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Why Gascoyne will be a hit on BBC F1
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Why Gascoyne will be a hit on BBC F1
Posted By:   |  16 Apr 2009   |  7:19 am GMT  |  24 comments

Mike Gascoyne is back in an F1 paddock for the first time since he was dropped by Force India at the end of last season.

Gascoyne is working for the BBC this weekend in place of his former boss Eddie Jordan. Gascoyne has had a stop start career in recent years, sitting out after being dropped by Toyota at the start of 2006 until being picked up by Spyker in 2007 shortly before it was sold to Vijay Mallya and became Force India. He bought a large yacht in 2006 and did some fairly ambitious single-handed sailing voyages, but you could tell that he was desperate to go racing again.

Although an engineering manager and co-ordinator in the manner of Ross Brawn and  a fierce one at that, Gascoyne is keen to get back into F1 and says that he would accept a role similar to the one Frank Dernie has at Toyota, where he is not the top dog, but is able to lend his experience and insights to the team.

Given that his particular area of expertise is aerodynamics and he has a great track record in sorting out cars which do not have enough downforce, he may well find a team making him an offer as they battle to come to accommodate the double decker diffuser into their designs.

“There are new regulations, and there are some teams struggling with the new aero rules which is an area where I have done very well in the past,” he is telling people in the paddock.

I’m sure Gascoyne will be a real hit with viewers this weekend. I encouraged him to help out on ITV with insights from the pit wall in recent years and he relished the task and added some great material to the show. Quite often he was making big strategy calls which he would tell us about and then we could see the effect of them in the race. It made for brilliant TV. The wet German GP of 2007 was the classic where his driver Winklehock, was 30 seconds ahead of the field early on because of a Gazza call to pit him for wet tyres early.

He is a great communicator and I’m sure he’ll add a lot to viewers’ understanding of what is going on. 

Although his BBC stand in role has been planned for months, the timing couldn’t be better as the team has the unenviable task this weekend of explaining the diffuser decision and it’s ramifications and Gazza is just the man to sum it up in layman’s terms.

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24 Comments
  1. Glen D says:

    This sounds good! Like you say James he should be able to give a good explanation of the diffuser situation.
    I’m still not sure on Eddie being a pundit but we’ll see as the season goes on.

    Just a shame i’m going to miss most of the action this weekend :(

  2. jensfan09 says:

    Great words about Gazza!!!

    Just wanted to correct you re Europe 2007, Winklehock started on dry tyres from the pitlane, he didnt pit early to put them on!!

  3. Paul_W says:

    Mike did some of the practice commentary at the last race and he was superb (as is Ant Davidson too!). I’m really looking forward to it.

  4. David Hodge says:

    Shame the BBC won’t make it Martin Brundle commentating with Mike Gascoyne as his expert pundit. Jonathan Legard can go commentate on some football on R5 Live instead. In my dreams I guess…

  5. Colin S says:

    I wonder who it is in China that Eddie Jordan has annoyed so that he dare not show his face there ;)

    Looking forward to watching Gascoyne this weekend.

  6. Ben G says:

    I remember that interview when Winklehock was leading. I was struck by Gascyone’s negative comment on Winkelhock’s chances of leading for more than even a lap at the restart, saying “we’ll go backwards anyway”, and opting to play safe on tyre choice. It seemed to me to sum up his slightly pessimistic view on things. Never met the guy though, so am happy to concede that I’m wrong.

  7. Ed H says:

    I was wondering what Gazza was doing all this time! I think Eddie Jordan: Great as a team manager, but as a pundit that attempts desperatley to turn every fact into a point about himself…No. I feel sorry for Mike as he shouldn’t have been dropped from Force India, and Force India are still basic tail-enders without him, so that proves how valuable It is to have him on your side. BBC will gain from this, no doubt.

  8. Paul Harman says:

    No Eddie? Great news! Let’s hope it’s permanent.

  9. Paul W. says:

    Mike Gascoyne is, indeed, a hugely knowledgeable engineer, and exactly the kind of person that the BBC should be looking to, to add some detail and explanation of technical matters. He should be an entertaining and interesting addition to the show this week. That said, I’ve a feeling that Vijay Mallya may not be joining the broadcast team as part of the ‘BBC forum’ after the race, as he did in Australia………..

  10. Mutt & Jeff says:

    Fantastic news…Gazza standing in for EJ is a win/win situation…he even speaks English which will be a massive bonus!! :-D

  11. Patrice Ici says:

    Thank goodness for that!
    Eddie Jordan is *terrible* on the tv. It’s sponsor this, sponsor that, moneymoneymoney, I love Bernie, I knew Michael Schumacher don’t you know – all in that monotonous drone.

  12. Gouache says:

    Eddie Jordan is a waste of space in this position giving us his biased opinions and predictions on who will win. Decent enough for a one-off showing at silverstone with Damon Hill for example but to have him at nearly ever race is a bit of a pain.

    Gascoyne tells you how it is, hope to hear more insights this weekend.

  13. rpaco says:

    He was very good and interesting during practice 1 today bringing an engineer’s insight to many areas. Maybe you need to be an engineer or an F1 anorak to appreciate, I am the former, so I was well pleased with his contributions. I found the second session without him less interesting.

  14. Lee Gilbert says:

    Lets hope Gazza does an excellent job and EJ gets the boot!

  15. Gary Davidson says:

    He started on drys and pitted at the end of the formation lap to switch to the wet tyre.

  16. Liam says:

    So true, I couldn’t have put it better, I hope that Eddie Jordans ‘been there did that’ attitude has fed up the BBC aswell!

  17. iceman says:

    I don’t think MG’s presence would necessarily put Vijay Mallya off… after all Eddie Jordan is not exactly his best mate either. It has been speculated that the reason Eddie is missing this weekend is that he’s off to fetch another load of concrete blocks to deliver to Force India :)

  18. Paul W says:

    Yes, that little right-of-way dispute did cross my mind when I saw Mallya chatting with Eddie on the BBC coverage! MG has a ongoing lawsuit against Force India, though, and I daresay matters may be still fairly ‘raw’, so to speak.

  19. Antonio Carlos says:

    I don’t know why I should consider Gascoyne a great engineer.

    Renault improved without him, Toyota improved without him, Force India looking good without him.

    Of course, he was on some great Jordan cars, but it was 10 years ago…

  20. M__E says:

    whats wrong with a team manager sharing their insights? – jeez – they usually dont give anything away, its nice to hear someone (who knows what he’s talkin about having been there and got the…) give some of that behind closed doors insight into F1, I for 1 was interested in his musings. Its because he’s Irish isn’t REALLY? ;-)

  21. M__E says:

    ah yes the “monotonous drone” – also known as the Irish accent! – see its all about Cromwell and not really about how good or bad Eddie is ;-D

  22. Jodum says:

    Just because he isn’t indespensable doesn’t mean he’s not a good or great engineer. Modern organizations have excellent methods of ensuring things move forward even in the event of top level staff exiting.

  23. Aaron James says:

    I would have thought we would want Mr Allen back in his rightful place alongside Martin.

    Great Gascoyne insight, much better than Jordan.

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