2002 RACES

“Montoya very aggressive on the throttle pedal ... and if this is not exciting enough, back to the buggy.” (Martin and Mark are driving around the circuit in a little electric buggy)

“(Sato’s) jogging back to the pits. No rush, my friend, there’s nothing there for you except your team mate well and truly padlocked into the other car, he’s not gonna get out for you.”

“You can look a hero or you can be an absolute zero.”

“It’s misting quite hard - you can’t really say it’s raining, can you James? It’s sort of floating; it looks like, sort of, junior snow.”

James: “Mika (Hakkinen’s) just enjoying being a dad, changing a few nappies, doing a bit of sailing and having a nice time.”
Martin: “I didn’t enjoy changing any nappies! I dunno whether you are now with your new baby Enzo.”

Martin: “(Niki Lauda’s) got a long walk down the grid tomorrow, hasn’t he, to find his cars. Don’t think it’ll be a good place to start my grid walk tomorrow, do you?”
James: “Well they say you meet a better class of person at the back of the grid, don’t they?”
Martin: “Yeah, but a grumpy Niki Lauda’s not what I need!”

James: “What do you feel on the track when it’s this wet?”
Martin: “It’s alright. It’s fun, and all the spray’s behind you until you’re behind another car. It’s aquaplaning that scares the life out of you, when the car gets up on top of the water and you’re temporarily not in contact with the ground and you can head straight to the scene of the accident with the silliest little move of the steering wheel.”

“Reigning World Champion and world raining champion, I think you can call Michael Schumacher.”

“That qualifying session has finished. We’ve worked harder than many of the drivers, James!”

The grid walk
Martin: “Where is DC? Here he is - got his gladiator’s helmet on ... (finds David talking to Jackie Stewart) … Excuse me, Mr Stewart ... no, we’re live on the grid ... look, sorry!”
Jackie: “I wouldn’t put up with this if I were you, David, an interruption just before the race. Martin Brundle? Never!”

Martin: “You’re racing for third, you think, today.”
DC: “I think so, I think Ferrari have got a bit of an advantage.”
Martin: “You’d have a smile if they ran into each other on the first corner, that’s about all you can hope for then.”
DC: “Yeah, I’m just curious to know how they managed to sell the strategy to Rubens so Michael can win without him getting upset beforehand.”
Martin: “Ooh, bitchy!”

“No time to look in the mirrors, and too many cars, not enough tarmac and a lot of early tears.”

“Michael Schumacher, he’s earning about a million bucks a week and he’s not put in too much hard work today, has he?”

“Yes, it’s like being a disco - you’re probably always convinced that somebody else’s girlfriend is prettier than yours.”

The race
“What’s the betting he can still win?! Don’t write Michael Schumacher off - it’s gonna be thrilling to see him coming back through the field.”

“Not a good St Patrick’s Day for the Jordan team, no doubt about that.”

“I think Ralf Schumacher’s looking pretty handy. He’s in second place, the car looks good and we know those Michelins come in the further they go and when they get a bit of meat off of them. Keep an eye on Ralf Schumacher, I think he’s looking pretty strong.” (Ralf goes on to win)

“Bernoldi came back at him (Michael Schumacher)! He’ll turn in on you, Michael, you won’t get through there! That’s amazing!”

“A miraculous pit stop was Webber because I was told that he’d parked up out the back somewhere, through my radio cans, so it was a very good stop for him!”

“You’ve gotta be very accurate and committed but if you get it wrong you fly off the road in a terrifying fashion, but it’s a thrill to drive, no doubt about it.”

“They’ll need to cut to the other Williams any time soon, cos he’ll be winning the race!”

“We think Michael Schumacher has passed an ailing Jenson Button and will jump on the podium. Is he the luckiest man or what?”

“I can’t help but feeling that Jenson Button deserves to be up there [on the podium] and about to receive a pot.”

“Two point seven miles of tortuous and somewhat scary tarmac. … Slow down to a pedestrian 60 as you cascade downhill into the Senna S. … Turn 4 - bad memories for me here, the place I came closest to dying in a Formula 1 car.”

“I’ll be amazed if anyone can outgrunt the BMW Williams this weekend.”

“I assume that when they were choosing which driver would get the new Ferrari they tossed a double-headed one-deutschmark coin or something.”

“You’re looking at a very relaxed Rubens Barrichello, somewhat more relaxed than I’d thought he would be given his penalty and the fact that he’s not been super on the pace this weekend.”

“The bad news about that new one-engine deal: unless they put some kind of testing ban with it we could see teams running hardly at all on the Friday and Saturday of a Grand Prix. If they do, they’ll run at heavily reduced revs and I don’t think we’ll have a real look at what the cars are doing. I think’s it’s gonna be boring for us.”

“The vibes are more [that] maybe one or two more teams will bite the dust yet ... I think that’s dangerous territory to head into, naming names, but there is this feeling that teams could start being picked off. It’s a difficult time, I think, there’s no doubt about it, you’re seeing sponsorship deals done very late and talk of ‘we’ve got 10/20/30% less budget than last year’, so there’s a bit of trouble at t’mill.”

“Sato’s had a difficult weekend - his car’s had an attraction to the hedge.”

“(Sato) loses his best [lap] already this afternoon as a penalty for jumping the red light at the end of the pit lane but, hey, in Sao Paulo everybody does that, it seems, jumps red lights.”

“Psychologically it must be hard, mustn’t it, to know you’re in the older car but over the line (Barrichello) goes, then, with a 13.945 - at least he’s consistently off the pace!”

James: “When we saw this shot before, Martin (from an in-car camera facing the driver), I couldn’t help but notice that (Michael)’s grip on the steering wheel didn’t seem ... I mean, if I held that steering wheel in one of those things I’m sure I’d be squeezing it for grim death but he seemed to have a fairly loose grip on it.”
Martin: “Yeah, you have to, you have to drive them. You’ve got three contact points with a Formula 1 car - with any racing car - your feet on the pedals, your backside in the seat and your hand on the wheel and you’re getting information from those physical contact points, plus what your eyes are telling you, and if you squeeze the wheel too hard you’re not using it in the way in which it’s designed to be used, really. It’s your friend, it’s not your enemy, the steering wheel.”

Martin’s track guide
“Watch (Michael’s) right hand, amazingly, adjust the brake balance in the middle of the turn!”

“You’re on the front row of the grid - we can’t see behind that visor but he ‘ll be moderately pleased.”

The grid walk
“This is so hot on the racetrack. They’re saying it’s 39 degrees, feels even hotter than that. It’s like walking down the beach with no shoes on on a very hot day. It’s kinda melting the bottom of your shoes, it’s absolutely amazing.”

“I dunno if Kimi’s up for a chat ... Any chance of a quick word, Kimi? (Kimi shakes his head) Is that a maybe? Just one word! (Kimi taps his earpiece) Oh, you can’t hear anything. You could hear me say ‘a quick word’!”

“Michael, any chance of a word? One word? No? OK - he doesn’t want to talk to us today … Charlie Whiting! Race director ... he doesn’t want to … nobody wants to talk to us today! Charles is a bit nervous from things that happened at the last race, I think. OK, it’s time for a Marty’s Random Person, I think ... do you speak English, sir?”

The race
“The commentary box is moving around as the fans outside are shaking their fists and jumping up and down with excitement at their man Barrichello now in second place.”

“Way into the infield for Rubens Barrichello. Not such a long walk back to the pits, but what has he got to do? Eight retirements.”

James: “The way you tell the Renaults apart is that Jarno Trulli has a little dayglo blob on the end of his nose.”
Martin: “You mean the nose of the car, I’m assuming, not the nose of the driver!”

“They’re so heavy, those fuel hoses, you need the arms of a gorilla to get those things up.”

“We saw Michael Schumacher yesterday on his best qualifying lap adjusting the brake balance in the middle of that corner - unbelievable. I talked to a few drivers about that and they could not believe he had enough command over the car to be able to do that.”

Louise: “The team suspected that (Irvine) might have a fuel pressure problem so they told him to turn the oil pump on which he has now done - you can probably explain the technicalities of that better than me, Martin - but as far as they’re concerned now, everything is absolutely fine.”
Martin: “I’m completely confused - if you’ve got a fuel pressure problem, turning the oil tank on - either they’re having a grin with us or there’s been a bit of Chinese Whispers in the interpretation there somewhere!”

San Marino
“This is a stonking lap. You can just see the speed as he went into Acque Minerale - just mind-blowing commitment.”

“The TV numbers in Italy are apparently down 20%; our numbers are up in the UK and there’s a lot of interest in Formula 1 around the world, but for sure in the eighteen years I’ve been coming to Italy for Grands Prix I’ve never driven into a race circuit so easily as I have done this weekend.”

“You can’t really say why the car is off the pace from the way the car is handling, but that puts him in 8th place on a 23.3, and that is nowhere.”

“Rubens has hardly sat in the new car, has he? Didn’t get to test it, didn’t get to race it in Brazil, and wow, has he really hooked it up this afternoon or what?”

“That’s the lower chicane, then, for the second slo-mo there (the camera cuts away to a pretty girl) and a different kind of slo-mo briefly, but Coulthard would not be interested in having a look at this shot, he needs to get back and look at the telemetry cos he’s a mile away today.”

“Strange how we’ve gone to a slo-mo when he’s still on that lap, but anyway he has moved up to 13th place - and there we’re catching up with him! Strange way of doing that one but anyway we got the picture in the end.”

“Barrichello’s put one of those laps in that you remember after your career is over and you think back to. There’ll be a handful of them only in your career.”

“Ten out of ten for commitment but he’s overdriving it really - he’s probably having to - but he’s looking well ragged I’m afraid and in danger of visiting bits of territory where he just should not be, and there was one of them (Raikonnen promptly spins) and that’s the result!”

“It looks a bit like rush hour on the M25 - fortunately they’re all going off at the next junction.”

“Webber on a decent lap - I think he’s doing a really solid job for that team, I have to say. He’s got his head down, his mouth shut and he’s just getting on with it and I respect him for that, because a great day might be on the last but one row and a normal day’s on the last row, and as you step on an aeroplane to go all around the world knowing that to be reality, it takes quite a lot to really keep motivated.”

The grid walk
“If you were with me on the grid in Brazil you’ll know that I was in danger of having to talk to the tarmac to get a decent interview out of anybody so I thought I’d probably come down the back today and see if I can find a nicer class of megastar than we did up at the front end.”

Martin: “What’s going on? What’s happening? Why are you back down here?”
Eddie Irvine: “We made mistakes.”
Martin: “‘Made mistakes’. What, in your life, or just yesterday?!”

Martin: “They’re talking about between 10 and 25% rain but the water that’s coming down is 100% wet as far as I can tell. You’ve got a miserable start position if it’s wet later on.”
Eddie: “Fantastic. Our only chance is an absolute casino and the more rain, the more incidents, the more everything, the more chance we’ve got of getting points.”
Martin: “Good luck with the gambling!”

“I wouldn’t mind a quick word with Allan McNish, he’s standing here looking a bit forlorn actually!”

The race
“Talking about menacing clouds, this looks a bit like a Noah’s Ark race. They’re lining up - especially if Barrichello passes Ralf Schumacher – it goes Ferrari, Williams, Ferrari, Williams, McLaren, McLaren, Renault, Renault, Sauber, Sauber, BAR, BAR, Arrows, Arrows, right down to 14th place they’re all line astern. This kind of tells you this is a car circuit, not a driver circuit, doesn’t it?”

“Eddie Jordan’s offered me a lift home tonight, and that’s gonna be a bit of a glum journey isn’t it, that’s for sure, and understandably so.”

“[Twenty years ago] one in seven of [the drivers] died. Imagine if I walked down the grid these days and one in seven of the drivers I talked to may die before the end of the year. That’s how much the sport has changed in that time but back in those days they were gladiators in a greater sense of the word, I think.”

“Cutting away to an inevitable Sauber pitstop - they’ll be wearing the tarmac out around that area if they’re not careful.”

“That was a brave, brave move from a young man (Massa) in his fourth ever Grand Prix. Just 20 years old, and well impressed with that one.”

Martin: “Normally no other team member is allowed anywhere near that Parc Fermé so that they can’t interfere with the car in any way. Stories of old where balls of lead were rolled down exhaust pipes to put the weight of the car up and all sorts of things, mechanics who could barely walk they’d got so much lead in their pockets to make sure their car, when it gets weighed a little bit later on, meets the regulations. That’s why Parc Fermé was introduced.”
James: “Not one of your cars, I hope, Martin!”
Martin: “Nah, it was long before my time.”

Spain (I was on holiday – watched the race but didn’t have access to a video or a computer; and my shorthand’s too rusty to have made any notes!)

Austria (Martin wasn’t at the circuit for this race. Mark Blundell co-commentated with James.)

“Casino Square. This must be the finest place in the world for a spectator to see a Formula 1 car and driver hard at work.”

“And the very nasty bump on the exit as they cascade towards Mirabeau. Always difficult to brake into this corner - grab a bit of rain gutter on the inside and hurtle towards Loews hairpin, the car groaning as it has to slow down once again. Take an armful of pavement.”

“I imagine he was grimacing a bit during the Austrian press conference when Michael Schumacher was asked, ‘Look, who makes these decisions?’ and he said, ‘Well, the top man in the company is Luca di Montezemolo,’ and I would think di Montezemolo, who was not even in Austria, would be thinking, ‘Hmm, thank you very much, Michael’!”

“I think (Michael)’s also finding out that it’s much harder to go to the toilet with a crash helmet on and four layers of fireproof clothing, but I’m surprised he hasn’t worked that one out before.”

“I think Ed is really driving with his head.”

Martin’s track guide
“Now you’re screaming down the hill towards Mirabeau ... now catapult towards Tabac.”

The grid walk
(to Nigel Mansell) “So you’re another sad Formula 1 driver turning into a journalist like me!”

“That’s what it’s all about down here on the grid - kissing the pretty girls!”

The race
“Wherever possible, Coulthard grabs a load of kerb to pull the front of the car round - he’s obviously got some understeer in the low-speed corners which is why they’re eating him into … as you say, it’s now called Grand Hotel, Loews Hairpin, or Station Hairpin as Sir Stirling Moss would call it, and whatever it is, it’s a Mickey Mouse corner.”

“Fisichella was sitting there with a boxful of neutrals.”

“Patrick Tambay overtook me there once in 1986 and ended up driving over my head and nearly flying over the wall and landing two corners down on the racetrack.”

James: “Looks like Bernoldi’s getting very close to the back of Massa.”
Martin: “That’s gonna end in tears - this Bernoldi/Massa scenario is gonna end in tears, you can just see it happening, two relatively inexperienced hot headed Brazilians ... (Massa then neufs Bernoldi and they both go off) … Did I mention tears?!”

“Yoong’s been out looking more like a crab than a Formula 1 car.”

“And Raikonnen says no thank you, that is handling like a pig.”

“World Championship points are like buses - nothing happens and then all of a sudden loads come along.”

“He did well - I’d normally have my eyes closed, I think, if I was coming down there at 180 miles an hour backwards.”

(replay of Massa heading for a crash)Get Off The Brakes! No point turning the steering wheel if you’ve got the front wheels locked. That was a new boy panic, really, and Massa making quite a mess of everything.”

“Lot of speculation (Coulthard) was under pressure from Raikonnen, where would he end up, what happens if Hakkinen comes back - I know it’s all false, cos I’ve got a copy of the contract!”

“Many a World Champion creamed into that wall.”

“Villeneuve really needs to pull something out of the bag - for his career, not just his year, doesn’t he - he’s really gotta put something special in. So often, even despite it being a grim time for BAR, Panis has blown his doors off.”

“Absolutely animal’d the kerbs in the final corner.”

“George of the Jungle makes his way back to the pits.”

“Sometimes you work harder than the guy on pole and still you’re back down in 19th place.”

James: “(Michael) had a horseriding holiday in Utah and Texas last week; arrived in the paddock on Thursday wearing a stetson!”
Martin (dryly): “That German sense of humour is too much sometimes, isn’t it.”

The grid walk
“This is Steve Winn, who owns half of Las Vegas ... (has a chat with him, then:) ... It’s really good to see you, and I love your hotel by the way. (To the camera as he walks away:) That should get me a cheap honeymoon suite, shouldn’t it, next time we’re down.”
(I hope he meant for a second honeymoon, or Mrs Brundle won’t be best pleased!)

“I wanted to talk to Ross Brawn - I think he’s just going into an interview.” (to the rival interviewer) “We’ve got ten seconds left, how many seconds have you got?!”

The race
“De La Rosa had contact with McNish and then went into the wall, so that’s why he pitted at the end of the first lap; and he’s fighting with himself right at the back and still managing to go off.”

“Jaguar catching fire there - is that Eddie Irvine’s Grand Prix career going up in smoke, James? Let’s hope not.”

“Why do we keep seeing cars yo-yo’ing through the afternoon?”

“I’m kind of assuming Michael Schumacher will let Barrichello go past ... (suddenly realises what he’s said) … That’s a bit of a sensitive subject, isn’t it, when you’re talking about Ferraris?!”

“Well, a very sad-sounding Eddie Irvine, not the normal gregarious strong-minded person we’re used to there.”

James: “Forty three points (Montoya) will be behind Michael Schumacher at the end of this race.”
Martin: “Makes June the 26th seem a bit more significant when the World Council meet to consider any retribution for the Ferrari swap-over in Austria.”

Louise: “(Montoya’s press officer) tells me there was nothing printable that came out of his mouth. He’s left the circuit.”
Martin: “Juan Pablo Montoya has left the circuit.”
James: “Elvis has left the building!”

“It was more of a game of chess than an Aussie Rules football match, wasn’t it?”

James: “‘Mickey Mouse’ was how Juan Pablo Montoya described [the new hairpin].”
Martin: “Bit unkind on Mickey Mouse, isn’t it, really, he seemed a really nice guy.”
(How many times has Martin described a silly area of track as ‘Mickey Mouse’ in the past?!)

“There’s got to be bumps, I’ve said before on our programmes they should actually build bumps into racetracks because it makes us work harder behind the wheel.”

“He was wickedly good through that small chicane.”

“This is gonna be the equivalent of a penalty shoot-out.”

“This is what’s hard about being a Grand Prix driver in qualifying – you have to coast out and the next time you come round there you’ll be doing fifty per cent higher speed and braking desperately late, and you’ve gotta switch that on any time soon; within the next few hundred metres you’ve gotta switch out of ‘protect the tyre’ mode into maximum attack and get it absolutely spot on for your braking into the first corner at about 185 miles an hour. You’ve got a margin probably of two or three metres to hit the brake pedal at the right moment - and now that switch is flicked and he’s into the qualifying lap.”

“I have to say, Ralf, I was underwhelmed by that.”

Martin’s track guide
“This right hander is an absolute nothing in a Formula 1 car.”

“It’s called the Coca-Cola Curve and this is a fizzing lap from Ralf Schumacher.”

The race
“Michael Schumacher is all over the back of his brother like a rash.”

“If Williams are not one-stopping there’ll be some long long faces on the pitwall, no doubt about that. They need to be very heavy on fuel, otherwise they’re gonna get absolutely trashed this afternoon.”

“I’m in admiration of Eddie (Jordan) that he’s still on the pitwall, frankly, I’m surprised he’s not on his way to the airport because he will not be impressed with that.”

“You can’t see that much in front of you in a Formula 1 car. That’s an odd thing to say - you can see down the road but you’ve got a face full of dashboard really.”

“Jacques’ point is ‘Listen, honour your contract and stop moaning about it. Don’t keep telling everybody how much is in my brown envelope, please, at the end of each month because it’s not fair nor reasonable’. So very much a spat building up there.”

Wicked understeer there in the McLaren of Coulthard.”

“Another man on the move is Jenson Button ... (the camera shows Webber going into a spin) ... and there’s a man on the move!”

James: “Looks like everybody in the paddock is going to drive for Jaguar next year at this rate! Are you driving for them by any chance?”
Martin: “I wouldn’t mind a go!”

James: “That was exactly not what Michael needed from a strategy point of view.”
Martin: “Nor the Ferrari pitwall, I suspect. Yep, whoops, that was not in the game plan.”

(as Barrichello starts his last lap with Michael hard behind him)
James: “I really don’t wanna look out of the last corner! I’m turning away!”
Martin: “They’re not gonna swap ‘em around. No Way are they gonna do that. I feel sorry for Ross Brawn and Jean Todt down there on the pitwall - those cameras must be burning a hole in the back of their necks. But there’s no way, James! They’re not gonna swap them around!”

“Ross obviously spent too much time in Italy, kissing Jean Todt. The drivers had the decency to keep their helmets on while they were kissing each other in the Parc Fermé.”

“Thread the eye of a needle on the exit, no space to spare. ... Leading into the never-ending right-hander of Club. ... Listen to that commitment, perfect grip. ... You wanna go but you can’t; you still can’t go; now you can get on with it as you catapult into the Start/Finish straight.”

“21 degrees track, 15 degrees only in the air. I don’t think the McLaren team will be needing their cooling suits this afternoon.”

(McNish has been talking to Ted about how he ran over a hare during practice)
“As they say in the ads, the hare in front hit a Toyota.”

“I’ve known Tom (Walkinshaw) for 23 years and I have to say I’ve never seen him looking so ragged and so shocked as when he gave an interview this morning but it’s nice to see him smiling again, but I’m sure still some troubled times ahead for Arrows.”

“That’s the valves and the pistons all having a chat with each other and being spat out the side.”

“He’s certainly trying very hard but sometimes you need to wring their neck and sometimes you need to just back off a little bit.”

“Oh! A leery slide there from Fisichella. In the pits, I think, for a change of tyres, and probably a change of underwear. That’s on the exit of Becketts and you only have big accidents there. Just collecting it up - a combination of supreme skill and tremendous fear, I would imagine.”

(Ted reports that Yoong has been blaming his slow lap times on traffic)
“The only traffic I can imagine he’s had is stuff passing him.”

Sunday’s pre-race show
(Martin and Mark go retro, dressed in flying ace gear with Martin driving an old motorcycle while Mark sits in the sidecar.)
Martin: “OK, young Mark, shall we continue our tradition of looking at Grand Prix circuits of the world in different forms of transport? Have you got the map?”
Mark: “Check, Martin!”
Martin: “OK, let’s go.” (They putter off and drive round the circuit at about 30 miles an hour)
Mark: “This is probably the highest g corner, Copse here, it’s about 3.8 lateral g.”
Martin: “What does ‘g’ stand for, Grommit or something?”
Mark: “Easy on the kerbing!”
(Martin drives across the kerbing. We can see the in-sidecar camera vibrate.)
Martin: “How’s your back, old boy?”
Mark: “Not too good now, sir!”
Martin: “It’s quite noisy out here!”
Mark: “We’re coming up to this ...” (looks at Martin)
Martin: “It’s called Maggotts, isn’t it?”
Mark: “That’s it, Maggotts!”
Martin: “Have you ever been round here before?”
Mark: “Changed a lot since my day.”
Martin: “So it’s about 190 here, still, I believe. They’re crazy!”
Mark: “Load it up to about 3.2g lateral load. Imagine that, three times the weight of your head being pulled off your shoulders.”
Martin: “Not to mention your sidecar. I hope it’s tied on properly.”
Mark: “I’ve checked the bolts, don’t worry mate.”
Martin: “I remember when Grand Prix drivers were real men - you had to change the gears by yourself. If you could get into top gear by this bridge, you were having a cracking lap, old boy.”
Mark: “This is about 190, 195, hard braking, about three and a half g de-acceleration, down three gears and chuck it in hard.”
Martin: “You’re so knowledgeable, Grommit!”
Mark: “Thank you.”
Martin: “Have you got any cheese sandwiches?”
Mark: “I’m just checking for the sarnies.”
Martin: “I hope they’ve got pickle in them. I can’t eat them without pickle.”
Mark: “We’ve seen many a guy tuck underneath someone coming into Vale.”
Martin: “Isn’t that cheating, going up the inside?”
Mark: “No, old chap, it’s allowed these days.”
Martin: “And you’ve got to get your chair right over the kerb, haven’t you?”
Mark: “Hard on the brakes again for this one.”
Martin: “Oh, it’s your way, isn’t it?” (leans hard to the left and towards the sidecar)
Mark: “Yeah, my way, old boy, better make it look authentic.”
Martin: “Terribly friendly, isn’t it?”
Mark: “These corners here are only about ... I’ll just check the map again, actually.”
Martin: “Are you cribbing in there?!”
Mark: “Yeah. I’m got a bit of a problem with my scarf!” (it’s flapping in his face and he can’t see a thing)
Martin: “What are all these little yellow lines and white lines? Can’t you park here or something?”
Mark: “It’s a no-parking zone with the yellows but you can line up behind those white stripes. That is the grid!”
Martin: “Good memories here, old boy?”
Mark: “Good memories, old boy, and thanks for the journey.”
Martin: “It was my pleasure, and I bet they won’t be able to go any faster than this on race day - that was spectacular!”

The grid walk
“It is starting to rain. Luckily it’s not like Wimbledon - we don’t pull the covers over here and go into a holding pattern.”

Martin: “This is your third British Grand Prix. How’re you feeling?”
Button: “Good!” (hesitates)Very good!”
Martin: “As good as that?! Not fantastic, then?”

“Here’s ... blimey, here’s a collection, look! Let’s see if I can barge in here.”

Max Mosley: “I’d like to see a shower of rain and I think then we’d see some real excitement.”
Martin: “Yeah, make ‘em work for their money today.”

Martin: “There’s a man here I’ve never ever seen on the grid. In 18 years I’ve never ever seen this old codger on the grid!”
Murray Walker: “It’s the first time I’ve ever been on the grid, it’s absolutely fantastic. I can see why you like it so much. You wouldn’t like to move over, would you?”
Martin: “Yeah, you should come and do one one day. It’s great to see you again. I hope you’ve said nice things about us all in your new book, otherwise it’ll be your last time on the grid!”
Murray: “How could I say anything else?”
Martin: “Well, we miss you.”

The race
“(Barrichello) will easily catch the pack up, but twenty other drivers, then, saying, ‘Mm, good, that’s one I’ve made up already’.”

“That’s (Massa’s) second spin of the afternoon - didn’t make it to the first corner before he was heading backwards and here he is again. Luckily he did not get T-boned by that Jaguar - it would have taken a big bite out of him, would that cat, had he run into the side of him.”

“It’s not been a great month for [the Brits]. I dunno if Beckham can drive or Coulthard can play tennis - maybe we ought to move them around a bit.”

James: “That was really impressive the way Ferrari turned two cars round so quickly.”
Martin: “Ross ought to wander down the pit and see if he can help somebody else out, cos his team are so under control, have got it so sorted out, he may as well see if he can be a Good Samaritan.”

“Rubens will have a problem to animal his way past Montoya.”

(Louise tells how the wife of Alistair Gibson, Chief Mechanic of BAR, is in labour.)
Louise: “He’s just told me that even if the call does come through to say that the birth is imminent, he’s staying here to watch the rest of the race!”
Martin: “No comment on that one! He’s a racer through and through, obviously. If you cut him in half you’d find ‘Racer’ written in him.”

“You’re already committed to the corner and if anything goes wrong, you’re way past the point of no return and into a very big incident.”

“What you then find is grown men squabbling over the same piece of tarmac at just forty miles an hour, but with some aggression.”

“Seems to be a bit of a Mexican stand-off, doesn’t it? Our belief is (Arrows) are going to do very little running even in this qualifying session, James, and will almost certainly be outside of the 107% rule if that’s the case, and will not start tomorrow’s race if that is indeed their strategy. But it’s bizarre and it’s a crying shame, isn’t it, to see such a good car - and it’s been really going well - really sitting there with nothing to do and the drivers almost playing the role of the substitute sitting on the bench at a football match.” ... “I really feel most sorry for the drivers actually, having to coast in and park a perfectly healthy Formula 1 car. Just as you think you’ve seen everything in Formula 1, something else comes up that completely amazes you.”

“I think that the Ferrari drivers were sleeping a little bit in Silverstone, I think they thought they had the front row well and truly locked up. Montoya goes out and finds nine tenths of a second from nowhere and blows them off the front row. I think they’ll be somewhat more alert this afternoon.”

“It’s got a silly name, it’s called One Eighty Degrees and it’s a silly corner.”

“Panis knows this track better than anybody else in the world and he will not be proud of himself at getting the corner so badly wrong.”

“There’s a white line at either end of the pitlane that says, ‘this is the pits’ and mechanics are not allowed outside of those zones. This is to stop the good old days where mechanics would go out onto the racetrack with a can of fuel and a bag of spanners to try to fix the cars.”

Martin: “A cloud of dust outside our commentary box window as Michael Schumacher got it wrong when it most mattered.”
James: “And just after you’d said he was about to smash the qualifying lap record. The curse of Murray has been passed on!”

“(Michael) ran out of space and ran out of talent.”

“So Schumacher - I can’t say it again, can I! - is about to take provisional pole.”

“I think he’s moved on a lot this last two or three races, Sato - we were getting rather used to seeing him in the wall, weren’t we?”

Ted: “Jordan don’t have a test driver, so there’s rumour that they could ask Jean Alesi if he fancies driving that Jordan in the Hockenheim Ring.”
James: “Alesi schmalesi - step forward Mr Brundle! I’m sure you could step into that Jordan!”
Martin: “I think I’d have to lose a few kilos in the next four days somehow if I was gonna do that.”

“What we’re talking about here is harder and softer [tyres] but they’re all very soft, it’s just in the soft end of the scale, one is slightly less soft than the other, hard is not the right expression.”

Martin’s track guide
“Look for the brake marker boards on the left - bang! and hit the middle pedal.”

The grid walk
“Jenson’s not on the grid at the moment. I’d really like to know what’s in his mind today. Is he driving for himself now that the team has unceremoniously booted him out for next season? I’ve just had Flavio Briatore moaning at me that I said he was unfair, he should have got rid of Trulli and not Button.”

“Eddie, great qualifying. (Irvine says something inaudible) No! Christ! We can’t go all the way back there, you know!”

“Now, people say to me occasionally - which is very nice of them - ‘we really enjoy your pit walk’. Well, I don’t actually walk down the pit, I walk down the grid!”

The race
“Barrichello is not passing anything except cars in anger on the way to the airport.”

“Where Massa started from, to be honest you’re not usually doing 30 miles an hour before any of these other guys drop their clutch, cos they tend to be fairly on the button as well. Talking of Button ...”

“I tell you what pains you when you serve those [drive-through] penalties is you can’t see them on the other side of the pitwall on the racetrack but you can hear all of your competitors passing at some hundred miles an hour difference and it just eats you up and you think, ‘how could I be so stupid?‘ or if you don’t think you’ve been fairly punished you get somewhat angry inside that crash helmet.”

James: “Everyone’s going round the paddock this morning saying, ‘Is (Button) going to Toyota or is he going to BAR?’ It’s like ‘cheese and onion or salt and vinegar?’ ‘Boxers or briefs?’”
Martin: “... I was just thinking about cheese and onion briefs there or something. You lost me there, James!”

“The stewards are looking to see if (Michael) crossed that white line. I’d put money on it that he did, by a fraction or two. Michael really was stretching that line wasn’t he, it was made of elastic if he didn’t cross it.”

“I remember in a ZakSpeed when I was leaving the pits and my wheel fell off, so I got out with the steering wheel and threw it into the grandstand saying, ‘Find that one as well’, I was so angry they didn’t put the wheel on properly.”

“I said about Massa making silly new boy mistakes, not impressing his boss. I think Schumacher, Michael, is way past having to impress his bosses, naturally. It’s very easy from a high camera angle to say, ‘how silly is that?’ I tell you, when your backside’s scraping along the ground and you’re doing 130 miles an hour fresh out of the pits and you’re looking for Juan Pablo Montoya in the process as well, just wandering across the white line like that is pretty easy.”

“What’re we gonna see a replay of here? A Renault lunching itself.”

“Boy did (Schumacher) give (Raikonnen) some stick as he passed him! Raikonnen was just thinking about scampering back onto the racetrack and Michael says ‘I’m there, you’re not coming in that part of the racetrack! Follow me, boy’.”

“What’s the scary thing about Michael Schumacher is he’s missed two or three other championships by the skin of his teeth. With a little twist of fate we could so easily be looking at seven times World Champion here. That’s the worrying thing about it all.”

“Michael probably crossed the [pitlane] line as he was being spoken to by Ross Brawn on the radio, so not only was he driving it [and] looking for Montoya, he was effectively on a telephone call as well.”

“I don’t think I’ve witnessed so many Formula 1 cars falling off the road and spinning around in one practice session as we’ve seen through this Friday and Saturday running to date. More like a skating rink really than a race track.”

“Alex (Yoong) doesn’t appear to have the pace at the moment to be a frontline Grand Prix driver but he could still blow the doors off of just about any other formula in the world, such is the level of Formula 1 racing.”

“(Yoong) hasn’t worked out yet that Grand Prix drivers make the ultimate pickpockets and burglars because they’re always out there all over the racetrack.”

Martin: “I hope they’ve kept the Jim Clark memorial that’s out there on that first straight [of the old circuit]. I can’t find out where it was moved to but I’m told that it was recovered.”
James: “You’d need a degree in orienteering to find it, I think, in the future once they plant some trees down there!”

“Can Sato do anything about Yoong’s stunning new qualifying record? It is a qualifying record, isn’t it?!”
(Yoong was the first person to drive the new circuit – he set a pathetic time!)

“I was talking to Sato yesterday – he was saying that Formula 1 shocked him, he didn’t realise how hard it would be and I said to him [that] I made the same mistake – you think the Formula 1 car is just 50 kilos heavier than your Formula 3 car and 30 miles an hour faster, but it’s just a whole new world. Whatever you knew before you came into Formula 1, you knew nothing.”

“He is sort of Senna-esque, isn’t he, he can find a few tenths from nowhere when he really most needs to. Montoya can pull something ridiculous out of the bag, really; at the British Grand Prix he found nine tenths of a second from nowhere.”

“Montoya well and truly off the road … That lap is trashed … He decides to carry on. No point really ...… That’s incredible, isn’t it?! He’s still P5 despite all the rally crossing!”

“Those road sweepers, having watched them working yesterday afternoon, tend to spread the rubbish around rather than hoover it up, and the drivers have to go out there and re-clean the racetrack and re-find the grip.”

“We used to arrive at 210 miles an hour and come down a few gears and just tippy-toe and hang on for grim death through there.”

“Fisichella fifth, Panis sixth – that’s an unusual third row!”

“(Heidfeld) was quicker in all three sectors, he hooked up the three bells, as we call it.”

The race
“There is the old racetrack and amazingly they’ve already dug it up and handed the land back to nature. But as a driver there’s a bit of a tear in the corner of my eye to see that wonderful piece of tarmac gone.”

“The best fun for the spectators was out in the forest before, catching the pistons and valves as your engine blew up down there.”

James: “There’s quite a lot of smoke coming out of the back of that Toyota, isn’t there?”
Martin: “Smoking damages your health, and probably even your wealth if you miss a few Grand Prix points.”

“(Raikkonen’s) rear tyre decided to take the short cut through the barrier there and cut about half a mile out and make its own way back to the pits.”

“If I stepped on a plane and saw Rubens Barrichello on it, I think I’d step straight off it! He just seems the most unlucky man ever in Formula 1 motor racing.”

(Ralf nearly runs down one of his crew in the pits, attempting to start off before the guy has lifted the lollipop.)
“Ralf was very nearly sucking on the lollipop if he hadn’t dipped the clutch one more time.”

“Michael’s always got his head switched on, hasn’t he, though? In all of that elation, still had a good look at the Michelin tyres on the Williams as he walked past his brother’s car just to see what they looked like and that’ll be into his little databank somewhere, ready for next season’s race.”

“Hungaroring – just under 2½ miles of circuit many drivers describe as a street race without the houses. … It’s a frenzy, you wind up like a spring, there’s no time for a rest anywhere around the lap, and 77 tours for the Grand Prix is one tough afternoon.”

“I spoke to (Anthony Davidson) after yesterday’s practice briefly – tripped over him in the pitline. Nine thousand miles under his belt, three points on his licence already for speeding here this weekend [in the pitlane]; he’s a thousand pounds lighter, he may have been smiling when he said on ITV, ‘Bad news is I haven’t actually got any money to pay it with,’ but I think it’s a breath of fresh air to see young Anthony here.”

“Unusually diplomatic there, Patrick Head, he’s not normally a man you’d put up for Prime Minister of the country, tends to say what he thinks when he thinks it.”

James: “Lot of rumours at the moment, Martin, that Gerhard (Berger)’s been saying he might pack up being a manager of the BMW Motorsport operation.”
Martin: “Yeah, Gerhard’s contract’s up but he’s just pumping the money up.”

“A little squirt down to Turn 8 – that’s the track, not the driver.”

“Villeneuve again with plenty of opposite lock on … and that is serious opposite lock, isn’t it?! The ultimate, infinite amount of opposite lock as he does a 360 coming out of Turn 5.”

Martin: “Am I getting old, James? We did see Michael Schumacher move up to P2, did we?”
James: “Yeah we did. You’re not getting old, no, in fact you’re in remarkably good shape for a man of your years!”

“(Villeneuve) comes down to that fast chicane – that rattles the fillings out of your teeth through there.”

“You just wanna pick Fisichella up and shake him and say, ‘Do it every weekend and do it on Sunday afternoons when it matters most’.”

The race
(Louise gives a long description about how Minardi plan to bring Davidson in for a pit stop just as the pack arrive behind to lap him.)
“Naah, forget all that, let him race! He’s a big boy, he can handle that!”

“Michael could drive a wheelie bin if he had to and get it round onto pole position.”

“The Ferraris pass another Minardi and if that’s Anthony Davidson I’m gonna go and talk to him after the race because he’s being way, way too kind. Stop worrying: OK, it might be a megastar Michael Schumacher but there’s only twenty of you in the world today, Grand Prix drivers, he’s one of them. Think and be strong.”

“Coulthard comes through Turn 12 with a bucketload of understeer.”

“Maybe it needs a very small man who wields a lot of power around here to introduce something that steadies (Ferrari) up a bit.”

“Rubens Barrichello surrounded by the scarlet paintwork of a Ferrari with the five times World Champion nailed behind him and he’s not allowed to overtake. Oh, I’d love to be in that position!”

Martin: “I had a funny dream last night: I signed for Jordan for next year. I woke up this morning really happy [as if] I’d actually done the deal. Bit bizarre, that one!”
James: “Bit too much red wine and cheese last night!”
Martin: “I think so!”

“If (Schumacher) can beat 1.16.7 we have a new lap record … it’s a 1.16.2. There’s a lot of chins on the pitwall all the way down the paddock here!”

“They’re staring the sixth consecutive straight win for Ferrari here very much in the face and they’re just having a laugh out there. Ross (Brawn) is so not under pressure that it’s been a no-banana strategy race, hasn’t it, for Ross? We haven’t seen him having to take to the bananas this race at all.”

“Spa Francochamps, four and a third miles of some of the finest ribbon of tarmac anywhere in the world to drive your racing car on.”

“Feel the agony as you go over that rain gully … 190 miles per hour and rising, don’t even think of lifting the throttle, only the brave need apply.”

“I’m delighted to say it’s absolutely unclear who’s going to be on Pole today.”

James: “Were you a bit surprised that (Toyota) emptied both drivers out?”
Martin: “Yeah – they ought to rename the car the P45, I think.”

James: “I’m sure Barrichello would like to find that speed with his own driving rather than by playing around with weights.”
Martin: “Yeah, they’ll be having the fillings out of your teeth soon, won’t they, or you don’t need your left leg to press on the clutch any more so take that off, and where do you go from there?!”

The grid walk
Martin: “Bernie! (pointing to the camera) Got a few million of my mates here. They wanna know, is this the last time we’re gonna be here at the Belgian Grand Prix?”
Bernie: “Who knows? It’s in the lap of the gods. I don’t smoke, so work it out for yourself.”
Martin: “Alright! So you’re not too bothered about the anti-cigarette advertising stuff and all that?”
Bernie: “Well I’m not a smoker. You’re not a smoker, are you?”
Martin: “No, not to my knowledge.”

The race
“Jacques Villeneuve likes to run his car like he wears his overalls – very baggy at the back, dragging along the ground almost.”

“What you can’t do is sweep back again and run them onto the grass. Good fun though!”

James: “D’you believe this reputation of Trulli’s is well-founded or ill-founded?”
Martin: “What, that he’s not a good racer?”
James:”Good qualifier, not such a great racer.”
Martin: “I created it, didn’t I?!”

“This is the final chance, then, to join the Ferrari love-in on the podium.”

“So to the super-long straights of Monza – since they nobbled Hockenheim, easily the fastest Grand Prix circuit in the world.”

The grid walk
“Complete and utter pandemonium down here. The big band’s just walked on at the front – I’ve absolutely no idea what they’re adding to the show except that I can’t even hear myself speak!”

“Here’s a man always happy to talk to the British public. Rubens, we always seem to catch you while you’re poking things in your ears!”

“A little love-in there between Eddie Jordan and Bernie Ecclestone. Obviously a few deals afoot.”

The race
“It’s such a fickle business. You’re hero to zero or the other way round quite quickly.”

“Wise head on Irvine there. There’s no point in tripping over Panis and losing a podium because it would just be pointless – and he would be pointless.”

“I probably didn’t ever think I’d say this but Jarno Trulli is my driver of the day!”

“(Michael’s) pretty pleased with second place – unusually! Not normally what lights his fire, is it?”

“It’s a schizophrenic racetrack; it’s got a much darker side on the infield.”

“Try and get it into the apex, Nick, because it’s quicker round there. If you do a Wall of Death around the outside you won’t get away with it.”

“You have to pretend you’ve really noticed that yellow flag. Remember what Mika Hakkinen used to do: he used to put his hand out of the cockpit to say, ‘Yeah, I’ve seen it,’ but keep his foot hard on the throttle pedal.”

“My mum has asked that I explain better why front wheels lock up on Formula 1 cars!”

“Heidfeld’s worst nightmare is that Frentzen – who’s much older than him – turns up now or next year, and they’re gonna be team mates next year, both from Munchen Gladbach, the old man Frentzen turns up and he blows his doors off.”

(Martin drives an F1-2000 Ferrari.)
“It’s amazing. It’s everything I expected and a lot, lot more. What I’ve gotta do now is find a million quid and buy this car.”
(as Murray Walker – who was a guest in the studio – then pointed out, Martin could afford to buy a team!)

The grid walk
“It’s a complete zoo down here – I can’t hardly move.”

Martin: “Now what’s all this I heard you saying about lady drivers?”
Coulthard: “I was very very most definitely misquoted on that because I’m a big fan of lady drivers and I think there should be more in Formula 1, personally.”
Martin: “Yeah, I think all the mechanics would be fighting over doing the seatbelts up, wouldn’t they?”

The race
James: “Massa was given a penalty at the Italian Grand Prix for some reckless driving and Sauber have drafted in Frentzen rather than take that penalty with Massa.”
Martin: “Yes, and that’s ridiculous. I hope they apply that penalty if Massa drives in Japan. You can’t sidestep a penalty, otherwise it just ridicules everything.”

James: “(Trulli) is certainly defying a lot of critics who say that the guy can’t race.”
Martin: “Well, me included, but he did put in a race performance in Monza that we’ve expected from him for years, really.”

“Michael Schumacher said he’s free – free to do what he wants, but that doesn’t stop the team having a sensible tablet with ten laps to go.”

James: “Raikkonen makes Mika Hakkinen look like Cicero, an incredible orator. What do you make of him?”
Martin: “It’s difficult to know what to make of him because you can’t communicate with him. Even when I’m sitting at McLaren, it is very difficult to understand where he’s coming from. He just wants to go racing – he does not wanna have to talk to anybody, whether it’s ex racing drivers, journalists, or anybody really, even our own Louise.”

“Get it wrong here and you’ll have a good chance to sample some Japanese hospital suchi … Come down to just forty miles an hour for the wicked curves at the Triangle … What a great challenge, but there’s no small accidents around here.”
(Prophetic words indeed)

“Frank Williams is desperately trying to put Pizzonia, his test driver, in [a Jaguar] which is a no-brainer for Frank because he can find out if Pizzonia’s good enough and put him through the nappy training stage – in Formula 1 speak – at somebody else’s expense!”

Martin: “There’s something very particular, isn’t there, when you put a crash helmet on and you can only see a driver’s eyes? I remember being surprised sometimes at pictures of myself, how you can read your own eyes and you didn’t realise certain emotions you were having; and you can see the drivers and it really focuses your attention onto their specific mind-set, I think.”
James: “You and Nigel Mansell used to always wear eyehole balaclavas and sometimes they were at funny angles and I often wondered how you could see where you were going, cos it looked like it was obscuring your view.”
Martin: “Yes, it used to go around your eyes and your nose – even a nose my size was not good enough to keep one of those on!”
James: “So much for Beaky Brundle!”

(on board with Sato) “I hope they stay on board with him … (the camera promptly cuts away to the crowd) … No, we don’t want to see that, thank you … (the director obligingly cuts back to the on-board camera) … Yes, we wanna see this! Now watch this Degner, it’s so difficult to see … Bang! There you go!”

James: “Asked on Thursday why he had [dyed his hair blue,] (Salo) said, ‘No particular reason’.”
Martin: “It’ll be turning grey as he’s watching a replay of Allan McNish, his team mate, taking a tin opener to the barrier.”

“A neurosurgeon is Sid (Watkins), is his day job, poking around in your brain with a Stanley knife. He’s got a remedy for just about every problem you’ve got: an aspirin and a glass of whisky is what he normally recommends, whatever your ailment is!”

The race
”The only chance they’ve got [to make the racing more equal in future] is to ban German drivers and to ban red cars.”

”It’s so scary when [the cars come into their pit slot]. They’re so brave, the mechanics, they just form a human garage and wait for this boiling hot missile to come at them.”

”Montoya’s really gotta take a view of his whole Grand Prix weekend and remember that it’s Sunday afternoon when the prizes are handed out.”

Martin: “It just needs a Murray Walkerism, doesn’t it, to say, ‘Michael’s got this one in the bag’ to spark the afternoon off!”
James: “You were handed that particular gift, not me!”

“When [new drivers] step up into the spotlight and the expectation rises, the spotlight either burns you or it feeds you energy, and you have to wait and see how Alonso handles that but I think he’s certainly a star of the future.”

”Hey, they’re talking about bringing in the one engine rule per weekend next year; they’re struggling to make ‘em last per race at the moment!”

James: “Driver of the day? You gonna be generous and give it to Takuma Sato?” (long pause) “Go on! Go on, you devil!”
(another long pause)
Martin: “I’m … I mean … no!”

Quotes from 2001 and earlier can be found here: