F1 Winter Break
A question of luck
A question of luck
Posted By:   |  05 Nov 2008   |  10:30 am GMT  |  6 comments

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 luck, the one which handed the title to Lewis, when it started raining heavily with less than 130 seconds to go to the end of Hamilton’s season. Glock couldn’t control his car on dry tyres in this narrow sliver of time and Hamilton caught and passed him. No rain, no title.

What I didn’t get around to mentioning in the broadcast, because of all the thrills, was that the organisers at Interlagos had placed Hamilton and McLaren in garage number 13. [ more ]

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Thank you for everything this season James, I personally think you're a great commentator who 'gets' the real passion involved in Formula 1, it's always showed through the commentary you and Martin provide. It's very hard to find a truly unbiased fan of Formula 1, most of us have our favourite teams/drivers etc but I admire how you manage to bring the personality of each driver and every team to the viewer throught the race weekend. I've got many memorable moments from 2008 but for some reason Alonso's stop for dry tyres in Monaco always stands out, you and Martin talking away then you chipping in with 'Dry tyres!!! ho ho now we'll see some fun'....it was timed perfectly, too many commentators literally just mention all they see on the monitor in front of them where as many viewers could tell straight away from your delivery it's so much more then just reporting the facts to you.

I really do hope to be hearing you commentate again in the immediate future, I've got fingers crossed that you'll crossover onto the BBC along with Martin and Mark. Ignore the armchair 'experts' they'll always find something to moan about in F1, they're only sour people without true love for the sport.

Finally thank you for making the 2008 season the best i've ever watched in my life, all the best James.



Love the blog. Great insight. Thanks for all you have done for F1 on TV.

I think the hamiltons need to get a media consultant, like michael had. This would stop them doing these silly things like what happened at Turkey this year.


Hey James...I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed listening to both you and Martin Brundle cover the Grand Prix season. On holiday in Italy in September I found myself watching the Belgium GP on a German cable TV station (!) and it was as if the two German guys commentating were watching a queue move at Tesco's compared to the excitement you two exude. I really hope the pair of you secure contracts with the BBC next season and continue a fantastic partnership....with no adverts!!

All the best,


It's amazing what sore losers some people can be!Lewis Hamilton had worked hard for what he's achieved, don't take that away from him, and his family. If the ITV staff show some extra enthusiasm for Lewis because he's British, well, why not? No one bats an eye at the Brazilians going gaga for Massa, or the Spanish and their devotion for Alonso. It's been far too long since we've had a British world champion, so why not celebrate it? Besides, as we've seen in the past couple of seasons, the championship truly is up for grabs, if you don't win it one year, there's always next year!


Hey James,
Great job commentating, both this year and through all the itv years, you will be missed. I admire your passion for Formula 1, i think you'd be a fascinating person to talk to, hopefully, we will see you in melbourne, one way or another. I'll be there! Can't wait for you winter blog, all the best.

Sydney, Australia


Ah yes luck, something that it seems Lewis Hamilton has much more of than Felipe Massa.

If you look at incidents like Monaco, where in the most treacherous conditions at the start of the race Massa was able to drive away from the field whereas Hamilton put it in the wall. The unscheduled stop that resulted in a change of strategy, coupled with a fortunate safety car propelled Lewis to victory. A win where you benefit from binning it is lucky in anyone's book.

Other examples of Felipe having bad luck are Hungary (engine blow with 3 laps to go), Canada (where he pitted, only for no fuel to go into his car and he had to pit again 1 lap later, but recovered brilliantly to 5th) and of course Singapore. These incidents that were out of his control which I think constitutes bad luck, they spelt good luck for Lewis, who then had some luck with a little extra rain on the last lap of the season...

The only piece of good luck I think Felipe had was France with Kimi's exhaust.

Lewis is a great driver, I don't like his peronality/attitude though, and he drove some good races so I can't say he doesn't deserve the championship, I just feel Felipe deserves it more as he is an equally good driver and has a much better personality/attitude, he just had very bad luck unlike Lewis. If you count up where each driver lost points over the season, Lewis lost more points through errors of his own rather than errors of reliability/ the pit crew. Felipe made less mistakes.

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