Sunday, 9 September 2012

Italian Grand Prix - The Quotes


MB: Every time I see [the crash from last week], I realise that could have been the last time we ever saw Fernando Alonso in an F1 car.  When you turn the wheel, your hand is above the cockpit, and that car came right across him; his hand and his head are exposed there.

MB: I wouldn't want to be enclosed in a single-seater.

MB: There's been more pole winners from this track than at Monaco in the last ten years.

MB: They've taken 0.2mm off the tyre this year, for those who like that sort of thing.

MB: [D'Ambrosio]'s done 19 Grands Prix, the same as Grosjean.

MB: [Hulkenberg]'s got a box full of neutrals sitting there.

DCr: It's one thing in a practice session to put the laptimes in, but now it gets serious, your body tenses up before you even leave the garage.
MB: I know it well.  I was always a better racer than qualifier, and it's very hard to relax when it's so critical.

MB: You've gotta remember not to be tight in the car, or the car'll be tight with you.  Don't grip the steering wheel like you're trying to strangle it.  Just be at one, relax with the car.  Don't get greedy on the brakes, but at the same time...sort of like a controlled hustle. Easier said than done.

(Kovalainen backs out of a quali lap)
MB: You say he wasn't committed, but it'd still scar most people for life if they were sitting in it!  It is quite fast.

DCr: I'm gonna get excited for a minute about Karthikeyan and de la Rosa as well!  DLR's 100th GP, and at the moment he's about to be out-qualified by Karthikeyan for the first time ever.  Proper bragging rights down at HRT.
MB: I've heard you a lot more excited than that, Crofty!
DCr: I'm trying!  I'm trying!

MB: Some wit said last year that it all turned to custard for D'Ambrosio, but he got away with that one, didn't he?

DCr: I've just been handed a note, in the commentary box.  I think I'm the only one who can say this with a straight face.  Kimi Raikkonen with a 1:20.1 and Jerome D'Ambrosio with 1:20.7 in the first part of qualifying: so the difference between mustard and custard is about six tenths.  Worst gag ever.

(Alonso goes fast and kicks up some dirt)
MB: Magic dust, isn't it?
DCr: Sprinkling it everywhere.  Probably left it in his suitcase at Spa.

MB: That looked like frustration to me.  That looked like Michael just stamping on the throttle in frustration.

MB: If you don't go down those escape roads on a fairly regular basis in free practice, you're not trying hard enough.  You've got to find the limit of the brakes.


(On the grid)
MB: I always think that when you're on this hallowed piece of tarmac, you've got a responsibility.  The history, we talked a little bit earlier about the drivers who've lost their lives.  Von Trips, Ascari, Petersen, Rindt, and many others, you have a responsiblity to them to give it absolutely everything.

MB: They've got this lovely big apron here where we can make our way without getting run over...we keep marching, they're 8 metres apart, if you ever wondered.  We keep calling them rows on the grid, but they're not really rows because they're all very seperated.  It's actually a 1x1 grid in many respects.

MB: Right, we have Governor Rick Perry here, from Austin, Texas.  He's  governor of Texas.  Good to see you.  Former presidential candidate of course, in US of A.  Are you ready for us?  Are you ready for Formula One in Austin?
RP: (talks very knowledgably about CotA)
MB: Well, I was coming anyway, but I'm really definitely coming now!  So, do you think the Texans are going to understand this slightly crazy world of Formula One?
RP: (Says yes at length)
MB: (leaves, then) Well!  You'd vote for him!  I think you'd have to, wouldn't you?  Shoot your ears off...

(He goes off in a hopeless search for someone at the sharp end)
MB: We'll get to the front of the grid, then we'll sign you speak English?
MRP: No.
MB: Good.  Thank you.  Always works.  That's a winner every time, isn't it?
(He wanders off and eventually resorts to collaring Rob Smedley)

DCr: Twenty years ago Martin Brundle, you were on the podium with the tifosi below you, probably still quaking at the speed you'd travelled to reach the top two.
MB: Yup.  No Ferrari drivers up there that day, it was Senna, myself and then Schumacher.  We had a decent day out, that's for sure.

MB: Never ceases to amaze me how much information a Formula One driver can take in, being read out.  All the cars and what tyres they're on, as well as going into a clutch start procedure, preparing the car, there's a lot of work done on this formation lap as well.  It's a bit like, just before somebody kicks off in the centre circle, reading out what colour socks all the other players have got on and trying to remember it.

MB: Two cars in two corners for Fernando Alonso! 

MB: How must it feel for Sebastian Vettel, chasing down Michael Schumacher?  The man who was his inspiration, and there he is about to pass him, and he knows he's got his work cut out.

MB: If you're new to Formula One, and we all were once: welcome, and just to remind you, in a dry race the drivers have to use both types of tyre.

(Webber goes slightly wide onto the grasscrete)
MB: I think a bit of carbon fibre just flicked off under his car.  Whether it was his, or from one of those GP2 bandits that were racing through there earlier...

MB: Box, that's the old name for a pit.  It's really sort of become the language of Formula One.  "Pit" would seem to cover it, but "Box" is extremely easy to hear.
DCr: It has an immediate resonance, doesn't it?

MB: When you rock up at a couple of hundred miles an hour off the Parabolica, the pit lane entry here looks so narrow and confined.  It's so weird.

(Perez muscles past Raikkonen)
DCr: What a move that was!  Good boy!  You don't mind seeing that once or twice!

TK: Those of you watching the race on the pit lane channel, you're learning a lot because Massa's just been on the radio with no telemetry!  There's no telemetry from Massa's car back to the Ferrari pit wall.  I wondered why Rob Smedley wasn't on the pit wall!  In fact, it's looking more and more deserted!  Andrea Stella's not on the pit wall either!  Problems for Ferrari, after all the other issues they've had this weekend, they're blind effectively from knowing what's going on with the car!

MB: Quite clearly, it's worth getting a new set of boots on now.

(Webber gets a radio call about other people's strategy)
MB: Ciaron [Pilbeam] there sounds as surprised as we are how many have really committed to a two-stop.

(Ricciardo tries to fight with Massa and nearly collects Vettel)
MB: I think Daniel picked a fight there that he shouldn't have been in, frankly.

(Vettel and Alonso at Curva Grande)
MB: It looked self-inflicted, but we'll have another look...for about a year, no doubt.

MB: We're just awash with world champions trying to pass each other, aren't we?  Four in a row there.

(Perez gets a radio call)
MB: Sounded a bit Dalek-like, didn't it?  It'd frighten me if I got that...

(Alonso passes Vettel, Vettel might get him back under DRS)
MB: I think the Red Bull's just too slow in a straight line to pull that stunt, frankly.

(Perez comes up behind Massa)
MB: I'm imagining a phone conversation.  "Hello, is that Ferrari?  It's your customer here.  We'd just like to pass through, if we may."

(Vettel trudges back to the pits)
MB: I'm not shy of walking up to drivers and having a chat with them, but I'd not approach him now.

DCr: A bow from Niki Lauda!  Not often you get one of those.
MB: Not often he takes that cap off! 

Friday, 7 September 2012

Italian Grand Prix - Update Schedule

Hopefully ASAP after each session, assuming the internet doesn't crap out again for no good reason.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Belgian Grand Prix - The Quotes


 MB: Forget Eau Rouge and Blanchimont, there are some corners here like the Fagnes chicane and Stavelot where you can see where the drivers are making the difference.

SL: Tell us how engine reliability has changed from your day to now.
MB: Well, we'd have a new engine every day.  And the team would have 80 different engines in the system, either in transit, in repair and maintenance, or in the team, in the car and going racing.  It was a crazy situation, an engine would do 500 miles and we were getting rid of it.  It made no sense at all, the teams were just fighting each other doing that, and spending money doing the same thing.  Now it makes a lot more sense that you're limited to eight per year.

MB: If you look at the rev counter in your road car and it's a diesel, maybe it does 5,000 revs.  These engines tick over at 5,000 revs!

SL: Was there a particular bit of this circuit you went well on?
JH: I was very good on the straights!

MB: Two more different tracks you couldn't have, Budapest to Spa.

DCr: Cooling isn't really a problem here at Spa, except in our commentary box, where it's about 900 degrees.

MB: These days we tend to judge the ultimate pace of a Ferrari by how well Massa does.  You sort of assume that Alonso will come in and somehow drive the wheels off it, get it somewhere near the front.  When Massa does well, as he is doing - I hate to say it, but it means the Ferrari is doing well.

(Of Eau Rouge/Raidillion)
MB: Aaaugh!  You love it, you hate it, it frightens they say, it's easy now, but there's still an amount of trepidation.  I saw my team-mate killed there.  I've seen everything go on.  Good, bad, especially in the rain.  It looks calmer in the cockpit than it does standing next to the track.
(The team-mate was Stefan Bellof, who died during the 1985 1000km of Spa)

MB: The HRT is undoubtedly better than any car I got the chance to race, and it looks utterly rubbish compared to the rest of them.

MB: [Alonso] says "I'm driving a red shed", basically, but it looks a fast shed, doesn't it?

TK: With McLaren, because they're splitting their strategies - I remember you always used to tell me "when you do that, you're only guaranteeing that you'll get it wrong with one car".  I'm wondering if this is where McLaren find themselves?

MB: There used to be gravel there, you'd go straight to hospital if you ran off there a few years ago.

MB: I can't see anyone beating Button, right now.  He's got too much of an advantage.  I can't see Button beating Button!


(Of Maldonado's driving)
MB: He says it's because he's Venezuelan; it must be hell on the roads there if they're all like that!

(Of the approach to Eau Rouge)
DH: I've never been down a ski jump, but I imagine this is what it must be like.

MB: Damon, we find ourselves at the Les Combes chicane, where you selfishly overtook me for 2nd place in the '95 Grand Prix on the last lap...

MB: The showbiz corners are Eau Rouge and Blanchimont, but these are the corners where you really make the time up.

SL: Put Eau Rouge into context, Ant; is it kind of like when you go over a hump-back bridge at speed?
AD: What are you talking about?  I would *never* do such a thing!

(On the grid, Marty tries to grab Mark Webber)
MB: Mark!  Can we just grab a quick word before you climb into that McLaren?

(Martin finishes with Nico Hulkenberg)
MB: I'll leave you to the lovely Tanja!
(For it is she)

MB: Ah!  Schumi's car!  Let's just see if we can get an update from anyone on whether the car's working properly...I'm gonna be as popular as a toothache, I imagine...

MB: They said Usain Bolt was coming...I asked Bernie if that was true and he said "No, he's only good for 200 metres and the grid is longer than that."

MB: We're just heading into the danger zone here, there's Grosjean, Maldonado...(he disappears out of shot and reappears wearing a yellow hard hat)...and I think it's better to be safe than sorry through here, cos there's a little bit of history between these guys...what are you taking a picture of *me* for?

(He bumps into someone he knows, who appreciates the hat)
MB: Is there anyone famous on the grid I can talk to?  Who?  Oh, the little man (for it is Bernie).  Er, I'd better take this off then!  I don't think he'll be impressed with that.

MB: Perez here, and Kobayashi, we'll just wander down...I don't know what "doorstep" is in Japanese...I'm getting a bit of a wave.  I'm quite infamous with the other TV stations, they tend to get a bit upset with me.

MB: If [Kobayashi] doesn't want to talk, that's fine.  Frankly I'm amazed when any of them want to talk, they've gotta be so focused.  This is Michael's 300th race.  I did 158, and it feels like someone else's life!  It just doesn't feel like...[he nearly walks into Martin Whitmarsh]...What was that, Martin?  Can we see?  Is it highly confidential, that BlackBerry?
MW: It's a Tweet.  You know how confidential they are!
MB: Whose tweets were you reading?
MW: All sorts of tweets.  There's a lot of information you can learn on Twitter!  It's much more informative than television these days!
MB: Never tweet when you've had a drink or you're angry about something; so, tell us something we don't already know.
MW: I think you know it all!

(Martin throws away, then)
SL: Johnny, gotta interrupt you; let's hear from Jenson, I think is with Martin!
MB: Well, he hasn't actually agreed to talk to me, but that's quite often...JB!  Can we have a final word!  Do you want the lucky nipple tweak today?  I don't think you need it, you're so fast out there!
JB: *Thank you*.
MB: Amazing!
(They talk)
MB: Good to see you so happy.  I'll get outta your way.

DCr: Let's go down to the woods today, I wonder.  Are we in for a big surprise?

(Hamilton carries a piece of his car back to the pits)
MB: A wag in the pits might be saying "is that all that's left of it?", but that was a *nasty* accident.

MB: You brake and you grimace, every time down into La Source at the start.

MB: The Americans would call that a yard sale, because it's all just laid out, isn't it?

DCr: And remember, Michael Schumacher started from 16th here in 1995, and he won the race.
MB: I was one of the people he passed down into La Source, that day.
DCr: You were in good company.

MB: They'll need to pit Button now, because that is *mighty*, *mighty* speed that Raikkonen's found on a new set of boots.

(Tongues firmly lodged in cheek)
MB: Interesting how the Red Bulls can pass the Toro Rossos without too much difficulty...
DCr: Maybe the Toro Rosso doesn't have the straight-line speed of the Williams?

(Schumacher and Vettel have a squabble at the Bus Stop)
MB: I should imagine there's a few choice German words going on there inside both helmets!

MB: Carefully taking that rip-off out to the side so it doesn't go in your own airbox...

TK: Jenson Button's only problem today: the radio is a bit crackly, apparently.
DCr: Like listening to Radio Luxembourg, circa 1965.

MB: Let's talk about Lotus.  We always say they could, should win the race, and then the Grand Prix rocks up and they're nowhere.

MB: It looks like there's fundamental pace in that car, and then they fall backwards in the race, or trip over something.

MB: [The stewards] need to make sure they've got hotel rooms booked because they're going to be very busy tonight.
DCr: Can I kip on your floor tonight?  We're going to be here very late...

TK: Vettel's been on the radio complaining about his general position in life - erm, this race, I should say.

MB: Other than the start, I think we've seen some superb driving.  The GP2 drivers would just have barrelled each other off the track!

MB: He put Jessica's wetsuit on because he'd forgotten his, to do a triathlon.  He's been so fast since that tightened up on him in the water, hasn't he?  Maybe that's the secret.

MB: The fastest lap of the race was done by Bruno Senna!  Last time a Senna did the fastest lap of a race was Donington 1993.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Belgian Grand Prix - Update Schedule

It's back!  There's always a little bit extra frisson in the air when it's time to go to Belgium.

I've got a full weekend on, though; the quotes may not come through until Sunday night/Monday, but they will come through.