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It's F1 guys... but not as we know it!

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Jake Humphrey | 11:10 UK time, Monday, 9 May 2011

As I write this blog, we have just jetted off from the runway into the dark Turkish sky, I've set my watch back two hours to UK time and I'm thinking of rejecting the sausage and mash for a G&T and a few hours' much-needed kip.

As I look out of the window and the lights of our latest destination disappear in the haze far below us, and the music on my phone keeping me awake, I always get a little philosophical about what has gone on over the past few hours.

It sounds silly to say it, but at the time, despite being at the centre of it, there is so much going on that it's only now, a few hours later, that I can actually draw breath and appreciate what we've seen.

Sebastian Vettel celebrates winning the Turkish Grand Prix

While Schumacher struggles to turn back time, Vettel continues to show he is the sport's shining light. Photo: Getty

One of the things that usually hits me after a race is how transient this sport is, perhaps all sport. It is no exaggeration to say that just seconds after, or perhaps even during Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso's podium celebrations, the mindset of the sport had already moved on.

We on the BBC have the luxury of re-living replay after HD replay and picking up on the minutiae of the race, from a dodgy pit stop to a collision at 200mph, slowed down so David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan can analyse it in detail.

For the teams and drivers though, it is suddenly about the next race.

Right now, if you went to that track, the security checkpoints, advertising hoardings, glamour and glitz will already be gone. Vettel will have his memories, and the record books will forever show he took the flag, but that's it. It's over that quickly, time waits for no one, and I just hope that while he's at the top he takes the time to savour it.

Michael Schumacher is perhaps the prime example that taking on time itself, gambling with your legacy, is a high stakes game.

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I was really sad to hear Schumacher say he's no longer enjoying Formula 1 after this race. People often say we're biased against Michael, but that's simply incorrect. He has given the sport so much, rewritten the record books, made us reassess what success actually is, and I am certainly not qualified to judge his personal decision to come back. But when the fun and the results are lacking, I feel for him, as what else is there?

I also felt for his former team-mate, Felipe Massa. I've just been chatting to his race engineer Rob Smedley. He's a really good lad and I like him even more after his 'Boro team helped Norwich to Premier League promotion (did you spot my reference to it in the show?).

Smedley was telling me that of Massa's four stops, something went wrong on three of them, slowing him down and releasing him into traffic. That meant battling cars to regain position - and it happened three times!

Sadly for all the teams and drivers, the new-style F1 leaves very little margin for error. It's so close on track, and with up to four stops per race, the smallest margin will have the biggest effect on the race.

Smedely was also saying how exhausted he was. Lotus reserve driver Karun Chandhock agreed. He was commentating for 5 live while Anthony Davidson won another sportscar trophy - well done, Ant - and Chandhok said he, too, was shattered.

I loved the race. It gives us masses to discuss post-race; Lewis Hamilton couldn't even recall how many time he'd pitted, and he only had his race to think about!

For my money it gives us better on-track action, longer, less-predictable racing and gets people excited about the sport. We're lucky, in the same way Twenty20 cricket has revolutionised that sport, I expect F1 will benefit to a similar degree.

As for the moveable rear wing - or DRS - system, remember, governing body the FIA can tweak it until it's perfect.

The FIA is coming from a position that overtaking had become too hard and it is aiming for DRS to make overtaking possible - but not too easy.

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The feeling seems to be that in Australia its wasn't powerful enough, in Malaysia and China it was just about right, but that in Turkey it was too powerful. It's a learning process, as the top people in F1 have always said it would be.

Personally, I had great fun this weekend.

At the end if last year, we sadly waved goodbye to producer Sunil Patel, who was the master of our VTs - or pre-cut films - last season. That role has been taken on by Tim Boyd - or Boydy, as he is known. In BBC Sport there seems to be a rule that we take a surname and add a Y on the end. It doesn't work with mine, though!

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks to Boydy and his team, particularly for the effort that went into the Williams front wing piece that we transmitted on Saturday.

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That is the kind off access that brings you guys closer to the sport, breeds greater understanding. But it is also the kind off access that is incredibly hard to get so it's great to see the teams opening up to us. In the long run it benefits everyone.

Also, please do keep your ideas coming in to this blog, my Twitter and on e-mail, as we do read and act upon your thoughts.

It's great to get your response to our programmes, too. Sometimes with all the travel and prep you can get into a bubble where you don't get a true appreciation of people watching our output, as you're never at home to watch it!

However, the weekend before Turkey, I went to watch Lewis Hamilton's brother Nic, who was racing a Clio at Thruxton, and I was blown away. Not only was it great to see grassroots motorsport in this country and what a strong, loyal, knowledgeable following it has, but it also gave me a chance to meet stacks of people not lucky enough to make it to a grand prix, and who follow the racing totally via our output.

We on the BBC team have been delighted with viewing figures being higher than ever this year but, trust me, we're always looking for ways to make it better.

Anyway, have a great couple of weeks. Next up it's Barcelona. Four races in, no big incident at the start, no rain, no safety cars, yet racing so hectic and dramatic that it's hard to keep up.

It's F1 guys... but not as we know it!


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  • Comment number 1.

    Jake - as a fellow Norwich fan - I've had a great week. Lots of footy celebrations and in F1 this weekend, lots of overtaking in the race, lots of action and analysis as always. Thank you to all the BBC F1 guys, yourself, Martin, Eddie, DC and the background team who work sooooooo hard to bring us great coverage...keep up the good work.

    It was good to see your interview with Bernie and how he is determined to keep F1 as it is...broadcast properly :-)

    See you in Spain in two weeks - and we are in the Prem next year! Yeeeerrrrhaaa!

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Jake,great race,exciting overtaking.Loved the shirts and the chat.Kath.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Jake

    Great coverage and blog as usual. The BBC team is excelling itself this year with the comprehensive 'behind the scenes' insight we get, and the expert views offered.

    If it hasn't been done already (I may have missed it) I'd love to see a segment on the processes involved shifting these teams from one side of the world to the other, and the complexities involved; it must be some challenge as became apparent with the vocanic disruption last year.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Jake great race and coverage as usual.

    I just wanted to get a message to the top BBC F1 top dog. It takes me the best part of the week after the race to watch the race again and go through the website in it's entirety. I just cannot put into words my appreciation for the work and effort you guys and gals put into it.

    Put please, please, please give Ted at least fifteen minutes or more to wrap up the race with his meanderings around the pit lane after the fans and superstars have left the circuit. Like most F1 fans I love the detail and hearing from unknown knowns.

    Many thanks in advance and keep up with all the great work!!

  • Comment number 5.

    I also feel for Michael and it saddens me that DC doesn't seem to have a good word to say - I know they've had their run ins in the past but DC is a race commentator now and needs to be impartial, if he cuts his snipes and jibes I'll enjoy it even more!

  • Comment number 6.

    Still enjoying the Beebs coverage. I feel it gets better with each race!

    I think Martin Brundle and David Coulthard are doing a great job and bringing some great insight into the races which is really refreshing to see.

    My only negative would be for more interest in the midfield and lower teams.

    I also really enjoy the blogs, I'd like more of them!

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Jake,

    Another excellent blog and again once again another award winning production from the BBC. You guys need an award ASAP.

    Talking about production, I'm really hoping that F1 remains free to air and also remains on the BBC. If needs be I may consider running my first ever Facebook thing that allows people to demonstrate their rights to keep F1 free.

    As for Turkey, the race was again brilliant to watch and had so much going on. Martin Brundle and DC are earning that money for commentary that's for sure. Well MB is as DC is sorted for cash!

    I particularly liked MB's and DC's comment on children playing marbles - made me laugh!

    We've now had 4 races and already Vettel is running away with the lead. Its going to be hard now for anyone to stop him. I am really hoping that someone does - come on McLaren.

    Also as for Turn 8 - this has to be one of the best corners in F1 ever. Really hoping the Turkish Grand Prix remains because Turn 8 will be missed.

    I felt sorry for Schumi - it was another one of those races for him. He needs to ask himself someone difficult questions as EJ and DC said after the race.

    Can't wait until Spain where I think many teams will up their game in terms of upgrades etc.

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi Jake

    Enjoyed the show and the forum. Thought the race provided good entertainment but it was a shame that Rosberg got the jump on Webber and prevented any real challenge to Vettel. Odds were that Seb had enough in hand all day regardless.

    I think DRS is getting a bit of a kicking off the back of this race. The zone was probably marginally too long but if you look at the first stint there wasn't actually that much overtaking there (save for the McLaren duo). I think it exaggerated overtakes later in the race when peoples tyres were at varying states of exhaustion but overall I think it did the job it was meant to.

    Look forward to Spain - there might actually be some overtaking at Barcelona for change!

    PS could you try and formulate simpler questions for EJ? You confuse him before he's had a chance too himself. Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi Jake, at the end of your blog you mention no wet races yet. I think last season the most exciting races were when it rained so why doesn't the FIA schedule the European races for the beginning and end of the season when rain is more likely, and races like Melbourne in the Aussie winter? It would be a bit like bernie's sprinkler idea, but with no suggestion that even the great mr Ecclestone could influence it.

    Also what about qualifying for a few WC points, but starting each race in reverse WC order (perhaps with an exception for the first 3-4 races of the season) and a minimum 10s stationary time in the pits. means that to win the WC a driver HAS to overtake most of the field most races, and the whole pack will be bunched up for longer at the beginning of the race.

    Would love to hear EJ's and DC's opinion on it.



  • Comment number 10.

    Overtaking has become devalued.

    In the first 4 races of this year there have been more on track passes than the whole of 2009.
    Australia had 29, Malaysia 56, China, 85. We're still counting Turkey...

    Overtaking should be difficult, just like it is difficult to score a goal in football.
    Would football fans be happy if they started getting scores similar to those in basketball?

    For those who are interested, there is overtaking data on every race back to 1982 here:

  • Comment number 11.

    The races are exciting, the coverage is great, well informed: BUT F1 is seriously flawed. - Why? The tyres mainly! - High degradion tyres don't allow anyway near enough latitude for those behind that need to push hard to make up ground. - If they do they ruin their tyres. It's no good! Yes we want the grip, but let's have more durable tyres that allow proper spirited racing. This has become a tyre conservation/strategy race where those with lesser performing cars are seriously disadvantaged. IT NEEDS MORE LATITUDE TO BE FAIR!

  • Comment number 12.

    10. At 13:10pm 9th May 2011, Clip The Apex AKA Brogan wrote:
    Overtaking has become devalued.

    In the first 4 races of this year there have been more on track passes than the whole of 2009.
    Australia had 29, Malaysia 56, China, 85. We're still counting Turkey...

    Overtaking should be difficult, just like it is difficult to score a goal in football.
    Would football fans be happy if they started getting scores similar to those in basketball?

    completly disagree . overtaking in f1 is what its all about . if you didnt have as much overtaking then it would be boring

    also to the question on would football fans like it if there were basketball like scores in football. i would absolutly love it

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    Well said in general Jake, but I honestly don't see where the excitement you mention comes from, now that any good driver with the best car (ie Vettel and Red Bull this year) can run away with the title now that "Mr" Ecclestone has changed the points system so much in favour of the drivers winning races. At least in the past, notably when Button ran the first 6 races in a season, there was some excitement because there were only a few points difference between 1st, 2nd and 3rd places so the deciding race was at end of the season. Now that Vettel is running away with it, the title could be decided well before and all the interest will have gone! Well done Mr Ecclestone you have single-handedly ruined the attraction and excitement of F1 over the last few years!

  • Comment number 15.

    @Paul Baker
    (We've now had 4 races and already Vettel is running away with the lead. Its going to be hard now for anyone to stop him. I am really hoping that someone does - come on McLaren.)

    Isn't that exactly what people were saying about Jensen Button a couple of years ago? And yet it still went right to the wire, with the other teams coming on in leaps and bounds as they year went on.

  • Comment number 16.

    I actually think there is nothing else quite as good on our television than the coverage of the F1 so far this year.

    The only thing that would get me closer to F1 than the BBC would be to raise some cash and go to the races myself but alas degree and money is a real flaw in that.

    The amount of people I have swayed in saying that DRS works is quite high, I think it adds that extra bit that KERs originally couldn't do.

    The only issue I had with yesterday in terms of the DRS and most of the racing was the fact the leading car can only make one defence move. I know it is their for the safety but surely it stops the potential of the drivers?

    I also agree with no. 3 it would be interesting to see maybe Eddie ride with one of the team trucks from the moment they are packed up at the preceding race and then on to the next race.

    Keep it up guys!

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi Jake, great show. Something I did want to mention was about the F1 forum. I preferred the old format where you and guests were in a team hospitality area and were able to discuss post race topics in more depth. I feel now that the forum is simply an extension of the end of the race coverage with a few of Martin's analysis pieces (which are great) thrown in.

    I would love to see more forum talk about different drivers/teams and how the BBC teams' analysis of their progress, not just those in the spotlight (who finished in the top ten).

    Loving the show. Thanks

  • Comment number 18.

    I enjoyed the race even though I watch most of it on my laptop whilst watching my lad at Liverpool's football academy via a 3G signal which lead to a few 'refresh' moments at critical times. I have since watched the hi-lights.

    The DRS lead to a few overtakes that were completed before the braking zone and thus seemed a little too easy. What we shouldn't forget is Abu Dhabi last year. This I think that we all agree is much much better.

    The races are a little confusing and demand attention but as Jake has confirmed on Twitter the viewing figures don't lie.

    Thanks for the blog, I must now get on with some work!

  • Comment number 19.

    What's wrong with Humpy???

  • Comment number 20.

    Would you mind having a word with Messrs Brundle and Coulthard re the excessive use of "undercut"? I appreciate all this overtaking is getting them excited, but a little more variety would be welcome.

  • Comment number 21.

    Hi Jake and team, great show over the weekend, I wanted to echo a previous post about other possible topics that you guys could cover.

    I too would love to learn more about the behind the scenes world of the teams, how do they get all their gear around the world, from the huge motor homes and team HQ's (did you see McLarens's?) to the nuts and bolts - it must be a huge operation. I love all the pieces you guys do on the things outside racing but which are still fascinating and vital to the race.

    Keep up the good work

  • Comment number 22.

    Great job Jake with the blog and BBC for coverage, which constantly seems to improve.

    I just wanted to say how good I thought the Williams front wing VT was. I had to stop it (good old live-pause) and grab my son to come and watch it with me, as it reminded me so much of why I did my degree in mechanical engineering. That whole process from concept through to production still excites me as much in my mid-forties as it did at school.

    I think it also illustrated the reality of what these amazing engineering companies are doing week-in, week-out. Young people today see so much being done with computers and IT in general that is "virtual", it's nice to get a reminder that these cars don't just pop out of a 3D printer (yet) in the garage at a circuit. Someone has to get their hands dirty and actually make the components, and get them to the circuit in time.

    I've ended up working in the virtual world of IT, so this isn't the ramblings of a grease monkey. I can appreciate both aspects of technology. I just wish there were more examples getting in front of children, like that VT, which demonstrate how exciting and challenging the engineering world can be.

  • Comment number 23.

    It may well have been done before, but given the chance, could you film and show (sped up) the construction/deconstruction of the motorhomes/brand centres? They seem to get bigger every season.

    As for the coverage - good as ever, however what influence do you have on the Race Coverage Director (who I imagine is FOM or Host Broadcaster employed). This weekend there were too many shots and overtaking moments missed which was very disappointing.

  • Comment number 24.

    I think the DRS was possible a little over-generous this race out, but nothing exceptionally drastic and they're still tweaking the system.

    Pleased to hear the viewing figures on the Beeb are doing well, too!

    I don't think Schumacher will continue past this season. I'm sorry to see things going the way they are for him, but then I always felt he would struggle's one thing not to have the same car dominance, another to not have the same reflexes of your youth. A really tough ask whoever you are, even a 7-time champ.

    Vettel looks unstoppable. I hope not, I want an exciting season.

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Jake,
    I'm not surprised you were a little frazzled after Turkey - F1 used to be a scramble into Turn 1 and then a parade to the finish; now it's full on from lights out to chequered flag, all the way down the grid. That's got to be good for the spectacle and the sport, right? Well, it's certainly a spectacle ... but is it a sport? If rules are being invented and constantly "evolved" (ie changed) in order to slow people down or give advantages to others in certain circumstances then it's in serious danger of becoming like a video arcade game: great fun to play but pretty boring to watch after a while because it's so artificial.

    I don't think F1's there yet, but it's heading that way; the spectacle needs to come out of the sport, not be artificially imposed on top of or instead of real sport.

    Can I ask about the BBC F1 Forum? It seems to have changed, too. What used to be an amusing, relaxed "chill out" after the race with an informal and cheeky atmosphere of its own seems to have become a continuation of the coverage in general - an opportunity to include yet more interviews with drivers trotting out bland statements about "working as a team", "learning lessons" and "looking forward to developments at the next race". Don't lose the fun and games in the forum, please!

  • Comment number 26.

    Hi Jake,

    Thoroughly enjoying this year's coverage, and especially the banter between my housemates and friends over the Maclaren/Sebastian Vettell fight. I agree with an earlier comment, can we have some more coverage of the newer teams into the sport his year please, and how they feel that their seasons are progressing, as they seem to be lost in the (justified) hype over just how Vettell does it?

    Looking forward to the next one!

  • Comment number 27.

    Great coverage but it's just a shame none of the chasing teams or Mark Webber are able to up their game to avoid this season being a one car procession to the title. Vettel is long gone & the others are merely fighting for the scraps, so I wonder what your focus will be for the second half of the season to maintain interest when the title race has faded into a distant memory.

  • Comment number 28.

    On Sunday we saw more drivers loose positions because of problems with wheel nuts during tyre changes. Is there anything in the regs limiting teams to threaded wheels nuts? If not, surely it would be possible to develop some kind of quick twist-and-click system?
    How about one of your interesting pre-race tech 'bits' about what actually has to happen during a tyre change and the problems involved? It seems amazing to me that someones race can be ruined through something so primitive as a cross-threaded nut.
    I'm fairly new to F1 - I must admit last year I turned off most of the races after watching the start. Not this year! Excellent entertainment!

  • Comment number 29.

    I honestly believe that the BBC's coverage of formula 1 is potentialy the best sports converage I've seen from any network on any sport.

    I would love to see a piece on what drivers do between races. I know they train hard and have a lot of media commitments but an actuall insight (or fly on the wall) into their schedules would be interesting to see.

    Keep up the cracking work.

  • Comment number 30.

    Great race as usual, great action, and most of it from you guys :0) I love Eddie's shirts and Martin's grid walks and reading this blog itself is all part of the F1 experience in my mind :0) Yes it is sad to hear MSC, and like DC said I was also sad when Damon Hill was end of his career with Jordan because even though he was still racing, its not the same as them being at the top. Thanks again guys, Haze Abingdon

  • Comment number 31.

    Hi Jake. This is the first time I have read your blog and am very impressed. I loved the racing off the weekend and I for one am glad to see more overtaking. The races that turn into a procession can be boring and this was far from boring.

    I am an avid F1 fan and have been since a child so I look forward to all the races but now I have discovered your blog I will have something to fill the gaps between racing.

    Everyone at the BBC does an amazing job of not only broadcasting qualifing and the race but creating interesting VT's as well. The front wing expose was brilliant!!!

    Thanks for all the effort everyone puts in and I look forward to Spain!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    Eminem wrote a song in which it says "will the real Slim Shady please stand up, please stand up, please stand up!" That's how I feel about Schumacher, this is not the real Schumacher we knew but some pale imitation. In F1, sadness does not come into it, the driver is either good enough or not and Schumacher is not good enough now.

    For me, the sooner he moves on and lets someone else have a go, the better.

  • Comment number 33.

    Completetely agree with 17 neil_01. Preferred the old forum format. I understand that DC had to go off for this race. But it seems a bit off to shunt MB to some bunker to analyse and are the teams not inviting you to their hospitality suites any more? Still keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 34.

    Jake, not huge on football. Kinda follow Reading as the 'home' team as I follow Mclaren as my home team. However, its F1 I'm in to.. the technology and the team effort. Mclaren were genius with their 'F Duct' as are RB with their non Flexible front wing... Its all fascinating. Schuey should stick it out and turn Mercedes around like he did at Ferarri, it's not easy to be the winning team and RB wont be the winners for ever. The BBC productions are top notch and I really love the pre race reports and the Red Button forum afterwards.. many years back I was a guest at Jordan GP at Silverstone, that was only practice day but still epic. I remember it like last weekend. Keep up the good work and exciting features. As one chap already mentioned, how about a feature on the trucks.. I know @thefifthdriver reported on McLarens 6 day trip to Turkey with photos along the way. F1, you just cant beat it... If only Silverstone was a bit more affordable! Well done!

  • Comment number 35.

    I agree with #4 - please give Ted more airtime as his info is amazing, especially this week when he showed us the raw printouts of Jenson's lap times in explaining what went wrong for him. That's what I'd love to see during the post-race coverage or forum instead of being tucked away on the BBC F1 site.

    I'd also suggest Martin Brundle joins you on the forum as the forums this year seem lacking compared with last year. It isn't the same with him being in a truck away from you and EJ. The days where you'd all be sat together around a screen were great, the dynamics were there and it was much more fun.

  • Comment number 36.

    By the way, loved Martin Brundle's comment about the German reporter being a "pain in the... microphone", probably the funniest moment of the F1 year so far :-D

  • Comment number 37.

    I'd love to see some footage of the tyres after they've been used. We've seen a load of the marbles but not the tyres.

  • Comment number 38.

    Really enjoyed the side by side comparrison of Vettel & Webbers qualifying laps! Martin Brundle does an excellent job commentating on all of the different aspects of the sport!

  • Comment number 39.

    Really great show, and after four races, we can definitely say that the MB / DC combo is a hit. Regardiing the post-race coverage, I was fascinated to hear Alonso's comments that the tyre degradation had a bigger effect on overtaking than DRS, and would have liked to hear Eddie, or especially Martin or DC respond to that, after implying that DRS was a bit too long.

    I know you guys are incredibly busy, but it would be great to hear you picking up on things like that!

    Overall, though, the coverage is fantastic, and I can imagine that you are all exhausted after the races - I certainly am, just trying to keep up with everything!

  • Comment number 40.

    Another excellent Grand Prix delivered by the BBC team, and excellent Grand Prix in Turkey, don't understand whay they have trouble with attendance as I have looked up the possibiltys of attending next year, it seems really reasonable so please keep on the calendar Bernie.

    Blog interesting as usual keep it up, 10 out 10 this week good work!

  • Comment number 41.

    A fantastic race, and immense coverage by the BBC, the only thing I ask, and speak for probably 99% of fans, is renew the contract BBC! No one else can provide such perfect coverage as yourselves, it's massively appreciated, and well worth paying the tv license for! Itv was shocking! And of course murdoch would kill the sport, so keep going BBC! And well done Jake, eddie and David for presenting so well, not forgetting brundles brilliant commentating, perfect.

  • Comment number 42.

    Whilst we're on the topic of tyres, just how much race life is lost by using a set of new tyres in qualifying? It's obviously quite a disadvantage, especially this year, but drivers used to "scrub in" new tyres in practice, rather than use brand new tyres.

    Re what do drivers get up to between races, you can follow the likes of Nico Rosberg on Twitter or Facebook and you see some footage of the sort of training they do and other non racing stuff.

  • Comment number 43.

    Totally off topic but I'm trying to spread the word so please forgive me,

    Some of you may be golf fans, you're certainly all sports fans so please take a moment to read this, thanks.

    I've just emailed the BBC with an idea and would like anyone who agrees with me to do the same.
    Firstly let me sat this. I can't think of anyone who has done as much for their sport as Seve. The European tour is now a global phenomenon and the Ryder Cup one of sports great occasions, golf is now percieved in a wholly different light to the fuddyduddy/rich man's game it once was. This transformation can be traced back to Seve's influence back in the late 70's and 80's. He was not only a great player but someone who touched peoples hearts and drew new fans to the game (let me add that this comes from someone who was a Jack fan rather than a Seve fan - though of course I liked him too)
    I've been trying to think of other sporting greats who had such an impact and the combination of greatness, ability to touch people's hearts and transcend their sport. Certainly not Jack or Tiger, Arnie maybe but only in the US. From other sports, Maradona no, Pele was before my time, Zidane no, Best perhaps here in the U.K. but beyond? Federer, Borg, Martina, no. Schumacher no etc.etc. The only name that springs to mind is Ali, now that's the highest reaches of sporting greatness!

    My idea is this. The BBC should open a tributes/book of condolences page which they should feature prominently on the sport homepage (with a picture of Seve smiling) for a week or longer and then print it bind it and give it to his family with all our thanks. As one of the Spanish commenters said above, it was the British fans who made the Spanish realise what a Superstar they had so I think it would be appropriate for us (through the BBC) to take the lead in doing this.

    Here's a shortcut to the email form

  • Comment number 44.

    Not 'feeling it' for F1 this year at all. I simply cannot get into the forced spectacle of it all, what with KERS, DRS, daft tyres etc etc. The sport is way too technical, and therefore all you get is dominance by a given team, because it doesn't come down to the drivers' performance on the day. Even with all the added 'spice' of technology it doesn't alter the fact that the guy on pole generally wins the race untroubled. Where's the fun in that? Have a look at qualifying until Vettel sticks it on pole, then go bet the mortgage on him running away with it. Anyone remember 2000-2001? Just like now it was utterly tedious. All credit to the Beeb for maintaining the enthusiasm and excellent coverage tho. Brundle should be knighted and Kravitz made PM!

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi Jake,

    Great qualifying and race show, as ever this weekend and thanks to the WHOLE BBC team for that.

    There are however some comments above, regarding the post race Forum. I agree, it was better in the previous 2 years. I'd like to see Martin back on with you (if he can). He shouldn't be hidden away from the whole forum, just for a few minutes reviewing a couple of VT's. Also, if part of the presenting team have to shoot off for an early flight (DC yesterday), then bring in the also very knowledgeable Ted.

    Thanks to you all and keep improving.


  • Comment number 46.

    Schu, was nursed by his old team mates in years gone by
    usually he was 1sec. faster than them,now he is 1sec. slower. that means he is about 2 secs. off the pace. upon his return. in the current car''''''

  • Comment number 47.

    Hi Jake,

    The coverage has stepped up another gear this year - fantastic stuff from the whole team. What I like about the BBC F1 coverage is that you are constantly trying to make it evolve - new commentary, new blogs etc etc.

    May I suggest three main points of improvement?

    1) There are too few Murray Walker video blogs this year - we had a preview of the Turkish Grand Prix but we now don't hear anything from him until after Valencia! I'm sure most people would agree that Murray's opinion is highly valued.

    2) Is there a way that Martin's post-race analysis on the Forum could be incorporated into the general discussion more? Personally, I don't like the fact he's in a dark, remote location, and I cannot understand why he cannot do it from inside one of the team motorhomes with DC, EJ and yourself. We miss the natural banter of all of you on the post-race forum - somehow this year it feels a little bit more forced and structured like the main programme.

    3) Please can we only have one person doing the grid walk at any one time? I guess most people would prefer to see Martin do it, but when two people try to do it (like you and DC in China this year, or MB and EJ in Abu Dhabi last year) it just ends up awkward and cumbersome between the two contributors. If Martin is not able to do the gridwalk, then just let EJ out on his own - I'm sure he'd be brave enough to do anything without anyone else holding him back!

    Thanks, and bravo!


  • Comment number 48.

    Fantastic as always Jake. Keep it up on all fronts, Blog, TV and Red Button! Watched it in HD for the first time this weekend as well and enjoyed it even more.

    Comments about red button - would like to see Martin back no with you as well!!!
    Yes and agree with Mick above, bring in people if people have to shoot off!

    Keep it up!


  • Comment number 49.

    @Robin Parmenter

    The 2010/11 scoring system is only slightly weighted more towards the winner.

    Previously 10 points for a win, now 25 = 2.5 x original.
    Previously 8 points for second, now 18 = 2.25 x original.

    Last year it was really close with the system. Vettel would be a long way ahead under any system because he's won 3 races and finished 2nd in the other, while a 'closest rival' hasn't yet emerged and they've all been splitting the points.

  • Comment number 50.

    Ask EJ where he gets his shirts from? and report back to me please
    many thanks adam

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi Jake,

    Once again great coverage, big thank you to all the team. I have managed to convince friends that the new tyre's kers and drs, once tweaked are what's giving us such a great start to the season. However, I'm not sure I can say the same for bringing back 1.6 turbos as this will surely take some of the atmosphere away, I.e. noise!
    Please, now that we're back in Europe and the teams have got their motorhomes back can the forum make a return to them as I think it improved the "feel" of this section.

    Cheers guys see u in Spain!

  • Comment number 52.

    Agree with the comments above about the forum. It needs to back to how it used to be with more emphasis on emails and tweets. Why don't you have a phone in as well?

  • Comment number 53.

    Really enjoyed this race, nice job guys. It is a bit sad to hear such a thing from Michael, but I saw it coming, just as many of us... We all know who he is and for us he remains a true racing driver.

  • Comment number 54.

    It would be great to see how the team motorhome and hospitality centres are assembled. A 5-10min segment showing one of the teams truck fleet arriving at the track and assembling their facilities would be very interesting.

  • Comment number 55.

    It's nice to read all the comments and share the views with people who appreciate what we are seeing. F1 belongs on the BBC, no adverts, no bull$hit, just genuine fans who know what that they want to see. Schuey can't cope with people doing to him as he did to them... Grumble and DC are the best pair of commentators ever matched... Ted rocks, as does Lee Mc... EJ will always be outspoken... The forum needs more... It would be nice to see more of how the teams build their paddock space... Bring it on Jake. Top work. ...oh, and Bernie needs a new wig.

  • Comment number 56.

    I'm enjoying the racing a lot this year and your coverage has been superb.

    Is there any more chance of more coverage on Diresta? He's accomplished the dream of making it to F1 finally, and it would be epic to get more face time with him, how he's progressing, the challenges, the circuits etc.

    A task for Eddie maybe?

    For those of us wishing we were doing it, alas just the Elise Trophy for me, it would be hugely insightful to show us exactly what we are missing!

  • Comment number 57.

    Hi Jake,

    Great blog as usual..look forward to reading your comments as much as the race itself!
    Thought the race was exciting..loved all the 'cat and mouse' driving behind Vettel though. Alonso brilliant and good to see him on the podium again. Difficult one for Schumacher, he has been so fantastic and the one to beat for so many years now and you can't blame him for giving it F1 another go..but sad to see him 'failing' and not enjoying it anymore..despite what he decides next season he will always be the best of our generation.

  • Comment number 58.

    Hi guys great coverage as usual, love the red button forum after the race and wish it could go on longer
    PS how many pairs of glasses does Eddie own ?

    Many Thanks petercap88

  • Comment number 59.

    "I was really sad to hear Schumacher say he's no longer enjoying Formula 1"


    Wow jake!!
    - Michael didnt even say that! I think as usual you guys twist every word he says in order to stoke up the flames.

    Michael was simply expalining his mood during that situation of that GP - He wasnt talking about racing in F1 in general.

    And BTW jake...its YOU who says silly things like "hes gambling with his legacy"!

    What a ridiculous thing to say - Schumacher has achieved his results and nothing can take that away from him. Anyone knows that any human at the age of 42 will not emmulate the same form he/she had in his 20s or 30s.

    Also if you think the beeb f1 team is not biased against Michael then please tell DC to wind his neck a bit in when he has his little snipes about Michael. He cant ever seem to say anything about Michael without having a little dig.

    I know you the media need your heroes and vilains...but it really does get pathetic when you all bang on about the same thing all the time - no wonder some of these guys dont want to talk to any of you.

  • Comment number 60.

    Two things:

    1) Thumbs up to the new "Driver of the Race" poll on the website! - It shows the deep understanding, maturity and expertise of the UK public for the sport rarely seen anywhere else in the world..

    2) Re Bernie's interview, I disagree with his views on in-season testing. I think in-season testing should be back.. albeit within limits..


  • Comment number 61.

    Come on guys - really?

    Salvador writes 'The sport is way too technical' - perhaps you would prefer Adrian Newey and Frank Williams to start designing trolley carts based on an old orange crate? F1 is the most technical sport in the world - and long may it continue.

    And as for all the knocking of Seb Vettel and Red Bull, saying its 'not fair' and will make for a 'poor championship' - the simple fact is that this guy has without doubt the best car and pound for pound is probably the best driver out there. So what would be the alternative - should the FIA introduce a handicapping system whereby if a driver moves too far in front of the field he has to complete the next race in a Morris Marina?

    Sit back and watch world class coverage of a world class driver in a world class car, and watch everyone else try and play catch up.

  • Comment number 62.

    This year's racing has so far been fantastic along with the coverage. I would also love to see a segment on how the teams move their kit around and quite what goes behind the logistics of organising a team of people for the weekend.

    I particularly enjoyed Martin's comparison of Webber and Vettel's laps showing clearly where Webber was losing time, and Ted's post race segment as ever.

    My only complaint is regarding the highlights. I was only able to watch half way through the race live and then watched the highlights later to catch up with what I'd missed. It appears that while the programme is an hour long the race is only covered by about 45minutes with the rest being made up by pre-race buildup and post race interviews. This means that alot of the action has to be cut out, especially laps 25 to 50. While this was okay in years gone by where nothing much happened in these laps, with the (excellent) new regulations this is where a lot of the exciting racing and decisions happen. In my opinion because of this the highlights should have minimal extra interviews etc. and extend the time dedicated to the racing itself. Obviously there is a fine balance and for many viewers the only opportunity (due to time restrictions etc.) to see the interviews is in the highlights however to me F1 is about the racing, which unfortunately I felt I missed a lot of in the highlights.

    Anyway, ramble over, looking forward to Spain and the rest of the season!

  • Comment number 63.

    Hi Jake - thanks for another great blog. Just got a few comments that you could pass on if you please!

    Sorry to say that the TV coverage of the actual race was below average this weekend for me. We missed so much action - overtakes, pit stops etc and it didn't seem to get repeated later on either. I'm assuming that the people behind the scenes are stuggling just as much as us, the commentators and even some of the drivers to keep up with what's going on in the race so I sympathise - fingers crossed we don't miss too much in future races!

    I'd quite like it if Vettle didn't qualify on pole, off the first row would be even better, at least a couple of times this year (sorry Seb) as that would make a very interesting race for me. I know it unlikely but a girl can dream hey?!

    And as for DRS - you say they are still tweaking it. Am I right in thinking this still means that every race we won't know whether it going to be 'too powerful or just right' until after the event? Or will they make changes before the race based on findings from the last few races? It would be a real shame if we had quite a few more races like Turkey where, in my opinion, it was just a little too easy to overtake.

    Saying all that I really enjoyed the race as always, especially as I didn't have to get up at silly o'clock for fear of missing anything!

    P.S I wouldn't like to have been Lewis's lollipop man - very brave!

  • Comment number 64.

    Great coverage as usual and the commentary from DC and MB is miles better than the last two years. I agree with others about the forum though, this year's format is not as good as it was before when everyone was together with guests in one of the hospitality areas. That's only a slight criticism though.

  • Comment number 65.

    Love the race coverage Jake but I'm a little disappointed about the forum. Last year I loved the informality of the forum as you took up residence in various team motorhomes and seemed to get more team principals and drivers joining you to comment on their race. It was great watching what was going on behind you too!

    This year you don't seem to be doing this, so far it's been mostly you standing in the pit lane or the paddock area talking to David and EJ with the odd drivers comment from the official press area thrown in. Also you've put Martin in a darkened room with a TV for analysis, why can't he join you guys and do this?

    Sorry about the moan but I really think you've taken a backward step with this. On a more positive note MB and DC's commentary - excellent!!

    See you at Silverstone:)

  • Comment number 66.

    My weekend, was almost perfect.

    First of all I had the pleasure of introducing a sportsbar in Athens, to the delights of screening Qualifying via the red button. Thank you BBC and satellite technology. And, guess what, it turned out that after we had gone, there was a request to show the repeat.

    But my greatest achievement of all was returning to the bar on race day; and, yes they remembered how to bring up the coverage to screen the entire race - because the audience for the schedule football match was - zero.

    Now, for my disappointment. I always record both qualifying and the race, whether I'm sitting on the sofa watching it live or attending, having flown to Australia, Singapore, Spain, Bahrain or Abu Dhabi (yes, I am very lucky). So I'm always unhappy when I return home to discover that my recording failed, yes failed. Unfortunately, with 0.5 broadband download speed, the BBC iPlayer is not an option, so could you find someone who can tell me why, when the BBC schedule F1 for one channel and then change the scheduling at the last moment, can't technology cope?

    Please find a solution for me if there is one, or the next time I stay at the same hotel as you in Australia, I'll tease and torment you and the rest of the broadcast team for the entire race weekend and beyond.

    (Only joking, or am I?)

  • Comment number 67.

    Jake - Please can we go back to how the forum was structured last year. This year you just seem to stand about in the paddock with Martin locked in a VT truck.

    I was hoping once you got back to Europe, with the teams motor homes available, you would revert to taking over a corner and all sitting together to discuss the action. In my opinion that was much better.

  • Comment number 68.

    Hi Jake,

    F1 on the BBC is as always amazing! its just great to be able to pop on good old BBC1 and watch a race from before including all the amazing bits and behind the scenes footage (plus the gridwalk!) to the end without adverts!!

    one thing i would like to see is Martin Brundle having his own start scream a la the great Murray Walkers 'GO GO GO!' but barring that the commentary is first rate as MB and DC are just so knowledgable!

    what i do want to see is you having a race round a circuit against DC and MB, i'm expecting you to lose but i reckon you may put up a good old fight against MB!! please arrange it!!

    all the best

  • Comment number 69.

    Good coverage. But I have to say, tone down the cockey attitude a little Jake!!. THAT is how prevous unnamed commentators have ended up unpopular with viewers! I thought your jibe to Eddie which went something like "that T shirt lasted 10 years, it must be the first quality product Jordan produced" was cockey and exceedingly rude. When you can claim to have done even a 10th of what Eddie has achieved in F1, then you can say it in jest. coming from DC or Martin that would have been a little uncomfortable, but from you? dont go there. Even though it was in jest, it was in very bad taste. Eddie was very gracious in the way he handled it. take a lesson from that Jake, and just remember your the only one in your on screen team that doesnt have first hand experience of racing F1.

  • Comment number 70.

    Thank you for the great coverage again with the race show, although I do have to agree with some of the comments above about the forum. Last year it was an informal and relaxed atmosphere between you guys which I think made for better interviews with the drivers and team principels as well as they can also have a joke. And pleases please get Martin back with the rest of you, we don't get the same banter! Also agree that if someone has to get a plane back early then getting another member of the team in would be fun - seem to remember Anthoney Davidson doing a forum last year and thought he was good. Sorry if this sounds like a moan - it's not. F1 is still the best sports coverage on TV - just want the old forum style back.

  • Comment number 71.

    Jake great coverage again and good to hear the team want to make it better.

    Martin alone in truck is not working, last year when there was a discussion around the monitor it was much more informative.

    Little evidence so far that wandering around the pitlane, instead of being in a team's motorhome, makes it easier to grab people and get those wonderful off-message moments.

    MB & DC double act getting stronger and DC is even getting excited during the race. If DC/MB need to jet off in the Forum please grab Karun and/or Ant as we've already had Eddie's thoughts after the race.

    Let's see more use of Lee and Ted in the Forum slot ferreting out stories, and as others have said Ted's video blog is too short!.

    Please tell the FOM TV director that if two cars are battling switching to moody shots along the pit-straight doesn't cut it!.

    Lastly, you Jake are doing a great job - keeping a light touch with all the chaos around can't be easy - long may it last.

    PS: undercut or undercut confusion? Please remind Martin that switch-back is commonly used for the on-track maneuver.

  • Comment number 72.

    What's happened to The Forum this season? It's a shadow of it's former self. Few driver interviews, Brundle stuck in a truck somewhere with very little to say that we've heard already, no sitting around a table having a nice, relaxed conversation. Everything about the coverage this season is so good, but the Forum is so weak, it's hardly worth watching to be brutally honest while it was always one of my favourite parts of the show.

  • Comment number 73.

    Robin Parmenter wrote:

    Well said in general Jake, but I honestly don't see where the excitement you mention comes from, now that any good driver with the best car (ie Vettel and Red Bull this year) can run away with the title now that "Mr" Ecclestone has changed the points system so much in favour of the drivers winning races.

    I find myself agreeing with the above statement. 4 races in and I'm worried that it's going to become a very boring championship with Vettel having it sown up in a matter of weeks. Not his fault I suppose - he's immensely talented - but I found myself losing interest on Sunday pretty rapidly and that hasn't happened for years.

  • Comment number 74.

    Hi Jake,

    Im new to this 'posting a comment thing' but would just like to say what a fantastic job you and the rest of the F1 coverage team are doing. I have been a fan of F1 ever since I was young but have not missed a race since the beginning of the 2007 season (the time F1 became exciting again thanks to a rookie named Hamilton).

    I have not been disappointed since, the coverage, racing and rule changes have just got better and better making for a sport that is truly exciting and just brilliant to watch.

    I have a query I think would make for a good bit of VT, how fast could an F1 team make there race car if there were no limits on engine, aerodynamics, tires etc?
    I am absolutely fascinated by the idea of this.

    Keep up the good work and I cant wait to see what the spanish GP will bring.

  • Comment number 75.

    Great race, great show slightly spoiled by some over enthusiastic directing from the Turkish (or FOM) TV director who seemed to keep missing the important overtakes at the start of the race.

    Please get Martin out of that truck on the Forum and interacting with you guys, is there any reason he has to be shut in there? And what happened to DC on the forum? (I missed the first few minutes). Agree with the other comments, the last few Forums have been a bit lacking, or were we spoiled by Australia and seeing DC get caked? :D

    Roll on Spain, the upgrades should make it an even closer fight and I expect McLaren to beat Red Bull and to see Nico truly fighting for a podium. Personally I'd love to fast forward to Monaco though, love that race!

  • Comment number 76.

    Hi Jake, I'm still in Istanbul.

    Race was fantastic, family and I sitting in general admission on the exit of turn 8. Have recorded bbc coverage of race to watch when I get home. First Grand prix we have been to, always watch on telly, and so pleased its on BBC1 as there are no adverts. Love Martin and you of course!

    Saw Nick Hamilton racing at Donnington and going to Oulton Park and Croft in the next few weeks. Grassroot motorsport is a fantastic way to introduce young children to the noise and smells of a race weekend. I have two sons aged 8 & 9 who have watched F1 since they were sitting in baby bouncers and love all things racing.

    Keep up the great work all the BBC teams do.....especially crofty and co on the red button for practice 1,2 and 3. Back to good old blighty on Thursday and looking forward to Spain in two weeks (on the box this time unless I've won the lottery).

  • Comment number 77.

    Hi Jake and team,
    Just wanted to say many thanks for yet another brilliant broadcast by all. I do agree that it would be nice to have Martin back in the thick of it as far as the Forum is concerned. By the way, watched my first race in HD WOW !! It was fantastic ! I also enjoy Ted's superb work in the pits and his post race reports - there's really nothing like the BBC for providing such insight. Had a little thought that it may be nice to see how someone starts learning the skills to make it to the pit crew. The pressure those guys are under to get it right every time...where even a moments hesitation could prove the undoing of a great strategy/race must be incredible. Having known someone whose son worked on the wheel gun, it was a real eye opener when she mentioned how hard he had worked to get there. A big thank you once again to everyone and I'm counting the days to the next one !!

  • Comment number 78.

    I had a crazy dream after last nights race... the BBC team actually entered a team into f1.. think about it two drivers (they still did the commentry from the cars!) Eddie Jordam as team boss and from what I remember you was calling the stratagy shots from the pit wall (which wasn't the pit wall but the mobile editing truck)... when asked if it was expensive you said it actually made sense as at the end of the year you would get some cash from bernie to recover the broadcasting costs! I think you would have done better if the pit crew at the stops were not holding cameras and microphones and had the more traditional wheel guns....

  • Comment number 79.

    obviously i meant Jordan not Jordam.... sorry EJ

  • Comment number 80.

    Hi Jake, As usual the main show was brilliant but I'm not enjoying the forum as much.The beauty of the forum in its original concept was that of a chat and wind down after the race, it's lost that this year.

  • Comment number 81.

    Started to watch f1 at beginning of last season, and thought 2010 was awesome. This year however, ive been glued to the screen. The Changes brought in have made it more exciting to watch. Shame that vettel, though he deserves it, has been winning so much, as would like to see battle for championship like last year. Early days yet though.
    bbc coverage is brilliant keep it up guys and girls. The williams front wing video was cool too.
    F1 forum needs to improve, it was a lil disappointing this weekend

  • Comment number 82.

    @JakeHumphrey . . . . . something to ponder . . . . . would it be possible for two drivers, leading the race, to increase their collective lead by staying within 1 second of each other and using the DRS to over take each other every lap?

    Not every car can use the DRS on every lap, but if you stayed close to your team mate, you could use it every lap. This would give you an advantage over the other cars who only get the chance to use it say, 10% of the race.

    Would this be legal and how long before one of the teams tries it?

  • Comment number 83.

    If DRS is helping overtaking too much, surely there could be a system which deactivates the DRS when the chasing drive has got within say 1/10th, or 5/100th's of a second, or when the front of the chasing car is 2 meters behind the front of the defending car (when they are side by side), thus the DRS would help to catch up with it, but not overtake as it would be automatically deactivated before the chasing car actually overtakes.

  • Comment number 84.

    Agree with everyone who has said that the Forum has been a bit disappointing this year. Previously it felt like we were getting something a bit different but now it's like more of the same.

    Love Ted's bits from the pitlane and hope to see more in the future - possible commentator material?

    Totally disagree with EJ's comments about Schumacher harming his legacy. Do people remember Ali now as someone who went on too long or as one of the greatest boxers of all time? Has Steve Davis ruined his legacy by continuing to play snooker despite being decades past his best? I think it's great seeing Schumi in the races, he's certainly created more talking points than any of the other drivers who have been finishing in similar positions.

    I haven't been very keen on Vettel for the past few years but am grudgingly warming to him as a person even though for the sake of the championship I desperately want him to have a blown engine/puncture/sticky wheelnut!

  • Comment number 85.


    Very much enjoying the coverage, before, during and after the weekend. In the week(s) leading up to race weekend I find my leg twitching just like Christian Horners' and after, I'm constantly checking the BBC site for analysis and blogs just like this one.. let alone watching the race back for a second time.

    Being 21, I feel I am of an age of particular interest for the sport as I have grown up with rule changing of recent times only. Looking back on F1 and its role as a kid I've noticed how I'm suddenly much more fascinated with the sport. When I was of ages 8 to say 12/13, around the millenium Button-introduction-period I was hooked. It used to be a focal point of the family weekend until I was at the end school and started college. Maybe I was less focused or maybe I was less interested but I'm now hooked again. Since the start of last year I've been back on the BBC each weekend and loving every minute of it.

    It's no secret I miss Murray Walker and the true Schumacher days but in saying that, it's really not that different to today. Let's face it, I'm sure we all, like me, reminisce the old days. Days when Eddie Jordan had his own team, Coulthard was amongst the running and Walker was on the mic but really, it's not much different now. I love it. The combination of Martin Brundle and DC is great, I love Eddie's clever questioning and Schumacher is back and still a legend. The show's on a whole are like I can remember and you really get a sense of a story being told in every Race. F1 on the BBC is becoming that family show for me again, opening up a common interest and a show my mum can understand - okay, that sounds funny - but if my mum gets it, you're doing something right. The perfect sport show for young and old, non-experienced to experienced. Can't get enough.

  • Comment number 86.

    Spectator decapitation due to too much overtaking?

    There was a time when too much overtaking resulted in spectator deaths.
    When the Hanford device was introduced in 1998 in Indycars to aid overtaking, the oval races resulted in some 200 overtakes at 250mph (400kph) between the leaders.

    This culminated in the US500 of 1998 where eventually spectators were decapitated and the Hanford device was subsequently banned.

  • Comment number 87.

    Great coverage during the race (MB & DC doing a difficult job with all the action) but the forum has been disappointing so far this year for me too. I agree with the many other posts above that the format last year worked so well.

    I'd also add that the gridwalks have been a bit hit and miss with MB appearing a bit preoccupied with getting set up for his commentary. Entirely understandable and I'm sure this will improve as everything settles down. I do love his sparring with the Germans. Maybe we should have the Dambusters theme as he goes into battle with them? Quote of the day for me: "That Kai he's a pain in the microphone!" ;-)

    Another vote for getting more airtime for Ted and Ant. They both add real value to understanding the nuances of technology and the politics in the pitlane.

  • Comment number 88.

    Should DC try to emulate Bill McLaren's unbiased commentary by setting aside past history

  • Comment number 89.

    As I see it, DRS has made overtaking easier, which is fine, but the manner in which it does this is fundamentally boring. There's no more mad dash for the first corner and very few risky overtakes around corners or through chicanes or wherever else because everyone knows they can just keep up until the long straight and then open the rear wing and blitz past. In short, you get more overtaking, but only in one place.

    I think a real positive change would be to say that DRS can only be activated when the driver is *not* on a long straight. Still within a second of the driver in front, but only when they're racing in interesting parts of the circuit. It'll make Monaco a hell of a lot more exciting, for one thing.

    P.S. Don't let Bahrain back into the calendar. It's a boring race and the season's already too long. Bahrain had their date and time for a race, they missed it, deal with it.

  • Comment number 90.

    Great coverage as usual from the Beeb and I think MB & DC are doing an excellent job. DRS and KERS have certainly spiced up the action and made for entertaining races.
    I was not happy about the DRS as it seemed 'artificial' but it does help to make closer racing. Perhaps in 2013 it can be abolished and replaced with turbo boost like years ago.
    I would like to see active suspension return (it has relevance to road cars) and ground effect but maybe that would make the cars too quick again.
    I don't know if this is possible given that FOM provide the video feed, but for all us sim racers it would be great to have at least one full lap from the cockpit, with full telemetry and commentary, be it during the race or in quali, to help us get better lap times in the sim :-)
    Please bring MB out of the cold for the forum, as others have said last year's format for the forum was much better than this year.
    Keep up the good work and if F1 does go pay-per-view then perhaps the beeb will cover the grass roots motorsport more.

  • Comment number 91.

    Ok , Must wholeheartedly agree with the comments on this years forum , Not good , Please go back to the old format .
    Yes this years racing ( so far ) is very exciting , But i do find the DRS/Kers rather false , However its the tyre situation that i find most worrying , I cant help feeling that once the teams get all the info on all the tracks that next year the races will become very very predictable ,I reckon that we may see some very strategic qualifying with teams settling for middle pack placings , And even this season seeing more of what RedBull did in this race = going out doing one banzai lap to conserve tyres, Hope i am wrong .
    ps: great coverage .Lovin your work .x. .

  • Comment number 92.

    Formula 1 has become a Joke, It reminds me of Basketball. One team scores, then the other, then it's the other team's turn again. Where is the reward for overtaking?..You simply become a sitting duck for that person to do the same to you with fresh tyres. Wheel to wheel racing is good, but only if it has an outcome whereby the best driver succeeds. The ease with which Webber re-passed Alonso on Sunday made a mockery of the sport. Anyway, once Vettel wraps up this title by July, who will care about the cars in 5th and 6th having a scrap...SO BORING! Stop hyping it up BBC...Last year was much more exciting.

  • Comment number 93.

    Great Blog Jake! I look forward to them every monday post an F1 race.
    I cannot agree more with the temperaments expressed do far.. the whole BBC team is doing a great job! no wonder viewings have gone up substantially. Well Done to BBC!
    Like others, I too would love to see what goes on at the motor homes and the amount and types of work involved getting from one race track to another. I love DC's coverage last year when he was given exclusive access to the McLaren HQ and spending the race in their strategy room or "Mission control" as they called it. It was brilliant! However, I don't think DC should have done it considering his allegiance to the Red Bull team. Anyway would love to see more of these coverage.
    As for the dominance from Vettel, only time will tell as the championship progresses. A call to all other drivers to take up the fight to Vettel and make it an exciting season! I think 2 drivers come to mind whe it comes to taking up the challenge to Vettel is Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

    Looking forward to Barcelona and to Jake's blog!

  • Comment number 94.

    someone please help ! What was the record used in the closing sequences of the Turkish Grand Prix, not the Black Crows song. There was another, quite slow, sounded a little like Bob Dylan, lovely tune.
    I await someones reply ! thanks

  • Comment number 95.

    First time for me on the blog, so have spent ages reading all the comments, most of which I agree with. BBC doing a fab job again this season. I am a huge Schumi fan and would be gutted if he stopped racing again. He may not be getting any joy from the season, but I am from him being there. I will be in Spain cheering him on. I think we should all cut him some slack. I am also missing Robert Kubica this season, probably one of the best drivers ever. get well soon RK

  • Comment number 96.

    Another great show, shame about the race.

    With the exception of some fine racing between the Mclaren boys it was fake overtaking, even Micheal who although I hate to say it is a legend was made to look stupid.

    As for the dominance of Vettal I think its highly over rated, yes he's fast and seems to post lap times unreachable by all others (60-70% car), his ability during the race hasn't been fairly assessed, to leave the first corner ahead while those behind fight for 4-5 laps doesn't suggest dominance. When tyres degrade so much faster, can anyone really gain there lost time.

    I personally hope for Catalunya we have Webber with all his car working (I can only assume Martin and David missed his KERS not working), a clean start by Vettal (cough* cough* China), maybe then we can see what potential this "dominant" Red Bull has and maybe (fingers crossed) just maybe see what Vettal does when he fights wheel to wheel.

  • Comment number 97.

    Why did Ferrari not receive a penalty for dangerous release. The fact they did not benefit/gain a place has nothing to do with the safety of all those in the pitlane, surely?

  • Comment number 98.

    I cannot argue that all the rule changes this year have added a level of excitement not seen in a long time in F1, but something just does not sit right for me at present and I can't put my finger on it. It may have something to do with the fact that when the tyres have gone, drivers don't even put up minimal resistance and just wave the opposition through. It may be the fact Vettel is walking away with the WDC, even though I view Vettel as one of the most likeable Champions in the Paddock and Newey as the ultimate F1 guru.

    On Sunday I stopped watching with 5 minutes left to perform some meaningless task imposed upon me from above, whereas previously you would not have prised me away from the sofa if the house was on fire. I don't know if it was because I had such a fill of overtaking that you could not fit any more in, or any of the previous reasons. Whatever, I have never done such a thing previously and something just does not sit right with me. Not that this should be a worry to promoters, because I expect this spectacle to bring far more into the catchment than my late reluctance.

  • Comment number 99.

    #9 - re your suggestion about Grand Prixs early and late in season I think the problem would be the crowds at the Grand Prix - bit miserable for them in the rain and cold watching cars crawl round track; also increases risk of race being called off altogether due to bad weather & noone really wants every grand prix to be in rain and cold - its about speed at the end of the day.

    As regards your suggestion of reversing the grid for the start - I think you only have ot watch the Ronnie Peterson crash that got so much reviewing on You Tube thanks to oit being Rubens choice but the BBC cut it out of the highlights to see the dangers of the whole grid squeezing up at the start - this is what would happen down to the first corner if fast cars were at the back behind the slower cars - it would be a nightmare from a safety point of view.

  • Comment number 100.

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


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