(Discussing the latest Concorde Agreement and Mercedes' dissatisfaction)
It doesn't seem to make any difference, does it, how much you've
invested in the sport; "that's your lookout", I'm sure I can hear a
certain small man saying to himself.
MB: I mean,
Bernie's not everyone's cup of tea, but, he's 82 years old, his main
device always is "divide and conquer", and he's been ace at it this time
round, hasn't he?
MB: One driver said to me on the way
home from Bahrain on the plane, "my granny could drive these cars",
there's so little grip...
DH: That'd be interesting, wouldn't it? I'd like to see that! Maybe we should sign her up?
That very same driver came out and supported the Pirelli thing during
the...cos he obviously had to toe the corporate line of the particular
team that he drives for, but I think the drivers are a bit frustrated
when they're eight or nine seconds slower in the race than they were in
SL: Busy pit lane right now. Johnny
Herbert didn't wear a vest like myself and Damon, and will now have to
do the rest of the show like this with his hands clamped to his sides!
JH: Oh, thanks! Oh, thanks, buddy!
(General chortling and amusement)
DH: It's all right for you, I've got to stand next to him!
Well, [the teams] won't know where they need to be because of the
temperature. I think Damon, you had a look at the track temperature and
it was at...
DH: Well, I wasn't going to tell you, but it's 38 degrees...
JH: I know you weren't! That's why I asked you!
DH: It's a secret!
MB: Tell me!
(Discussing the technical updates for this race)
We can also have a look at these little winglets here, which I like to
call "eyebrow" winglets. I'm sure McLaren will call them something
SL: We've found something to sort Johnny Herbert's problem out!
(The Force India sporting director is blasting JH's armpits with a gigantic cooling contraption)
SL: His roles are many and varied...
(Q1 starts and not a lot happens)
This is looking like a spaghetti western right now, isn't it? They're
all hangin' out quietly, just keeping out of the midday sun, and then
all of a sudden they'll come out shooting in a little while.
DCr: Ted! Still not very noisy with you.
(An engine fires up literally in the middle of his sentence)
TK: Oh, I beg to differ!
DCr: Oh, really (!)
(di Resta goes wide)
MB: I'm not sure he has any fillings in his teeth, but it does rattle them out - he's too young for that, I guess.
(And again, at Turn 3, allowing Martin to revisit an old bugbear from a different angle)
They're so lucky, cos that used to just be bumpy gravel, and you'd go
straight into a wall and probably straight to hospital.
There'll be plenty of bitching going on from many of these drivers when
they get back into the pits of, like, "I don't understand this, what's
happened? I've got no front grip!"
(I didn't know you could say "bitching" on Sky... -Ed)
(Charles Pic talks about Q1 and competing with the "Cat-ur-am")
"Cat-uh-ham" - I heard it on CNN the other day as "Cayter-HAM", and I
don't think they know that particular village too well around the world,
(Thanks to a being known only as "The Stig" for flagging this one up for me.)
just ensures we didn't miss his previous, subtle, inferences about the
presence of artificial grass strips lining the circuit)
still pretty much a crosswind through that Turn 9, where they're really
struggling not to run wide onto the...astroturf, carpet...call it what
you will....fake grass...ability to be inaccurate and still get away with it. Call it whatever you want.
(Rosberg clumps a kerb heavily)
...You really do start to feel that wind, specially if it is a bit of a
crosswind--oof, dear! He felt that, Nico Rosberg! Probably took the
wind out of him, going over the kerb so hard!
MB: Formula One cars are so clumsy
at fifty miles an hour, and so are Formula One drivers, by the looks of
it. You can't see the kerb when you get there in the things, and it's
just a horrible part of the track to drive.
Rosberg then, about to clump that Turn 14 inside kerb, and yeah, he got
the really big one, the "You can take a bit of kerb but you're not
coming this far" kerb.
(I take no responsiblity for anyone who is losing their ability to comprehend the word "kerb" by this point -Ed)
I would not be at all surprised to see Romain Grosjean win a Grand Prix
this year. He seems as if he's got all the pace of Raikkonen, and
they've got a great car.
DH: They've always been an interesting team. I mean, I still think of them as Benetton, to be honest.
(On the grid, Martin gets adventurous)
Right, let's dive in to...here's a lady, do you speak English? Let's
have a Marty's Random Person...(he gets totally blanked)....no! She
clearly doesn't speak English! Oh, I've got the wrong aftershave on.
Do you speak English? (She indicates yes, but demurres) Ah, just a
quick word? Right...that went well. I'm gonna try a man next. Oh,
look at this dude looking cool, look. Do you speak English? No!
Nobody speaks English! (He desperately accosts a passing photographer)
There's Keith Sutton, he speaks English, of Sutton Photographic! Keith,
who's going to win the race?
KS: It's going to be Maldonado.
Maldonado? Right! (He moves on) Bernie, do you speak English? (Bernie
Ecclestone, for it is he, looks at him like he's got two heads).
(He chats to Bernie and then, finally, finally, finally, finds a lady who speaks English and will talk to him for his MRP)
Quick word, you're my first Marty's Random Person of the year, and
you're obviously with Red Bull Racing. Are you from Red Bull?
MRP: No, I'm from Vienna, and so I like Vettel.
MB: So, we head down to Pastor Maldonado. I've got no idea if he's available. I've no idea if he's on the grid!
(Crofty finishes his intro)
We have a glorious race in prospect: Martin Brundle, who's wearing
"Blank Me" by Brut as his aftershave this afternoon, I just can't wait
for this to get going.
(Replay of the start from Alonso's car)
This is going to be a great view, I'm looking forward to this! Watch
Maldonado gently come over and leave him the width of a Ferrari plus a
sheet of A4, basically, and Alonso says "that's more than enough".
(Kobayashi absolutely mugs Jenson Button for position)
You know when you've been KKed, and that was absolutely fine. He went
in there, the door was open and he walked through the door, and gave
Jenson a little touch just to move him out of the way....
DCr: It's Kobayashi's way of making the corner, isn't it? Just bounce off the car to your right?
MB: We've seen him do it on many occasions, haven't we?
DCr: Glorious race at Suzuka where he used the hairpin to barge past Toro Rossos...
MB: "Just in case I run wide, I'll lean on you."
(Charles Pic retires instead of serving a drive-through)
MB: It's supposed to be through the pits, not through the garage...
MB: His first crash there - he's just crashed into the cameraman. Had his crash helmet on, fortunately.
(Read this one out loud, I think...)
DCr: It's victory for Williams, for Pastor, in Spain!
MB: This is one of the most
bizarre and confusing times that I've experienced in my life, as a
Formula One driver and a person. Because 99.9% of this paddock haven't
seen any trouble - we've moved freely from the airport to the hotels,
the city, the racetrack, and we're all getting calls from home, friends
and family, saying "come home, it's so dangerous". They think we're in
some kind of war zone. It's difficult to compute; but quite clearly
it's the main subject of the weekend, so it's an own goal for Formula
One in many respects to be here.
(Vergne misses the weighbridge, so Martin gets a chance to talk about being DSQed at Monaco in 1991 for it)
MB: My mitigating circumstance - not that this bugs me, 21 years later!
DCr: But we're gonna bring it up anyway!
MB: ...Is that Nigel Mansell
ran over the foot of the man who was pointing us into the weighbridge
at Monaco, and they took him away, so he wasn't there to tell me to go
(A piece about starting up an F1 car)
MB: And still they don't need a driver! He's probably out back, drinking champagne and talking to girls.
(Sitting back-to-back with Michael for the track guide)
MB: ...and then you turn in, hugging the apex like your favourite granny.
MS: And then, with grandma hugging grandpa behind me, we come to the exit...
(A thermal imaging camera is turned on the pit lane)
SL: I was wanting to see which bits of me were hot, but I'm a bit disappointed. That might mean we've got no soul.
(On the grid with Mark Webber)
The car looks so much better - I was just telling the viewers about the
new, or the slot that's gone missing from your rear bodywork that we
can't see through yer mechanics.
MW: I didn't know that!
MB: You didn't know that?
MW: No, no...
MB: Watch our programme!
Don't forget, these cars are now full of fuel since you last saw them
in qualifying - that's the equivalent of putting two passengers in them,
and that is why they're having to be so careful into the braking zone.
MB: Grosjean is just applying the throttle so nicely. Listen to that, just sweeeeeping the throttle down, not allowing any wheelspin.
(Hamilton passes Alonso)
MB: Mr Angry passes the matador.
(di Resta overtakes two cars at once)
MB: That's Christmas and birthday all at once for Paul di Resta, isn't it?
(Maldonado spins as Rosberg forces Alonso off the course right in front)
MB: This is Nico Rosberg's party trick, up the hill, and it was so exciting...
(Massa comes up behind Alonso)
MB: Fernando, Felipe is faster than you. Might be time to do something about that.
MB:These two are neighbours in Switzerland, Raikkonen apparently always beats Vettel at table tennis, will he beat him today?
I was watching him, Martin, just after your gridwalk, and as you were
running up to the commentary box, Kimi Raikkonen was just sauntering
back onto the grid, you know, race suit down to his waist, just like he
was turning up for a Sunday afternoon with his mates. Puts the helmet
on, drops the visor, and it's almost like a split personality. He
becomes a different man altogether.
(Hamilton comes in for his final stop of the afternoon)
MB: And we have...four wheels on our wagon!
MB: Grosjean, the first Frenchman on the podium since Jean Alesi in 1998.
(Of the braking zone in Turn 6)
DC: It's like being hit in the back of the hekmet with a sledgehammer, when you give that first push on the brake pedal...
DC: I like Gary's expression there more effort there in qualifying. It reminds me of my schooldays! "Must try harder."
BE: Did you ever have that when you were driving, from an engineer?
DC: Oh, constantly.
(Vettel is told he didn't make it through Q2)
DC: That hurts.
EJ: Where is that finger now, I ask? It's disappeared in one swoop!
JH: It's holding his helmet now...
DC: This is like Formula Ford racing, rather than Formula One, it's so close out there.
(Rosberg blows everybody's doors off)
BE: A  35.1! A 35.1! That is a very rapid lap indeed!
(And then strolls off to get weighed before the flag drops)
DC: Just a thought, random thought, but if I was Rosberg, and I think I'm about to possibly have my first pole, I would hang around the garage for the team hug - if it happens - but he's just all alone, walking down to get weighed. Hasn't anyone told him? Hasn't he looked at the screens?
(Guest pundit Johnny Herbert is shown footage of his 1995 British GP win)
JoH: I'm just surprised it's not in black and white!
MB: A Formula One driver fits into a car like a hand fits into a glove.
(Of the pre-race parade on the pit straight)
SL: I saw an elf on a Segway, which you don't see every day, just going down there.
(Talking to Christian Horner)
MB: I hope you're going to reprimand [the team] for starting the engines while the boss is on the TV, for goodness sake.
CH: I think they do it as soon as they see you, Martin!
(On the grid)
MB: I would like to find a Mercedes-Benz driver...well, let's look for a whole bunch of cameras, and then we might just find a Merc-a-dees driver...(He queues for Rosberg and turns to his PR woman) We always bring him good luck, you know. I think you might have to get in there and, like, boot the others out...(Watching Rosberg speak to someone else) He'll never see where to brake at the first corner after that shirt, he'll be dazzled, won't he?
(Senna's engineer radios about how they need to get "through Massa")
DCr: Or 'round Massa', probably.
MB: Well, he tried 'through', didn't he, and it didn't work? Now he's got to go round him.
MB: Vettel, last year, the year before, he was perfect off the start. Perfect in qualifying. What is going on? It seems like his whole skillset has fallen away at the moment.
MB: Schumacher about to become the cork in the bottle, I reckon.
MB: Argh, oh! I haven't been this disappointed since Shrek 2. That is such a shame.
MB: The strategists' brains will be smoking, smoke coming out of their ears, working out when to stop a driver and where to feed him out into any sensible place on the track.
(Ted Kravitz breaks off for some team radio from Paul di Resta)
Engineer: Paul, we are definitely still in a race here. Definitely still in a race.
TK: Everyone's still in a race.
MB: As we expected, Jenson's in the pound seats.
MB: Look at Alonso. Because Hamilton's being held up behind Perez, he's right on the back of him. He's a magician! He just keeps on pulling something out of his hat. When he doesn't appear to have anything in his hat!
(Webber runs wide and very nearly flips arse over tit)
MB: As we watch Mark Webber, running, ouuugh, wow! Got plenty of air underneath that, didn't he? ... You don't wear your tyres out when you're flying through the air!
(Alonso runs wide on the marbles)
MB: I was watching - you were chatting away - and I was thinking "that's not gonna stay on the racetrack".
DCr: But, when you're a magician, even Harry Potter gets the odd spell wrong from time to time. Maybe it was one too many waves of the wand on that occasion.
MB: They've all driven - I think there's been some exquisite driving out there today. I mean, the side-by-sides, just tapping wheel rims, and not putting each other out of the race, and they're hard enough to drive by themselves, these things, without having to jockey around someone beside you.
MB: This is a big victory for Mercedes. They've been feeling pretty unloved in Formula One of late, with other teams cutting new deals in the Concorde Agreement for the future; this is an important marketplace for Mercedes-Benz, and that's very timely indeed, young Rosberg.
DCr: Martin, I know we'd all like to take home a trophy at the end of the day, what do you think of this one?
MB: Don't think it's the prettiest trophy I've ever seen, but it's...memorable, isn't it?
DCr: Rivals Jenson Button's fruit bowl, for his first win in Hungary...
(I would like to add an honourable mention to virtually everything in the BBC's F1 Forum show, which featured (among other things) some excellent banter about Eddie Jordan being texted by "George McCartney", Jakey-boy's iPad running out of battery, then using Twitter on his iPhone and carrying out a request to give Jenson Button a big kiss, EJ bodily shoving fans out of the way of the camera during the Mercedes segment, DC getting caught by a ravening pack of autograph hunters, and finishing with Lao the Chinese expert on English television coverage.)
DCr: One DRS detection zone for the race, but you can open that DRS throughout your qualifying session, Martin Brundle, if you dare. And I daresay on your run up to the box today, you opened the DRS flap quite a lot yourself? That was an impressive time!
MB: I said to Kimi [Raikkonen] after free practice 3, "the car looks okay, yeah?", and I got six words back, which I think means he's incredibly excited about it!
DCr: That's a proper conversation, isn't it?
MB: Let's not forget, of course, that Raikkonen has a five-place grid drop for having to change the cog-box - the gearbox at the back - out of sequence.
MB: Ricciardo's only 16th, Vergne the first one out - I would have lost a lot of money on that.
DCr: Nico Rosberg was talking at the start of the week about the compromise between their qualifying pace, which we think they've got with this 'super-duper' - in inverted commas - DRS, and their race pace, which wasn't what they expectd in Melbourne.
MB: It may be 43 degrees out on the track, but the Iceman set a good benchmark there. That's a properly quick time, a 1:36.7 .
DCr: A bit of work to be done down on Pastor Maldonado's car there. A bit of debris attached itself to the barge-board, there.
MB: Gravel rash, it's known as, inside the teams.
DCr: McLaren have never been on pole in Malaysia. Will that record be broken today? Will they rediscover their winning streak?
MB: And will Jenson Button be on pole position for the first time in 50 races - his first time for McLaren? Have Red Bull got what it takes? Were Mercedes-Benz hiding...I don't know! Do you? I really don't know!
DCr: Haven't got a clue, to be honest. It's like I'm sat down watching University Challenge. I couldn't answer any of those questions, cos nobody knows!
DCr: It's Hamilton again who has laid down a very impressive marker in this high-speed-stakes and game of poker!
(Ted discusses the Mercedes rear wing)
TK: We explained how air comes in through the DRS, down the rear wing endplates, and then into this rear wing beam. But look! The car was uncovered! And we can see a little bit of piping!
(Perhaps this one is in the delivery; I've gotta love a guy who's so incredibly enthusiastic about his job and the information he's sharing with us. -Ed)
(Then he takes a nosey at the weather radar)
TK: It says that the large shower located to the north-east is moving towards the circuit, a high probability of rain before the beginning of the race. (He turns to point at the large, evil cloud) There it is, Simon! It's a-coming!
(On the grid with Jenson)
JB: Well, it is starting to rain now, we're probably going to have a wet start to the race.
MB: (very brightly) Really? You think rain's that imminent, is it?
JB: Yeah...s'ppose that's quite obvious, really...
(Martin vs Zee Germans, Round 1)
MB: We've got...a fight going on between TV crews, Owen Wilson the actor here...who's, erm, Lightning Queen from the movie 'Cars'...(Kai Ebel sees Martin sniffing around and turns Wilson around so Martin's looking at the back of Wilson's head)...Kai here at RTL, and, er...(Martin pulls a face)...I'll take a step back, then...(he tries to jump in after Kai and gets brushed off quickly) That's always interesting to know. So!
(The rain comes down, the safety car goes out)
MB: So Vergne is still on the intermediates then, and Vettel's gone off on the full wets. How on earth is Vergne getting round the racetrack on those? "Slowly" would be one answer - but he's still there, isn't he?
MB: Remember I said on the grid, the safety car's got about 125 kilometres of fuel - probably a bit more, probably 140 in full wet conditions.
DCr: Have they got a spare?
MB: They have a spare. You weren't listening to my gridwalk, Crofty!
DCr: To be honest, I was listening intently to the gridwalk, but I was still chuckling at your int-er, altercation with Owen Wilson down there, which has to be the shortest Hollywood interview ever.
MB: Hah, when he's treading on my toes!
DCr: The view that Fernando Alonso just hasn't got, even behind the Safety Car! It's just like driving down the M1 without your windscreen wipers on - which you should never, ever try.
(The red flag comes out and it's time for more Ted)
TK: Yes, I'm getting slightly damp down here, guys. The teams have their own ways to avoid getting damp. Particularly enterprising I thought were the Mercedes team, who brought two gazebos - they look like the sort of gazebos that you'll get in your common garden warehouse. There's McLaren, they've got one too, don't wanna be outdone by Mercedes, and they've set these gazebos up over their cars, as you can see. I wonder if that's the lesson they've learned...Everyone's got a gazebo! There we go! Learnt a lesson from Canada, where everybody just got completely wet and it got in the computers and everything like that. So there you go, you never know when your local DIY shop is gonna become useful. Maybe a Malaysian one has done particularly good business this week.
MB: Do you know, I've been racing for 40 years, and that red flag countback situation, I've never got my head round it.
DCr: They've found a gazebo!
MB: Bit slow with the gazebo. Bit like the car this year, unfortunately.
MB: You're living on your wits when you can't really see out the front of the car, like passing a truck on the motorway when your wipers have failed, and your windscreen's obliterated, and what happens is you start listening for the car in front, your peripheral vision heightens, and you start finding new reference points. (A strange replay comes in.) Er, that was a classic shot, wasn't it? Felipe Massa's dad with a cardboard cutout of Felipe Massa, wasn't it, in the middle? Was it? It wasn't the real thing, was it? I mean, I caught it out of the corner of my eye.
DCr: They do have those cardboard cutouts! There's one of Fernando Alonso, complete with silly beard as well, trust me.
(Ever alert for a cheap way of filling in time, Ted zeroes in on more gazebo chat...)
TK: Hello, yes, and you join me - I should say "Ahoy!" - Jonathan Neal, in the McLaren garage. What's your radar saying?
JN: Everybody's radar shows a large green and blue splodge right in the middle of yer screen there, for the last half an hour.
TK: As we can see there, Vettel's got a gazebo, you've got a gazebo, did you buy this locally or bring it out from Woking?
(He explains how it was discussed with the FIA and FOM and gazebos are now specifically permitted as long as they don't have sides)
TK: Don't you love that? So Formula One! There's even a technical discussion between the teams and the FIA as to whether they're allowed a tent on the grid!
DCr: Yeah, we had one person Tweet us saying "Is this now the most expensive car boot sale in history?"
MB: I think it would be if a few more of them had run into each other, but impressively, there's not much carbon fibre lying around to sell cheaply, is there?
MB: When I came off the grid and it started to rain, it smelled like steam, it smelled like an old kettle.
DCr: Jean-Eric Vergne just oozes cool, doesn't he?
MB: His boots won't be wet, because he obviously walks on water, doesn't he?
(Natalie Pinkhsm grabs Norbert Haug)
NP: I would have thought a man of your stature would have a direct contact to God?
NH: Ha ha, if I had a direct contact to God, Michael wouldn't have been spun round on the first lap.
(Ted once more, as the restart time is announced)
TK: Where Jenson Button was in the McLaren hospitality area having a cup of tea with the Whitmarshes.
(Martin talks about driving the 2010 Ferrari)
MB: It was a Raikkonen seat. I couldn't get in an Alonso seat - his hips were too girly.
MB: DRS is still disenabled...er, "disabled" is the word I was looking for...
DCr: "Not working."
MB: [Button] is a heating engineer right now, and he's not able to keep his front tyres warm.
DCr: This could be Sauber's best ever race. Ted?
TK: Didn't Sauber win a race?
DCr: No. (Crickets) Maybe when they were BMW...
MB: Always be on the right tyres at the right time.
MB: If you're going to let the leader through, let him positively through! Don't loiter on the racing line like that!
MB: We have some new heroes in Formula One. Sergio Perez, I'm adding Bruno Senna to that list.
MB: You put your thumb into the side of these Pirelli tyres, especially this year's spec, and it'll just go right through.
MB: I feel happy for Sauber, but I think it's the race they should have won. I really do think it's the race they should have won.
MB: There's that controversial pull-rod front suspension. Didn't seem to be too bad today, did it?
Suddenly those ugly noses don't look quite so ugly when they're in the winner's circle, do they?
(The cameras show the cars' empty cockpits after the drivers have left)
MB: It looks so peaceful in there after all that activity, doesn't it?
SL: There are some very, very, very happy Italians around me!
FREE PRACTICE 1
(Martin spent FP1 in the pit lane, doing interviews to fill slow moments.)
MB: You know, obviously, lots of pre-season talk about you having problems at Ferrari, and the cars not working. I mean, what is the real - what's the truth here, Luca. How confident are you in this car?
Luca Colliani: Well, the truth is that we'll know something more for tomorrow afternoon. Um, what we said, is that we are behind what was our target, but what does it mean in terms of er, pecking order with the others, honestly it's difficult to say. For sure there are teams like, er, Red Bull, McLaren, who look very strong. We hope we can be competitive with them, when? Time will tell. In the next [?]
MB: How do you say "pecking order" in Italian?
LC: Well, "rapporti de forza"! (?)
(Martin asks Gary Paffett why he's serving as Force India reserve driver despite having a McLaren contract)
GP: Well, Jules Bianchi is their contracted driver, but he's away testing this week, so they sort of asked if I'd step in if anything were to happen, and I'm here anyway, so why not?
MB: So you're leaving banana skins outside the drivers' changing rooms down there, yeah?
GP: None of them have slipped over yet, but there's still time...
(Felipe Massa ends up in the gravel trap at turn 1, then is on the radio asking if there's a problem with the car)
Anthony Davidson: (watching replay and theorising)...so he moved out and...there we go, on the grass. The cameras don't lie! Mmm, "something strange with the car". It was on the grass!
David Croft: Turf on the tyres, I think is the strange thing there, Felipe.
(Interviewing someone from Force India, Damon Hill desperately attempts to dance round what the team used to be called without actually saying "Jordan" on Sky, in case we're all reminded how much we're paying for this while EJ's shirts still roam the pit lane on tape delay)
DH: I was just gonna say, we remember the times of yore when, uh, similar sort of, uh, a similar sort of outfit as this, under a different guise, er, won races...
(Glock goes out for qualifying in the Marussia)
MB: I'm still struggling to get used to these ugly Formula One cars of 2012, I have to say - they scare small children, these things. One thing I will say, though, is they sound glorious, as Glock doesn't trouble the apex of 3 at all - Turn 4 looks better. But with the exhaust coming out of the top now, not underneath, and without all that popping and banging of the blown exhaust, and all sorts. I hated it last year - the driver lifting his foot off the throttle and the computer put more throttle in, in some situations. (He then realises he can turn this line round to hawk 5.1 surround for the 2,198th time this weekend and only does it mildly awkwardly.)
DCr: Yes, quite. You wouldn't want to hear the raspberry-sounding cars of old in 5.1 surround.
(Was Senna baulked by Timo Glock?)
MB: Well, perilously close to it, wasn't it? I mean, sort of gormlessly going through the fastest corner on the circuit.
(Vettel comes out and immediately takes the scenic route)
MB: That must be the most-used runoff area in the wirld of Formula One, across there between turns 1 and 2. You can't help but feel that the Red Bull is nowhere near painted to the racetrack as it was last year, and indeed the year before.
(Karthikeyan waddles hopelessly about in front of Alonso, then Hamilton has an adventure of his own)
MB: Narain Karthikeyan, I think his eyes are on stalks trying to get himself round Turn 16, and didn't see Alonso in a hurry behind him. And this is Lewis Hamilton, and he goes off for a bit of gardening on the edge of Turn 1.
(Vettel has more adventures)
MB: Vettel must be in there saying "what's going on??? This is not the Red Bull I'm used to driving!"
DCr: Has the sport changed from Formula One to drifting?
MB: Here's a bit of useless-but-interesting information: Sebastian Vettel is wearing his third different helmet design so far this weekend.
DCr: Has he signed some new sponsorship agreement or something?
MB: He must be looking for a faster helmet!
(Talking about blocking in Q1)
MB: There's only 24 of them, but they all seemed to be out there all the time, didn't they?
(And then, a moment later)
MB: We've lost seven, that should improve the traffic. Especially as two of them were HRTs.
(Alonso spins out)
MB: He dips his wheels onto the grass again! We've seen so much of that this weekend! It's like, this amateur hour mistake. I don't understand why brilliant racing drivers are making that [mistake].
MB: I did 40 laps in the 2010 Ferrari at Fiorano last week, and I thought it was absolutely brilliant, to be honest. It was handling very nicely; but this one looks a little bit evil.
DCr: It's always a sign of driver error when they return to the paddock with the crash helmet still on?
MB: Yeah. It's hard enough to get a word with Fernando Alonso when he's happy, as I know well on the grid; and you're more likely to get a punch there than a word.
(Massa rides the kerb)
MB: As we watch Massa straddling the kerb - that'll bring tears to your eyes, I can tell you!
(Observation: Hands up everyone who noticed that Sky used an instrumental of Cars, the 80s synthpop hit, the first time they ran down the starting grid? I thought that was quite funny.)
(Martin goes to Fiorano to drive a Ferrari)
MB: Stefano Domenicali, team principal, Ferrari. How does that sound??? You must pinch yourself every day!
MB: You wrote to Ferrari when you were a student. I wrote to them when I was a Formula Three driver; I got a letter back from Marco Piccinini saying "we'll keep an eye on you". Thirty years later...
MB: That was a very emotional piece for me to watch. I think I'd be extra-emotional if...you know that sick feeling, Damon, when you had your first Brabham?
MB: You did know that feeling! When you had your first Brabham, head up on race morning - I had some dodgy cars in my Formula One career, and you get 'em on a Sunday morning and you really know that unless there's loads of crashes and unreliability, you don't have a prayer of even a World Championship point.
(On the grid)
MB: Jean-Eric [Vergne], it seems five minutes since I was watching you in Formula Three at Thruxton winning the British F3 championship, and here you are on the grid.
MB: Sebastian Vettel, now. We don't often find him down here on the grid, do we? Let's see if we can, if he's actually still on the grid, or if he's taking a comfort break, as they say.
MB: Mark Webber, over on the side - we might just have found that little zone, I think, when...(spotting Christian Horner) Where's Mark? Any idea?
CH: Not here. I know where he is, but you can't go there!
MB: Ah, well, you'd be surprised. One day I'm going to do that. (later, to Ciaron Pilbeam) You didn't walk to the front of the grid and go "Oh, we're not there any more?" (Back to Horner) So, both your drivers have gone, yeah?
CH: Sebastian said he was going for a Jimmy.
MB: A Jimmy! Yeah, he likes the English language, that one.
(It's rhyming slang, the full phrase being "Jimmy Riddle", meaning "comfort break" - Ed)
MB: Let's wander in here and see if we can at least look at a Schumacher.
(He finds Jenson Button)
MB: You're looking dead cool and comfortable, chap!
JB: Hah, it's only on the outside.
MB: Why, how's it feel on the inside?
(They talk about Hamilton and the first corner)
JB: No, I just haven't seen him today. It's always busy, as you know - I know it was a long time ago - but you know it's always busy before a Grand Prix.
(Martin goes for the nipple)
(Vettel mugs Rosberg for position)
MB: That's the man they said can't race in Formula One! Sebastian Vettel, he can only win from the front, apparently! I don't think so! That was amazing!
(And then goes rallycross)
MB: I think he's going to lob it into the corner, and the back end says "You're kidding me, I can't do that."
MB: This is slightly reminiscent to me of 1998, when McLaren came here with Coulthard and Hakkinen, and basically they were so far ahead they just had to make sure that they didn't break down or run into each other.
MB: Big queue behind [Massa] because his rear tyres are going off, as he's just helpfully told us - thank you for that - and that's why he's becoming a bit of a traffic jam.
MB: [Webber'a] tyres are getting a bit second-hand as well, judging by the oversteer he had through Turn 14. And he's ready to hand them back in. Don't think he'll get much for them, because they look like they've had enough.
(Vergne hops out of the way of Mark Webber)
MB: Me probably thought there's no point in fighting that one; the last person who wouldn't yield to a Red Bull in a Toro Rosso is no longer driving a Toro Rosso.
(And then, on the same theme)
MB: Perez, he's in the Sauber-Ferrari, and he's holding up the Ferrari-Ferrari, and he doesn't care one little bit. So, great driving from him, and I'm sure he's frustrating a few World Champions as they coast up behind him and can't find a way past.
(And then, as Perez gets passed by Rosberg)
MB: You could see [Rosberg] thinking - I've done it a million times - gingerly turning in, thinking please don't miss your breaking point, and you sorta turn the wheel and think "Oh, he hasn't hit me!"
(Natalie Pinkham collars John Button)
NP: We're at the less salubrious spot of the bins at the back of McLaren. What are you doing out here?
JB Sr: Toilets are round here!
NP: I spotted you having a fag! How are the nerves?
JB Sr: Oh, er. Okay. Bit nervous. Long, long way to go yet.
DCr: Hamilton's managing that gap, though, isn't he, Martin? Should they really be too concerned?
MB: I think he just wants to get to the end of the race and see Nicole again, doesn't he? She does look absolutely glorious today. (Crickets chirp) But...er, where were we? We were in a race, weren't we?
(Vettel pits and thumps the front jack)
MB: Here he comes into the garage of 22 of his favourite men in the world - except 21 of them only like him, the man on the front jack won't appreciate that.
(Button's team radio)
MB: Ooooh, juicy information! Fuel 4! We've got some motor, then.
MB: It's so easy to have a crash behind the Safety Car. It sounds so silly, doesn't it, but it is! You've got to keep tyre and brake temperature, and yet all of a sudden you've got a faceful of the crocodile of the pack behind the Safety Car.
MB: I don't like this rule. So what? It's the luck of the draw. If they have to get through some back markers on the restart, so what? They're the best drivers in the world. Let's see them negotiate it. I think we should get rid of blue flags. You'll hear me say that once every three races! Passing back markers is a core skill of being a racing driver!
DCr: There's Heikki Kovalainen! Looks to me like he's out of the race in the Caterham.
MB: He's looking trolleyed there, ha ha ha.
DCr: Johnny Herbert the driver steward here, part of the Gang of Four presiding over the race this weekend.
(Massa's retired car has a large mark on it)
MB: I don't know if it was when Massa kicked it as he got out...
MB: About five seconds into this race, when the front of Webber's Red Bull got attacked from both sides, I doubt he imagined he'd be in fourth place on lap 52.
DCr: I wonder, has the Renault got enough pace - the Lotus, I should say! - have enough pace to--
MB: I've done that all weekend.
MB: I think the Mercedes is so geared up to getting on the front row of the grid witht the various devices and the seventh gear that they must have to run to take advantage of those high straight-line speeds, and I guess that they were hoping that they could control the race from the front, but they never got there.
MB: Alonso, as ever, pulls a rabbit out of the hat for fifth in a car that Felipe Massa couldn't drive, basically.
DCr: Is that the finger from Jenson Button for this year,the Vettel finger, that's transferred?
MB: Two of them, anyway.
(The champagne is sprayed and the commentators throw back to Simon Lazenby, under the podium)
SL: They missed us! First Grand Prix, we didn't get any champagne because there was a stiff wind blowing.