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Your questions answered - part 17

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Murray Walker | 12:32 UK time, Thursday, 22 April 2010

Welcome to the second Q&A of 2010. I went to the The Museum of Army Flying in Middle Wallop to answer a selection of your excellent questions.

In the last two races we've seen Sebastian Vettel win in Malaysia and Jenson Button pip McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton to a memorable win in China and if you watch the video you'll get my thoughts on some of the issues emerging from the these grands prix.

IWhy is McLaren's F-duct top-speed-reducing system legal? What do I think of the ruthlessness shown by Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in China? Is Mercedes's Nico Rosberg a genuine title contender? Will the dry races this season be more like the procession Bahrain? How will the driver relationships in the top four teams play out for the rest of the season? Would 25 races in a year be too many?

Click on the video below to see some of the impressive machines on display in Hampshire while checking out my answers.

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  • Comment number 1.

    I can't watch videos at work. Could the BBC provide a text version of these?

  • Comment number 2.

    Tut tut, you should be working at work tj!

  • Comment number 3.

    Just a minor point on the McLaren 'F-Duct' diagram. It's the number 1 car, yet it's Hamilton in the car.

  • Comment number 4.

    Like #1, I could not easily view the video because I read F1 Blogs in my email client via the RSS feed. A Blog should really be mainly text with the odd bit of embedded media rather than the other way around! Perhaps someone could provide a transcript and add it to the blog below the embedded content?

  • Comment number 5.

    Jimsthename, Yer I know I should be working but I can have the blog on on screen on work from the other so it's all good! :)

  • Comment number 6.

    Can i echo points 1 & 4 please a text version would be most welcome!!!

  • Comment number 7.

    I too share the pain of being unable to watch the video but would like to know the thoughts of MW.

    Text version please BBC!

  • Comment number 8.

    On the issue of 25 races I think Bernie is just being clever... Scare the teams with 25 races and it becomes easier to give up a couple of 'new' races and settle for 22 or so races per season, start from 19 and try and increase it and it becomes much more difficult.

    As for dropping races I doubt many fans would cry over Valencia falling off the calendar... just a shame some muppet went and signed a deal for it to host races for the next 7 years or whatever. Turkey is another one I could see sliding away without too many tears shed (even thou its a track I like and one of the races I would love to get to).

  • Comment number 9.

    Please either text transcription or Subtitles...

  • Comment number 10.

    Murray you are the voice of good reasoning and wisdom in formula one! Keep it up!

  • Comment number 11.

    I dont agree with you on the 25 races in a season, the more the better as far as im concerned.

  • Comment number 12.

    I have a slow Internet connection (1Mb), thanks to BT, so a text only version would be much better for me and others with the same issue otherwise it looks like Murray has developed a severe stutter

  • Comment number 13.

    Hello all,

    As some of you may know, I edit the F1 blogs, including Murray's, so I thought I would come on in response to some of the issues here that do not directly concern him.

    A number of you are saying you are having trouble watching the video. This concerns us because it could potentially mean we have some technical problems, so it would be great if you could explain why this is the case. Obviously, if it is because you are at work and can't be seen to watch it, we will not be able to help.

    As regards the wider requests for a text version, we feel that Murray is at his best in video format. This is how he became so loved across the nation and where his character can best come across, and as a result we have no plans to offer these entries in text.


  • Comment number 14.

    Thank you for answering my question Murray. I'm inclined to agree with you about Rosberg's championship chances-possible but unlikely.

    I also agree that 25 races is too many. Nascar has 36 plus 2 non-championship events, but that's all based in one country. Having just 13 less races that on a world scale just wouldn't work. Any hitch in the logistics of getting cars and people from one race to another (as we've seen this week) could mess up the schedule completely. Mechanics and drivers could end up with burnout, and to expect the public to tune in on TV on 25 sundays, competing with every other sport that's on is just not possible. It will never happen, we'll just see 20 events spread out more evenly across the world, rather than being european based.

  • Comment number 15.

    A blog with no text?
    Being an expat I don't live in the UK anymore so it seems I'm not allowed to watch it. Seeing as the BBC website does carry advertising, I feel it would be fair to allow their avid users to watch most content. Oh well.

  • Comment number 16.

    To mac_knife,

    just because you are outside the UK does not mean you cannot see Murray's video blogs. There is a link below the embedded video clearly labelled: IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE THE UK, CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO. Click that, and you will be able to watch a version that satisfies our contract with FOM.

  • Comment number 17.

    OK, agree, to some extent to your reasoning á la Murray coming across better on Video... However how about some subtitling for those hard of hearing/those with no sound card...

  • Comment number 18.

    14. At 12:59pm on 23 Apr 2010, CNW0429 wrote: 'I also agree that 25 races is too many.'

    How many do you think would be to many? I agree 25 does seem a hell of a lot to expect to be able to work, exhaustion and the like would make things very difficult for the teams, either that or costs would rocket.

    Personally I think 20-22 would be about the maximum possible, which is what I think Bernie is looking to negotiate for.

  • Comment number 19.

    Yawn... The BBC trying to push a minority sport is a joke, my licence fee going on rubbish like this.

    I am off to watch the local bypass, more exciting than F1.

  • Comment number 20.

    Wise answers to good questions as always Murray, its great to see you down in the South of England, maybe next time visit Bovington Tank Museum if you haven't already?
    With regards to the 25 race per season possibility, I am torn. On one hand, I love F1 and the more opportunities I get to watch these cars the better! On the other hand, it would be a extra burden on already stretched teams to fly all over the globe quicker and quicker for such an extended amount of time. 25 races may be too many, but I think 20-22 would be acceptable and it would give the chance for people in the areas you listed (Africa, Russia etc) the chance to see F1 up close.

  • Comment number 21.

    I agree that Murray is best to have in sound but if you can not watch the video for whatever should that mean we have to miss out on Murray's opinion? I guess so. Also what if you are deaf, the BBC doesn't think they should have access to Murray's opinions aswell? Come on BBC all we want is a text version!

  • Comment number 22.

    Some of us cant watch it as we are outside the UK but we are still interested to read what the great man thinks even if we are not allowed to hear. Why is it we are not allowed to listen to an interview when we can listen to managers after a football game?

  • Comment number 23.

    ok yes i can see it by selecting the outside uk option, still think it would be good to get a feel in text form though

  • Comment number 24.

    Oops I'm sorry, I missed that, fool that I am. Good to watch.
    On the relationships between drivers, although Button and Hamilton may get on with each other, I feel that ultimately it might cost both of them the title. I just think that they will take points off each other, which will allow another driver to steal Button's crown. The team however are very likely to win the construtors championship.

  • Comment number 25.

    One disagreement. F1 is supposed to be the most technological innovative sport in the world so things like the F-duct should be allowed like the double-diffuser.

  • Comment number 26.

    I spend a couple of months each year in Britain and my family pays the BBC license fee. The rest of the year I'm abroad and therefore can't watch clips like this. And I can't even read a transcript because of some idiotic belief that the interviewee is 'at his best in video format'.

    Please. Why not just say that your department doesn't have the time or internal funding to provide transcripts?

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm sorry Murray, but during your Q&A before the start of the season, you wrote off Rosberg completely and said schumacher was a real contender, now you are saying you believed in him all along? Its not gonna fly im afraid...

    Rosberg is doing what Hamilton did in his first season, keep getting on the podium every week and getting solid points, even if he doesnt win a race he can still come away with this champoinship if he keeps hitting the podium

  • Comment number 28.

    "18. At 3:00pm on 23 Apr 2010, cordas wrote:
    14. At 12:59pm on 23 Apr 2010, CNW0429 wrote: 'I also agree that 25 races is too many.'

    How many do you think would be to many? I agree 25 does seem a hell of a lot to expect to be able to work, exhaustion and the like would make things very difficult for the teams, either that or costs would rocket.

    Personally I think 20-22 would be about the maximum possible, which is what I think Bernie is looking to negotiate for."

    I think 20 races has to be the upper limit. Running some races in alternate years would be the best policy to increase the number of host nations. Those with the poorest attendances should definitely be run every other year; they don't make the sport look good, and it doesn't benefit fans in countries with a greater F1 interest. If China and Turkey weren't bankrolled by their governments the promoters would have stopped trying by now. That's probably why both venues held MotoGP races (not sustained by the governments) and now don't. Nobody was interested in watching it.

    Bernie really isn't entirely to blame here. He's under pressure from CVC to take F1 to wherever they get the best return for the money they paid for the F1 commercial rights. He is basically their negotiator. The cost of holding a Grand Prix has rocketed since governments started paying the fees. Races which aren't lucky enough to have such backing find it harder to pay the fees to secure a spot and still make their race sustainable, which is essentially why Imola and Magny Cours dropped off the calendar and Hockenheim and Nurburgring share the German races. If any more classic events go, F1 is in danger of losing some of it's charm, character, and connection to it's history.

  • Comment number 29.

    Good video murray

  • Comment number 30.

    at "Kenny_Kenny_sit_on_the_ball"

    don't pretend you have watched a race and made up your mind that "it is boring". You probably have never seen a race, your just jumping on the band wagon of narrow minded people who can't see two inch in front of their faces. Stop reading the "red top" papers and grow a brain.

  • Comment number 31.

    I like the idea of running some races every couple of years, although the tracks might not like that quite as much.

  • Comment number 32.

    For me Murray IS Mr F1 and always will be. I grew up with him and F1 and for me he will never be beaten. Good video as usual, but in a time when the BBC and F1 are being beaten with the "green club", why on earth did it have to be filmed at Middle Wallop?? A studio at the beeb or Murray's home I could understand, but why travel with all the gear to do it??

  • Comment number 33.

    Thanks for another great video Murray. Always nice to hear your thoughts on the big topics in F1.

    I do have to say I think Bernie's idea of 25 races in a season is far too many races. I have followed F1 since 1995 and I do think 18-20 races is plenty. As much as I love F1 I do think 25 races could damage the sport, especially if the races are as boring as Bahrain was. I do think they need to consider races such as Barcelona, Hungary, Turkey (although I like the track) and Valencia and bring circuits like Estoril, Kylami, Argentina back where you can actually overtake.

    I think the last 3 races have been fantastic to watch and the season has been unpredictable at present, like the pole man hasn't won this season and the wet races make the racing really exciting. Lets hope for some rare excitement in Spain, where nothing ever happens. Would be great to see Schumi shut those critics up.

  • Comment number 34.

    Murray, what do you think of the idea of using qualifying just to check that all entrants can match 107% of the front-runners' pace, then set grid positions with a lottery. That would ensure more racing and more overtaking.

  • Comment number 35.

    19. At 3:09pm on 23 Apr 2010, Kenny_Kenny_sit_on_the_ball wrote:
    Yawn... The BBC trying to push a minority sport is a joke, my licence fee going on rubbish like this.

    I am off to watch the local bypass, more exciting than F1.


    I'm sorry, what? A minority sport? More money is spent on this 'minority sport' than any other over the course of a season, even Real Madrids £250 million is paltry in comparison to the £2.1 billion turnover of F1 in 2007 so yeah, shut your trap. And just for your measure of 'exciting' there have been over 35 overtakes by Hamilton in four races, crashes left right and centre and three 1-2s. So I guess you are a football enthusiast, so am I, but to say that F1 is a minor sport and that watching a bypass is more exciting is just moronic. Great blog by Murray though and I think 25 would be slightly too many although I don't like this 3 week wait until Spain.

  • Comment number 36.

    at "Kenny_Kenny_sit_on_the_ball"

    if F1 is such a 'minority sport' (oh yeah!) and boring and a waste of your licence fee, what are you even doing looking at murrays' Q & A??

  • Comment number 37.

    I agree with Murray about 25 races being too many and also with the other poster who rightly pointed out potential problems both with the logistics of moving the teams about every week and burning out the crews. I think the 2nd point is by far the most important, F1 currently prides itself on being the fastest and most intense motorsport but also one with an excellent safety record. Let's not see that slide backwards with overworked teams!

  • Comment number 38.

    The only question I want answered is when is Mr Walker going to come back!!! Miss that voice so much. He could be sat at home commentating on the race whilst watching it on his own TV, and I'd still want to hear him!!
    God bless you Murray.

  • Comment number 39.

    "I can't watch videos at work. Could the BBC provide a text version of these?"

    I fully agree with this. It seems that lots of the BBC site is 'just video'. It is good to actually read the subject.


  • Comment number 40.

    Today is 1st May... 1st May 1994 Senna has died, a black day for F1... still remember some Murray's words... sorry for using this space for that, but I really would like to say how great was Ayrton.

  • Comment number 41.

    Hi all,

    I am the editor of the BBC F1 blogs.

    We are filming with Murray Walker on Monday for his next video blogs, so if you have any questions for him about Monaco or F1 in general, then please post them here. We will pick the best and put them to him.


  • Comment number 42.

    Hi Murray,

    How likely do you think it will be that Red Bull will dominate the rest of the season?


  • Comment number 43.

    Hi Murray

    Why does the safety car carry a pasenger?



  • Comment number 44.

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

  • Comment number 45.

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

  • Comment number 46.

    Who cares why there is a passenger in the Safety Car.


    Why ask?

  • Comment number 47.

    Before today's race DC commented to the effect that the new points system has added to how close and exciting things are.

    I just did some sums that suggest he was wrong.

    At the start of today's race under the new points system, if the championship leader failed to finish the driver in championship sixth place could win the race and take the championship lead with a bit of a margin to spare.

    If we'd had points allocated by the previous system, exactly the same would have applied.
    So how is the new system better?
    Well the only other difference at the top of the table is that Alonso would have led the championship into Monaco, instead of Button, despite ~Button having had two wins to Alonso's one.
    Is this the sort of thing Bernie Wanted?
    Stuart, Nottingham UK

  • Comment number 48.

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

  • Comment number 49.

    Hi Murray!

    Do you think after a few races that the ban on refuelling was a good decision or not? And also would you like to see a return of KERS next year?

    Also is there any chance we might hear you commentating again maybe just for a one off special at the British GP or something? I'm sure we'd all love it!


  • Comment number 50.

    Hi Murray!

    What's your take on the Schumacher-Alonso incident at the end of the Monaco Grand Prix?

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi Murray!

    In your opinion, which of the relatively new drivers could you see as a future world champion?


  • Comment number 52.

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

  • Comment number 53.

    Once again no rain no race, it has been like this now for several years.
    I can remember when I would not miss a race but now I look to see what the weather is doing and if it does not look like rain I just look at the start, tracks seem to be designed to cause mayhem on the first corner (no safty concern here). It also now seems that the only reason that we have tyre changes is to see if someone makes a mistake to ensure that their is some over taking.

    Why not make qualifying more of a challenge with each driver having to do 5 laps with no one else on the track and only official time keepers knowing the recorded times. Then the fastest lap out of the five determening grid position, this would bring all area's of skill into play from the driver to the team. (If the weather changes during this period then start again).

    Someone needs to make more interesting, it should not be allowed to be left to fate.

    Just some thoughts from a first time contributor.


  • Comment number 54.

    Hello Murray

    Do you think Red Bull have overcome the reliability issues that they have had and will run away with the championship?

    JohnGPRO, UK

  • Comment number 55.

    What do you think is going wrong still at Williams? They have a great history in the sport but its been years since they were one of the teams to beat, is it down to lack of budget or do they need some fresh blood in the garage and factory?

  • Comment number 56.

    In your opinion, are the run-off areas too big? Should the new tracks have Gravel Traps instead of Tarmac run-off?
    Drivers just seem that the can run off the track and onto Tarmac run off areas for fun. The space to go off is crazy. It's almost an invitation for drivers to go off the track

  • Comment number 57.

    What did you think of Schumacher's move on Alonso?

  • Comment number 58.

    The teams agreed on a 55% reduction on aerodynamics at the end of 2009, but why hasn`t this happened?

  • Comment number 59.

    Hi Murray!!

    What do you make of the schumacher pass on alonso on the last corner? the rules clearly state that cars can start overtaking after the safety car white line once it has come in on that lap, surely alonso seen the green light and the green flag and the fact that all the cars in front were all going for the chequered flag.

  • Comment number 60.

    Dear Murray, I have only been into F1 for 2 years and it has annoyed me several times when the trio of commentators have been trying to talk over the noise of the cars revving up in the pit lane. Why can't they use the type of microphone that cuts out the background noises, because sometimes viewers have all on to grasp what they are saying. I am very surprised if this has not been mentioned in previous times. Plus, Vettel infuriates me when although he is on the podium he seems to be rather miffed because he isn't on the top step of the podium. He wants to consider how Hamilton must have felt when he had the puncture which made him lose on been second place in Spain last week.

  • Comment number 61.

    Hi Murray,

    Do you think any of the 3 new teams will score points before the end of the season, and how do you think they have done so far?

  • Comment number 62.

    Hello Murray,
    here's my question:

    Robert Kubica currently has 59 championship points to his teammate Vitaly Petrov's 6. Is this difference due more to Kubica's brilliance or Petrov's inexperience?

    I'm looking forward very much to the next video.

  • Comment number 63.

    Just read that Schumacher has been penalised for his overtaking manoeuvre at the last corner of Monaco, why penalise a driver for "racing" and making the last quarter of the procession a bit more interesting seeing as it didn't rain?!

  • Comment number 64.

    Hi Murray.

    What is your opinion on Schumacher's move on Alonso. Also as this move is deemed to be illegal, was there any point in changing the race restart point when the safety car went in. All the drivers gunned it out of rascasse including Alonso, so clearly they all felt they had gone back into racing conditions for the final corner?

    Much regards

    Simon Davies

  • Comment number 65.

    now that Michael Schumacher has given a penalty , do you think that's just ?

    If you look at footage, green flags were waved, Michael took Fernando after the safety car line as he spun his wheels which he probably wouldn't have done if he thought there would be no more race.

    If thats correct why don't they keep the flags yellow in such a situation to avoid confusion. If you were a driver and see a green flag, that means the race is on or not ?

  • Comment number 66.

    Cannot understand Schumacher's penalty. The regulation '40.13', or whatever it is, is enforced when the safety car pits on the last lap, but from the video it looked like the car pitted on the penultimate lap or am I wrong? And Schumacher overtook just before his last lap started... Also, if Webber had crashed, would the drivers have been allowed to overtake him?

    Very confused...

  • Comment number 67.

    If the stewards have interpreted the rules correctly and Schumi was correctly penalised then what was the point of the final lap? They should have stopped the race on the previous lap and had yellow flags instead of green between SC line and Finish line. Anyway, good to see Schumi back to his old tricks and the centre of controversy!

    The rules don't read very clear and instead of a 20s penalty the order should simply have been reverted as it was behind SC.

  • Comment number 68.

    Hi Murray,
    What did you make of Barrichello throwing his steering wheel on to the track after his crash and a car running over it, and do you think it should be punished with a penalty for the next race.

  • Comment number 69.

    How on earth can the FIA have any credibility having a steward like D Hill, who has a very open grudge and jealousy towards Michael Schumacher, making decisions on a race which includes this driver. He was very clear that he was waiting for a chance to have a go.

    Let it go Mr Hill, Shumacher is and has always been a far superior driver

  • Comment number 70.

    What is it that makes the Monaco Grand Prix more special than any other? What special memories do you have of Monaco?

    Simon Hull - Bangor, Northern Ireland

  • Comment number 71.

    Dear Murray,

    firstly, thanks for anwsering my question last time! It really made my day. ^_^

    Anyway, my question for this time is a very simple one: with the last set of updates finished, it's going to take a while for the teams to come up with significant improvements on the car, and based on what we've seen in Valencia and Monaco, do you think that Red Bull is going to completely dominate the upcoming races?

    Pedro Franco

  • Comment number 72.

    Safety Car.
    This spoils the competition. Two examples today, but there are many more:
    1. Alonso gained a pit stop effectively because Hulkenberg crashed; therefore his finish position was unrealistic and his mistake in practice went unpunished
    2. Several times Mark Weber built up a lead only to see it disappear
    I watch F1 to see merit win, be this engineering skill or driving skill or the combination. The safety car reduces this to a lottery. I understand the safety car as a solution to keep the event moving but any ideas for making it fair?
    eg - now refuelling is banned, ban pitting under the safety car, and add on the times at the point the safety car deployed? With the new technology - GPS and the like - the time differences are known at virtually every second at any given time in the race.
    Can we please add the engine count to the standings, don't just limit it to the points scored.
    regarding Schumacher and his misdemenour, which to be fair this time is not that big a deal - I agree with Martin Brundle's comment some years ago that it would have been better had he won two less championships - then we would remember him as a great and talented driver (as he is) rather than a rather than the profoundly flawed individual (as he also is) who cannot be described as a sportsman, great or otherwise. He has only himself, his obvious lack of humility and his previous record to blame for the reaction he provokes. The fact that other drivers' behaviour in history (eg Prost-Senna crashes) may not have always been exemplary doesn't excuse him.

  • Comment number 73.

    Hello, sir.

    What do you think of Jonathon Legard's commentary? Would you ever consider returning to the F1 commentary box yourself?

  • Comment number 74.

    All I was going to add is if MS couldn't overtake why did the safety marshalls clearly wave the GREEN flags when previously under the safety car they were waving yellow? Seeing as that was shown on the TV coverage Mercedes cannot fail in an appeal unless FOCA and FIA now mean a green flag means no overtaking which may be their idea as I can remember on one hand last time that's happened in last two seasons. Was great having Alonso at back of grid as made it worth watching.

  • Comment number 75.

    Murray, one more thing if I may... Barry Hearn has just announced the World Snooker Shoot Out event. I know that you've always wanted to commentate on snooker, so maybe this "non-stop breathtaking action" (Hearn) will be just the ticket for you. "He's missed it! He's missed it! FAAANTASTIC!"

  • Comment number 76.

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

  • Comment number 77.

    We are nearing the end of the season..we have two races to go Redbull had another engine failure in Karea.With some teams using only second hand engines is it likely that teams such as Ferrari will have engine failures in the last two races?


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