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JA on F1 podcast #8: Murray Walker, Alain Prost and a glimpse into 2014
Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Oct 2013   |  9:38 pm GMT  |  72 comments

Welcome to the JA on F1 podcast for October. This month we have two F1 legends, a team owner, the man who would be FIA president and a glimpse into the future with 2014 technology.

Murray Walker needs no introduction, the legendary commentator celebrates his 90th birthday this month and, as a colleague of his for many years, I went for a frank and personal chat with the great man.

Alain Prost is currently F1’s only four times world champion, but he’ll soon be joined on that number by Sebastian Vettel. His in house rivalry at McLaren with Ayrton Senna in the 1980s is part of F1 folklore – so who better to analyse Ferrari’s decision to pair Fernando Alonso with Kimi Raikkonen?

Caterham team owner Tony Fernandes , a business man in the worlds of airlines and football clubs, brings a real world perspective to F1 and he’s not afraid to say what he thinks about the failure of teams to control costs.

David Ward has worked at the FIA for over a decade and has decided to challenge Jean Todt for the FIA presidency, on a ticket of reform of governance and financial transparency.

And we get a closer understanding of how F1 will change next year with the advent of the new small capacity hybrid turbo engines – Holly Samos speaks to Andy Cowell, boss of Mercedes engine division, which is tipped to have the best powertrain and former Williams chief engineer Mark Gillan gives his take on what fans will see in 2014.

No player? Download the podcast directly.

Running order:

0.00 Introduction
1.50 Murray Walker reflects on his career as he turns 90
14.02 Alain Prost on Vettel and two top drivers in one team
18.23 Caterham owner Tony Fernandes on cost control in F1
23.00 FIA Presidential candidate David Ward
28.25 Holly Samos speaks to Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell
34.36 Mark Gillan on the 2014 engine changes
40.50 Wrap up

Duration 41.23

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2015 season. Wouldn’t it be great if each car/driver could be easily identified during the race? Even the commentators get confused at times so how about each driver creating his own emblem/avatar/shield somewhere on the car?

It would be great for viewing, great for the drivers who might chose things like the pin-up on the Memphis Bell or an eagle or a ball of flame… whatever. It would add much colour to the sport. Currently I am never sure which driver I am watching.


Hi James,

Do you think you’ll do your podcasts ever again? Or is the 5 live one the only one?

Imho the 5 live podcast is great but it only does previews and reviews, no (or rather little) back ground and other interesting stuff like the commercial side. In my view there is a place for a podcast like yours, especially since good audio content in F1 is quite rare apart from a few good willing fans making shows on amateur basis.

May I ask why it was cancelled?


A very apreciative fan


5 Live does an F1 podcast on Thursday and Sunday of race weekends, which I’m in

JA on F1 podcasts were great but it’s about time and resources and the best allocation of them etc. We may start them up again


Thanks. I understand.

I do hope you’ll be able to start them up again at some point. I’m quite sure I’m not the only one either so just know that it would be much appreciated.

Danylo Furlani

Hi James,

Just another Podcast listener here.

Hope you can find the time to get back at it! There’s nothing like being able to hear the emotion on the voices of the drivers and team members. If a picture is worth a thousand words a sound bite is worth at least 500!




Hello James, I am sad to hear that you aren’t continuing with your podcast. I listen to many on varying topics and can safely say that yours was the most professionally packaged and produced of any I listen to. The added bonus to a relatively new F1 fan, was the fact that I always learned something new.

If money is the issue I am more than happy to begin paying for a subscription.




Hi James,

That seems to be a crying shame as yours always had the real people from the paddock rather than a singular voice.

I see that ESPN have also stopped their F1 podcast too, I suppose in total it is a concession to the 21st Century 2-3 minute sound/video byte which now seems to rule the F1 Media universe. And with Gary Anderson being “ditched” or not renewed at the BBC I wonder who wil be able to explain the idiosyncratic technicalities if there is a different issue at the end of this race. It took the stewards 5+ hours in Australia to tell the world what happened, is it any wonder that for the first time in many years of supporting F1, I now feel like a mushroom, but maybe that is the way the fans are perceived by the F1 media and the powers that be!!

Kind regards,




I maybe behind the times but I do not seem to be able to find one or any podcasts for 2014.

I am not a member of Twitter or Facebook for reasons of privacy, I like to listen ( not watch!!) to your quite excelent podcast)

It seems that the media today is constructed around those who have the attention span of a fruitfly ( sorry to your insect members) and an IQ that does not trouble 3 digits. Maybe this is a sign of the times, lets all see!!

BTW, really enjoyed your podcasts. Kind regards, Taffy


We are not doing them at present


I can’t download your podcasts after 2013. I used to use BeyondPod an Android app and I just tired the Android version of SoundCloud and I can access all the Podcasts but the 2014 ones.

BTW I love your Podcasts. Hearing from not just the drivers but the other experts in F1 is fantastic. It really enhances my enjoyment of F1.



It`s Murray here – and a very happy New Year to you, to Pip and the boys. I`m writing this on Christmas Day, having received your truly excellent book, on which my sincere congratulations.

All the best



Cheers, Murray. The book is dedicated to you. It was great to catch up recently and look forward to seeing you early in 2014.


Really enjoyed this podcast! Thank you very much for it!


James, I would love to hear some comments from Tony Fernandes about the Caterham Moto Racing Team. What are his feelings about the futures of F1 and MotoGP? What are his motivations for going motorcycle racing? I love that guy! I love your podcasts, too! Thanks for giving us so much.


great podcast yet again, much better than the races.

i can’t wait till the next one.


I understand the importance of green energy in the world these days but come on, if there is going to be an engine freeze in the near future then what will the automotive industry learn that won’t be out of date very quickly? Great interviews by the way James!


Another great podcast James, thank you.

I just love how in-depth you go into a subject, especially with Prost and Andy Cowell, who was very candid (credit to Holly Samos where it’s due).

Mark Gillan’s views are also very interesting.

Nice chat to Murray too.

I’m looking forward to the next instalment already!


Thanks. Spread the word!


Great podcast as usual.

Deliberately delayed my response so I could wish Murray Walker a very happy 90th on his actual birthday.

A walking talking F1 and motorcycling grand prix encyclopedia.

Loved his years at the mike, loved his book, and still loving his regular columns.

My earliest memories of Murray are alongside James Hunt and he doesn’t seem to have changed a bit.

I think he must have an ageing portrait in his attic.


Really enjoyed this podcast. I find your podcast is short and concise. It does not try to drag subjects on and on to fill up a timeframe.

This is tons more enjoyable than the other show. *cough!*TheRacersEdge*cough!*

Thanks again! I especially enjoyed Murray Walker’s Birthday, we all love his special voice. Also valuable insights to 2014 engines.


The podcast is much appreciated. In Canada, media coverage is scant. The background info is so important. David Ward’s comments gave insight into the wheeling and dealing of the FIA.

Can more episodes be produced? Yes sort of like asking the teams to do over 20 races a season :).


10 a year is our limit


Murray’s voice is so easy to listen to, just hearing him speak stirs nostalgic feelings and memorys or sitting down with my dad as a kid after Sunday lunch and watching the Grandprix.

I hope I’m still that together when I’m 90 too.


Wonderful podcast James, the best yet.

I could listen to Murray Walker talk for hours. A legend of a man. How he has never been knighted I do not know.


Wonderful podcast, James, full of great content. Listened to them all so far, and this was one of the best.


Thank you!


Didn’t know Mr. Walker worked in advertising. What was his position exactly? If he wrote slogans, was he a creative in an advertising agency?

Different topic I know… but I’m interested since I work in advertising too (I guess it is never to late to start new career in F1) #jobapplication 🙂


I suggest that all F1 enthusiasts read Murray’s Autobiography titled ‘Unless I’m Very Much Mistaken’ (ISBN 0-00-712696-4). It is a fantastic read, I just cannot believe how one man has packed so much into one life, let alone done it so successfully. It made me feel very humble.

Regarding his advertising career, my memory tells me his most famous slogan was ‘Go to work on an egg’.

As a member of the Goodwood Road Racing Club I have met and spoken with Murray a number of times, he really is a true gentleman who has time for the humble fan. At the Goodwood Revival in 2011 Murray dedicated & signed my copy of his autobiography – it is now one of my most treasured possessions.

Now I got the book out to check the ISBN it has spurred me to read it again. I am sure my 4th read will be a enjoyable as the first.


His autobiography explains all of what he did in advertising and at great detail. And that’s just a small part of an excellent book. It’s called Unless I’m Very Much Mistaken. You defiitely should get it when you can.

unF1nnished business

Maybe it’s just me but when Murray put on his ‘racing voice’ he almost sounded like Michael Cain.

Michael Grievson

I’ll be listening to this on my 3 hour drive to birkenhead


I know Birkenhead.I grew up the other side of the Mersey Tunnel!

rob in victoria bc

‘Alain Prost is currently F1’s only four times world champion.’.

I’m sure it’s me that’s got it backwards somehow James, but what about this guy?:


7 (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004


Does that make Schumi a:

1 time champion (1994)

2 times champion (1994 and 1995)

3 times champion (1994, 1995 and 2000)

4 times etc etc etc.

The common reference is to total number of championships won..

Prost is (for the time being at least!) the only 4 time champion – though Schumi was a 4 time champion in 2001..


He meant that he’s the only driver who only won 4 titles, no more no less!


He is 7 time world champion.

Fangio is 5 time world champion.

Prost is currently the only 4 time champion 🙂


I think he was referring to the only “four-time” World Champion – i.e., no more or less than four championships


Ninety years young, hip, hip, hurayyyy !!! Wishing you many more to celebrate in good health. Thank you for many exciting F1 years that you commentated so passionately. Not always that I agreed with your views but we have a common passion for motor racing.

Thank you James to bring to us that wonderful ,exacting, unique voice


Murray will turn 90 this month ?? How does he manage to look so good ? If i had to guess his age, i would say no older than 68-70. Amazing set of genes Murray has ! And may he live on in good health for a long long time to come..


+1! He definitely looks much younger than 90! And his voice is still at what sounds like full power! Go! Go! Go!


Top notch work Mr Allen, although I love F1 as a whole, it’s the technical side that keeps it exciting for me even wen RedBull and Seb Vettel are pretty much wiping the floor with the rest of the field. so the all the insights into next years formula are like manner from heaven.

Thanks again, I’ve got all this year’s pod casts on my phone and come Christmas day afternoon I shall recap the entire year.

Love it love it love it.


Great to hear. Please spread the word



The art of great interviewing is in preparing questions that the interviewee didn’t expect. Your interviews with Murray Walker and Adrian Newey show that. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have you on the other end of the interview today when you turn 90! Thanks for the great podcast.


One of the best podcast’s so far James. Another reason to visit this site daily.

On an unrelated note, one observation I’ve made this year is that Vettel nearly always gets the jump on the second place driver on the restart after safety car. Im not talking about the first lap, just the initial getaway. Although I am aware that the leading driver always has the advantage in this scenario, I have lost count of the times I have seen the second place driver (ie: Grosjean, Rosberg) apparently asleep on restarts.

In your opinion, is this down to the advantage the leading driver has after the safety car, Vettel’s mastery of restarts, or both?


Both. Vettel doesn’t give much away to the opposition in any area.

A bit like another German driver of recent vintage….

Seymour Quilter

Hi James,

Great podcast and lovely to hear Murray again, he is the voice of F1 that I grew up with.

Fascinating chat about the new engine and energy systems, I’m really excited about next season now.

Sorry to say this but I’m sure you accidentally said 1998 in the Prost piece, instead of 1988, or do I need to clear my ears out!

Keep up the good work and looking forward to your coverage of Suzuka! (My favourite track).


Thanks a lot, James!

Great insights, especially on new engines.

Cheers, Bart


Will watch it in evening in full length. My english is far better in reading than in listening. Rea that Pirelli is angry because they have no feedback from teams how the chassis for 2014 will be and how to test the new tires for 2014 with their car of 2010…

Why not just do the best and most safe tire for the 2010 data and let the teams find out how to use them?


Great podcast, always good to hear Murray again and can’t believe he is now 90.


James, this was a great podcast and I loved the bit on engines towards the end. I hope we see some major drama next year, with engines giving up and fuel running out with just laps to go.

One of the first and most dramatic races I ever watched was the 1998 Italian Grand Prix when Michael went from 3rd to 1st in a lap, and it all started because DC’s engine decided that it wanted to stop…

Valencia 2012 is the only modern race where we’ve seen something similar. Bring on more! 😀


Funny thing Anil is that no fan wants any failures in F1 anymore apparently. We expect everything to be 100% working all the time. Look how angry everyone got when tires failed. Yet failure beyond the control of the driver has always been a part of F1 and had given us great moments. (Perez’s tire failure was “under” his control)

Schumi 2006 Japan for example. Engine failure costing championship. What class we saw right after when Schumi returned to the garage. And what great slow-mo replays failures provide. They should absolutely be part of F1. I fear however that engineering and precision had progressed so far that even a prototyping sport like F1 is now 98% reliable. And that’s a little too much. I would be entirely happy with 90% reliability. It can’t all be roses and unicorns all the time.

Which reminds me, have you noticed an acorn and unicorn is just a differnet way to say one corn? That’s why I do comedy on semi-pro basis!


Which reminds me, have you noticed an acorn and unicorn is just a differnet way to say one corn? That’s why I do comedy on semi-pro basis!

Well, you just made me laugh out loud 🙂


Thanks glad you liked it!

I’m really pleased with this one. Holly did a great job


James, the podcast is always an amazing listen, love hearing Murray’s tones and Alain insight was very interesting.

Bit of a request if you get some time, can we have an article about the Hulkenberg weight issues and his options going forward? I would love to see him back at Force India, but he truly deserves a great drive next year.


I’m writing it for Wednesday! How’s that for service!!


Amazing, TY James 🙂


Thanks James- I always like what Tony Fernandes has to say. You sense theres a genuine passion to make thinks better. But it did sound like he did not hold much hope of cost control measure would be addressed since the dissolution if FOTA. He’s exactly right about f1 needing to bring parity between the top teams and the smaller teams and the parallel to football is a good example.


Wow! Once again James, you excel yourself with another absolutely fascinating podcast.

The interview with Andy Cowell is the best thing I’ve heard yet about the new engines. He actually made it make sense!

And Murray Walker… great to hear his passion again. What a legend!

Thanks James.


Hey James, thanks for all your podcasts, very much appreciated.


Good to hear from Murray, and good to hear he’s still going strong 🙂


I know I’m like a broken record with this quote as it’s my favorite, but…I double dog dare you to try and read this and not hear Murray’s voice in your head!

Even if you’re a recent fan and you’ve never heard Murray’s voice, your imagination will give you Murray exactly before you finish reading this.

“We thought it was a foregone conclusion, and then it wasn’t a foregone conclusion, but then it was a foregone conclusion again, and what a foregone conclusion it was.”

The man has a way with words that brings a tear to my eye. 🙂


One James Hunt quote that I don’t correctly remember, but I’ll assume it is Arnoux:

MW: “Look Arnoux is on fire going into the Swimming Pool!”

JH: “That should put it out then”


Great setup followed by a great punch line.

Here is that other water related setup and punch line, with our James Allen setting it up.

This time photographic proof from the 2003 calendar page I archived.



From memory that was at Nurburgring, I think his last year with Sauber 1998.

He did me up like a kipper!



I enjoy listening to Martin and Crofty, just as I used to enjoy listening to Martin and James, but no matter how good you are you’ll never replace Murray.

The original and the best 🙂


Very glad to hear that Murray is doing well. I wish him many years of happy retirement, through the Vettel decades to come and far beyond!


Thought you had here, the transcript.

Shall listen tomorrow. (Hint: prefer

the transcript).


Seconded, I’ve been saying this for a long time. I don’t have access to download this so would really like if you were able to include a transcript…


Just press play on the player on the page and listen!


My internet access is at College and they’ve blocked Soundcloud, so not able to stream it either.

I know I’m in the minority, but I can be the only one in this position.


Great timing James, I’ve got a massive commute tomorrow. Entertainment now sorted, thanks 😀


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