Posted on December 8, 2008
A night at the Oscars | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

Glenn Dunbar/LAT

Glenn Dunbar/LAT

At the Autosport Awards last night, otherwise known as the Oscars of motorsport, Martin Brundle and I were presented with an award for our commentary on the final laps of the Brazilian Grand Prix, the “Moment of the year”. It was a great honour, made all the more special because they chose Murray to present it to us.

They played the video of the final few corners on the big screen and my heart was thumping in my chest all over again – it really was the most extraordinary moment of sport.

I’m absolutely delighted with this gong as it provides such a perfect full stop to the whole 12 year ITV project.

Martin also took the opportunity to set the record straight on his feelings about working with me in the commentary box for the past seven years.

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A night at the Oscars
26 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Adam D
        Date: December 8th, 2008 @ 11:40 pm 

    James, fair point about why you and Martin dont need to shout out to the viewers about your relationship as commentators. You’re there to tell the action and the stories NOT be the story.

    Fair point about F1 needing to have lesser ppl on the actual team. Even going back 10 years, im sure the Mclaren that won Mika Hakinnen his first championship didn’t have as many ppl working on it (and at races) as Lewis’s does today – and im sure it didn’t cost as much.

    That being said its not just F1 that has to be sensible in the current economic climate, its sport in genereal. Sports stars are earning far too much….

    I’m sure you’d have seen Mr Brundle’s comments on the situation. Wonder if the FIA have been reading this(


  2.   2. Posted By: Robert McKay
        Date: December 8th, 2008 @ 11:58 pm 

    “There are also too many championships around. Once the recession has thinned out the field, we should be left with a leaner, fitter motorsport scene and I look forward to covering it.”

    Although we might not, given that Max is bringing back Formula 2 and Bernie is meant to be giving us GP3, and we’ll have the daft situation of two separate parallel feeder branches below F1.

    That’s ignoring all the other series like WSR etc. that don’t fit in neatly.

    However, if there’s money to support them all to decent levels (and F2 is meant to be run for dirt cheap) then I won’t complain.


  3.   3. Posted By: Jenny Mac
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 7:46 am 

    Congratulations on the award James.


  4.   4. Posted By: mattanddebz
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 9:06 am 

    To be fair F2 and GP3 will be intrinsically low budget feeder branches for F1 which is always a good thing in my view.

    I whole heartedly agree about team size. Every year the teams get bigger but the results don’t show any difference. Yes the cars get those all important tenths quicker but value for money wise it drops every year. Which is why I would love to know how well the teams have done when you compare points scores to money spent.

    So the days of extravagance in F1 may be over. Will “technology centres” and motorhomes be scaled down? The teams have delighted in showing off their wealth and status over the past few years. I wonder if being prudent and low key in the paddock will become the new fashion. Can we expect the “look how much we’ve not spent and still won the championship” style to take over.

    Anyway congratulations James. Much deserved after 12 great years of service. I never really doubted your working relationship with Martin. I wouldn’t ever take opinions on websites and forums as a fair representation of the country’s opinion as a whole.

    Fingers crossed for all at Honda. I look forward to the day F1 is cheap enough for 12 teams to afford it!


  5.   5. Posted By: Facchetti Burnich
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 9:16 am 

    Well done, James. And well done to Autosport for calling it. It was “the” moment and I am sure that moment will provide your kids with all manner of mimicking opportunities as they grow up. By the way, any chance you could ask for the rights to have those few seconds of vid on this site? Just to keep us warm until the new season begins.

    And a suggestion on driver pay: what about a salary cap with no limit on commercial endorsements. The drivers would soon realise their income was proportionate to their popularity and might persuade even the more monosyllabic to open up. I can just see the headlines: Raikkonen speaks! Shock! ( … or “Trulli’s sacks hair stylist”, “Button leaves club early”, “Hamilton buys in Britain” etc)


  6.   6. Posted By: Finn
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 10:47 am 

    Congrats. I’m still mightily miffed you’re not going to the BBC next year.


  7.   7. Posted By: Kevin M
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 11:32 am 

    Congratulations on the award James. It was certainly a great moment in F1 history.

    I’ve noticed on the ITV F1 site that William’s Adam Parr seems quite convinced that another team could be on the way out of F1 before the start of next season. If this is the case then surely this team would have to jump ship soon if they intend to sell their operation as Honda are trying to do.

    My understanding is that if two teams drop out then that’s the cut off point for teams to have to field three cars. Is this mandatory or is it a case of putting three cars out there only if you wish to?


  8.   8. Posted By: Ahmed
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 11:48 am 

    Well done James.

    I’ve been following grand prix racing ever since it switched over to ITV. I don’t really understand why anyone even feels the need to correct any misconceptions – you obviously did a tremendous job and very admirably filled the huge void left the great Murray Walker. That should be evident to all viewers!

    All the best


  9.   9. Posted By: speedmerchants
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 1:14 pm 

    JA writes I’ve spoken to Adam Parr about this and he’s saying there could be two teams, one an independent and one a manufacturer.

    Without Honda we have 18 cars for next year. The race promoters are guaranteed 16 cars. Once you get below 16 cars in the entry list then the FIA has the right to run other cars (eg GP2, if that was considered the right choice) to make up the numbers, but Max said to us on Friday he thought that was ‘unlikely’. More likely is that the bigger teams would be invited to run a third car, with extra funding from Bernie’s commercial rights pot.

    The field would look pretty thin at 16 cars, especially on the wide open tracks like Malaysia and Bahrain.


  10.   10. Posted By: Emma
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 1:17 pm 

    Congratulations James, Martin and everyone who was part of making the converage over the past 12 years (apart from a couple of blunders – adverts wise – it was excellent!).

    F1 is the pinicle of motorsport and everyone expects risk, talent, speed, and pioneering technology. That said, downsizing (as posted further above from Martin’s post in the Times), should be looked at for the long term survival of the rest of the teams.

    I personally don’t think having one engine for the teams is the way forward for cutting costs, I think the teams with a more disposible income need to rethink the budget, and a cap on what is spend, be it testing, free practice and so forth could be the way forward without taking away the pinnicle of the sport name tag. There’s other formulars for that, but not for F1, in my opinion.


  11.   11. Posted By: Mark
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 1:22 pm 

    Congratulations on the award James and of course to Martin as well! Isn’t it ironic that the last couple of minutes of your ITV F1 commentary at Brazil just showed the quality of your commentary – you guys understood the situation, read it well and realised that Hamilton had passed Glock. Certainly from the comfort of my living room I would have thought that Massa had the title without your excellent commentary to explain what had happened.


  12.   12. Posted By: Jackie
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 3:12 pm 

    Congratulation James, I have always thought that you and Martin made a great team and its nice to see you both publicly acknowledged.
    Anyone who works in the public eye has to accept criticism as a part of the job but some of the stuff directed at you has, not only been wrong, but crossed the line in to petty personal abuse. However you have always remained dignified and just got on with your job, something I greatly admire you for.
    I have also had the pleasure of meeting you on a few occasions and your passion and knowledge of the sport shone through.
    Am really pleased you will be continuing in F1 media and will follow your career with interest


  13.   13. Posted By: Aaron James
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 4:42 pm 

    I think 3 cars per team would be a great idea. Particularly if it can be used as a device to force CVC (through Bernie) to handover some of the cash they are extorting from the sport back to the people that actually give us a sport.


  14.   14. Posted By: Nic Maennling
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 10:23 pm 

    Hi James,

    Congrats on the well deserved awards.

    What has happened to Louise Goodman and does she figure in next years F-1 coverage ?



  15.   15. Posted By: malcolm46
        Date: December 9th, 2008 @ 11:16 pm 

    Congratulations on the award James.

    Quality last few laps the Brazil GP was, real edge of the seat stuff!! And yes your commentary was quality, “is that Glock? IT IS!!!” Really enjoyed it. Dont suppose you’ve got a copy of ITV’s coverage of the race on DVD?!?! I cant really find anything from you on youtube…..


  16.   16. Posted By: Mike Ellison
        Date: December 10th, 2008 @ 3:41 am 

    Congrats to you and Martin – well deserved!


  17.   17. Posted By: speedmerchants
        Date: December 10th, 2008 @ 7:17 am 

    JA writes: After over 20 years in the F1 game, Lou has started up a media training business for young drivers, Goodman Media.


  18.   18. Posted By: rpaco
        Date: December 10th, 2008 @ 1:41 pm 

    Well I wish Lou luck and success, its not a good time to be starting a new business, or maybe it is. (Better than hanging on to one that’s dying, mind you the Eddie Irvine charm school was not a great idea) We shall miss her frequent spot asking Jensen what caused his retirement from the race.

    JA You do look pissed off in that photo of the early/first ITV team she has nicked for her site on the “Who are we” page. You also look, err, mm, how can we put this? mm “THIN” !!!


  19.   19. Posted By: rpaco
        Date: December 10th, 2008 @ 10:34 pm 

    James, I’ve just checked the BBC F1 page and they desperately need a writer, can you believe they are carrying no F1 news?


  20.   20. Posted By: rpaco
        Date: December 11th, 2008 @ 8:33 am 

    Looks like I got that wrong, its not on the F1 page though.

    I hope they do not intend to take a leaf from the Channel4 book and bury F1 as Channel4 did with Touring Cars.

    … that’s why you should bookmark this space – Moderator


  21.   21. Posted By: rpaco
        Date: December 11th, 2008 @ 12:28 pm 

    Moderator, you are both bookmarked and RSS’d! for both articles and comments.

    But what Channel 4 did with the BTCC like putting it on at midnight or 1:30am on E4 was not in the best interest of the sport. We all missed quite a few races simply because it was impossible to find out when or where they were being shown. Whoever was responsible lost a huge audience for the sponsors, and should be shot hung drawn and quatered.

    But the thing many of us want to know about the new BBC coverage is will we get “Chains” back as the sig tune again, it epitomised an era, maybe I’m just too old.


  22.   22. Posted By: Mark
        Date: December 11th, 2008 @ 12:50 pm 

    I just took a look at Louise’s website – did you want to be somewhere else in this photo James? :-)


  23.   23. Posted By: rpaco
        Date: December 11th, 2008 @ 5:32 pm 

    Upset because the other guys tucked their shirts in and didn’t tell you?


  24.   24. Posted By: Sue Varley
        Date: December 12th, 2008 @ 12:00 pm 

    Well done James! Congratulations. You deserve it.


  25.   25. Posted By: keith long
        Date: December 12th, 2008 @ 8:02 pm 

    Well done James on the award and thank you for the commentry over the last twelve years, and well done Martin Brundle for saying what a very large informed Formula One audience agreed with. Three races stand out for me 2005 Monaco my first grand prix i attented only not to see jenson race wich is really one of the reasons i went !!oh well sitting at tabac on race day was quite special ! (k3)
    didnt know jenson was doing the commentry with you and martin so when i got home was great to watch it back, the next would be jens win at hungray anthony davidson and yourself excellent !!

    and of course Brazil 2008 …i thought lewis had lost it paused it on sky plus .. to put the kettle on
    and then slightly delayed continued to see what happened
    as you said Hamiltons back in postion !! excellent

    When freinds and family who have absolutely no intrest in motorsport ring up as they did and say WOW that was amazing ! its a compliment to the sport and a compliment to the way it was presented and explained.



  26.   26. Posted By: rpaco
        Date: December 31st, 2008 @ 6:30 pm 

    So Lewis’s victory parade was cancelled due the the council not having £110,000 for health and safety measures.

    Can anyone offer a breakdown of that £110,000?
    Seems to me that it’s another of today’s ludicrous figures made up by politically correct jobsworths. Did they ask McLaren to pay? No, they just wanted to cancel as they do most other things that people enjoy, Christmas Fairs and markets have been banned all over the country in case someone slips and falls over. In contrast look at the Highland games where the crowd protection is a loosely strung rope. They would never be allowed in England. I suppose we are lucky that motor racing has not been banned in England altogether by these minuscule brained oppressors.


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