2008 RACES

“(Kubica) carries his head when he’s out on the racetrack in a most unusual way. Looks like his neck muscles have gone at all times. I’ve never [before] seen a driver who leans out of the corner while he’s going around it.”

“These drivers close their eyes [in the pits] and time themselves around a lap in their mind and they try to get it within a few tenths and get the perfect lap in their heads.”

“You’ve gotta attack the entry here – oh, and did he ever!”

“The BMWs have just come alive in the last 24 hours and everybody in the paddock is shaking their heads and going, ‘Where did they come from?!’”

“That could be incredibly dangerous if, through this ten minute phase [of Quali 3], they’re all gonna do these super-slow laps on any random in-lap.”

“How on Earth did Kubica keep any kind of sensible lap time coming off the grass like that?! Superb performance.”

“Kimi Raikkonen way down the outside in Turn 3. I tried that once, and ended up upside down about ten times.”

“Isn’t it great to see the cars moving around, the drivers fighting the car all the way through the corner? They cannot point the nose in any longer, floor the throttle, let the electronics worry about it and think about the next corner. They’ve gotta drive these cars every metre of the racetrack. Great news.”

Way too deep. Way, way too deep. That was never gonna stop in a month of Sundays.”
James: “They don’t have the engine braking facility as well.”
Martin: “He’d have needed an anchor to stop that!”

“Skills are rewarded; mistakes are punished – and that’s how it should be, isn’t it, at this level? These are the finest drivers in the world – we want to see them challenged.”

“That’s a limping prancing horse, no doubt.”

“There are about five thousand pieces in that engine, and clearly one of them isn’t happy.”
(Submitted by Hannah Crick)

“Ferrari are leaving here with zero points at all.”

Driver of the Day
“It’s gotta be Hamilton, hasn’t it?”

“That Red Bull doing an impression of Bambi occasionally.”

“[Quali 2] is my favourite part of qualifying: the cars are at their minimum weight and it just gets ferocious; it gets absolutely brutal now to get them to the crucial top ten.”

“Vettel amazes me: he’s such a little fellow; he’s got virtually no definition in his arms or legs at all; he looks like he could barely hang onto a Formula 1 car, let alone drive it so quickly. He’s clearly quite a stringy, powerful little man. He looks like a boy sometimes in his shorts wandering around the track and having a look at it on a Thursday, but Vettel is flying.”

“Alonso wringing the neck of that Renault.”

“For me, this has all the ingredients of tears and flying carbon fibre.”

“I do hope that [brake dust] is inert. I’ve swallowed and breathed in so much of it in my life. When you blow your nose for two days afterwards, that stuff is coming out.”

“Webber’s pulled the gap out to an enormous .9 of a second.”

James: “Team radio from Alonso.”
Martin (after listening to it): “Team whisper, according to my cans.”

“(Massa) occasionally makes mistakes – dunno if it’s brain fade or he’s too near his limits. In previous years that absolutely couldn’t have happened with traction control, because he would have been babysitted by the electronics. I’ve got a sneaking feeling ambition got ahead of adhesion in the middle of that corner.”

“Toro Rosso. Sick. Vettel. Oh dear. Ferrari motor. Good night.”

“It’s not good to do the fastest lap right near the end of the race. The team haul you in to say, ‘Why weren’t you going that fast earlier in the Grand Prix?’”

“Those cars look so ugly now with all the bits hanging off the side of them, all the aero bits. They look like somebody got an Airfix model kit for Christmas and lost the instructions. I’ll be very pleased when they get rid of all those dangly bits.”

“Funny thing is, you often feel hotter when you get out of the car. The 200 mile an hour air stops going past your ears and the heat just wells up inside you.”

“I love the way (Kimi) looks so underwhelmed [on the podium]. He’s had his fun and now he’ll be thinking, ‘I now have to talk to the media, I think so,’ and he’ll hate the next hour while he has to explain what went on, and then he’ll be out of here, smiling again.”

“Here’s my Driver of the Day – Kubica.”

“He’s a quarter of a second adrift. Doesn’t sound much, but a Formula 1 car travels a long way in a quarter of a second.”

“With all the technology on a racing car, you still basically put air in the tyre and control it with a valve.”

“It’s understeering like a supermarket trolley.”

“If [the steward] says, ‘Well, the car was well off the racing line; it was OK for him to keep his foot nailed to the floor with those yellow flags waving,’ then other drivers in the future are gonna claim the same rights. It does then suggest you can use a judgement call on where the accident is and what the yellow flags really mean.”

“This is one of the most difficult corner combinations I think I’ve ever driven – Turns 9 and 10 – it’s so easy to get it wrong, so difficult to hit all of the braking points and apexes. This is an easier corner – throw it in and just wait for it to stop sliding to the outside.”

“I wonder if any of the grumpy drivers will talk to us today?”

Martin: “What brings you to the grid today?”
Macey Gray: “Oh, the races.”
Martin: “Yeah, OK, I kind of guessed.”

“Rosberg is loitering with intent to stay cool.”

Martin: “You’re on the chequered flag today, is that true?”
Eric Clapton: “Oh, don’t brag, that was supposed to be a surprise!”
Martin: “Oh, is it? Well, it’s not any more! Have you been rehearsing?”
Eric: “Is it a double hander or a single hander?”
Martin: “That’s very topical at the moment. I would [go] down on one knee and absolutely go for it like that.”

James: “Martin has finally made it up here from the grid. I sense from your conversation [on the grid that the drivers] are really all up against it today.”
Martin: “Yeah, a bit like me when the lift just broke down coming up seven floors.”

“The GP2 race earlier today was a comedy show at the beginning – they were all driving across the sand, the tarmac, the kerbs, almost anywhere apart from the racetrack. I’m expecting this lot to be rather better behaved.”

“Hamilton still slower than a slow thing at the back.”

James: “Let’s look at Hamilton [from the in-car camera] and see how he’s going.”
Martin: “Don’t need to. I’ve seen it already. The car is horrible. Lewis is carrying a wounded car, no doubt about it.”

“That’s two little love tangles we’ve seen.”

“That’s the third Formula 1 car DC’s been wearing in a while, isn’t it, somebody climbing up the side of his car.”

(Watching Kubica’s pitstop from onboard)
“Sweet! Perfect!

“This is the best fight on the track at the moment – Barrichello and Alonso for tenth and eleventh, driving their hearts out for ... nothing, in many respects.”

“Ferrari – with cigarette advertising bans and all that – tends to look like an under-funded GP2 car sometimes.”

Driver of the Day
“Could have been Fisichella, Force India; might have been Kubica, BMW; but it is Massa for Ferrari. Did a rubbish job in qualifying; did a brilliant job on race day.”

“I drove the latest F1 car last week – the Red Bull – and I was surprised actually how nice they were to drive. I was expecting much more of an animal without the traction control.”

“He ran wide, got onto the marbles and suddenly found himself with a rally car underneath him.”

“It’s such a shame they keep having to slow the circuits down. Those last two corners in Barcelona were just scarily brilliant and now they’re just another bit of tarmac.”

James: “The first look at these so-called ‘Dumbo wings’ on the front of the [Honda] nose. Are they beautiful? It depends if they’re fast or not – if they’re fast in Formula 1, they’re beautiful.”
Martin: “They’d look better if they fell off.”

“Bourdais smashed the new car up here in testing – went out and stuck it straight in the wall at Turn 9, so he needs a few Brownie points.”

“I’d like to find little Vettel, if his mum’s let him out to play today.”

“We’re hearing that more and more: ‘I looked in my mirror, it looked like he had no chance of overtaking; next thing is, I’ve turned in on him.’ They’ve gotta sort the mirrors out. They’ve gotta come inboard and they’ve gotta be much bigger, and also they should have some kind of anti-vibration device on them.”

“What a story it would be if Sato for Super Aguri – having not tested, barely run the car – could score a point.”

“Fisichella’s doing a bit of a Coulthard, isn’t he: moves to a new team – probably against most people’s best advice – but gets rejuvenated and really enjoys the experience.”

Driver of the Day
“By an edge, I’d give it to Hamilton.”

“I’ve been driving and watching these ridiculous things for twenty-five years now, and still my jaw drops at just the sheer speed and the belief the drivers have that the car’s gonna stick to the road.”

“I remember jumping into a Tyrrell having just crashed one badly in Monte Carlo. Jumped in the car and Ken Tyrrell said, ‘You’ve got eight minutes left to qualify – you need to get on with it’. I said, ‘No problem. Which circuit am I at?’”

“Kovalainen having to prove that he’s ready to drive one of these missiles around this very challenging track.”

“Always a pleasure when they take the [tyre] covers off and you’re sitting inside that carbon fibre safety cell and there’s a bright shiny set of tyres there with all the grip just sitting there waiting for you to go and use and abuse it. Marvellous feeling.”

“You’re going at 50 miles an hour, you point into your garage of men and fuel with a boiling hot missile, basically. It’s a volatile mixture, but it’s beautifully choreographed.”

James: “Not quite sure what to think about Glock’s start to his Toyota career.”
Martin: “‘Solid’, I think, is the best you can call it.”

“It’s difficult for the back markers today because they’ve got Kovalainen out of position in a McLaren who they’re racing for position, and then Hamilton will suddenly rock up in their mirrors, and it’s quite a difficult judgement call.”

James: “Hamilton showing he was gonna go a bit defensive into Turn 1.”
Martin: “He was defending fresh air, that was the trouble.”

Driver of the Day
“I think I’ll give it to Felipe Massa today.”

“Often [slow corners] are more difficult, more critical than the high-speed corners, the 190 mile an hour corners. It’s harder to get this 60 mile an hour job out of the way.”

“It’s a badge of honour: if you don’t come in from this track having wiped some of the paint off the side of your tyres, you’re not trying hard enough.”

“Raikkonen a half of nothing faster than Massa.”

(Alonso reports over the radio to his team)
“The engineers like more information than that, more specific information. ‘Not very good grip’ – they can’t go to a toolbox at the back of the garage and just take more grip out and put it on the car.”

“Final qualifying lap in Monte Carlo: as a driver you move to a different zone, a new level. It’s instinctive, it’s reactive. You just can’t stop and think about it. You attack every part of the racetrack; you get ever closer to the barriers, a metre or two more into the braking areas, just anything you can pull out of yourself and your car without hitting those barriers, and it pays off. You just have to go for it.”

“Welcome to Nightmare on the Grid.”

(Following Kovalainen while they push their way through the crowds on the grid)
“Can you remember where you parked your car?!”

“Those flashing rain lights send you absolutely mad when you’re following other cars, especially when it’s not particularly wet and there’s no spray to cover them up.”

(Alonso tries to overtake Heidfeld and crashes at the hairpin)
“Yeah, that was always gonna happen, wasn’t it?”

(To Heidfeld) “Yeah, run over him! Go on!”
(Above two quotes submitted by Rhys Ellis)

“These are the finest drivers in the world, make no mistake about it, but in these conditions these cars just feel hopelessly inadequate. They’re not designed to be going around hairpins at 20 miles an hour. They’re rubbish at that sort of thing.”

“There’s so little grip out there, it looks like they’ve lent their grannies the car for the afternoon, they’re just tippytoeing so carefully into the corners.”

(Raikkonen, with a broken front wing, still drives around the chicane after the tunnel)
“I’d just drive straight through there now. I wouldn’t bother going round that bit if I were you, Kimi. I’d have nailed it straight through there.”

“(Sutil’s) thinking he’s in a dream, isn’t he? ‘Yeah, there I was, following Massa, ahead of Raikkonen, in the Force India, and then I fell out of bed and woke up.’”

“Sutil was the Driver of the Day.”

“How silly are these T-car rules? The bits and pieces are all here; the men are here to put it together [but] they can’t run [the car] ‘til tomorrow so we’re denied a show.”

“(Coulthard) has had a fairly traumatic year: he’s either had his own front wheels coming towards him or somebody else’s.”

James: “I don’t know about you, Martin, but I don’t see Kubica as the kind of guy who would take a twenty million dollar pay cheque just to move.”
Martin: “I’m not sure I’ve ever met a driver that wouldn’t take a twenty million dollar pay cheque!”

“The cars do slow down quickly if you get ‘em sideways.”

“He gets completely out of shape into Turn 1. A bit of lawnmowing and away he goes.”

“Here we go: bish, bosh, mind the wall, drive to the line.”

“I was looking for his name on the computer [but] I didn’t look as high as that! I had no idea that Alonso was about to pop it on the front of the grid!”

“Two weeks ago we had a wet track in Monaco; today we’ve got a disposable one, it seems.”

“Let’s see if we can get a soundbite from the drivers ...” (Kubica refuses to speak to him.) “I must get a soundbite from one of these pedalers. Kimi is on the grid – he never really talks to us since he said rude words on the grid in Brazil.” (Raikkonen won’t talk to him.) “We’re gonna find somebody – I’m absolutely determined.” (Alonso isn’t on the grid.) “We are gonna find somebody, I promise you.” (He spots Rosberg.) “Oh, he’s putting his balaclava on, for goodness’ sake!” (Rosberg won’t speak to him.) “I don’t blame you, to be honest, mate! ... Here’s a Ferrari ... I’m quite enjoying this now! Felipe, a quick word about the track, please?” (Massa nods.) “Top man! Thank goodness for that! I thought I hadn’t got any friends left on the grid!”

(Discussing the poor condition of some parts of the track)
“I think it’s all all right, isn’t it?”
Martin: “D’you reckon? I think it could be quite difficult.”
Bernie: “For who?”
Martin: “Well, the drivers, you know. We could have accidents where they just catch a little bit of debris and straight in the wall.”
Bernie: “They can go into the wall – as you well know, being a driver – without that happening.”
Martin: “Well, that’s true!”

James: “I remember Nelson Piquet’s father punching another driver for taking him out of a Grand Prix. James Hunt used to hit people. Raikkonen was amazingly phlegmatic about that, wasn’t he?”
Martin: “Well, it ain’t gonna put his rear wing back on, is it, if he punches Lewis Hamilton?”

“(Hamilton’s) front wing [has been] recovered – that’ll be on eBay later.”

“I’m having to keep upping my view of Nakajima. I think he’s doing a very good job this year. He just keeps popping in those points-scoring races, doesn’t he?”

James: “Who’s your Driver of the Day?”
Martin: (sighing) “Oh. Haven’t given it any thought, there’s been so much action going on. It’s gotta be Kubica, hasn’t it?”

“I hate the Mothercare nature now of the run-off areas at this place through the chicanes. You can make such critical errors and just get away with it. I don’t like it and it’s not as much of a challenge as it used to be. I don’t wanna be some old duffer up in the commentary box pretending it was better in my day but I don’t like the way the drivers can make fundamental errors and just nail the throttle still, and possibly even gain an advantage.”

(Hamilton’s car is under investigation by the stewards)
“You can’t help but feel if it’s a McLaren it’s virtually guaranteed to get a penalty. It’s just a feeling you get.”

“I think Raikkonen was just changing radio stations on his steering wheel. He’s probably a bit bored out front.”

“Those radio calls are all terribly interesting information as a driver but you’re driving flat out – you’re absolutely on it, every braking point, every turn-in, every exit. I guess it’s just helpful but it really doesn’t change what you’re gonna do next. You’re not suddenly gonna [think], ‘Oh, right, I’m racing him, am I? I’ll pick up a bit, then.’"

Driver of the Day
“Jarno Trulli.”

“It’s actually a job to get in one of these [cars]. There’s so many aerodynamic pieces hanging off the side of it, you have to sort of choose your entry route into it, otherwise you kick the side of it, which doesn’t make you very popular.”

“I’ll tell you what: is that car hooked up?! Hamilton’s McLaren is painted to the road.”

“That Becketts complex defies belief. Twenty-three seconds of that [first sector’s] absolutely full throttle, including five corners. They just lift off the throttle and use the drag of the wings to slow it down, pull a downshift and nail it. Absolutely extraordinary.”

“Now you may well ask me how come they were so good in Magny Cours two weeks ago, and struggling here; and I may well say to you, ‘I don’t know’!”

“Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Ran out of space, ran out of grip, and finally ran out of talent.”

(Rosberg talks about how badly his car has been juddering)
“It’s gonna be a long afternoon for Nico Rosberg. I hope the fillings are secure in his teeth.”

“You’re gonna turn in at 190 miles an hour in seventh and top gear with blind faith that it’ll stick when you arrive and you don’t end up in Northampton if you get it all wrong.”

“Let’s see if we can find a driver to talk to today. I suspect they’re gonna look at me like I’m trying to sell them double glazing when I approach them.”

“Mark, can we move away from your car? It’s a bit noisy here, mate. You’re gonna die of carbon monoxide there.”

“The problem in these conditions is it’s like a sixth sense. You have to understand how much grip there’s likely to be in a corner because if you press that throttle a fraction too hard too early, you’re straight off the road.”

“What you tend to do in these conditions is you tense up: you tighten up on the wheel, you’re over-aggressive with the pedals and that’s when you have to just breathe, relax and let the car just move around a little bit. You actually get out of the car feeling a massive tension in all of your muscles.”

“It’s how a roundabout is on a wet day when there’s been a diesel spill.”

“How he didn’t slam that in the barriers is ... pure luck, I would imagine.”

“Anti-stall kicks in, select first, carry on and go and look for the next spin.”

“(Hamilton) just seems to have a feel for the grip. He’s got a deftness with the pedals and the wheels. It’s like he’s on a different racetrack in certain parts of this Grand Prix.”

“Sensational, brilliant drive [from Hamilton]. Control, didn’t really put a foot wrong in the most challenging conditions, seemed to have a racetrack all of his own. In a class of one this afternoon.”

“We always have great races when it’s wet or challenging track conditions. Just shows you, they should take a bundle of grip out of the cars.”

James: “I guess there’s really absolutely no point whatsoever in asking you who the Driver of the Day is.”
Martin (dryly): “Well worked out.”

“A tyre doesn’t wanna slow you down or accelerate you when it’s not turning.”

“He’s been missing in action most of the season and Piquet now finally beginning to get on terms with Formula 1.”

“Turn 2 – that’s where we used to head off into the countryside at ridiculous speeds. You sort of danced your way around there at 220 miles an hour. You usually were just sitting there for seconds on end, waiting for your engine to go bang.”

“Michael Schumacher can only sit and watch ... and wave.”

“The Ferrari was wagging its tail down there.”

“Let’s do a Marty’s Random Person ... You look like Alonso’s older brother!”

“We hope there’s loads of rain and it’s complete and utter carnage and chaos, because that makes for good races.”

“Mika! Good to see you, mate! You’re looking very glossy here, I have to say! ... Your old manager, Keke Rosberg, said, ‘When I was managing him, I couldn’t get him to do one PR event, and now he doesn’t stop!’ What’s the difference? Are you bored at home or something? ... Now, your trophies got burned down in the house. Did you lose all your trophies, ‘cause I nearly cried when I heard that, genuinely.”

“It was understeering like a supermarket trolley on the way in, and oversteering like an airport trolley on the way out.”

“Ambition ahead of adhesion there.”

“(Hamilton) looks like he’s just enjoying a nice day out in a McLaren.”

“When the momentum’s with you, you can afford to move over and nerf the other driver.”

“Right now they’re P9 and not going anywhere, fast.”

“Clearly synchronised swimming between the two McLarens.”

“Massa basically should have put a little flag out, like, ‘Shove me off the racetrack, please’.”

James: “If you were the boss of Ferrari, would you be thinking, ‘Can we win a world championship with this guy, or should I get Kubica or Alonso on the phone?’ do you think?”
Martin: “It wasn’t one of the best laps of Massa’s career, I’ll say that.”
(Submitted by Shayne Holloway)

“Piquet coming alive and coming of age in these last few laps.”

“(Massa) looks a lot happier than I thought he would. Ferrari were thrashed today in many respects.”

Driver of the Day
“Nelson Piquet.”

Martin was on holiday.

“It’s more of a zone than a corner.”

“The final corner – let’s call it Turn 23. It depends how you interpret some of the curves earlier on in the lap as to whether they’re corners or not.”

“I wonder if Gerhard Berger has talked Ferrari into giving them the very latest Ferrari donkeys to put in the back of that Toro Rosso, ‘cause it’s absolutely flying.”

“If you brake five metres early, you’ll give away a quarter of a second; brake too late, you’ll give away half a second.”

“There’s a bit of Red Bull on the track and it’s not of the liquid variety.”

“It might be better saying to one of their cars, ‘Right, on lap 22 you’ve gotta spin on Turn 5 and block the track and bring out the Safety Car.’ That’d be less of a gamble, frankly!”

James: “Next week they have the local tomato throwing festival.”
Martin: “Sounds like the stewards’ meeting later on, about Massa’s pit exit, doesn’t it?!”

“It’s a worthy victory, well deserved. We haven’t seen him lock a wheel, put a foot wrong anywhere. There’s obviously a cloud over it in terms of that pit exit but you can’t take away the great drive that Massa’s had.”

“I’d want (Kubica) in my team if I had a Grand Prix team, for sure.”

Driver of the Day
“I think it should go to Vettel.”

“Trulli making a bit of a pig’s ear of the last chicane but still slots it into fifth place.”

“He’s not leaving any fat on the outside of the corners.”

(Nakajima reports his problems over the radio)
“Sounds a bit like a wheelie bin, doesn’t it – it’s all of the things you don’t need: turn-in oversteer, mid-corner understeer, exit oversteer. Understeers – the front sliding; oversteers – the back sliding.”
(Submitted by Girl Friday)

“That was late on the brakes – can he dance it into the corner?”

“The budget of (Force India) wouldn’t even pay the salaries of the Ferrari drivers.”

“(Bourdais) gets himself up the rankings ... somewhere ... he’s gone to P1. Just the first place, then.”

James: “Lots of fans queuing up to get their chips, doused in mayonnaise.”
Martin: “Heart attack on a plate.”

Martin: “Sebastian Bourdais – the man we confidently predicted would be P1 in the first session(!)”

“At least Button starts in the top twenty, which is something(!)”

(Hamilton is told over the radio that he’s on pole)
Hamilton (over radio): “That was a pretty good lap.”
Martin: “‘Pretty good lap’? I wonder what a very good lap looks like, then?”

“Twenty-three seconds of full throttle; the engine builders are watching this from behind a pillow.”
(Submitted by Marc Gassner)

“Mark, anything you can tell us to make us look intelligent down the pub tonight or at work tomorrow morning?”

“Let’s see if Alonso’s down there in a talkative mood – we’ll have a quick word with him, see if we can get our elbows out. Hey, look at this little scrum – see if we can dive in here. I had a punch-up on the grid with the Italians before. Let’s stick the microphone in ... that ain’t gonna be any good, is it, he’s not speaking in English!”

“All of the hundreds of millions of dollars, the design, the technology, the resource, the strategy, it comes down finally to the nut that holds the steering wheel.”

“Did he hook that up or what?!”

“It used to be a tiny gravel trap and a metal barrier which would have given him a headache. His headache now is getting back to the pits and then facing Flavio Briatore.”

(Kubica is told over the radio that Vettel is fuelled one lap shorter than him)
“So stay on his gearbox, put in a stunner for an in-lap and you’ll pass him – that’s the message, uncoded!”

(Hamilton struggles to keep the car on the road in the rain)
Squeeze it, squeeze it so gently! Just squeeze it on.”

James: “Who’s your Driver of the Day?”
Martin: “Uh, good question. I think Bourdais did a very good job but I think it has to go to Hamilton.”

“Felipe Massa, last week’s winner ... or the man who got ten points, anyway.”

“Nothing much for the driver to do apart from flick up a couple of gear shifts and decide which pasta dish to have tonight.”

“That red flashing light is no value whatsoever until you’re just about close enough to run into the car in front of you.”

“He has the most scruffy driving style, does Kubica, but it seems to work, doesn’t it? He just kind of launches the thing into the corner, his head’s all over the place and he just wrestles the car but he seems entirely comfortable doing it and certainly generates some solid lap times.”

(During Quali 2) “At the moment the three championship contenders [are] 12th, 14th and 15th. We’ll take that, won’t we? That’ll make a great race for tomorrow!”

Bernie: “Are you still with ITV?”
Martin: “Well, they haven’t fired me yet.”
Bernie: “Get ‘em to buy you an umbrella!”

“Hamilton has just come alive. Welcome to the Grand Prix, Lewis!”

“Who was wearing Lewis Hamilton’s crash helmet in qualifying yesterday and the start of the Grand Prix? Who on earth was wearing it, ‘cause it wasn’t him, surely?”

(Vettel’s engineer radios him the latest rain forecast)
“Don’t pay any attention, son, they’ve been wrong all day!”

“Barrichello’s extreme wets looking too extreme at the moment.”

Martin: “Vettel fourteen seconds clear. What a supreme drive from the 21 year old.”
James: “I’m not even gonna bother asking you at the end of this race who the Driver of the Day is, ‘cause I’ve a feeling it’s a question of, is he the Driver of the Season?”
Martin: “Yeah, but I tell you: the kid’s gotta change his attitude with the media. He’s happy, he’s friendly, he answers your questions, he shakes hands with the sound man, he shakes hands with the camera man and the interviewer and thanks you for the interview. He’ll give Grand Prix drivers a bad name!”

(Vettel starts his last lap)
“I just wish he’d give those kerbs a little bit wider berth. He’s got a 12.7 second lead. He’s just flying; he’s in the zone. I wonder if he’ll notice it’s the end of the race? It looks like he’s likely to carry on all afternoon until it gets dark.”

“McLaren’s cloud should have had a Kovalainen, boom boom.”

“You know what? I think he won ten Grands Prix, didn’t he, Gerhard? I bet that [constructor’s trophy] is his most satisfying one, better than when he was driving.”

James: “Just put Vettel’s win into context for us.”
Martin: “It’s fantastic for Formula 1, isn’t it? Just what Formula 1 needs: a fresh faced kid gets in, thrashes the car, wins the race; the championship is one point between Hamilton and Massa now; and we’ve got stars of the future like Kubica ready to pick up the mantle. It’s looking very good indeed.”

“[The drivers] are bitching about the bumps, but I love to see a Formula 1 car moving around, see the drivers fighting to maintain control, to correct the car after a corner. It just makes it more interesting.”

James (watching in-car footage): “This is what I was talking about before: how much the cars are moving around. It’s great – it’s like a movie rather than real life; everybody’s idea of what a Formula 1 car should look like.”
Martin: “Tell you what: it’s Fast and Furious.”

“He’s had very little lappery this morning.”

“I used to race against [Ferrari test driver] Badoer. Back in those days he couldn’t drive a nail into a piece of wood.”

“It’s the worst lap I’ve seen (Hamilton) drive all year. So a twist of brake bias towards the rear will be his first port of call, I would have thought, and then just calm down a little bit. Was he a lucky boy to get into this top ten shootout?!”

“The track’s new surface is like a living, breathing thing.”
(Quote submitted by Richard Baker)

“Hakkinen is around here somewhere ... oh, he’s talking to a load of boring TV journalists.”

ING Sponsor: “How do you think our logo looks in the dark?”
Martin (moving quickly in the general direction of away): “I think your logo looks the same as it does in the daylight, to be honest.”

Martin: “Any interesting people in your little entourage I can talk to?”
Bernie: “The Prime Minister.”
Martin: “Oh, you’ve done me before on Prime Ministers!”

Martin (to the Prime Minister): “Are you expecting rain?”
Prime Minister: “All our people put up chillies and onions to prevent the rain from coming down this evening.”
Martin: “Chillies and onions! That’s obviously the hot thing to do!”

“Bob McKenzie here from The Daily Depress. You’re always in the back of my gridwalks! Clear off!”

Ted: “How much longer will Ferrari persist with this semi-automatic pitlane traffic light system?”
Martin: “I reckon it’ll be in the bin out the back of the pits here after the race, to be honest.”

“He’ll stop again this afternoon ... this evening, tonight, wherever you are in the world!”

“I might be talking rubbish – not for the first time, not for the last, for sure.”

“Oh dear, I think Massa’s lost his mojo.”

“Easy to say; quite difficult to do when you’re approaching a corner about a hundred miles an hour too fast.”

“I think he’s driving so well at the moment, Alonso. I think he’s a challenging character and he’s damaged goods to a certain extent amongst some of the teams after some of the events of last year, but he is still possibly – probably, even – the best out there as a complete package.”

“My Driver of the Day is Nico Rosberg.”

(Martin was presenting the ITV show as well as commentating this weekend)
“You’ll be seeing and hearing a lot of me this weekend, unfortunately.”

“My co-presenter, Mark Blundell, Mr Shirt himself. Do not adjust your set – this is not a test transmission.”

“It’s twenty years since I clinched the Sports Car World Championship here at Fuji Speedway. I don’t recognise a single square metre of the place.”

“Glock has got a fresh engine – they played their ‘joker card’. Bit of an unfortunate expression really, I think, for two hundred grand’s worth of brand new Formula 1 engine.”

“Don’t know what all the rolling hills at the end of the pitlane are about. I don’t think they were designed into the racetrack!”

“Mark, we started around 250 Grands Prix between us. We even got to the end of a few of them.”

“We’re both ex-McLaren drivers, although I spent my pay cheque quite a long time ago.”

“Senna did that with me in Formula 3 – ‘I’m coming through. Either you’re gonna let me through or we’ll have an accident together’.”

“Jenson back in fifteenth on the grid. I would say normally he’s racing the medical car down to the first corner, but [the driver of the medical car] managed to spin it off in practice!”

James: “Raikkonen looks across at Hamilton [on the grid].”
Martin: “That was a kind of ‘I’m gonna get you,’ kind of look, wasn’t it?”
(Quote submitted by Khaled Hassan)

“I think (Hamilton) got off the line badly and lost his head, frankly, and he did all the things he shouldn’t have been doing down into Turn 1. Easy to criticise, but these are the guys out there, they’re the stars, they’re world class drivers and you have to do the job – and that was a poor job.”

“The contenders have all been playing stop-car racing.”

“We’ve got to a nanny state. We’re just paranoid about penalties every time somebody as much as goes ‘Boo’ at another driver.”

“Did Lewis Hamilton leave his brain on the grid today?”

“What a great job little Piquet did last week.”

“... that’s if you’re allowed to overtake without getting a penalty.”

“You strive all of the season, all of your life, for the perfect car. You’re never satisfied with your car whatever it’s really doing, even if you’re winning. You always want more. That’s – as a driver – how you have to gently put that across to your team: ‘It’s good, but I need more’.”

“Just to bore you regulars once again ...”

“Kovalainen taking too much of the carpet in the final corner.”

“I think there’s a bit of gloss goes on top of Lewis’ ‘I’m changing nothing, I’m in a good zone at the moment, I feel good.’ It’s all textbook sports psychology – and then, as we see, it all falls apart when he’s under pressure.”

“I can’t believe there’s not been a Chinese World Champion by now. They go for every single gap in the traffic to the bitter end, even if they’re diving in and being rude. It’s just extraordinary on their roads! Throw in numerous motorbikes, horse and carts, people, buses on the wrong side of the road and it’s highly amusing.”

“I love this last corner: it’s such an arrive-and-drive, give it plenty, slightly unsighted on the way in and stay right for the shortest run to the line.”

“Go on, give it some!”

“You don’t get any support in this business. You’ve got to deliver. They make no allowances for experience. This is a business where every Sunday afternoon you show the world how your business is performing, and Monday morning the meetings come and you’re not gonna get a warm cuddly arm around you as a driver. You’ve gotta get on with it.”

“I’m surprised Lewis didn’t come back at [the drivers who were griping about him]: ‘OK, guys, I hope you run into each other, then. Thanks very much.’ ... At the end of the day Lewis just said, ‘Catch me if you can’.”

“Coulthard and Bourdais getting a bit friendly down there.”

“(Hamilton) has been a bit over-aggressive; he’s a bit noisy for [the other drivers] sometimes. The main problem is he’s too fast for the others.”

“He’s about as popular as a toothache today, Fisichella.”

“Thirty-three starts – 34 with this one – only two fastest laps in his career in Formula 1 despite so many victories already. (Hamilton) must be consistent rather than blisteringly fast.”

“We’ve had some thrilling races this year. This wasn’t one of them.”

“Nothing fell off his car, but a bit fell off his trophy.”
(Quote submitted by Hannah Crick)

Driver of the Day
“I was thinking Fisichella – he’s starred quite a lot, hasn’t he(!) No, Hamilton, easy.”

“He does like that last of the late brakers, smoky tyre business.”

“He’s understeering like a cross-Channel ferry.”

“Well, if we said to Lewis Hamilton, ‘Just finish fifth in every Grand Prix,’ he’d laugh, wouldn’t he, and say, ‘That’s way, way too easy,’ but today that’s what he’s got to do. And why, then, are all you Hamilton fans at home really nervous about it? Because you know it could just all go horribly wrong.”

“All (Hamilton) really wants is a boring drive to fifth place or better this afternoon, and this [rain] throws a double six into the whole thing.”

“Any cunning plans they had – I’m sure that, for example, Kovalainen as Hamilton’s rear gunner had his guns fully loaded and pointed at Alonso – I think that’s all over now. It’s all a question of getting the car away and then somehow surviving the first few corners.”

“That’s tragic. I’ve never seen a driver so warmly bid farewell in Formula 1, and Coulthard only made the first corner.”

“Just a fraction too much of the noisy pedal and you’ll be spinning around.”

(With 14 laps to go, teams start radioing their drivers that it might rain again)
“Stay tuned, everybody, stay tuned, because this is a long way from over.”

James: “We’ve done 206 Grands Prix as ITV; we’ve done some exciting ones together, you and I, over the years. I hope we’ll have the chance to work together again, but I don’t think that you and I will ever experience anything quite as dramatic as that.”
Martin: “It looked like it had gone, didn’t it? Unbelievable! Glock’s last lap a 1.44.7. Either he just fell off the cliff with grip from those dry tyres, or it’ll be interesting to see if he was asked to slow down.”

“He’s a worthy World Champion. He’s been a contender since the first lap of his first ever Grand Prix early last year, and I don’t think you can deny Lewis Hamilton the title of World Champion.”

“I’m gonna steal three seconds here to say thank you to every single person who’s worked on F1 ITV in the last twelve years. You’re tops: dedicated people, really creative. Well done, everybody.”

Driver of the Day and Driver of the Year
“Driver of the Day, Felipe Massa; Driver of the Year, Lewis Hamilton, just. Massa lost a lot of points through unreliability that Hamilton didn’t. Hamilton took the brunt of a lot of penalties that Massa didn’t so much. But I have to say in the end the right man won the World Championship.”