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Good Week/Bad Week
Posted By:   |  08 Apr 2009   |  6:52 am GMT  |  121 comments

I don’t know about you, but I need some light relief after all the heavy duty stuff about McLaren. Here’s a review of the week’s winners and losers.

 

Good Week for:

Nick Heidfeld – Gambled on only one pit stop in Malaysia and got a podium. Though short, he now stands above his highly-rated team mate in points table

Timo Glock - The gambler of Interlagos does it again, but this time it has no effect on the outcome of the championship. Glock shows he’s a canny racer.

Brawn GP – We now know just how fast this car is when pushed. Button’s fastest lap in Sepang was almost second faster than rivals. Get working, lads.

The English language – Eddie Jordan demonstrates its versatility on TV. Words can be put into any order, with or without verbs.

 

Bad Week for:

Evening race starts – F1′s sketchy understanding of geography shown up again as an evening monsoon, predictably, douses the Sepang track. Race abandoned.

Martin Whitmarsh – two races in to his dream job and it’s become Nightmare on Elm Street. Will he actually be garotted on April 29th, or merely flogged?

Ferrari – The team which seemed to have forgotten how to lose… has suddenly remembered again. Full wet tyres… on a dry track?

Honda - the boss who decided to quit F1 is now sitting in a bar, comparing notes with the man from Decca Records, who turned down the Beatles.

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121 Comments
  1. Steve Pilfold says:

    Some very good, and quite amusing observations, James!

  2. LMW says:

    Also good for:

    Malaysian Umbrella Manufacturers
    A certain choc-ice maker (free advertising)

    Bad for:

    Formula 1 – politics overshadowing the racing again
    Late racing – it was always going happen at that time.

  3. bytor says:

    Nice one James. Great quips about Eddie Jordan and Honda’s boss/Beatles :-)

    Idea for your future blog posts: a list of F1/motorsport people who are on Twitter (if there are any others) (I’m sure your blog readers would contribute)

    Suggestion: when you are tweeting during race days can you have a dedicated hashtag eg. #jaf1 so it’s easier to follow your tweets

    Keep up great work on blog!

  4. Moog says:

    GOOD WEEK
    Carbon Fibre Salesmen

    Dave Ryan’s bank account

    BAD WEEK:
    Betting on Red Bull for a podium @ 10-1 (1 more lap dammit!)

    Those that have a website that calculates all the different points systems and have to rewrite it due to silly half point races (shameless plug).

    F1 gossip (it’s all dried up while you guys fly home)

  5. Kalle says:

    Heidfeld tends to do very well in difficult conditions. He’s a crafty racer with good judgement. I rate him quite highly and hope he does well this season.

  6. floydthebarber71 says:

    haha @ eddie jordan and twilight races.

    would honda have been as successful as brawn with their own engine, etc?

  7. LoudHoward says:

    Who knows, Glocks 3rd may yet effect the championship :)

  8. Shaun says:

    “The English language – Eddie Jordan demonstrates its versatility on TV. Words can be put into any order, with or without verbs.”

    very true! But at least he can use more than the five words that made up steve rider’s entire vocabulary;

    “loo”, “is”, “ham”, “ill” and “ton”

  9. Ronman says:

    That last one is Hilarious…. but this past week has all been about the bad and ugly rather than the good.

    Witmarsh and Co. should be asking themselves … Do we feel? Lucky?

  10. George says:

    Eddie Jordan speaks English? I thought what he was saying might actually of made sense in whatever language he was employing.

  11. Paul says:

    Bit harsh on the weather analysis… if the race had been run earlier (at the GP2 race time), wouldn’t it have been equally effected?

  12. Phil W says:

    Ouch! Nice dig at Eddie Jordan.

    As for Honda, if they had stayed they would probably have Bruno Senna in Rubens’ car and be lining up Sato to take over from Jenson in 2010.

  13. F1Wolf says:

    “Honda – the boss who decided to quit F1 is now sitting in a bar, comparing notes with the man from Decca Records, who turned down the Beatles.”

    this is a good one :-) but Honda’s feeling must be even worse because they are the ones paying for all this but only as “silent sponsors:

  14. The gambler of Interlagos does it again, but this time it has no effect on the outcome of the championship.

    After all the ignorant abuse hurled at Glock post-Interlagos (not just the despicable Facebook hate groups – there were some blatant untruths told in the press as well: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/sport/Hamilton39s-track-record-not-enough.4787430.jp) it would have been wonderful to see him win Sepang with another astute tyre choice.

    Just as it would have been great to see Wilson win at St Petersburg for Dale Coyne later that day. Sadly neither came to pass.

    Ah well. Perhaps we’ve had our fairytale of the year in the shape of Brawn GP.

  15. Paul Hayes says:

    The man from Decca, Dick Rowe, actually used to have “The Man Who Turned Down the Beatles” on his business cards in later years, I believe. I somehow don’t see hos equivalent at Honda ever making a living out of being the man who dropped the F1 team.

  16. Matt says:

    Let’s not forget the best radio conversation of the season so far…“Felipe baby, stay cool!” Still undecided whether this is a good or bad…

  17. Treaded Lurgy says:

    ”The English Language: Eddie Jordan demonstrates its versatility on TV. Words can be put into any order, with or without verbs.” LOL!

    Dammit, James – I’ve just pebbledashed my monitor with latte after reading that!!

  18. Lee Gilbert says:

    Good shout on Eddie Jordan!

    For the 2nd week running the guy that runs on Duracells anyway, seems to be drinking Red Bull from that microphone…

    Eddie Jordan is actually annoyong me on the BBC team.

    DC has actually been 10 times better than I thought. Jake has done a good job too – but EJ? He talks drivel….

    James, you should wait until he gets sacked (after he has lost his 9 lives for swearing and faux pas) and apply for the job at the BBC

    Actually, I prefer you as a journalist James – comentary of F1 is a poisoned chalice (taking over from Murray et al.).

    So think you’d do good as a TV based Journo and you’d have teh time to carry on doing what you normally do as well (including writing this blog)

    So lets have a vote people – all those who want James to replace Eddie Jordan, say “Aye!”

  19. Lee says:

    Love the comments about EJ, mind you he fills the whole left by Blundell really nicely. The same can’t be said for Leggard though, can it. I think you had a really hard job coming in after Murray, and you did it quite well; however Leggard is crap, in fact crap is too nice. He misses the most basic things, he gets excited about the wrong things, and doesn’t get excited about the right things (if that makes sense!?). Please, please get onto the BBC and get your old job back, failing that, can you start a campaign on this site to give Kravits a go? I think he could work well with Martin as you did. Either way, please help!

  20. alistairblevins says:

    One driver that never seems to have a good week is Nelson Piquet Jr.

    I would be interested to hear you comments on him.

    Having seem him race in GP2 in ’06 I thought he was a chip off the old block with a handy turn of speed. Seems I was wrong.

    Will Renault give him a full season to prove himself or will patience run out, as it very nearly did last year? It begs the question why he was signed for ’09?

    I suppose the arguments are that he’s cheap and a very firm number 2 to Alsonso. But there must be more to it than that…

    I just can’t see what.

  21. Antoine says:

    Very funny James, I like the quip about Honda..

    Keep it up……

  22. Fran says:

    Aye! from me as well.

    “Felipe baby, stay cool!”
    Matt, that was hilarious!!!!!

    Bad :
    For Alonso, he already lost any change to be on the points after his vacation on the grass just he was about to get to the pits.
    My view, if you are outside the points you always need to try something different. Renault and Co failed him again on strategy.

  23. Matt (cf1) says:

    Good week for Schumacher and Ferrari, they got away with lying at Monaco in ’06 .

    F1 amazes me with its ability to turn a blind in some cases while readying the gallows for others.

  24. Al27 says:

    So you’ve seen the BBC coverage then James?

    Legard is dire. He only talks about the positions of the cars, who’s on the screen at that moment and the weather. In fact most of his ‘commentary’ was about the weather on Sunday. Yes we know it’s probably going to rain – you don’t need to tell us a nineteenth time.

    Poor old Martin has to rescue him because he’s got no idea. It used to a 60:40 split in talking time when you were on – now Martin has to talk for 60%+ otherwise Legard gets stuck and we’re left with silence.

  25. Grabyrdy says:

    I guess Fernando just wants a N°2 who’s not, in any shape or form, a rival. He’s certainly got one, but there’s a downside to that – this w/e, when Fernando was unwell, he might have enjoyed having someone else to do the work in practice. Nelson seems to have his hands full trying to remember where the track goes next.

  26. Ewan Spence says:

    Always worth pointing out that Dick “The Man Who Turned Down The Beatles” Rowe went on to sign The Rolling Stones, after being introduced to them by a certain George Harrison!

  27. Sublimeuk says:

    Well spotted James but here’s a couple you missed

    Good Season So Far for:

    Heikki Kovalainen – with all of McLarens problems, nobody seems to have noticed that he has not completed a single racing lap this season.

    Bad Season So Far for:

    Lewis Hamilton – driven brilliantly in the last two GPs but only one point ahead of Heikki in the Championship

  28. Gary Davidson says:

    Heidfeld’s ability to pick up great results in difficult conditions is brilliant. I mean he finished 2nd four times last year, each one an incident packed race. He is very consistant as well if you think that last year Kubica destroyed him, he did well to finish only 15 points behind him.

  29. tEQUILLA sLAMMER says:

    i think its highly insensitive to be slagging off commentators!! Whoever is commentating must have the job on merit, so why the criticism? Maybe they could come round and slag you off while youre doing your job! :)

  30. MorrisOx says:

    Bad week for…F1 as a whole. And it will get worse.

    When are its collective brains going to step outside their silos and realise that, dismayed as fans are that McLaren apparently thought nothing of the innocent being proved guilty, they will be equally horrified if the WMSC then decides that the best way to demonstrate that the sport is grown-up and in tune with the times is to engage in a brutal financial kicking?

    ‘Crimes’ cannot be justified, but the FIA needs to recognise the proportional link between its ambition for a sport that exists on a more human financial scale and its habit of meting out eye-watering financial beatings.

    McLaren has to pay a penalty. But nothing will be achieved by crippling them.

  31. Colin says:

    Good Week for James Allen: Circumnavigates the globe, meets all publication deadlines and launches a stunningly successful Formula One talking shop for Anoraks.

    Bad Week for the BBC: It’s all downhill after the starting sequence.

  32. Roberto says:

    James,Bad week for F1 for losing a Fan. My wife, which i introduced to the sport about 9 years ago, has already lost all love about it after this weekend, here’s why:

    #1 She is tired of al the rule changes either for good or bad, one year is tires, other fuel, next is the cars, diffusers, etc

    #2 FIA Dictatorial style, and the conitnuos rift between them and the teams (now FOTA)

    #3 The ugliest F1 cars we have ever seen

    From my side i love everything about F1 including the rifts and other stuff, but i think it’s far too much at this point, we have only 2 races and there’s a lot more going than in a whole season.

  33. Leftie says:

    on the BBC coverage:
    Am i the only one who thinks that Louise Goodman done a much better job than Lee McKenzie? Lee seems extremely bored with what she does, or that’s just her approach..

  34. Leftie says:

    And also, yes – Legard is nowhere near comparing to James Allen.
    JL – “Oh, he went off again!!!”
    MB – “That’s a replay…”
    JL – “Oh, yes…a replay!!!”

  35. David Hodge says:

    Good week for Jake Humphreys who finally proved he can do grown-up TV as well. Good week for Martin Brundle winding up the Toyota mechanics on the grid. Next week Martin – jump in one of the empty cars and push some buttons and see what they do!

    Bad week for Jonathan Legard. My wife walked into the room and said “I did not know you were watching football”. About the ultimate insult I guess – his commentary style is too football and does not credit us with a), being able to see the pictures and b), having brains of our own. Yes, we know it is about to rain… come back James, please…

  36. Simon Proctor says:

    Look this ‘we love James’ sentiment is really getting on my nerves and spoiling this website. Can people stop going on about how the BBC is rubbish and how James Allen would make it so much better? I’m not one of the crazy people who always complained about his commentary, and I think this blog is very good, but I don’t feel the need to mention it every two minutes.

    And for the people who are constantly having a go at Jonathan Legard and Eddie Jordan- be patient. Can you really expect them to be perfect after two races? Surely it makes sense to reserve judgement until later in the season. I really don’t think you’re any fairer than the people slagging off James on the forums in the last few years.

  37. VonSpeeX says:

    could someone please tell me where i can watch the gp2 eurpoe this season??please please please!!!

  38. alex says:

    Roberto,
    I can understand your wife’s feelings but disagree with your opinion on the cars’ looks. I think they look great, they remind be a bit of days gone by.
    Which brings me to this: i watched the race on sky italy and before that they showd the 1973 season. Which is the year I started watching F1. Wow, they were all sideways, cars looked totally different one from the other, it was really something.
    Brawn gp in its white livery reminds me of those days a bit. But some things will never come back.
    There was a fab sequence where a very young Mr Williams says to his driver (cant remember who now…) “don’t worry, we’ll put these tyres on now. They are really good, they’ve only done 50 laps. And any way we’ve no money to get you a new set.” FANTASTIC!

  39. Dave R says:

    Firstly, James, congrats on a superb blog site. I must confess to not being your biggest fan from the ITV days… I even own one of ‘those’ t-shirts!

    You really have found your niche with this though. Someone with your level of contacts and connections gets us some superb news & gossip directly from that paddock and hospitality villages. So, all in all, a good week for you I would say.

    The BBC have been doing OK so far. You can see the effort they have put in from the off and I think it’s fair to expect the presentation to need a few tweaks.
    Legard… I’ll hold judgement for now and give him a bit longer to adapt. He needs to hurry up with it though.

    Bad week?

    It has to be EJ. After the cringe-worth interview with Bernie I just want the dwarf off my screen! I thought MB used to have a little “ex-driver chip on his shoulder” but EJ is obviously still feeling a bit aggrieved at not being directly involved any more.

    Also, does anyone find it amusing how comically short he is compared to JH & DC?!

  40. Mattw says:

    “Honda – the boss who decided to quit F1 is now sitting in a bar, comparing notes with the man from Decca Records, who turned down the Beatles.”

    If it was not for Brawn, Toyota would have won in Aus, and came within a lap of winning in Malysia

    Think how bad Honda would be feeling then.

  41. I have a sneaky suspicion that Honda may try and make a comeback next year :-)

  42. James, I love the reason for writing this article, and yes we do need a bit of light relief – the Badger thinks along a similar vein and here’s our latest in our series of F1 Top Fives – The Badgerometer – Malaysia Top 5 – enjoy!

    Ps. loved your Honda analogy!

  43. Gary Davidson says:

    Does anyone think Heidfeld will ever win a GP?

    He holds some not so promising records at the moment.

    1) Most podiums with a victory. (Joint with Stefan Johansson)

    2) Most 2nd places without a win.

    3) Most starts out of drivers in the current F1 field without a win.

    4) Most points without a win.

    If he does eventually win a race he would break Barrichello’s record of winning after the most attepts, Barrichello won on his 123rd try.

    But at the same time he hasn’t really ever threatened to win one, maybe apart from Montreal last year when Kubica beat him.

  44. Michel says:

    Though short, he now stands above his highly-rated team mate in points table

    Unlike US presidential races, in F1 shortness is actually an advantage (nice quip, though!). Webber and Kubica might be in trouble once everyone start using KERS…

  45. rpaco says:

    Well if he signed the Stones all is forgiven!

  46. rpaco says:

    Breaking news, in future all Silverstone and/or Donnington F1 races will start at 20:30 so as to catch the more important far eastern markets who run adverts during the coverage. Also annoying football style electronic rotating adverts will be placed on all conveyor belt siding.
    All transport to the car parks cease at 22:00 due to PSV driver’s hours. All cars in the car park will be ferme until the race result has been changed by the stewards the following day.

  47. john g says:

    simon, you say that EJ and legard can’t be expected to be any good after just two races. but humphries does ok, and it’s almost universally accepted that davidson is superb and DC is also a very good addition.

    with regard to heidfeld, he’s easily good enough to win a race, he didn’t get on with the tyres last year, and his highly esteemed team-mate only managed to luck in to a win once during the season. he’s a very solid strategist and time and again ends up where he shouldn’t be through making the correct split decision calls and looking after his tyres. he’s also one of the best drivers for overtaking ability. i think once the diffuser situation is cleared up he’ll be challenging at the top and will get at least one win this year.

  48. Daniel says:

    I think that, on the whole, the pundits and commentators have been very good so far, Legard is the weakest link – I sense a kind of awkwardness between him and Brundle, but I’m sure it’s nothing.

    Jake, David and Eddie have been very entertaining in my opinion.

    Also, well spotted by whoever noticed that Heikki hasn’t yet completed a lap.

    Kudos to Mr Allen for a entertaining and informative blog which I have only recently discovered.

  49. PaulL says:

    For those whining about BBC consider this.
    ITV:
    - Had ads.
    - No practice sessions.
    - No FTA Onboard channel.
    - No Classic F1 races/highlights ever shown.
    - Had cheezy montages / amateur video editing.

    BBC:
    - No ads.
    - All practice sessions shown.
    - FTA onboard channel.
    - One voted classic BBC highlights shown for each round where available plus 5 minute edits shown of other race candidates.
    - Take F1 coverage seriously.

  50. Les Speed says:

    Great observations, may I add though:

    - Honda (Brawn) would not be where they were with the Mercedes engine;

    - EJ, as annoying as it seems, he does know what he is saying;

    - Martin W has always been the sort of chap whose eyes are always looking in opposite directions;

    - Ferrari has always liked to do it the dramatic way;

    - Sketchy as the race was, it was something different.

    Look forward to China. Cheers!

  51. crisn says:

    *LOL*..

    Hope the Honda bosses don’t have a “tanto” around.

  52. David Hodge says:

    Actually, I was surprised to see the EJ quips because I thought it was one of his relatives. A certain M. O’Derator…

    Anyway, I am afraid that a lot of people are missing the point. Mr. Legard is a professional commentator and has been doing it for some years. Trouble is, he is a football commentator and probably has little, if any enthusiasm for F1 whereas with Murray and James to an extent, you always got the trousers on fire commentary. Ask yourself this question – would you want to hear John Motson commentating on F1? Peter Alliss?

    Somebody above gave a good suggestion – watch the grid-walk and then go red button to the R5 Live commentary. You lose Brundle but gain Davidson which is a pretty good exchange. In the meantime, I suspect the status quo will remain for this season but hopefully they will change it – James, you busy in 2010?

  53. Martin P says:

    Once again those incisive details only an insider can provide come to the fore.

    I’m never sure if this blog is JamesallenonF1.com or Colinonjamesallen.com.

  54. Alan says:

    “Timo Glock – …….but this time it has no effect on the outcome of the championship…..” who knows?????

    Any chance Honda will now inject $$$ into Brawn and start again next year??? instead of sitting in the bar :D

  55. Michael C says:

    A good week for the english language now that it’s not being mangled by Mark Blundell?

  56. Les Speed says:

    Good points all around. :-)

    On the commentary side, the pitlane reporter Lee Mckenzie, is so flat and depressed sounding. Albeit an improvement from last year, it wouldn’t hurt is she stopped trying to sound so cool and unaffected and reflected the vibe of the pitlane.

    Nevertheless, it’s all early days, and I’m sure somebody over there is reading these comments, so time will tell…

    Cheers.

  57. F1QA says:

    The multi-personality coverage is really great though, as is, FOM’s new graphics and LG TV segment at the post race press conference. Very much what Sky Italia has been doing for some time. It’s a breath of fresh air, if sometimes aromatic.

  58. rpaco says:

    I have just worked out that the rear wheel hub covers which I previously thought were not covered by the regs, are in fact illegal.

    3.15 Aerodynamic influence :

    With the exception of the cover described in Article 6.5.2 (when used in the pit lane), the driver adjustable
    bodywork described in Article 3.18 and the ducts described in Article 11.4, any specific part of the car
    influencing its aerodynamic performance :
    - must comply with the rules relating to bodywork ;
    - must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any
    degree of freedom) ;
    - must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car.

    So if they are not brake ducts but to help smooth the airflow they must comply as above including being rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car, which obviously they are not.
    Also – must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car. –Which again obviously they are not.

  59. Andy Fov says:

    Rob Smedley is a star, it’s got to be said.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gj0sph32i8

  60. Colin says:

    Five-year-old cliches are always bad. Talking like a has-been DJ doesn’t impress anyone. Next they will be playing him music during the race…

    “Here’s a request from Filipe’s Mum missing her boy terribly.
    The Supremes with, “Stop in the name of love…””

  61. iceman says:

    Spot on about EJ vs. Mark Blundell! You’ve got to have someone to mix it up a bit and provide a bit of light relief. I miss Detective Inspector Blundell… just waiting to see what Sniff Petrol does to Eddie Jordan now :)

  62. Mark says:

    I agree. At the moment the BBC commentary is missing analysis of strategies and the detail of what is going on – it is more just telling us what we can already see. I give as an example that James, I think on his twitter feed during qualifying, pointed out that the track was getting faster and so Massa was always likely to miss out.

    I never had an issue with James’ ITV commentary. I think the BBC coverage has lost something without him. However, to be honest, this website more than makes up for it – I hope that it continues and that James is able to make a living from it. Rather than rehashing press releases it is giving us the interesting insider analysis of what is going on. Added to that are the debates that follows each of the articles that James posts – usually well reasoned and thought out which is more that can be said of many F1 internet forums!

  63. keats says:

    Have to agree here, he did a reasonable job when it was just 5 Live he had to worry about, but during the first two Grands Prix, he’s talked over colleagues with amazing regularity and even forgotten Ted’s name at one stage. I’ve been reasonably pleased with Jake Humphrey, EJ and DC’s contributions so far, they show promise, but Jonathon needs to work out a system with Martin, and at least memorise their names!

  64. Moog says:

    Spot on IMO, DC is quality, JH solid job, but EJ is embarrassing.
    * Whenever someone is being interviewed he tries to take over.
    * He repeats himself constantly.
    * He starts to say something without thinking it through and then stumbles through the rest of his point.
    * Steals air time from people who actually have something to say.
    * Creeps and crawls too much.

    It’s a shame as I really used to value EJ’s comments in the past. I was hoping that after Aus, someone senior would have a word with him, but it was business-as-usual at Malaysia.

  65. Stephen Kellett says:

    Eddie Jordan is actually annoyong me on the BBC team.

    DC has actually been 10 times better than I thought. Jake has done a good job too – but EJ? He talks drivel….

    Absolutely. At one point during the Malaysian Grand Prix I just wished EJ would shut up. He speaks way too much and often talks over DC, even on matters where DC is the expert (typically a driving topic rather than a team boss topic).

    I kind of get the impression that there is some sort of childish “I’m better than you” going on seeing who can look more impressive, except that DC isn’t playing. Sure feels that way. Its a shame, the Beeb should sort it out. Chill out a bit on the competitiveness behind the mike.

    If EJ can’t chill out they should replace him with Mr Minardi. Now that would be fun, and controversial :-)

    “Aye”.

  66. iceman says:

    Interesting comment about the “poison chalice” of F1 commentary. F1 commentators do seem to come in for a huge amount of stick for their perceived faults, in a way that doesn’t really happen in other sports.

  67. Martin P says:

    Aye.

    The only thing Eddie Jordan is good for is distracting the public from Jonathan Legard’s performance.

    Did you see his interview with Bernie??!!! I was cringing…. ask an ill formed question, half answer it yourself and lead the interviewee to safe ground and stroke his ego while you’re at it.

    Bad. It’s the only word for it. Bad.

  68. The Durrant says:

    Never have understood why some folk always feel the need to grumble about how F1 is broadcast on British TV.

    EJ is fine. He’s a bit of a maverick who’s got a few opinions to express on live TV, so what? If you really have a problem, pretend there’s an ad break and make yourself a cup of tea.

  69. Paul_W says:

    I was thinking something similar when I saw that. The coverage used to be all about Lewis. Thank god it’s changed for the better, and at least Eddie Jordan has run an F1 team so is qualified to comment.

  70. Colin says:

    No Paul, with a normal 2 pm start, we’d have had a dry race, with the mere threat of a deluge in the last few laps to spice it up, but it would have remained bone dry. The rain came long after 5 pm and three hour races ended when Sir Stirling was a lad.

  71. Silvio says:

    Surely the whole point of a calendar is that it allows you to distinguish between the week just past and one in … 2006!

  72. VonSpeeX says:

    one name;Romain Grosjean ….he will replace PK soon,,,this guys Hamilton material,trust me ;)

  73. Kirk says:

    Hard to judge Piquet Jr. cause it seems Renault really have forgotten how to build a decent/stable car – and by the time they have patched it up the season will be as good as over.

    Has anyone noticed how Alonso manages to scrape through Q1 time and time again and suddenly finds pace to not only go into Q3 but start 5th or 6th on the grid? Explain that one…

  74. Mooks says:

    Have a look at an interview in a new F1 Racing magazine, it’s quite insightful. I’ll quote one section (I hope this is allowed, I do apologise if it isn’t).

    Q – Was it hard for you being criticised from all sides in 2008?

    “Yeah, it was, but shit happens and you learn to get the best out of it. This year’s not going to be easy, with the little amount of testing I’ve had. Fernando wanted to test most of the time because of the new systems, and the team want him to test because they think he can develop the car quicker. So I only have two more days’ running before Australia and prior to that I had two days in the dry. It’s not going to be an easy year, but hopefully the car will be good.”

  75. Colin says:

    Sounds like an urban myth to me Sir… references please :)

  76. Lee says:

    So does that mean Honda will win the WRC next year? lol

  77. Gary Davidson says:

    Rob’s great, I met him once at a charity do. From my neck of the woods too in the North East of England, top bloke!

  78. Mark says:

    The interview between EJ and Bernie was so awful I’m surprised the BBC bothered showing it. It was quite funny though…

  79. Lee Gilbert says:

    Yeah that was a legend moment!

    The really great thing though is that echoes of Murray come to mind!

  80. Lee Gilbert says:

    Awful? It was beyond that!

    EJ interviewing BE- now that is like Jade Goody (god rest her soul) interviewing Tony Blair

  81. moderator says:

    Simon: I would ask for you to be patient a while longer. Right now it would feel perverse to cull the compliments to JA and force him to read only the brickbats. I suspect this kind of post will reduce as the season settles. Otherwise I can always ask the FIA if they have any spare rule changes I can borrow … – Moderator

  82. floydthebarber71 says:

    simon, agreed!

  83. rpaco says:

    Why don’t you just switch to the R5Live commentary which is loads better. Ant Davidson is a good equivalent to M Brundle and has driven in F1 a lot more recently than Brundle so has recent live knowledge. OK switch back to the tv commentary for Martin’s grid Toyota wind-up (would like to see a 3 camera approach next race) and the tall fella with DC and EJ but for the race proper use R5Live. (Off yer red button then dahn a bit) The in-car view on 302 has the tv commentary.

    Yeah James is ok (the best after Murray) but the BBC either could not afford him or did not want to be seen to be unable to provide commentators without buying them all from ITV. A shooting in the foot incident! (Which was a gain for the Italians.)

    Perhaps James could seek a PR job at Ferrari, they could do with their image lifting. We seem to forget the UK contingent within the Ferrari team. (Did that there Rob make a tyre related mistake?)

  84. Lee Gilbert says:

    Nick Heidfield is not good enough to wwin a GP on merit (if he does win it will be gifted to him)

    Anyone that is that poor in quali but has good race pace is just a solid midfield racer.

    He has the machinery to win a race but he won’t, Kubica is the star of BMW – Heidfield is just a bridesmaid. Mind you sometimes they get lucky too – so I may eat my words if his luck is in!

  85. Mooks says:

    Or if he can’t think of anything to say, he’ll come out with ‘wow!’…

  86. Lee says:

    Yeah, well said Mr. Moderator! Simon do you work for the BBC? I bet you do!

  87. Al27 says:

    James mentions Eddie Jordan and we comment on it. Naturally the comments will expand to cover the BBC coverage. What’s the problem?

    Everybody’s got an opinion on the BBC folks. I like watching Eddie Jordan but think DC is very very dull. Jake Humphreys is excellent and Legard is dire. He’s had 5+ hours of commentary and previous seasons on radio under his belt. Why should I reserve judgement?

    If I feel he’s poor, I’ll say he’s poor. I doubt we’ll see James commentating for a while again, but what better place to say that you hope he will do again?

    Except it seems that we’re not allowed to compliment JA or criticise anyone else now.

    A comments board where opinions are not allowed is a bit of a bizarre thing to ask for.

  88. Moog says:

    Louise “Jens Jens” Goodman…

  89. alistairblevins says:

    Not sure about Hamilton material – but could be a good – saw some good stuff from him in GP2.

    Mind you, I liked what I saw of Piquet in GP2 but that didn’t mean a thing apparently!

  90. alistairblevins says:

    Whilst I don’t doubt there’s a lack of testing, and that the car is a pain to drive a great driver will always shine.

    Remember Alsonso’s performances in the Minardi team in 2002? You just knew he was something special about the guy.

    I not anti-Piquet – I hope he can pull it together. I just wonder how long he can last given his performances, regardless of circumstance.

    Wrong place, wrong time – or just not able to cut the mustard?

    Remember Jan Magnussen? The next Aryton Senna according to Jackie Stewartd? Unfortunately, not many people do.

  91. Mooks says:

    You do have a good point there alistairblevins. Alonso, you just knew there was something there. That said, Nelson did perk up a bit to the end of the season, but nothing spectacular.

    Unless he pulls something out of the bag this season, if Flavio hasn’t started sorting out a replacement already, Alonso may have a new team-mate next season, unless Kimi ends up going. Which I hope not, I’d love to see Kimi back in the thick of things!

  92. George says:

    What happened to Di Grassi? He outperformed Grosjean last season and he was in the Renault programme if I remember correctly.
    Then again I guess it’s about time Renault had a decent french driver.

  93. moderator says:

    Fact is, Lee, I was not really disagreeing with Simon. At times the personality stuff feels a bit over the top to me too, I confess. Thankfully, however, that won’t stop you telling us what you think, regardless. And we’ll still do our best to make sure the blog continues to be a good F1 read. – Moderator

  94. alistairblevins says:

    I guess everyone goes for broke in Q1 and Q2 with low fuel. Then come Q3 they must run with their start load. I suppose it would indicate that Alonso tends to run lighter in Q3 to get further up the grid.

    This limits the length of his opening stint, but is more or less guaranteed to be in the thick of the action.

  95. rpaco says:

    She was at Brands doing BTCC. Who must think they have been promoted now to have an F1 pit reporter. Also of course somewhat amazingly the BTCC was less controversial than F1 this weekend.

  96. rpaco says:

    I think I saw it mentioned in the Eurosport channel listing. (I only have freeview so dont get Eurosport b ut seem to remember its on one of the topup digi channels. No doubt someone will correct this if I’m wrong

  97. James Allen says:

    JA writes: Defo not on BBC. Setanta supposed to be looking at it….

  98. rpaco says:

    Update, no cars will be allowed in the car park due to Health and Safety concerns

  99. Martin P says:

    It impressed me.

    Be cool.

  100. RichyF says:

    Followed by a special request for a Mr M.Whitmarsh

    “Nowhere to run to Baby, Nowhere to hide – Martha and the Vandellas”.

    Great blog James, Keep it up.

  101. Martin P says:

    He’s a legard in his own living room apparently.

  102. Martin P says:

    I’d just like to say that the Moderator is THE best moderator on the web, much better than any moderator the BBC has, ever had or ever will have. Amen.

  103. Simon Proctor says:

    Just to clear this up- I think James Allen is great, but I don’t suppose he doubts that given that he’s a journalist and has released two F1 books and all that. And judging from what I’ve heard so far Jonathan Legard probably doesn’t have the enthusiasm or F1 knowledge that James has.

    I also understand everyone has the right to an opinion and that this is the place to share it. But I just think it’s stupid to suggest the BBC should sack Legard on the basis of his first two performances. I’d understand if he kept swearing whenever a car crashed or encouraged Communist revolutions or something but I don’t recall anything like that…

  104. James Allen says:

    JA writes: Why not? Elvis did, and now even Spandau Ballet. So why not Honda?

  105. Colin says:

    Could they afford Brawn GP… now?

  106. rpaco says:

    No, Honda can not come back, the “loss of face” would not be acceptable. If you have worked with/for a Japanese company you will understand this.
    Only after the people (and it will not be one man but a group or committee) have moved on to different jobs would it be acceptable. Normally the Japanese manage by consensus so that no person one is to blame.
    Thus even if a decision is later proved to be wrong, it can be shown that the correct conventional company thinking of the time supported and was responsible for the decision. Thus the company made the proper decision at the time.

    This process was sometimes very frustrating! The rigidity and pressure of company life induces the desire to be individual and different and the goal to own something exclusive. Thus the marketing dream was to mass produce exclusivity. (Which of course always amused me)

  107. MartinWR says:

    I think the thing that worries me is that if Brawn GP go on being so successful one or more of the poor blighters back in the land of the rising sun may feel the need to commit Hari-Kiri out of shame.
    I can’t see any possible way back for them, and they’re financing possibly the best 2009 car of the whole season, one that’s getting the most publicity, at the cost of millions, and it’s carrying the name of a rival manufacturer. That is one weird story-line that you couldn’t invent.

  108. Colin says:

    We appreciate your ironic quip, but actually that was Mr. Allen’s Mother-in-Law moderating for him while he did the shopping.

  109. Michael says:

    Are you looking into commentating for it on Satanta? It would probably make me watch it more.

  110. MartinWR says:

    That interview was a classic of its kind, unforgettable in its own way. Makes you wonder what was the point of putting it out on air, other than to torture the participants. Maybe there’s a programme controller at the BBC with a slyly sadistic streak in them.

  111. Al27 says:

    I think you’re making too much of the BBC’s coverage Paul. Sure there were ads, but now the ad breaks are just filled with Coulthard droning on! It’s not *that* different from ITV – it’s just got some extra stuff on the web/red button.

    To say that ITV didn’t take F1 seriously and had ‘cheesy montages and video editing’ is a load of rubbish and you know it.

  112. Graeme says:

    + for ITV:
    a hatful of BAFTA’s and other awards for their F1 coverage over the years.

  113. MartinWR says:

    McLaren would not be where they were, in the past anyway, without the Mercedes engine for that matter (where is it in fact made?). Brawn, after all, are one of the teams who depend now on a customer engine, and I see nothing wrong in that. It also would be very surprising if the engine they use is up to the latest development standard that McLaren have available. That wouldn’t make commercial sense for Mercedes, who own 40% of McLaren.
    No team, whoever they are, can hope to win with any degree of consistency unless they have a strong motor, so I don’t think Brawn’s requirement for one says anything to their detriment.
    F1 is so competitive that every single part of the package, aero, engine, strategy, chassis, tyres, driver, has to be first rate in order to succeed. Taking the engine out of the equation, which you have to, Brawn seem to be doing a better job than anyone else on the other fronts.
    But all this makes me wonder, what engine are Brawn designing their 2010 car around? That is the really interesting question to my mind.

  114. Mutt & Jeff says:

    Hi Les,

    Just to respond to your comment

    “- EJ, as annoying as it seems, he does know what he is saying;”

    All I can say is “Shame the rest of us haven’t got a clue what he’s saying”! :-D

    He’s constantly making simple mistakes…I love the way DC looks almost embarrassed for him at times!

    Great season so far though & I’m really enjoying this site, good work James….I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m really missing ‘Ted’s Notebook’ on the ITV site…the BBC should get him to do it for their site…which I don’t think is as clear as the ITV site for the record.

  115. Dave H says:

    It should also be noted that during the race in Canada, had Nick chosen to ignore the team and not allow Robert to pass him then Heidfeld would’ve won the race.
    Nick would’ve deserved it more, but from a publicity point of view it was given to Robert.

    Take note of Silverstone as well, Robert fell off and Nick overtook cars left, right and centre to come home 2nd.
    Not to take anything away from Kubica; he’s a great qualifier and as quick over a single lap as anyone, he’s just not as good on raceday as his teammate who constantly overcomes bad qualifying performances to score good points.

  116. Mike says:

    I agree. Glock was shamefully maligned by many.

  117. Mike says:

    I agree, not an easy job to have a couple of million armchair experts pulling apart your every comment. I’m giving him more than two races to get up to speed.

  118. PaulL says:

    I thought they were cheezy, remembering the one at the end of Brazil 2007 by example, “sometimes you’ve gotta feel pain like this”.. As well as ill-conceived audio tracks like that one, the onscreen graphics and video effects were well below what the UFC for example has for their productions like Countdown.

    I like what the BBC are doing for the fans. They have invested much into covering the sport through many more dimensions and making use of their archive. I got the impression ITV were in it mainly to make a dollar out of showing F1.
    I quite like Legard and DC will only grow into his role. The chick they have in the pitlane asks more intelligent questions than the ITV lady, and whatever you say about DC, I think he’s a better analyst than Blundell.

  119. sldsmkd says:

    The BBC coverage is better because:

    a) No adverts
    b) No recapping the entire bloody race after every advert break
    c) Red button commentary with Ant

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