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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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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

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!

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