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Listen: JA on F1 Grand Prix Special with Eddie Irvine
Listen: JA on F1 Grand Prix Special with Eddie Irvine
Posted By: James Allen  |  18 Jul 2010   |  12:59 am GMT  |  104 comments

I had a great time today hosting a radio show for the first time with ex Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine, rock star Chris Rea and F1 journo Adam Cooper.

We did a two hour radio special on TalkSport, the UK’s leading commercial sports radio station. I’ve done many inserts into their shows, but never hosted one before. It was great fun and we had Christian Horner, Karun Chandhok and others including Ian Phillips and Times F1 correspondent Kevin Eason.

Horner added a new element to the saga of the front wing swap from Silverstone – he said that after Vettel’s wing broke on Saturday morning, they took the wing off Webber’s car and found it was defective. When Adrian Newey was satisfied that the defects had been sorted he gave the all clear for it to be used and at that point Webber’s former wing was allocated to Vettel.

It’s a subtle point, but it takes the wing away from Webber at the point at which it was decided to give it to Vettel.

He also revealed that Webber had a newer floor and a lighter chassis than Vettel, which is interesting because the chassis Webber was using in Silverstone was Vettel’s old one.

Irvine’s conclusion was that Red Bull is in danger of bending over backwards so far to try to be fair to both drivers that they will be focussed on that and take points off each other, while Lewis Hamilton will consolidate his position and steal the championship.

Horner also accepted Irvine’s point that he should have sat Webber down and explained what needed to happen on Saturday afternoon, not left it for an engineer to tell him.

We also discussed Schumacher’s comeback, Ferrari’s mentality now that Alonso is there and how Hamilton has improved in the last two seasons.

It’s a good listen; Irvine was really interesting on many subjects, so if you would like to hear the programme you can link to it on LG Grand Prix Special

There are no geographical restrictions. As always let us know your comments.

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I like this. The little kid in me from days gone by when F1 was a few blurbs in the paper and on tv once or twice a week is giddy with this kind of unlimited access to knowledgeable, entertaining content from half way around the world. Newspapers are dead. TV is hanging on by a thread. The winds of change are blowing. Once those old farts who still remember ice trucks and steam engines pass the baton (or simply pass on) to people who actually understand the 21st century, F1 may actually enter a new golden age. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of the future.


Hello James.

I now watch the races on TV, listen to the red button commentary, have a laptop with the formula 1 timmings screens on one tab, the new car tracker srceen on another tab and now your tweet page on a third tab. And then, during the week, I can follow these very engaging debates.

Having followed F1 for over twenty years this year, in every way and on every level is simply brilliant. Thank you for your hard work, commitment and passion. You don’t need to do this – but you do. Cheers.


Thanks, there’s never been a better time to follow F1 with all the info that’s available now. Glad you like the live Twitter stream. I think it adds a lot. For those who don’t know it, it’s http://twitter.jamesallenonf1.com


Hi james,

Thankyou for making the world of f1 feel like something I am now involved in. I think you also have to lay praise at Jake Humpreys door because the way he has embraced f1 and used media platforms such as twitter to promote your website and anything f1 related is great for us punters.

I missed the show live but listened to it via my iPhone on Sunday while washing the car. It filled the gap between GP weekends perfectly and I really hope you get the chance to make it a permanent feature on talksport.

Keep up the good work

Kind regards Daryl


Major Thanx! to James, I heard the show in Miami Beach…Called all my friends to tune in & made our day. CHEERS!


Very much enjoyed Edmund, and great to hear Ian Phillips, miss him being on radio practice coverage, but Chris Rea was dire.

I don’t agree with F1badger’s opinion that Jenson had more support than Lewis at the track , we were at different points over the three days and one thing stood out, the MASSIVE support for Lewis.

Just one example, at Copse for P2, when Jenson left the pit exit there was a ripple from the crowd, as I was reading James’s twitter on my phone, airhorns and cheering loud enough to be heard in Banbury made me look up to see who was coming out on track, no surprise – Lewis.

I made a point of buying the new McLaren shirt featuring both drivers, but saw way more Lewis flags, hats etc worn by fans.

Didn’t seem to notice as many foreign visitors this year, Ferrari fans in particular seemed well down ?


Hi James, great show and it was super to be a part of it. Good to meet you, Eddie, Chris and Adam.

I hope they keep this format for future shows and I’d love to be a part of it again.


Adam (editor of F1 Badger)


James, you continue to surprise me.
Honestly, I was familiar with your writing before ITV and it was OK/good. But, I am sorry to say, ITV’s F1 performance was lamentable and you were tarred with the brush.

However, your blog is first rate. Really good technical insights as well as F1 gossip.

This show was better than I thought it would be as well (aside from the dull un-radiogenic Mr Rea).

The 2 hours of broadcasting lifted [mod – Talksport’s] abhorrent programming out of the sewer it regularly inhabits.

I also happen to think that the more you let Mr Horner talk, the bigger the hole he manages to dig – so your interviewing tactics were spot on.

Please kep up the good work.


Thanks…..I think!


This was quite an interesting piece especially from Christian Horner, although the scinic in me says why doesn’t RB deliver all the info on the wing/lighter chassis etc at the time instead of letting it fester and the media having a field day with it?

Maybe because they have gone away and had a week to think something up? Maybe it’s the truth? Either way RB makes life difficult for themselves!

As for Eddie Irvine as an informed commentator, he’s never held my attention as I’ve always found him deliberately controversial and a bit of a prat! These days I just think he’s out of touch and is in no better position to comment than any of us!

And what’s with that squeaky door – surely that’s a fundamental no no in a radio station???!!!


Thanks for putting this on the internet the way the internet was meant to be, without any artificial geographic restrictions!

Thanks again for keeping the Non UK readers of your blog in mind


Great show.

All I have to add is that as an F1 fan I feel much closer to the action since I discovered this blog.

So thank you James.


That is 100% of what I’m aiming for, so thanks for that comment.


The wife was delighted that on a non-race w/e I spent two hours listening to the radio whilst I had the golf on the TV.

At least it was raining so didn’t have to leave the house.

Great show, maybe another in a month or so? Good work by Talksport to give you the platform.



Loved the show, although Chris Rea was a mistake 🙂


I find this whole debate fascinating. People really seem to get emotional about the subject and that is very good for Red Bull. At the end of the day they still have the fastest car and two of the best drivers and, currently, all the publicity.

How do you create a catchy headline and reach as many readers as possible if you write a carefully weighted article taking all facts into account that is old when its completed? You cant!…and that is why we need to read critically and not always criticize what we read.


If I could have a suggestion – the banner of the German gp at the top of the page – get rid of this “condom shaped” piece in the middle, maybe it’s just me but it’s a bit disturbing:).


Quotes from the show:

Ian Phillips: It’s the new boys coming in… that japanese lad in the sauber… err… Kob… Kab… whatever his name?

James Allen : Kobayashi!

Ian Phillips: err… Kamikaze…

hilarious.. hahahahah.. 🙂

Thomas in Australia

Sad that the comments section is slowly degrading into a whinge fest.

People need to remember that;

A) The insight and information provided here is FREE. It doesn’t cost you a cent. If you don’t like it, ask for a refund of $0.00 and go away.

B) This isn’t a democracy and demanding that JA does an article on this or that to “prove that he is not biased” just makes you look rude and childish.

Just my opinion of course, but I would hate for this blog to disappear.


Not a bad shout there tom. I’ve always said, if people don’t believe it is unbiased they can go read something they think is.

most of us greatly enjoy the debate in here, and generally the regular contributors are good.


We won’t allow it to degrade. The quality of discussion is pretty high here and that’s the way it will stay.


Thanks for the .mp3 link. That worked a treat. Not everyone in running microsoft products;) Excellent interviews James, Eddie is as funny as he is outrageous. RBR have zero man-management skills, but they lap up the publicity either way, so they *really* don’t care – they sell drinks. Ferrari, McLaren, Williams,etc, *need* to win to keep their sponsors happy. RBR is a one-off team not in F1 for anything other than publicity and I hope Mark Webber wins at least in Germany and then moves to Williams or McLaren. Adrian Newey will probably move too, when the new regulations kick in. No-one can live for long in the environment of bad management that exists in RBR.


I enjoyed it. The Horner interview was particularly absorbing. I think a regular podcast on F1 has a market, possibly an income stream if offered as an audiobook. Need some WD40 for that creaky door, though 😉


I am suprised that some posters can’t see the validity in CH’s remarks. It looks very different in RB management compared to fans, fanatics (yes, derivation of fans), journo’s.

C’mon people, running an F1 team is complex, this dumb assumption that all that CH says is a con is, err, dumb.


Loved the show James.

I did find the way Eddie Irvine pronounces Vettels name a bit bizzare though!


If this is Vettel’s damaged chassis, I think it was the floor that was damaged. Of cause they had to replace it.If vettel had a weight advantage then they should try to reduce the weight of Webbers Chassis.


No it was suspension mountings that were the problem. All fixed now, according to CH


I wonder what percentage of Sebastian’s reliability issues is down to driving style. Funny, I read about his show run in his hometown of Heppenheim, and it said his show car’s gearbox got damaged. Is he just extremely unlucky, or he’s not sensitive enough to his equipment?



With absolutely the greatest respect, do you not feel that sometimes you are a little naive…

It’s easy to concoct an excuse that fits what you want to be heard after the event. Can you explain why you just take Christian at his word so easily?…

I do not believe him. Coming out with a load of excuses after the event is non tenable. Part of journalism is not just going along with what you are told…. Flavio and Singapore come to mind as to why we should not just accept these explanations. If they had said all this immediately fair enough.

As for Irvine.. I am sorry, but I have never met anyone with less credible knowledge, but having a big mouth than him. A business head he definitely has, but as for F1 knowledge.. sorry I can’t go along with that. Still I cannot but admit he adds flavour…


I don’t. I’m just reporting what he said…

It’s hard to be naive after 20 years working in Formula 1.


James, I guess after posting… I felt a bit guilty for being so harsh.. sorry…

It’s just that sometimes, as you say, just reporting the ‘facts’ can then come across as ‘believing’ what is said. More than that, because of your knowledge and experience, when you report a fact without comment, it can give the impression of it ‘must be true’

Thinking on it must be hard for you to sometimes have to report statements, that you may not necessarily believe.

But what is to stop a team manipulating a situation after the event by statements that cannot be checked, such as Horners statements, or perhaps Ferraris defence of not giving places back if you do not comment on them?

I feel that sometimes as a journalist, rather than just reporting what they say, qualifying it with a ‘ It is strange that they didn’t say this earlier’ comment.

It could be conceived that Mark Webers recent statements that he said too much publicly, could be due to Red Bull reminding him that he can be replaced at any time and if they want to be unfair on him they could do it and he would not know, and then making it clear that a retraction is due and thus he would have to do it.

Part of good journalism is to sniff out this sort of stuff, and when it is true, reveal it.

It is not just Red Bull playing this game as clearly Ferrari are at the moment.

All of that said, I am not a the coal face.. you are and have been for many years… so I do trust your instincts at the end of the day or else I would not be following this forum



Brilliant programme! I had the house to myself and listened to it as a podcast last night. I really enjoyed listening to the views of Eddie and interviews with the guests.

Having just read Eddie Jordan’s autobiography and learning of Ian Phillips’ important role in Jordan I found his comments of particular interest.

Moreover I enjoyed the way you handled that guitarist known as Chris Rea. For the sake of politeness I won’t say what I thought of him, but he didn’t impress me with his contribution.

I hope you are able to do more of these.


Really enjoyed the show James. Christian Horner’s new comments about the controversial front wing were fascinating, it has added another dimension to the argument as you say!


Great listen James, spent 2 hours on a warm sunny afternoon in Valencia listening to you, Ediie and company. Fantastic insights from Christian Horner re Webber, and Ian Philips always makes me laugh, one of the funniest personalities of the pit lane. Great job.

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