(I would like to begin by wishing both Anthony Davidson and Maria de Villota all the best in their recoveries, and also by noting that Allan McNish is substituting for Ant.)
(Ted interviews Bernie)
BE: I feel...you know I'm not a big supporter of Silverstone...?
TK: I had noticed, over the years...
BE: ...but in all fairness, they've done a good job.
MB: I was chairman of the board here in 2002-2003...27 acres of tarmac car park we've got here, and the new toilet blocks, and it's all gone swimmingly since then--
DH: (chuckles merrily)
MB: --unfortunately, we're nearly swimming now...You can't just tarmac this whole valley! The water would flood Silverstone every day. ...I agree with Damon, I thought Bernie was terribly reasonable, cos normally he does like to kick Silverstone if he gets half a chance because it's just sport for him...
MB: Five minutes ago, the sun was burning your shoulders, and now it's raining again!
(Stirling Moss reminisces about the 1957 race)
SM: I didn't drink, remember, so from that point of view, when I won a race, something like that, I went up to try and find some crumpet, actually. I can't specifically remember that! That's the difference between now and then. If Lewis Hamilton wins a race, he goes and chats up Vodafone. If I win, I try and chase the girls, you see? Quite different.
DCr: Whenever you approach this circuit this weekend, rain seems to be in the air. Clouds all around Silverstone at the moment, I look out of the commentary box and it's just spitting with rain - and all that does is heighten my anticipation for the hour to come!
MB: Yeah, imagine what it's like then if you had 750 horsepower under your right foot...
MB: There's the tyre range for the weekend. If you think of knife, bread, butter and jam, that's hard, medium, soft and super-soft...
DCr: You're making me hungry this afternoon! I missed lunch, as well...
MB: We haven't heard any good news yet, have we? No DRS, Kimi's got no KERS, the track's getting wetter and wetter...
MB: I'm amazed if [Williams] don't [change to full wets]; they're getting seriously short of bits after their car's been in the wars this last race or two, so they'll not want to be seeing their thing spread down the barrier today, or through the hedge.
MB: Michael very lucky not to find the gravel there, and then he remembered how to find reverse...
DCr: Does Sebastian Vettel need more downforce, or just a rudder and a couple of oars out there?
MB: You talk about a rudder, but if the cars are too low, the plank underneath acts exactly like that.
DCr: We saw Ferrari go out on intermediate tyres, then come back in to put the wets on, I'm wondering now if that might have been the worst decision they could possibly have made HERE AT SILVERSTONE THIS AFTERNOON! Alonso! Can he avoid the wall here? He's just a passenger in that Ferrari down the Hangar Straight!
(Alonso spins round, exactly on cue, while trying to drive in a straight line)
(Out comes the red flag)
MB: The problem is, with this kind of rainfall - I mean, the drainage is reasonably good here at Silverstone now, but we already know the water table's high from the surrounding area. Until it stops raining, you've got to give it then five, ten minutes. We could be filling nicely today, Crofty! That's the beauty of having our own channel, isn't it? We can talk all afternoon! Excellent!
DCr: Shall I get a stool in, then? Shall we sit down?
MB: Well, I found all that quite exciting, be be honest!
MB: What a year we're having, aren't we?
GT: Force India, Vijay Mallya and Bob Fearnley just trying to figure out what happens next, Crofty.
DCr: Well, hopefully the rain'll stop, and some time in August, we'll get going again with this qualifying session.
DCr: Hopefully, Ted Kravitz, you've got your jacket with you today?
TK: Ha ha. I have, David, actually! I'm not wearing it because I'm fortunately under a little ledge in the pit lane.
(He talks to Paul Hembrey from Pirelli)
PH: The full wets are - I'll give you some boring stats --
TK: No, we love it! Go on! How much water do they...?
(Marty resorts to fielding Twitter questions)
MB: Another tweet here: "What happened to the monsoon tyres? Remember those?" We used to have an extra-serious set of monsoon tyres that went to, say, Japan, and places like that where we got heavy rain like this, but they never got used. If it was wet enough for monsoon tyres, it was pretty much either behind the safety car, or the drivers would put the full wets on and just hang on, so the monsoons got carried all over the world, never used, and then discarded.
DCr: I wonder what Jude Law is making of everything, as rain stops play at Silverstone.
MB: We don't need a load of good-looking actors hangin' around Formula One, do we?
DCr: Not until you do your gridwalk tomorrow.
MB: Oh yeah, I might talk to them then.
(The search for an alternate method of determining the grid continues)
DCr: They should put wellies on them all, and get them to do a hundred-yard dash through the mud on the campsite. That I would certainly pay to watch.
MB: A nice tweet in from some fans out who listen to our commentary on the FanVision at the circuit saying "how about a shout-out for us sitting out here in the rain?" Absolutely. Full respect to you guys, and hope we can get some more action going for you guys out there.
(Natalie collars Helmut Marko)
NP: What do the drivers do at this stage? How do they keep their focus for the next 35 minutes?
HM: ...Sebastian is relaxed in his car, and Mark vos just doing something...human.
NP: (cluelessly) Something human?
HM: He had to go to the toilet.
NP: Oh! Oh dear! Okay! Sorry you had to describe that for me, but thank you for your time.
MB: They're more concerned with not aquaplaning, because that's the one thing that frightens a driver, is not being able to see where he's going and then just getting on top of the water, and heading straight to the first thing that's hard and you hit it and it hurts. ...Some suggestions on Twitter that they should get a roof over it, like Centre Court at Wimbledon, but I think they're a bit short of cash here at Silverstone for putting a roof over the circuit.
DCr: Talking of Wimbledon, they say Murray's through to his first Wimbledon final. It's not bad for an 82-year-old Formula One commentator! I think he's done very well.
MB: Yersss. I think it might be a different Murray, I'm not sure.
DCr: Oh, okay. Missed the point then.
MB: They're not too concerned about it at Renault. They've done the only sensible thing that the French are so good at, the rugby players there at Renault, have gone on for lunch. Very Gallic.
MB: There's an extra hour of light, and it is midsummer, allegedly.
SL: Where's Cliff Richard when you need him? He'd go down a treat right now, wouldn't he? How's your singing, Johnny?
JH: (firmly) I'm going to pass you over to Damon.
DH: Well, I can tell you my life story. I was born 1960, that can take up another forty years. This is very trying, isn't it, for everyone?
(Natalie has rescued Allan McNish from the "SkyPad"
NP: Niki Lauda, how are you enjoying our great British summer?
NL: Very good! This morning, I just came from my beach house, so there's certainly no rain, and then just here for a couple of hours--
(The Sky Sports umbrella he's holding collapses on his head.)
AM: That's the weight of the British water on it!
NL: ...The crazy ones, who you never see at the front, they have big balls and they're right there.
(Sir Jackie Stewart takes his turn to comment on the weather, then...)
NP: Well, I'm going to do a little sun dance, Sir Jackie. Will you join me?
Sir JS: I'll dance with you any time!
SL: Christian Horner just having a stroll along the pit lane, getting back to the prat perch, as they call it, those that work in the garage, the mechanics.
SL: It's the British Grand Prix at Silverstone! Are the hairs standing up on the back of your neck?
DH: What, from the cold, you mean?
MB: I've gone for a wet coat strategy. Damon's looking very dapper [in a tie], Johnny's sort of...somewhere in the middle.
SL: I feel a bit under-dressed! Nobody told me you had to wear a tie.
DH: You've gone for the Johnny Rotten look, haven't you?
SL: [In something that is almost entirely, but not quite, unlike a Manc accent] Liam Gallagher.
(Some kids crash the coverage)
MB: Oh, hello there. Do you want a picture? Yeah, come in there. What's your name?
Kid 1: Louie.
Kid 2: Ashton.
MB: Ashton. Good. You've just been on telly live.
Kid 2: ...Oh.
SL: Who do you want to win today?
Kid 2: Hamilton.
JH: (sotto voce) Right answer!
Kid 1: Hamilton.
SL: Poor old Jenson!
MB: Is there anyone in your family wants Jenson to win?
(Off-camera shout of "Yeah!")
MB: We probably need to get on with our television programme...
SL: Right. Where were we?
MB: Here's a grumpy old boy we've got to talk to! Sid? How you keeping?
(It's the legendary Professor Sid Watkins, longtime F1 chief doctor)
SW: Very well indeed, really, considering age and habits.
MB: Do you still watch these drivers trying to hurt themselves? You used to save them from so much, and they still didn't listen to you.
SW: Well, as Bernie said, I worked myself out of a job.
MB: There's a couple of renegades you might remember.
SW: I do indeed!
DH: Did you bring your fishing gear?
SW: No, it's all up in the Borders. And you're welcome to come any time, and catch a salmon.
DH: If we're not careful, the Borders will be coming down here, pretty soon! We'll be salmon fishing in the paddock.
JH: It's really good to see you here. Do you love coming back?
SW: Now and again. I watch it all the time, of course--
MB: On Sky, I imagine, yeah?
SL: Loaded comment!
SW: No comment. And, of course, I keep in touch with the safety, keep my finger on the pulse.
JH: You see, this is the nice thing about Sid, because we all know that the history of where you've got involved with motorsport, it's been brilliant what you've done for us, so I've got to thank you.
MB: I wouldn't have a left foot if it wasn't for Sid. They were going to take it off, if he hadn't stopped them.
(Johnny and Georgie Thompson go out into the campsites and GA areas)
GT: How effective is this? (pointing to a fan's foil blanket)
Fan: Very. It's actually quite warm under here! Do you want it?
GT: I wouldn't mind it.
Fan: All yours.
GT: Oh, thank you, sir! Thank you, kind sir! You're so chivalrous. (She wraps it round herself) Johnny! D'you like my new skirt?
GT: I seem to have lost Johnny in this crowd...
JH: There's thousands of 'em!
GT: I'm not sure those Wellington boots have ever seen the light of day before this moment?
JH: You're right, they haven't.
GT: I'm not sure whether this is the most or the least romantic thing I've ever heard, but you two are on honeymoon!
She: That's right, we've been here all four days.
SL: Can we read anything into the top three all being very experienced drivers?
DH: I think you might have to, mightn't you? There's two guys in their thirties, and one guy in his forties. I mean, that must be the oldest--
MB: There's gotta be a chance for us! We should make a comeback! I'll be team manager.
MB: [Jenson's] not been that lucky at all at the British Grand Prix, it's not served him well here in qualifying or in the race, really. I mean, even I got on the podium here, for goodness sake.
MB: James Hunt used to be a role model as well, and Kimi Raikkonen. Is he a role model in Finland?
DH: Always a bit of a risk, being a role model. You have to watch your behaviour, that's why I'm wearing a tie, obviously.
MB: You're not comvincing us!
(They show the top 6 of the 1962 British GP)
SL: Cor, you look like your dad in the old footage in that one.
DH: You look like [6th-place finisher] Tony Maggs, do you know that?
SL: [badly] It's de Sud Efrikan in me!
MB: I'm joined by Christian Horner. Christian, I've just had three minutes to spare to steal some salad off your salad bar for my lunch, but I wanna talk to you about Mark Webber.
(Martin talks with Stefano Domenicali about Alonso)
MB: He's pulled some very dramatic and bold - sometimes a bit risky - moves in the race. I mean, he really took that victory, didn't he, but were you - do you think he can be a bit risky sometimes?
SD: You know Martin, you are a driver, so you know that there comes a moment in the race that you know that if you miss that moment then the race is almost over, and I think that is the vision that he has.
MB: Yeah, when I saw Grosjean's front wing in the sidepod of Fernando, I expected it just to be spinning around.
SD: Don't remind me!
MB: But Fernando must have a weakness. What's his biggest weakness?
SD: You know, in the family, you discuss internally the things that you have to improve.
MB: Ha ha ha! Good answer!
(On the grid)
MB: Variety is the spice of life, as they say. I'm standing on the grid waiting for the throw from Simon, I'm looking at this magnificent Wing building and the new pits at Silverstone. We've got Her Majesty's Royal Marine Commando Training Centre Band at the front; you've then got this Mercedes SLS safety car parked in the middle of them, what a variety we've got on this grid today.
MB: There's a lot of famous people on this grid. I think I'm the only person I haven't heard of on here, actually.
(He talks to Hugh Grant. Another microphone sneaks into the left of his shot.)
MB: Are you stealing my interview, Tanja?
(For it is she!)
TB: I'm joining you! Thank you very much!
MB: Good to see you. We, er, we go back a while, Tanja and myself on the grid...
MB: Hello, Bernie! We're here! There's going to be a race, the crowd are all in, it's looking pretty good, isn't it?
BE: I was a bit worried when we lost Jim from Jim'll Fix It, but I had to do it on my own.
MB: Oh, yeah. You reckon you sorted this out, do you (!)
BE: It's all okay now.
MB: Seems alright, but there's some clouds coming over.
BE: You know I like these things about half an hour after the start.
MB: Oh yeah. Some people thought your sprinkler system had been put into play for the entire months of May, June and July?
MB: We're finally starting to get some cars on the grid, so we'll see if we can find--DC!!!
(For it is he!)
MB: How's it going? You find anybody interesting?
DCo: Er, not yet...oh, watch yourself!
(He pulls Marty out of the way of Alonso's Ferrari)
MB: See, you're getting me into trouble again. He's just turned up!
(He queues for Mark Webber)
MB: They're boring questions. That's enough of that. Mark!
MB: We'll wander down then into Vettel territory! He's talking to Kai Ebel, who's looking remarkably restrained in his dress today, which is probably just as well...there's Tanya trying to steal in, there...
(Kai is in a blue Prisoner-styled jacket, fashion fans.)
MB: Oh, we'll just grab the Kimster. Kimi! Everything good?
(He sorts of gets half a wave and a tiny grunt as Kimi sweeps away)
MB: I think that meant "yes"...I don't think he meant "head off".
MB: JYS! He's got his earpieces on there. Jackie! How are you? Just want a quick word before I go and talk to Pastor Maldonado and apologise for just kicking his HANS device over that was parked behind him...
MB: Let's wander over and see who we can find while Pastor's being interviewed. Not gonna stand in any more queues today. A little bit bored with that now.
MB: Frankie Dettori there, still on the grid. Not sure he should be there, frankly. I dunno, maybe he's going to jump the fence or something. He might find it a bit busy there shortly.
MB: I think that what [the tyre choice] tells is is, they don't really know. A lot of teams have hedged their bets.
DCr: Heat haze here at Silverstone? Who'd have banked on that?
MB: Awful first lap for Force India! One's in the fence, the other's going backwards!
MB: Felipe Massa, as I said on the grid, looking very quietly handy this weekend.
MB: It's settled down a little bit, we're only on Lap 5. What a manic first few laps that was!
MB: I tell you something I talked a bit about last year, Crofty, and I've seen it again this year, is that it's opened the mind up to drivers to overtake. They start making overtaking attempts now they never dreamt of before. With the Pirellis that are going away from them occasionally and the DRS, but none of these big moves we've seen so far are anything to do with that. It's just the drivers are attacking so much out there. The field's very close, but I think they all know that you can overtake in a Formula One car.
MB: Well, it's something you can see very easily on camera there - as Jay Kay watches on - but when you're sitting in a car that's four metres long and you're buried in the cockpit of it, judging exactly where any other guy's front wing is out of little mirrors is not that easy, actually.
(Webber gets a positive sounding team radio call that Schumacher is "still holding the others up")
MB: It's a bit uncharitable really, isn't it? Michael's third, three times he's been in the top three on the grid, holding up nicely, and yet it's like "okay, Schumacher's holding everyone up!"
DCr: ...the damage to his right rear tyre, that was the second boom that got [Maldonado], and he might get another boom if that right boot of Sergio Perez gets anywhere near him when he gets back to the paddock.
MB: Perez speechless there, according to that team radio!
MB: The crowd, you can hear them over the Formula One cars! They love all of that!
DCr: You go to many tracks, you don't hear a squeak out of the crowd, but here, you can hear 125,000 British fans going absolutely potty every time they see moments like this!
MB: And still Lewis came steaming up the inside, and he nearly made it to the BRDC clubhouse there, didn't he?
MB: I tell you who's wasting a fast car today, and that's Sauber. Perez out with that contact with Maldonado through no fault of his own, and Kobayashi down in 9th after various adventures, but that Sauber was really fast around here.
(Alonso gets a team radio call in Italian)
DCr: We are so going to have to learn Italian, Martin, but it might take us a while. Meanwhile here's the McLaren pit crew for Lewis Hamilton; the moment I'm sure he dreads, coming into the pits.
MB: Six new parts in that swivel jack! Talk about the evolution of Formula One.
DCr: Ted! Martin and I have no comprehension of Italian whatsoever. How's yours?
TK: I've, er. Well! Rubbish, to answer your question, but I've gone to see my mate on RAI, the Italian broadcaster...
(Schumacher talks about tyres on team radio)
MB: That was an "Are we nearly there yet?" kind of comment from the kids in the back, wasn't it?
(Perez talks frankly about his crash with Maldonado)
DCr: Well, they're not going to be picking the splinters out of Sergio Perez's backside tonight! He's come off the fence there.
MB: Grosjean had so much faith in Nico Rosberg not to turn in on him at 190 miles an hour. That would have been an airplane crash if they'd touched going in there. Brave, brave stuff from Romain Grosjean, desperately trying to hang on to the shirt-tails of Lewis Hamilton.
MB: He's just sailing! Look at that, at all the extra speed he's got, just coasted past him, and that is not going to improve Lewis Hamilton's demeanour inside the cockpit of that McLaren; he was already angry about Grosjean hustling him and chasing his tail through the corners.
(Webber begins to chase Alonso down)
DCr: The hunt and the charge is on, Ted Kravitz!
TK: Yeah, we're all assuming and we've been saying that the soft tyre is so terrible, but Nico Hulkenberg--
(Kobayashi chooses that moment to mow his mechanics down)
DCr: Oooh! Oooh! Sorry, Ted--
TK: Oh, no no! I must find out about that, David.
MB: He is coming in at 62 miles an hour; but he's missed his slot by a team's worth; it was like he was stopping at the next team. Unless he had a problem in the car, that's just rubbish driving.
MB: Vettel down in the late 1:35s, and, er, Mr Bean there looking ecstatic about the whole thing...
DCr: He should be happy, he looks like he's got a free pass for this afternoon!
DCr: Frankie Dettori. Who would he rather be on this afternoon; the Prancing Horse or the Raging Bull, I wonder?
(Button gets his front wing alongside Senna's rear wheel but can't make a pass stick)
MB: See, that's what I don't understand, you know, if your front wing's beyond their rear wheel they've got to let you go. What happens if you're round the outside? There's no way Senna had to yield there to Button, nor would Button have expected him to. I don't understand that new rule. It's too - it's like the penalty we saw with Massa and Hamilton in India last year. You've gotta take a view as to whether the driver's in with a reasonable fair chance of passing you and then you've gotta turn your car into the corner at some point.
MB: [Webber's] got so much more front-end grip in the middle of Luffield there despite being in the dirty air of the Ferrari! He's starting to smell victory!
(Webber walks in)
MB: And that won't go to his head one little bit, will it? It'll just be straightforward, go home, walk the dogs, have a beer probably, go to the Red Bull party.
(Alonso waits to go onto the podium)
MB: Oh dear. Big bottom lip.
DCr: He's surely happy though, with second place? I know no driver really likes it, but in the long game? Even though he's been beaten by his nearest rival, he's still picked up 18 very precious points.
MB: I had a few second places in Formula One I was very happy with, but I don't think happy will be a word that crosses that big sad bottom lip any time soon, even in Italian, or Spanish. Or Italian.
MB: I'm so pleased the crowd are being allowed onto the track. They came, they nearly drowned, they dried out, and now they've seen a great race, and we really appreciate their efforts to stick in with this.
MB: Driver of the day has to be the friendly Aussie.