Posted on April 3, 2009


Here’s a snapshot of the reaction from some of my international colleagues in the media. First to Germany, where, true to form, leading tabloid Bild have making mischief with Photoshop again. Last week Hamilton was morphed onto a snail’s body, today he’s got Pinocchio’s nose and is described as the ‘lying world champion’ Ouch! Next on to Spain, where El Pais simply has the headline, “Lying for a podium.” They feel that this has been a damaging moment for the world champion, but do not feel that the matter requires any further punishment. That said, many in Spain are rubbing More…

Posted on March 28, 2009


F1′s commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone isn’t here in Australia, he’s back in London doing deals. One which broke cover this weekend was a deal he’s been working on for ages with Universal Music group, the biggest recorded music outfit in the world. They own dozens of the labels you grew up with like Polydor, Decca and A&M. According to a joint statement the concept is called “F1 Rocks” and it is a series of multi-artist live music events from the Grands Prix. That part isn’t new, after all the Who are playing here tomorrow night and good old Status More…

Posted on March 19, 2009


There was so much information being given out at the recent FOTA press conference in Geneva that the part about improving the TV coverage was largely overlooked by the media. As it has subsequently turned out the FIA has not adopted the FOTA proposals on rules and cost savings and instead has very much gone it’s own way. However, according to Autosport, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said yesterday that he will make sure that his TV direction team make use of the enhanced graphics being offered by FOTA to improve the TV coverage. Some of these ideas are really good, More…

Posted on March 10, 2009


If you liked that James Bond sequence where he drove the BMW Q had given him using by remote control using his phone, you’ll enjoy this wacky bit of video. I remember a few years ago F1 engineers were talking about how it was possible for an F1 car to drive itself. Well take a look at this. It’s a Vodafone viral for the Blackberry Storm, but it shows McLaren are getting funkeeeee! And please, no comments about how it might be faster than the car they’ve got at the moment! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiLoANg6nNY]

Posted on February 28, 2009


Following the news that Niall Sloane, executive producer of F1, has quit the BBC, I saw on the Guardian media website that the BBC has appointed Ben Gallop as head of F1. I’ve asked around and apparently he comes from the online side of the media business rather than TV and has no F1 background. Mark Wilkin, who is the editor of the F1 programme will report to him. Mark does have a strong F1 background and is also a very experienced producer/director. He held the same role when the BBC last had F1 in 1996. There seems to be More…

Posted on February 27, 2009


I was sad to see in Charlie Sale’s column in the Daily Mail today that Niall Sloane, the executive producer of the BBC’s F1 coverage has quit. Sloane is a football man, a former player in fact, who took charge of the F1 brief when the BBC won back the rights last March. He spent most of 2008 setting up the presentation team and the coverage schedule, which was announced earlier this week. According to Sale, Sloane lost out on the job of BBC Head of Sport to his colleague Barbara Slater and is leaving the corporation after 27 years.

Posted on February 25, 2009


[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otA5sriGr_s] What will the BBC use as their theme tune? Well, in case you have been wondering about the trailer that Ben G was referring to in his earlier comment … Here it is: a YouTube mash-up that uses The Chain as inspiration.  There are links to all sorts of would-be BBC intros at the end of the clip, including one with a Cardigans track. And until an official version is formally unveiled, these will have to do. By the way, keep on voting for your favourite F1 soundtrack in our mini-poll (right). So far it seems that a remix More…

Posted on February 25, 2009


Interesting response to the BBC package announced yesterday. Quite a few people think “The Chain” is a retrograde step. Andrew Baker in the Telegraph is positively evangelistic about it, reckons it’s the greatest theme music ever in a proud BBC tradition of theme tunes. I quite liked the tune to Horse of the Year show, but that’s by the by… Quite a few of you are wondering about the use of archive footage. The standard deal is that you can use anything up to 10 years previous as part of the package. Anything before that and you have to pay More…

Posted on January 29, 2009


Yesterday I wrote about some things we will not be seeing on TV, today I’m posting on a couple of things which will be in the show, although I’m not sure about one of them. Radio conversations between team and driver have been available for a few years, but the team had a button it needed to press to make the channel open to the TV director. Renault were always very good and open about this, even though it used to irritate them that the director kept playing clips of them telling Fisi to push harder. Ferrari and McLaren were More…

Posted on January 28, 2009


As regulars here will know, I occasionally like to highlight a feedback comment and there’s one here from Rpaco, who clearly has worked in the car/racing industry at some point. His comment in response to my post yesterday about Charlie Whiting’s briefing really made me laugh. “Well I trust that the new BBC team will keep us informed of the engine number being used by each car. A spreadsheet will be needed to keep track of them all. Though I have a vision of the Lottery commentator, “the voice of the balls” giving the statistics on each number. ‘This engine More…

Posted on December 8, 2008


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 More…

Posted on November 24, 2008


The new presentation team, which will bring Formula 1 to UK audiences on the BBC for the next five years was announced today. Jake Humphrey, who hosted some of the Olympics coverage on BBC this summer, will host the programme. David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan will stand alongside him as pundits. Radio 5 Live’s football correspondent Jonathan Ledgard will commentate with Martin Brundle, while Ted Kravitz patrols the pit lane along with Lee Mackenzie, who despite her name, is a woman, with extensive A1 GP and GP2 experience. I wish them all well and hope that they can keep all More…

Posted on November 21, 2008


Poignant night at the ITV farewell party yesterday. It was held at the Langley in London’s Covent Garden and pretty much everyone who has worked on the programmes over the past 12 years was there, even some who only worked on that first, 1997 season, which seems like a different lifetime.. Neil Duncanson, the boss of the North One Production company, read out his diary from that first year with many great stories I had forgotten, like the first Monaco GP where the show was presented from a boat and the water got really choppy, so Simon Taylor had to More…

Posted on November 5, 2008


I talked a lot about luck during the broadcast on Sunday. Luck always has a role to play in big sporting events; the rub of the green, the ball hitting the crossbar, the engine failing three laps from the end. When the hard work has been done and the results are what they are to that point, a final race will often come down to a question of luck and so it proved on Sunday, with the rain showers, Glock’s gamble on dry tyres, which almost paid off and almost handed the title to Massa. Then the crucial piece of More…

Posted on September 27, 2008


We’ve had our first session here in Singapore and there was plenty of spectacular action and a few near misses out on the track as the drivers get used to it. At the end, Hamilton very nearly hit Fisichella who had spun in one of the blind corners and was across the track. Lewis was fastest, by a few hundredths from Massa and Raikkonen. Kovalainen had a huge moment at the final corner, as did Vettel. Luckily for bthe there is plenty of run off area there. Mark Webber hit the wall on the outside of the corner which passes More…

Posted on September 25, 2008


The Financial Times recently asked me to narrate a multimedia presentation on their website offering an insight into the Formula One experience. It was a unique opportunity to share some of my more personal impressions of this wonderful, passionate environment. Click here to view it



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