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My Monaco Grand Prix preview

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Murray Walker | 14:10 UK time, Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Monaco is the greatest event on the Formula 1 calendar - truly the jewel in F1's crown. I always say to my friends if there is one race they should go to, it is this one. What qualities does a driver need to win at Monaco? Does Lewis Hamilton have any chance of repeating his victory last year? Which Brawn driver is favourite to win? All these questions and more will be resolved on Sunday. I can't wait.

Unfortunately, some other business commitments mean I will not be able to do my usual review of the race after Monaco. But the new BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard will be taking my place - so keep an eye out for his thoughts early next week.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Murray,
    I hope the FIA will never get rid of Monaco. It's bad enough that the Canadian GP is no longer with us. The street circuits are much more exciting. I find these modern circuits are boring. Singapore was OK.

  • Comment number 2.

    Well I agree that I don't think that Lewis will win the Monaco grand prix this year, but I do think he maybe has his best chance of a podium finish. The twisting streets of Monaco mean that the problems with Lewis' McLaren and downforce are not going to be as great, and with Lewis' skills I think maybe there is his best finish so far this season. Lets just hope Mclaren get the qualifying strategy right and allow him to get a good grid position.

  • Comment number 3.

    Why is the preview on the Red Button longer than the one on the website?

  • Comment number 4.

    I can't see LH getting to the podium this weekend simply because there are two Brawn cars, two Red Bull cars and the improving Ferrari of Kimi & Massa.

    Before practice I see a Brawn 1-2 with Vettal in third. I think that Jenson will win.

    Can't wait!!!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    I hope the teams start to catch up soon and someone gives Brawn some competition - the last two years have been very close ding dong battles and now it is becoming a one horse race. Barcelona was a very boring race and unless it rains every Grand Prix the rest of the season will be very boring if the other teams don't get their cars up to scratch. If they do it could be a classic season as there could be 5 teams with equal cars.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm seriously looking forward to Sundays race, hopefully it will be a decent race. I could see a team winning it that hasn't won yet this year (well its only been Brawn & Red Bull so its an easy-ish prediction...) A Ferarri, Toyota, Renault or McLaren will hopefully win the race this year for me.

    I am a LH fan but i could see someone like Alonso, Truilli or Massa winning Monaco this year.

    Imagine another race like 1996, someone like Sebastian Bourdais winning it from the back end of the grid :D - that's the dream.

    Oh and is there any chance of Canada ever returning Murray?


  • Comment number 7.

    to comment #1 they will never get rid of monaco, they get to much money from it, and publicuty from having it there, its a big think, canada sadly is a track that cannot afford to say on the calendar and other eastern gps re there prepared to pay more for that position

  • Comment number 8.

    Webber for me he needs some luck and its about time he gets his first win. At Monaco he is outstanding remember in 06' until retiring he was right up there in the Williams? and last year he got 4th i think.

  • Comment number 9.

    How come at Monaco they have Thursday practice rather than Friday?

  • Comment number 10.

    The street circuits are much more exciting. I find these modern circuits are boring. Singapore was OK.

    Singapore was dull. Valencia was like watching paint dry. Monaco, for all its history and glamour, is never going to give you proper racing, just a beautiful procession.

    You prefer those "exciting" street circuits to "boring" modern tracks like Sepang, Shanghai, Sakhir and Istanbul? Really? I think you're on your own.

    Vettel to win.

  • Comment number 11.

    i have a strong felling that hamilton could win on sunday i dont know why but i feel the mclaren will do well at monaco

    if not though, vettel should

  • Comment number 12.

    Ithink Alonso will win

  • Comment number 13.

    3. At 8:54pm on 19 May 2009, D_M_N_ wrote:

    Why is the preview on the Red Button longer than the one on the website?

    It isn't? Unless you mean the bit by Jake Humphrey afterwards? That video is elsewhere on the site...obviously because its nothing to do with Murray.

  • Comment number 14.

    Who's got the nerve to stick £50 on Sutil doing a Panis this year!

    Hmmmmm tempting....

    Jenson or Rubens for the win.

  • Comment number 15.

    I do like the Monaco GP a huge amount, it was a life long desire to go to Monaco to watch the GP live - well I did two years ago and found it very dissapointing as I did not spend enough of my savings to get a ticket that was worth anything. I only spent somewhere around £1000-00 per ticket (including accomodation and getting there) My ticket was at the Cafe Paris and included lunch, this was all good and I really enjoyed being there, however we could not see the cars on the track, the armco was too high, all I caught was a glimpse of the rear wing and could not even tell what colour it was...there was a big screen to watch but I guess we can do this anywhere, except the USA where watching a GP appears to be just about impossible. So if there is a good way of going to watch the greatest GP (Murrary's Choice) please let me know.

  • Comment number 16.

    Shame we can't get your thoughts after the race though.

    From the best F1 commentator to the worst. Tell Jonathan not to bother - I won't be watching his thoughts afterwards.

  • Comment number 17.

    In reply to mtg035 I've been to Monaco twice, like you the first time 1998 with a package that included a meal in restaurants at the end of the escape road coming from the tunnel. The restaurants faced the harbour where the rich lounged about on their yachts "yes I was jealous". Like you I couldn't tell the colours of the cars. The most expensive day out I've ever had. The second time 2005 my wife organised it as a surprise weekend. We were in the stand opposite the swimming pool,fantastic view as the cars came around the chicane " I wished my wife had oganised the first one although she wouldn't tell me how much she paid". Like St Murray says this is T-H-E track to watch formula 1 if only for the atmosphere.

  • Comment number 18.

    Monaco can be very unpredictable...
    so I'm going for Button/Barricello/Vettel.
    I hope Kovalainen has parked his yacht in the bay nearby for the race, so he can have a good view of it when he crashes out on the first lap...

  • Comment number 19.


    come back to our screens and please use the mic with martin


    Thank you

  • Comment number 20.

    Murray: I hope you can help. When you are next not at the live F1 event can you compare the BBC1 Standard Definition picture quality which I perceive as very poor) with what Eurosport offer on their High Definition channel by up-scaling the F1 cameras for their GP2 coverage.

    I have exhausted all methods of raising this with the BBC. My observation is that BBC1 SD can not provide good quality SD picture when they are using the Red Button top provide additional live channel coverage, even if this is delayed coverage. The BBC responded by telling me to contact Sky as it is their responsibility, but they did not reply when I told them the problem was the same on Sky HD, Freeview and Freesat boxes.

    Sorry for using your blog! Thanks for your insights.

  • Comment number 21.

    Oh please Murray do the review.
    I wont listen to Legard, he's annoying

  • Comment number 22.


    I know you will have been asked this countless times but please will you consider commentating for the last race at Silverstone? We know you still have it in you after your one-offs in recent years. You and Martin back together would be absolute magic for the last British GP at Silverstone and would be the send-off the track deserves.

    Imagine if Jenson wins - how special would that be?! Jenson winning at home with Murray Walker commentating! FANTASTIC!

  • Comment number 23.

    I agree with other posts on here - it would be magical to have you Murray commentating for Silverstone........

  • Comment number 24.

    Murray will you commentate at Silverstone to celebrate 50 years of broadcasting?


    In your mind has Jenson already won the World Championship?

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Murray

    Prior to this season Jenson Button was a bit like the Tim Henman of F1 - nice guy, loads of potential, but never quite stepped it up when it counted. How much of his success this year is down to his car and how much is down to him, or is it the combination of the two? Is the Brawn far enough ahead of the rest that any of the other drivers would have had as good a start to the season if they were in it?

    Enjoying your blogs and the BBC coverage in general!



  • Comment number 26.

    Dear Murray,
    will you be answering the questions or Legard?
    ...and what really were your "business" commitments in Monaco,eh?

    that was my question.

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi Murray,
    Hope you are well, i have missed you and your reviews.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

  • Comment number 28.

    No one was really interested in the race BUT AL EYES WERE ON BRIATORIES BOAT were the F1 championship may have been made FOTAF1 and F3 acting as F1

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi Murray,

    Missing your blogs. :(

    My question is how do you think the whole General Motors issue will effect motorsports? In F1, it may affect McLaren, Brawn and Force India due to Mercedes being owned by GM. It could also affect Chevrolet in the WTCC, Mercedes-Benz in DTM and half of the field in the V8 Supercars (namingly Holden). Thats just to name a few major championships and also without considering the shipping of teams and equipment (i.e. Mercedes and Scania trucks).

    The Virtual Stig

  • Comment number 30.

    Hi, I am the editor who film's Murray's video blog, and have logged in to let you know it's time to send your questions in following the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul.

    Who can stop Jenson Button after the Brawn GP star made it six wins in seven races so far this year? Can the British driver challenge F1 legend Michael Schumacher's 2004 record of 13 wins in a season?

    Murray is waiting for your questions on these and any other F1 subject.

  • Comment number 31.

    Surely if the medal points system had been introduced in your opinion would button be world champion

  • Comment number 32.

    Murray, is their performance in 2009 reflective of the outside issues McLaren have been addressing for the past 18 months [Ferrari-gate, Ron leaving, FIA fine, etc]?

  • Comment number 33.

    HI Murray

    The on track racing this year has been great but there is a feeling that the off track politics are going to ruin it,
    Having heard the rumors early today about the remaining FOTA members pulling out of todays race, What chance if no agrements are reached before silverstone is there of a boycott of the British GP by FOTA members, I surley hope not as i am looking forward to attending in 2 weeks and enjoying some great racing and another british win.

  • Comment number 34.

    A quick note on virtualstig's last comment. Mercedes and Scania are not owned by GM. Mercedes also separated from Chrysler a while ago.

  • Comment number 35.

    Hi Murray,

    With lots of new entries for the 2010 season being lodged, are you concerned about some of the names being attached to some of these proposed teams? Whilst Aston Martin being a possiblity for Prodrive is fine, as a fan of the Lotus marque I worry about the potential use of their name, even with Mike Gascoigne and Johnny Herbert on board. I can't help feeling that this is a political tool to answer Ferrari's criticism about the entries' lack of history and prestige.



  • Comment number 36.

    Hi Murray, loving the blogs. I was pleased you pointed out that Brawn will have a difficult time from now on due to lack of sponsorship and hence money to develop the car, few people have picked up on this. My question:

    Rosberg's fifth place was a good result for Williams this season. Can Williams become a championship winning team again or will they slowly decline like other great teams have done, such as Lotus, Brabham and Tyrrell?

    Cheers, Colin.

  • Comment number 37.

    Hi Murray
    Do you feel F1 would be better without Max Mosley and even Bernie Ecclestone?

  • Comment number 38.

    Hi Murray

    Out of the current crop of drivers, who would you have driving for Team Murray and why?

  • Comment number 39.

    Hello Murray,

    Just thought i'd ask if you will be making any guest appearances in silverstone?
    It was your exciting commentating that sparked my interest in f1 and it hasn't been the same since you left.
    Would love to meet you.

    Best wishes


  • Comment number 40.

    Hi Murray,

    Would you consider doing a one-off commentary for the BBC for a particular race, such as Silverstone or Monza or Belgium?

    It would be great to hear you behind the mic again!


  • Comment number 41.

    Do you think it's right for new teams to effectively buy themselves the prestigious names of former F1 teams like Brabham and Lotus?

  • Comment number 42.

    Mclaren and Lewis appear resigned to driving at the back of the grid this year if the post Turkish G.P comments are to be believed.

    I just feel the whole attitude of the team and Lewis in public is rather defeatist. Do you think things would have been different if Ron Dennis was still at the helm?

    Mark Jones

  • Comment number 43.

    Please Murray, Just please do commentary for the Silverstone Race.
    So the kids know what the best sounds like.

  • Comment number 44.

    Dear Murray,

    My question is that do you think the new overtaking-friendly rules for 2009 are working?

    Best wishes,

    Gianni Fasulo

    Also, I would like to add my name to the list who would love to hear you commentating again at Silverstone this year. There is even an online petition if anyone would like to sign it.

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi Murray,

    Hope you had a good week away from the video blog.

    My question this week is this: After this weekends race, is it now time for Barrichello to start playing second favourite to Jenson in the Brawn team?


  • Comment number 46.

    Hi Murray!

    My question is, what do you reckon the chances are of new manufacturer teams entering under the new regulations? After all, it's hardly like the budget cap only allows in independent teams!

    If you answer my question, thank you very much!

  • Comment number 47.


    the pressure is certainly building up as the clock ticks down to the British Grand Prix. Can you feel it?
    Pressure not on Jenson or Rubens. Not on Kimi or Lewis. The pressure is on you!
    There is such a ground swell of people who want to hear your voice, thoughts and comments during the race.
    I and many friends want to hear you do whole races again. Even if we could only have you at the start or for ten minutes during the race or for the last few laps, we would be partially satisfied.
    I read, with great sadness, that an article in the Daily Mail had an impact on your decision to hang up the microphone. One person's view, skewed to make an article more likely to find favour with a sub editor. This versus the millions who have listened in many English speaking countries around the world.
    Come on Murray - get back on and let's hear you GO! GO! GO!
    Paul Clark, Kent

  • Comment number 48.


    Monaco has been & gone for this year but I still have a question about the circuit. As the cars exit Casino Square it is easy to see that there is a large bump to the left of the road, from the drivers perspective, which they very rapidly swing around to avoid. It seems that in the early 1990's the Active Suspension cars often drove straight over this bump taking no avoidance of it as they do now. Nigel Mansell in 1992 is a good example though I have seen may others do the same in the early 1990's. Is this because the active suspension systems, legally in use till the end of the 1993 season, enabled them to do this without problems for car or driver? My very limited understanding of the AS system was that instead of the "passive" cars having big shock-absorbing springs which are compressed as the car goes over a bump, the AS sensors detect the bump and somehow lift the chassis over the obstruction. Is this primitive explanation anywhere near reality? Do you know of an explanation of how the system works available in any form of media? Also it boggles my little mind how this AS could sense and perform its task in such small time-frames whilst the car is moving at such speeds. The bump at the Casino Square exit must be at 100mph + and accelerating.

    As a final point I think it is a lovely irony that the FIA has, as it always does, introduced the 2009 regulations to encourage closer racing and in so doing, attempt to prevent the one-team dominance that Williams, Ferrari & Mclaren have all enjoyed at various times during the recent decades of F1. The result is one of the most dominant driver-car combinations I can remember. Of course the difference is that Jenson Button was all but forgotten a year ago and the Braun car was seemingly built overnight (apart from the odd decade of F1 evolution, that is). I don't know how much JB is being paid this year, but wherever he is next year I think he will be in for a monumental pay-rise. He should now be viewed as equal competition to any of the World Champions still in F1. Lewis Hamilton was nowhere near doing what Button has achieved. Indeed I believe Massa won more races than Lewis in 2008. 2008 may prove to be more exciting in competitive terms, ie the final race in Brazil was better that any script, but 2009 has shown the real capability of Button and probably only those few insiders close to him and his family knew what he could do. But, I think that even those closest to him must have had doubts that anything even approaching what has come to pass would have been possible. Only his removal from the season via a catastrophe can prevent his becoming World Champion. I think he may finish this season with many single-season records to his name. He just seems so string in every department. Qualifying and race. I think DC said today that he was Schumacher-esque. I agree. The way he can produce lap times that are consistent for extended periods. Clearly the car and its reliability are key, but the two are a dream of a package, if a bit unexpected.........

    Anyway this blog has turned into a book so I'm off.

    Murray. It's great to see that you are still involved in the broadcasting side of F1 and back on the BBC to boot.

    Best regards......

  • Comment number 49.

    hey Murray
    Since we've been to a fairly new track in turkey do you think F1 needs to keep a balance between the new tracks e.g. Bahrain, Abu Dhabi etc. and the classic tracks e.g. Suzuka Spa etc. or should F1 be old or new exclusive


  • Comment number 50.

    Do you think there has been too much change in F1. Would you like to see the car design regulations kept the same even if a cost cap comes in next year. I fear the championship is less exciting this year as it seems Brawn have all but won both titles already.

  • Comment number 51.

    Ive just noticed looking at the ranking after the race that there is no no.13 car that presumably should be Mark Webbers car after last season. Is this just the old unlucky number phenomenon or is there another explanation for it?

  • Comment number 52.

    Just a cheeky second post as I forgot in my post, would just like to add my name to those supporting what would be no doubt a magical final commentary from you Murray if you have the opportunity to do it!

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi Murray,

    Looking forward to another great blog!

    A couple of questions:

    Of the known newly entered teams for 2010, which do you think could make the biggest impact? (Prodrive, USF1 etc)

    Could Brawn continue this domination into next year?
    Do you think this is Barichello's last season in F1?
    Would it be right for Jenson go down as one of the 'greats' in F1 history?
    How much longer will it be before Brawn starts favouring Button in races?
    Do you think that Hamilton will move teams at the end of the season?

    And finally, hope you enjoyed your cruise, but a final question - Given the choice, would you prefer to captain that cruise ship or drive the Brawn car?!

    Many thanks!

  • Comment number 54.

    Dear Murray,

    Will you be commentating at Silverstone?

    short and sweet...

  • Comment number 55.

    hello murray good to have you back! just one question, are team orders allowed? i thought they weren't, if this is the case surely red bull were using them to tell vettel to not try to pass webber. no one can really believe that webber was faster! what's going on.

  • Comment number 56.


  • Comment number 57.

    Hi Murray,
    How much difference in down force is there between the front cars(Brawn) and the rears cars(MacLaren)?
    We know that MacLaren and other teams have been stuggling with it this year, but i would like you to find out how much down load is required for a F1 car to be able to stay on the track and a comparison would be advantageous.
    Thanks Paul
    p.s. I still want a back pass for Silverstone- any chance you could swing it for me?

  • Comment number 58.

    Dear Murray,
    It's been touted that adding an extra point for pole and fastest lap can add a new dimension to the scoring system.
    However, under current rules, what's to stop "mediocre" car reaching Q3 to then only put a lap or two's worth of petrol to achieve pole position?
    Further to this, a mediocre car could do a "splash and dash" during a race where it is certain not to get into the top 8 for any points, yet still be able to put a point on the board with a flying lap or two.
    I might be wrong on this and I would like further comment, but as far as I can see, these new rules could lead to misinterpretation, manipulation and corruption within "lesser" teams.

  • Comment number 59.

    REF 38

    Great question Nadaliator!

  • Comment number 60.

    I would like to thank Malcyf1 for pointing out that Mercedes and Scania have left GM. I thought it was strange that Mercedes engines being under threat wasn't mentioned anywhere - that's because I'm incorrect, which is good news for McLaren, Brawn and Force India. Looks like the Virtual Stig's software needs to be updated again. :)

    Anyhow Murray, even though the GM issue doesn't affect the F1 cars directly my amended question for you is; how do you feel it will affect other motorsports and possibility transportation of all motorsports?
    The Virtual Stig

  • Comment number 61.

    I have no doubt that Mr Walker is a fine man but for years we had to tolerate not only the banality but also the complete lack of any technical knowledge of Mr Walker's comments and commentaries. Why has he been renamed Lasarus?


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