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The comment of the week!
The comment of the week!
Posted By:   |  25 Nov 2008   |  4:43 pm GMT  |  30 comments

I’ve had a peach of a comment from AK, in response to the posting yesterday about the new BBC team.

He says: “I’ve just been pointed here by someone who said “I know none of us like James Allen as a commentator, but check this blog out anyway”. It’s won over a large number of people who would have clicked it with the mindset “let’s all laugh at the guy crying over his P45″ and the unanimous opinion is that we all like your writing a lot and are looking forward to you having more time for it – and if you can win over heartless bastards like us you must be bloody good at it. There’s also several people who are going to or already have bought your Schumi book because of this…”

Well, if you say so, A.K. who am I to disagree! I love the spirit of this comment so much, I shall send a signed copy of the Schuey book to AK as my first “comment of the week” winner… If you prefer, AK, you can have a rare, unsigned copy!

In all seriousness, it has been gratifying to see how quickly this space is developing as a forum for informed and passionate Formula 1 talk. I am enjoying this new opportunity to interact with other fans and I just wish I had started it a little earlier. Maybe I would have won over more people like A.K. sooner.


Anyway never mind, now that I have started, I have developed a taste for it, and so I can reveal that I am busy working on a cunning plan to develop this website into something more substantial in time for the new season. So get ready for a lot more in-depth content, interviews, and community features in the near future (there may even be some video content too…)

Updates: if you want to be kept updated with all the changes, be sure to subscribe to the email alerts (top right-hand corner).

And as sad as I may be to not be carrying on the old role next year, I am excited at the opportunity to interact in a more relaxed way with you all going forward.

After Christmas I’ll let you know where else I can be seen, heard and read during the 2009 season…

So here’s to my P45 and beyond! – James

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The fickle world of internet fandom. Always liked the job you did, cant wait for the Beeb to come to their senses. Although this page is a must visit, rapidly becoming an addiction.

Rallycross craig

I have really enjoyed reading through your articles having just found this site, very interesting and well written, I look forward to seeing some more, link now added as one of my favourites.


Hi James,

Some great articles on here already, I hope you are able to continue getting access to F1 for us – it’s a great bridge to the sport for the general public.




Good effort on the blog, really interesting reading! I thought that you really improved over the years to the point that the BBC have missed a trick in not hiring you.

Anyway, I think the blog is great, good analysis….

Any chance of a podcast? [ Watch this space. We hope to have rich media content in the new year. — Moderator ]



I’d like to have seen the BBC give you the job. ITV took Murray and the Beeb should have returned the compliment … especially as most fans (rather than the deranged vocal minority on some forums – especially 606) really like your work. Personally, I prefer you to Murray Walker.

Hope you can develop this site into a place where true fans can meet and I hope that it proves to be lucrative for you.

For the years of commentating: THANK YOU.

For the future: GOOD LUCK.

As the French say (equivalent to our ‘as one door closes saying’):

Un de perdu, dix de trouver

(One lost, ten found)

The BBC’s loss, our ten fold gain? Hope so.



Firstly, I’m really surprised to read some of the comments – I’ve always loved your commentary. Together with Martin, I thought you were the top team. I remember the days that F1 first switched from BBC to ITV – I can’t say I could ever get used to mid race adverts.

I also always liked the sound of Murray’s voice though towards the end, the mistakes were becoming common, that I did better myself in the living room !! (Well, maybe not – he is the Great Murray after all !!)

I’ll certainly miss your commentary !

We moved to New Zealand about 18 months ago which has two down sides: (a) Most races start at midnight on a Sunday – makes for a tiring Monday in the offce ! (b) coverage only starts 5 mins before the actual race start, so no more grid walks for me 🙁

I now have this blog site in my favourite links and look forward to reading your updates as we enter the new world of KERS, slicks (again – yippee !) and “gold medals” ???? (What’s that all about !)

Hope you are well back in Blighty and that you re-appear somewhere where I can still hear your views.



Like ive said so many times on 606-

James Allen is an talented and informed commentator (in this instance commentating to a blog) whos commentaries (the blogs) are enjoyed by the majority.

This blog is an awesome read James, as is your Schumacher book which i demanded our library ordered in just for me to read 🙂 (plus i said it was a good addition)


Here’s a suggestion James,since you’re going to make this site more professional,why don’t you create a forum as an addition to this blog?

That way,it would be easier for us to find infos about the topic we want to know,and it would be easier for us to ask you questions about formula 1.It would be more organized and every topics would be in the right places.

Just a thought,please consider it.Thanks.. [ Good thought … We have only had this space for a couple of months and are still finding our virtual feet. But keep the suggestions coming — Moderator ]


James, so far your blog is great. It’s nice to read your informed comment rather than just ‘yet another F1 news site’. I’ve closely followed F1 for over 20 years so appreciate the thoughtful insights. Keep up the good work, long may it continue. I’ll miss your commentaries, but look forward to reading your opinions on a regular basis…


I have to agree with that guy, that this blog type of space is really cool. And it’s alread known alot outside of UK too, I’m from Croatia for instance 🙂

Gotta say I’m happy i saw that link on itv page saying for more ja content click here!

Being from Croatia i don’t know what does your commentary look like, except for few youtube clips i saw, but being big F1 fan as i think I am, i read alot of F1 related stuff, and alot of people rate ITV as tv house that is very much Lewis Hamilton oriented. I haven’t noticed much of that on this blog and that’s great, objectivity is the key in journalism. I’m planning to do something like F1 oriented web page myself too, but would like to work with other people that are in the sport itself firstly, so if you need any work done for design of the new page or something like that you can always use my mail 🙂

Keep up the good work, greeting from other side of Europe!


Hi James!

What a fantastic find… I didn’t realise you did a blog!

Its really sad to hear your not coming over to BBC, and I will really miss your commentary.

Taking over the mic from Murray was bound to be a tough show to follow. I too was a little cynical, but I think you found your own style and brought your own ideas to the role. Who would have thought all these years later people would be wondering who the next James Allen is going to be? Thats a credit to the dedication and hard work that you have put in to improving your commentary over the past few years.

I have kept a copy of the final GP just for commentary on the last 3 laps – what a way to finish the season and F1 on ITV!

I have enjoyed the contribution that both yourself and Mark’s many ‘Blundelisms’, and I look forward to keeping tabs on your blogs in future.

Take Care!

Pinks xxx


I’m thinking that many who slated you beforehand are gonna wish you were back after a few races in to the 2009 season! I hope you’re back as a commentator for F1 sooner rather than later. Only sports commentator that doesn’t get on my nerves.



I give you credit for starting a blog. I have read both the Schummie books and they were a fantastic read. You were spot on. So I expect great things from you and your website. Good choice of blog platform as (WordPress).

I guess what I am saying is, “as a commentator you SUCK like an Electrolux [ Harsh! Moderator ]. Your bias towards anything British was extremely annoying throughout the time you were on ITV and as a commentator you should be as neutral as possible and to that extent I will not miss you”.

As a F1 blogger who knows what he is talking about, I think you have a fantastic future, and from what I have read so far, your style of writing is fascinating and interesting, and I have bookmarked your website. I’ll even go as far as putting a link on my website for week.



James, just had a great idea, why don’t you become the permenant steward at all the races. You have the best CV for the job.



I found this website through, and it’s great, especially during the painfully long off-season. I look forward to seeing how this site develeops, so good luck with it James.


Hi James

Just a quick note to add my appreciation to this. You’re writing is excellent (have read both Schumi books a number of times and heartly recommend them to all) and I confess I was sadder from the thought of losing your ITV-F1 column than the break up of the TV team. It’s excellent to discover you’ll still be letting us know your thoughts and well done for ITV-F1 for putting the link to this site up on their pages.

I remember the old forums on ITV-F1 which were always lively and interesting, until the mods interfered, so this could be a chance to recreate that in a less political envionment. I notice some of the old forum members are already cropping up here and nice to hear from you all again. Does anyone know if Lady Snowcat is really Slavica Ecclestone???

Take care James, look forward to reading more in the future.



James, I will openly admit that when you started on ITV I didn’t like your commentary and wanted you to go. However over the years, particularly the last two seasons, your enthusiasm and experience has made your commentary extremely insightful and you have won me over. I guess you would be the first to agree that you aren’t a legendary commentator, but what you did do convey some extremely complicated races and make some very good predictions for fans with how the races would play out. I shall never forget you and Martin spotting Glock on the final corner at Brazil, and the way you both pointed it out will always be up there with the greatest commentary moments, like “they think it’s all over” or Murray’s lump in his throat at Suzuka 96.

I have to bare some of the responsibility for you not going over to ITV since I wasn’t always behind you, which I regret as I think the audience will be missing something. However, I have always had the opinion that you are a superb F1 journalist and the best in your field. Your articles on ITV-F1 have been brilliant. Your piece in your Driven to the Edge book about Schumacher and Senna was a superb bit of sports literature. It is a shame that you won’t be able to put that to use next season on BBC, but I’m glad you are going it alone because I know I will be reading your articles.


Looking forward to seeing how the site develops James. As a fan of your from back when I lived in Ireland and the UK, and now living in Austrlaia, I can only say what a joy it was to hear your voice come on every Sunday night here, in place of the clueless Aussie TV pundits, who really don’t have a clue what they are talking about!


Hi James, I thought I would just send you a comment on my thoughts.

For many years, my father had always tried to get me to watch Grand Prix, and on the odd occasion – I did. I remember hearing ‘Montoya’, ‘Fisichella’ and ‘Schumacher’ most often. I would always watch Monaco as I love the place – but it wasn’t until the end of 2007 did I become obsessed (literally!) with F1. I have read up on all the history of it, the technical aspects of it, and am addicted to most F1 news.

Before I started frequenting forums dedicated to F1, I always thought your voice to be ‘the’ voice of F1- although I quickly found out that Murray was ‘the’ voice supposedly, and that many people didn’t like your commentating style. The one thing I will never forget – even though many criticize you for it, was Button’s win in 2006. It sends shivers through my spine – I am subsequently a big Button/Hamilton fan.

When I was watching the recording of France (I work every sunday 12-4!) with my father, I told him about how many people criticized you. He had no idea of your supposed inaccurate commentating – the only thing that comes to mind for me was calling Massa ‘Raikonnen’ in Malaysia of this year. However, how can someone deal with so many things at once – relaying information from 4 screens, listening to your producers or other people, bringing in other people such as Gascoyne in Monaco while trying not to interrupt Martin must be quite a feat! I think you have done a wonderful job of it, and I would like to see these people try to commentate half-decently.

I would also like to echo some of the other comments made on this page about your ITV F1 Friday Practice blogs, which were very informative and made for some great reading.

There is one thing I am glad to see go however – it’s not you – but the adverts! I couldn’t believe Brazil where 1 and a half laps into the race you went to adverts… My father was pretty mad! But I understand thats not your fault and you are under pressure from your corporate management.

There is nothing more to say apart from that I wish you well in the future, and thank you for making the memories I have of my short Grand Prix history memorable.


I’ve always said that you were a great pit lane reporter when F1-ITV first started out and after about 6 months in the commentary box you made the role your own.
I’ve just been watching a video of the 1997 Argentina Grand Prix (third race ITV did) and couldn’t help but laugh as you interviewed Damon Hill on the grid and referred to him having “the trots” all weekend – classic!
I’ve always wondered though, where in the pits does the pit reporter tend to watch the race from?


Thought your book on Schumacher was brilliant, i’d spent most of my life hating him and after reading the biography i got much better understanding of who he was as a person and what shaped him as a driver, and as a result have much more respect for him now. I’d really like it if you took on the FIA for your next book, i’m a huge sports fan and regularly watch Football, Tennis, Golf, Rugby, Cricket, Snooker, Darts, Boxing, Moto gp and of course F1. Although i love F1 it is by far the most corrupt sport in terms decision making, never have i seen such a lack of transparency and fairness when it comes to penalties. Ferrari clearly have an unfair advantage over the other teams regardless of how many people try deny it. I know this has been a subject that you have touched on in recent years and i’m sure Martin Brundle would be happy to lend you a hand : ). It would also be interesting to know a bit more about Bernie’s involvement with the sport because some of his recent decisions have been outrageous and not in the best interests of the sport.



Yes was sorry to hear you wont be on the BBC. I do admit at first initially I wasnt your biggest fan, but like a good wine you matured and really grew in the role at ITV and thought you and Martin were an excellent pairing and was genuinely dissapointed after Brazil fearing what the beeb may do with the ITV team.

Anyway now we have this blog we can still listen to your thoughts, and from the above post of yours its good to see you got a sense of humour and that you will still giving your detailed opinions on F1.

I particularly liked your column on the ITV-F1 website on a Friday after the two free practise session finding it very informative and would like to suggest here now that you continue the Friday report on this website and maybe even have a similiar post after practise 3 and quali? Also I thought Ted’s Notebook was fasinating and I’m sure the beeb wouldnt allow him to do anything so risky so maybe you could fill this gap on this blog?!!?!

Anyway, hope you do get something in F1 and keep the informative blog going!



Sometimes I loved to hate you but seeing as that was one of the things I loved about F1 then I will truly miss your good self. Thank you for doing one of the most difficult jobs in F1 ..follow Murray Walker. Overall I would say damn good job. This blog is excellent I will stay tuned.


Hey James – I was a late comer to the ITV coverage of F1 and I found both yours and Martin’s coverage to be excellent.

I’m not sure what this new team will be like without you but I hope they gel as well and more to the point, get as excited as you two did! Good luck with your new plans.


Oh great, it turns out that old e-mail address I feed to blogs (so it doesn’t matter when a spambot inevitably confiscates it and starts trying to sell it Viagra and porn) is bouncing right now. I’ve found Lobby Lud, but I can’t claim my five pounds. I just hope the comment moderation process records IPs…

What a top bloke. Regardless of what anyone’s opinion might have been about your commentary, how can they dislike you now? It’s just not possible, and it’s things like this that truly justify the existence of the internet.

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