Prix.

    Jake i find the access to F1 teams and drivers fascinating from a viewer standpoint. Its obvious that Red Bull and McLaren are very open with the BBC in giving interviews and access to their drivers. Being British i guess helps in that respect. As mentioned above i guess drivers from different countries have patriotic duties and report more to their own homeland stations. We see this with Alonso in particular. So i guess the BBC can only really work with what they are given in this respect.

    We still got to hear from the majority of teams in the race buildup and im sure over the course of the season the BBC will get some access to all the drivers. I guess it will be hard for DC to shake of the Red Bull bias tag, im sure he will cope though! :)

    Jake could we get MB back for the Forum, i know he must be pretty wrecked after all his duties but it would be nice to hear from him after the dust has settled on the race.

    Well done on race number 1 Jake.

  • Comment number 76.

    I'm fairly new to F1 but find it really exciting and brilliant to watch! So much so that I have persuaded my dad to get us tickets for silverstone. Can't imagine what it's going to be like actually being there and for you to have it as your job must be so much fun. Personally Jenson Button my favourate and would love to see him win a race this season.
    You really seem comfortable within your surroundings and are great at your job. Really like hearing what you have to say (aslo on twitter).

  • Comment number 77.

    Jake, a well presented and put together first show/forum/blog. I would tend to ignore some of the screaming hysterics from people here who seem to have no clue as to two of the fundamental points of television programming 1. You can only do so much in the time given! - I recall last year you presented the forum from just about every single teams motorhome/brand centre and interviewed just about every driver at least once. The fact that you didn't interview every single person associated with F1 in this first pre-show and forum seems to have driven some people crazy!

    2. As with any journalist you can only talk to people who want to talk! I recall in 2009 on your opening year, Lewis was a hard man to interview since he was so defensive following his torrid time with the lying scandal and McLarens total collapse of form. Some of the short memories on here need to remember that Lewis Hamilton came close to quitting F1 entirely over the scandal and he was not an easy boy to interview, as Jake's one sit down with him proved. The fact is Jenson Button, who had rarely had his face even shown on ITV due to being in a mediocre performance team, was suddenly thrust into the limelight as the front runner in a virtually unbranded Brawn. So there was a lot of shouting in 2009 about Jenson bias - but he was a middle-rank driver who was now on a fairy-tale winning streak against all the odds! I'd say that made your first experience of interviewing a British driver pretty different. Jenson bias is simply access. He wanted to talk.

    Everybody knows Fernando is not the easiest interviewee. After his torrid time at McLaren he was painted as the evil spaniard to Lewis' plucky young Brit by a lot of British press and I can imagine he's still a hard man to read and he does tend towards short, evasive answers - probably from self-defence.

    And for Petrov - well I thought your interview was very reasonable this year. The guy is still learning english and an in-depth interview is always tough with a guy who's only really picked up 'I am very happy.' He did his best but there's nothing worse than a protracted interview with a language barrier and unless Martin Brundle can converse in fluent russian to interpret the technical stuff, I doubt Petrov will be offering a seriously indepth interview for british audiences for a while yet!

    Keep up the good work. Tell Martin to relax a bit in the commentary box. Though he did well passing some questions off to David when I could tell he wanted to answer his own half the time!

  • Comment number 78.

    I'll keep this short:
    - on the whole liked the BBC programme
    - agree with comments on M Brundle in truck - prefer him to be with everyone else
    - commentary was good, especially for the enthusiast. Speaking to friends who are not enthusiasts and who watched the programme - they thought the commentary lacked a certain pizazz(!) - bring back Murray Walker's enthusiasm!

  • Comment number 79.

    HD Coverage is bang on.

  • Comment number 80.

    Sorry , Forgot to add earlier, top start to the season by you all , And dont listen to those complaining about bias as i am sure it team / driver coverage will even out over the season , I think you will find that its more a case of " where's MY team / driver " . .

  • Comment number 81.

    Firstly, before I forget, to no 31. Paul Baker. Heidfeld struggled because he sustained major damage to his side pod at the start. (Although admittedly this doesn't explain his qualifying).

    This actually brings me onto my opinion. I don't particularly have a problem with the coverage of Red Bull and McLaren in what was only the first race. There were obvious reasons for it.

    Whatever you want from the other teams, McLaren and Red Bull do give good TV. I still can't get over the fact that, instead of wallowing in Vettel's victory, the whole Red Bull team planned and arranged for the Beeb to cover Coulthard's brithday cake smash. I think the problem is that, since the BCC offer so much more coverage than ITV ever did, there is even more in which to pick holes! I have to say however, if you watch the practice sessions, Crofty and his cohorts do a great job of covering all the stories up and down the paddock.

    Going back to the bias question and particularly DC, I think it's there but it was highlighted because so much of the commentary was about Vettel, Hamilton and Button. I LOVED DC and MB together but I prefered Crofty and Karun Chandhok! (Yes, I watched and listened to both). The reason was that the radio guys kept an eye on the WHOLE race, particularly Karun acting as an excellent back up to Crofty's main commentary.

    Martin was understandably concentrating on the main battles up the front and while it is David's job to give a second opinion on that action, Martin is perfectly capable of giving us great insight into what is going on there, on his own (much more so than Legard ever was.)

    As such, David could do worse than keeping at least one eye on all the other action going on up and down the track. All of these were missed: spotting Petrov neatly making his way into third, picking up on Perez's one stop strategy like Karun did, spotting that Di Resta was letting Sutil through repeatedly, realising that Glock had gone into the garage but come out again for more running - just giving a more complete picture of the race.

    In conclusion, since the race is what most people are ultimately interested in, this is where the coverage needs more breadth, in my opinion. It doesn't matter or depend on how approachable or not the individuals are - just what they do on the track and why.

    I was also surprised that Ted didn't pick up Perez, Glock or Heidfeld. In truth, I'm sure most of this was just first race teething problems but you asked for feedback.... And I still think the MB/DC pairing has huge merit and will be an asset to the production overall.

    This brings me back to my one major gripe with the race coverage which I know is out of your control. It wasn't too bad in Melbourne but I know it will be through the season so if there is anyone you can speak to, please get in there and have a go: I'm talking about the race direction. Whoever directs the race needs all of what I described above to ensure that what happens on the track is what we see on our screens. Talk about bias and you just have to check out the direction and editing of some races - it's not easy for any commentary team to comment on coverage that misses most of the action or sticks the camera on one or two cars for the duration of the race!

    Finally, I agree, EJ seemed quite chilled which was perfect and Martin in the truck didn't work at all - mainly because it wasn't at all high tech - he didn't even have one of those pointer things to draw on the TV or the ability to move through the action himself, waiting on the VT guys to move forwards through the footage etc.

    Anyway his interaction with you guys is much more effective and everything he did and said could have been done with a hand held device or one of the monitors you've used many times in the past - indeed the one you used with Martin Whitmarsh!

    Roll on Sepang. I expect you to do coverage of Team Lotus - totally understandable. It's a home race. Tony just picked up his CBE. They'll be very approachable. They're talking big improvements on a vastly different track (surely the Pirelli question mark was because of the unique properties of Melbourne). The big question is will Renault claim the race as a 'home race' as well? Since they were so great in Aus, I'm sure you'll feature them. I'll watch with interest to see how these two teams are represented over the weekend.

    And re Ferrari coverage, meh! Stefano is always there and totally candid. Rob Smedley is a star. Their drivers are utterly snoozeworthy. Let them do their talking on the track.


  • Comment number 82.

    At 76. Lily Yates.
    That's fantastic that you're going to Silverstone. I wish I was going this year. Did you get weekend tickets? There is so much to do and see over the three days, it's really worth it. I camped two years ago, with my brother and nephew, and it was so much fun (apart from the meanie (being polite) who nicked our Brawn flags).

    Even if you're only going for the Sunday, plan to get there as early as you can. There are the other formula races, some sort of flying display and of course the driver parade which is great for getting photos. And plan to stay late so that you can go to the 'concert' that happens in the middle of the circuit after the race.

    Loads of drivers and teams turn up and are interviewed on stage. It's totally free and the atmosphere amongst thousands of happy F1 fans is just awesome.

    Watching an F1 race live is a very different experience from watching it on the TV mind you. I recommend you take a radio with ear plugs so that you can listen to the 5Live commentary - although this might depend on whether they are on 5Live Extra or not (IE you'll need a DAB radio) - alternatively, at the course, there is a course commentary that you can tune into. There are signs with the frequency posted around the course.

    Oh and take or buy ear defenders. It's LOUD. Earplugs just weren't enough for me!
    Have a great time and enjoy every moment. I hope the sun shines (But rain would make the race more exciting!!!!)


  • Comment number 83.

    @27 Jake replies
    ' It was also fantastic to be joined by Vitaly Petrov on the F1 Forum and as he sadly could only be with us for a couple of minutes it was also important to reflect the fact that Robert Kubica wasn't with the team'

    Mmm, well written, Jake... you obviously revel in oxymoron's.

    Thanks for believing that the same information about Kubica, that has flooded our screens recently, was more important for most of the 'couple of minutes' that Petrov only had available, than actually congratulating him for being Russia's 1st podium F1 driver & speaking to him about his great start, his race, & his car.

  • Comment number 84.

    I went to Silverstone in 2008 for a special free Renault support race event. I saw an F1 car there, and yes, I had no ear defenders or earplugs. Loud!

    And I agree about the comment above, the BBC should give Crofty/Karun a go as a guest commentator at a random race.

  • Comment number 85.

    @ 81 - Well said.

  • Comment number 86.

    Seems to me like Vettel was managing his performance to Hamilton for most of the race. Whenever he need to put the performance in, such as the first lap and his outlap which got him stuck behind button, he seemed to engage 'fullpace'... Flew past button as if they were in different formulas, albeit on newer tyres, while on his first lap pulled out a considerable gap.

    As much as I hate to admit it, I still think he has perhaps up to a second a lap on just about everyone else, be it in qualifying and the race itself.

    Big surprise for me was Webber's drive, amazing difference in performance, which i really hope he can fix for next race. While Petrov's performance was faultless, it does seem that the lotus/renault has the performance in the car once more. If kubica was driving he'd probably have had hamilton's spot.

    Comentating was far, FAR better than anything witnessed last year, simply because leggard is no more... DC, biased as he is, is still a million times better, and MB is good as always.

    All in all, I got the feeling the season is just gonna be more of the same. Can't see how redbull are gonna lose this one now... but we'll know for sure next race.

    Common Button! and get well soon Kubica! \O/

  • Comment number 87.

    AuraF1 - The bias which many have referred to is evident at EVERY race. And I am sure it is for the reasons I mentioned in my earlier post. It would be nice if this could be toned down a bit and we get to see a bit more of everyone else. I don't think by requesting this, we are "screaming hysterics" or " have no clue".

    Jessica Auckland - re: your comments about the Ferrari drivers... In order to make such a disparaging remark, I assume you have spent time in their company? Have you actually met them? Believe me, they are anything but "snoozeworthy".

  • Comment number 88.

    Hi Jake

    Not sure if you will be able to answer this question, but I am sure you are aware of reports in the media as of late, that the BBC might not be renewing the F1 coverage and even more worrying, they might even try to get out of their current contract.

    I for one and I think speak for all others on here, think the way the BBC has covered F1 has been first class and would hate for it to go either ITV or Sky. Both would have to have adverts and the latter is a pay channel. What is also telling is the fact Sky Sports News has been doing a lot more coverage on F1 than ever before, is this a sign they may be bidding for it?

    Is there anything you can comment on , with regards to this issue? I really hope F1 stays on the BBC for many years, as for me, you and the rest of the guys are doing such a great job.

  • Comment number 89.


    It seemed to me that the reason that Vettle could not pull away from Hamilton every lap was because of his tyres wearing down. As Hamilton was gaining on Vettle before the first round of pit stops, he was pushing harder than Vettle. Yet Vettle had to come in two laps before Hamilton when in an ideal world he would of wanted to stay out longer. And we all know how Hamilton's style of driving massively grains his tyres. So the maybe Vettle in the Red Bull will be restricted to shorter stints in races like Melbourne this season?

  • Comment number 90.


    And the reason he 'flew past Button' was that Vettle had fresh tyres on and Button was at the end of stint on weared out tyres, not to mention the fact that his overtake was actually illeagal. Because even though he was ahead of Button when he went off the track, he could not of done the overtake without the extra space as he well knew when he made the move. In my opinion he was abusing the boundaries of the track.

  • Comment number 91.

    At 87. Tifosi
    The discussion is about TV coverage not about meeting people in person.

    I wasn't being disparaging, I was voicing a personal opinion based on what I see when both of them are interviewed. They may well be much better in their native languages. They are often very exciting on the track which is why I said they should do their talking there.

    I totally understand your desire to defend and support your favourite team but I'd appreciate it if you'd also not read everyone else's posts with such obvious 'bias'. As such, you might realise that my comments were really quite reasonable.

    To be fair, I was sooooo bored of F1 when Ferrari won everything in sight year after year that I stopped watching. I like everything I've seen of Massa but have reservations about Alonso (even way back when he was with Renault). I can't and wouldn't take away from his undoubted talent however. This is all based on TV coverage, radio coverage and extensive online reading and watching - not just some 'BBC hatched anti Ferrari plot'. However this is just my opinion.

    You obviously had a rare but awesome experience visiting Ferrari at a race. I'm sure lots of Ferrari fans would love to have the opportunity to do the same but, as that is unlikely, they have to rely on coverage of their favourite team on TV. If they feel short changed I suggest they petition the BBC but also the team. If Ferrari are as open and generous as you report, I'm sure they will respond. I refuse to believe it is some henious plot by a sports team that is acutely aware of how big a following Ferrari have around the world and how stupid it would be of them to deliberately exclude them from the weekend's coverage.

    Feel free to think differently however. I look forward to reading your comments.


  • Comment number 92.

    More coverage on Ferrari would be nice! Good blog though.

  • Comment number 93.

    #87, I totally agree with you. Pity that the interesting post from Jessica does not miss the opportunity to (once again - yawn) have a bashing at Alonso..

    I too agree with you that Ferrari drivers, and Alonso in particular, is anything but "snoozeworthy" (I would refer you to some of the pieces for the Spanish tv), but then again this is the image that some British media keeps portraying and the British public has sadly bought into it. Although I admit that interviews immediately pre- and post- race aren't usually the best time to get these guys to talk ex-cathedra, it is highly biased to say that..

  • Comment number 94.

    At 93. Regina
    It's true. My comments about Ferrari did 'slip in' to my post. I should have put them into a separate one. However, I wasn't 'bashing' Alonso. I referred to both drivers.

    In my reply to Tifosi, I was more specific about my opinions towards them both however they are just my opinions. And I hold by my belief that neither Massa or Alonso come over particularly well in interviews. I reiterate that this may well be because they are not speaking in their mother tongue although you could say the same about Vettel or say, Barrichello who is guaranteed to give an interesting, passionate unPC take on the afternoon's events.

    Which also slightly negates your last comment about pre-post race interviews being a bad time. I don't really understand the suggestion about doing them being biased. Every driver knows they have to meet the Media. It is usually a great talking point if a driver goes off and doesn't talk to the Media. Also, drivers get paid a great deal of money and whether any of us think this is right or not, part of that includes interacting with the world's TV and press.

    I'm actually suggesting that both Alonso and Massa do a much better job of communicating on the race track. But that's not how the 'show' works so I'm sure we'll continue to see interviews with them. I hope the BBC finds a way of getting a candid, passionate, warm interview out of both of them on a regular basis. Personally I'm not interested in ANY driver just spouting the party line and giving me nothing more than what I saw on the track - including those from McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes or any other team.


  • Comment number 95.

    Oh and while I'm in the grove, it is SUCH a shame that the Media and fans alike always jump on anything a driver says that is even slightly controversial. It just encourages them to say nothing at all. Let's be positive folks. I promise to not call anyone snoozeworthy ever again. How's that for a start...

  • Comment number 96.

    Concerned to see my post was censored. Presumably McLaren are readers of Jake's blog.

    Clearly Jake you do not push the teams, far from it, you seem to have a cushy relationship with them. When have you ever pinned anyone down and forced an answer from them?

    Martin Whitmarsh clearly didn't want to answer the question regarding his assertion that nobody in his entire team had seen the footage of Button v Massa. When he remained silent, instead of pressing him for an answer, you let him get away with it. No BBC journalist would let an interviewee get away with it so why did you?

    Where was EJ and DC at this point?

    EJ is not one to keep quiet, what was going on?

    I trust we will see Martin Whitmarsh questioned stringently at the next race as he has some serious answers to give following the conflicting information in his responses when compared with what DC showed us of McLaren's mission control.

    Additionally, if what Martin Whitmarsh said was accurate, he can't be running his team very well if they all missed such an obvious incident that everyone else managed to see.

    This is a ticking time bomb for Martin Whitmarsh and I hope the BBC F1 team will do the right thing and put him on the spot next weekend...

  • Comment number 97.

    If F1 is in HD, why isn't it showing in HD on the iPlayer?

  • Comment number 98.


    I know you always like to get the fans involved so I hope you won't mind a little constructive criticism.

    The BBC coverage has a very cliquey boys-club feel to it and is unashamedly biased in favour of Red Bull and, to a lesser extent, Mclaren. The BBC is far too cosy with Red Bull and seems intent recounting their success story and hailing them as a 'party' team ad nauseum.

    Meanwhile Vettel is portrayed as the class of the field and has virtually been anointed as WDC elect for 2011. Your eulogy to him in this blog only serves to prove this point. The fact you find him likable and approachable is all very well but it does not justify such sycophancy in your broadcasting. I wonder if Mark Webber is so convinced he is a such a genuinely good guy?

    I personally think that the 'irreverent' Red Bull/Vettel combination and their courting of the media is devaluing F1. Their willingness to give the media their instant quick fix is the antithesis of a driver like Senna whose enigmatic and private nature only added to his legendary status.

    Vettel is clearly a very quick driver but let's not lose perspective here. He is in vastly superior machinery to the rest of the field and has the de-facto no.1 status in his team. He has never won a race from anywhere other than pole and his racecraft still bears some serious question marks. Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve both won WDCs in superior Newey designed cars and history has not judged them greats of the sport.

  • Comment number 99.

    All this talk about bias towar red bull and mclaren is nonsense, look it's race one they might of spent some time on them but over the next races they might spend more time on Ferrari, what then all the mclraen fans will be saying oooo oo oo no no not Ferrari stop talking so much about the red team, jeeze they got a share it out, who cares it's good coverage people need stop moining. So much I need learn use the iPad keyboard more and we all need just enjoy the racing!!! Chill out shut up sit down and enjoy what we've got in hd. Anyway being biased as I'm English let's just have a whole program on mclaren, stuf the other teams who cares, and of dc wants talk about red bull iv no problem he's still mint at the job so ,all these moiners are the same people thT put mclaren down, now they've been stubbed out and had humble pie there picking on the BBC , boooo bloody hooo

  • Comment number 100.

    With the news of F1 broadcast in HD I finally took the plunge and bought a HD Freesat box and TV.

    No complaints about the picture, just the on-screen graphics. Why aren't the race graphics, and particularly the qualifying 'tower' not pushed to the extreme left. On a large widescreen TV the graphics really do block out large pieces on the action.

    Please move the on-screen graphics in HD.


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