“Sit down and imagine how hard it is to be a Formula 1 driver – and it’s five times harder than that.”


2007 RACES


AUSTRALIA

James: “Must be impossible to be a racing driver’s wife when it’s not going well.”
Martin: “I don’t know – I don’t have any experience of that! But you do tend to take it out on the one who’s closest to you and probably your biggest supporter. I do have experience of dishing some of that out, that’s for sure.”

(Martin drove a new Super Aguri earlier in the year.)
“They are absolutely beautiful, and they’re just an extension of your mind, really. You think, ‘I wanna go over there,’ and the car goes. Let’s be honest, at the time it wasn’t the fastest Formula 1 car around, so quite how magnificent a McLaren or Ferrari must feel ... I worry they’re almost too good because the limitation of how far you can go is more your neck, and just believing the car will stick.”

“Button – in the exit of Turn 4 – is in the car park.”

“Welcome to the grid. Happy Mother’s Day if it’s appropriate to you, especially my mum, of course.”

Martin: “I’ve never seen so many people on the grid.”
Bernie: “I know. I don’t know how they get here, to be honest with you. We’ll have to get rid of them, won’t we?”
Martin: “Well, we need a few of them.”
Bernie: “No, we’ll get rid of the mechanics!”

Martin: “You’re talking about a night race. Is that for real?”
Bernie: “That’s gonna happen.”
Martin: “So, what, I’m gonna be going round with a torch, am I, looking for you?”

(Looking for Nick Heidfeld) “I’m looking for a man with a bit of a seventies beard on.”

“(Hamilton’s) obviously getting a big chat there from The Ron.”

(Bernie mutters in Martin’s ear something about a Prime Minister in a nearby group.)
(A little reluctantly)
“Right, we’ll talk to the Prime Minister. (He goes over to the group while Bernie steps back and leaves him to it.) Where? Which one? Who do I need to talk to? Who is the Prime Minister? (He desperately looks round for Bernie.) Bernie, you’ve sent me over here – now you’ve left me high and dry! Who am I talking to?! (He briefly talks with the right man, apparently clueless as to which country he’s the Prime Minister of, then glances despairing at the camera as he walks away.) Right, well, that was very good, wasn’t it?!”

“Right now (Jenson’s) behind the Williams, which he’s effectively sponsoring because he had to pay off not going to Williams; he’s behind a Super Aguri, last year’s car; he’s behind his team mate, so it’s all the wrong things for Jenson.”

(On the pronounciation of ‘Kubica’)
“Kewbitza’s going well ... Koobicka. He likes to be called, apparently, Koobicka because he thinks it sounds faster. It should probably be Koobitza but I’m going with Koobicka. What are you going with?”
James: “I think you and I are gonna trip over each other on this all season!”

(Jenson gets a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane.)
“At least the Honda’s fast down the pitlane today.”

“If you go out with (Raikkonen) he’s fascinating company, he never stops talking! That’s the amusing thing – you’re like, ‘Shut up, Kimi, let somebody else say something’!”

“It’s a funny thing – you’re driving like a lunatic and have a brilliant pitstop and suddenly [your team mate’s] car is in front of you and you think, ‘How did that happen? That doesn’t seem possible. I’ve just lost a place.’ You can spend the next half lap trying to understand.”

(Watching replays of Coulthard’s car flying over Wurz’s head.)
“Every time I see that, I get a little bit more scared for both of them.”

Driver of the Day
“I think Rosberg did an extraordinary job today but if you look at the whole weekend and the race in general and the fact that it’s Lewis’ debut, you have to give him Driver of the Day.”


MALAYSIA

“Plenty of traffic out there, considering there’s only ten cars on track.”

“I’m doing radio, sadly, instead of television at the moment, ‘cause we’re watching the wrong car.”

“There’s gonna be some interesting tyre choices going on. I’d love to just take the [tyre] cover off that Ferrari if they weren’t gonna disassemble me limb by limb.”

“He’s just putting his skidlid on.”
(meaning he’s putting his helmet on. I think this is very good as he is using slang to interest people on a boring bit of someone putting a helmet on.) Submitted by Felix Morris-Duffin (aged 12).

“They must have thirty or forty devices on the exterior of those cars, developed in a wind tunnel, and then as soon as you put another car in front of it, they don’t work properly. The car doesn’t handle. They’ve gotta get rid of all that lot if they want a Formula 1 car to follow another closely.”

James: “Give us a little insight into what it feels like at the end of a Grand Prix when that tiredness starts to creep in.”
Martin: “You just want the guy behind you to go away.”

Driver of the Day
“It’s a tremendous victory for Fernando Alonso, but the way Hamilton overtook the two Ferraris in the first corner and then held on, it’s gotta be Lewis Hamilton.”


BAHRAIN

“It’s the fourth desert Grand Prix of Bahrain – one of my personal favourites, as it happens.”

“The playground that is made up of Turns 1, 2 and 3. ... There’s one thing I don’t like about corners such as this Turn 1. If you’re coming through this apex, busy minding your own business doing about fifty miles an hour, and somebody comes into the corner and collides or just drops it under braking, they can come straight across this infield and join you as an uninvited guest in the side of the cockpit.”

“Interesting to see the different methods of cooling the drivers down [while sitting in the car in the garage]. I remember when I first did a dozen laps in a car in Rio, I got out and was actually physically sick because the heat just welled up inside me on a day when it was forty odd degrees. David Coulthard uses a bag of dry ice sitting in his lap. I don’t know if that’s for pleasure or a necessity. ... I half expected Lewis Hamilton to have a fan heater sitting there, just a bit of psychological warfare with the other drivers.”

(Revisiting the pronounciation of ‘Kubica’)
“Koobitza – I’m gonna give up on that. It is Koobitza, apparently. I’ll concede. Koobicka’s still easier to say.”

James: “I think the two Hondas are looking doomed here.”
Martin: “I think they’ll be slightly relieved they’re even in this session.”

“Turning in too early, son.”

“Bernie, do not send me to some spurious ex-Prime Minister like you did in Australia!”

“The wheels are coming off the McLarens’ race.”

(Webber’s fuel flap sticks open)
“Formula 1 is hard enough without having silly problems.”

“I think race craft and being able to negotiate the back markers is a core skill of being a Grand Prix driver, but [the FIA] didn’t like back markers spoiling good races, so now they have to jump out of the way.”

(Coulthard overtakes Fisichella in an amazing manoeuvre)
“It’s gonna be a job with the same engine to overhaul the works Renault. He’ll have to be a Dan Dare when he gets down to Turn 1. DC is ... is ... gonna try it ... and he’s made it! What a mega-overtake! Coulthard is on fire this afternoon! It’s one of those where you have to [say], ‘OK, I’m coming up the inside; I’ll leave it up to you whether you want to have an accident, Giancarlo’. DC’s like, ‘OK, if you’re gonna be that slow in the braking, then I’ll have a go at you, son’.”

“There’s five thousand pieces in each of these V8 2.4 Formula 1 engines, and something made a bid for freedom there.”

“[If] you make a mistake here, you’re onto the sand and out there with the camels.”

“I always lean into the corners when I’m watching cars from onboard. I find my head leaning one way like I’m on a motorbike.”

“Lewis can see the prey, and he will be praying that there were just a few more laps available.”

“(Hamilton)’s gonna be so disappointed one day, isn’t he: he’s not gonna score a point or the car’s gonna break down. I’m not sure how he’s gonna cope with that.”

Driver of the Day
“For me, it’s Felipe Massa. The man who didn’t finish the race who was heading for Driver of the Day was David Coulthard with some amazing overtakes.”

SPAIN

“Felipe Massa turning right into a left-hander.”

“Mark Blundell and I drove the Williams a couple of weeks ago. While we were doing some set pieces on overtaking, we lost tyre temperature and it was like driving on ice – it was incredible. I’ve got a whole new respect now post-Safety Car and in circumstances where the tyres are not fully up to temperature, pressure and therefore grip.”

“Those [Ferrari wing mirrors] out on the side pods are about as useful as a chocolate fireguard, I would have thought. It’s very much a question of an ounce of aerodynamic performance getting accepted over common sense.”

“That should just see him in the top ten shootout. He’ll have another go, though: it’s not enough to be giving it, ‘Right, that’ll do for me’.”

(Davidson goes off-track.)
James:
“He obviously heard you say he drives an F1 car really nicely.”
Martin: “Commentator’s curse!”

“I’m only half joking when I say that I’m sure that if that [Honda] car had a proper paint job, the whole team would be lifted three tenths of a second. It just looks weird out there.”

Martin: “(Michael) must feel like a fish out of water here. I’ll be amazed if [he] doesn’t come back and drive a Formula 1 car at some point.”
James: “That’s quite a line to pop in. You think Michael Schumacher’ll definitely race again in Formula 1?”
Martin: “It wouldn’t surprise me at all. Why wouldn’t he? I can’t see him standing there watching a race with a set of headphones on. In fact, I’m not even really sure what he’s doing here.”

(A Toyota mechanic carries Heidfeld’s missing wheel nut towards his mechanics.)
“He’s like, ‘Is anybody looking for this?’ They do have spare wheel nuts around but I’ve got a feeling that was the important one. [However,] sometimes the [old] wheel nut flies off with the gun. (Heidfeld pulls off the track.) No, it was the important one.”

(Louise talks with Heidfeld about the incident.)
Heidfeld:
“It’s one of those things that can happen, but it simply shouldn’t happen.”
Martin: “He’s absolutely right, but that’s what the team say when you stick it in the gravel trap or the wall as well!”

“I think Coulthard’s done a brilliant job today and deserves Driver of the Day. But (Massa) did a supreme job as well.”


MONACO

“He’s dancing that McLaren around the racetrack.”

“You’ve got to tickle the car around the track.”

“The field spread here: if you’re P10, you can be twenty seconds behind the leader by the end of the first lap.”

“In my view, (Hamilton’s) either going to win it or bin it.”

“I daren’t talk to Lewis. I think Lewis would talk to us, but I’m so nervous of talking to him and then him going straight in the wall and it all being blamed on ITV.”

“It’s quite a usual place to crash, if that doesn’t sound silly.”

“You’d fail your driving test with the amount of arm crossing he has to do today.”

“Ron’ll be on the phone to him: ‘Steady, son, that is just a little bit too hard’.”

“That would’ve been straight in the barriers in the good old days.”

(Ralf trails round near the back.)
“It’s the kind of day you’re driving round hoping the car will break, to be honest, for a bit of relief.”

“Lewis is gonna have to find something else, but, hey, five starts ... (he hesitates) ... Let’s not put the commentator’s curse on it. Let’s talk about it later after the race!”

“Fisichella lapping about three seconds slower than the coasting McLarens – not that it feels very coasty sitting inside one.”

“There’s a man standing on a gantry [over the Finish line] pointing a finger – ‘one to go’ – I haven’t seen that for a while. Do they always do that? Rest assured, sir, that they ain’t looking up there!”

Driver of the Day
“I think it’s very easy today for the first time this year, but Alonso had the measure of everybody out there.”


CANADA

“That steering wheel of the Toyota – could you get any more buttons and dials on that?!”

“I owe (Luizzi) an apology because it looked like he just crashed in Monaco but actually he had a puncture.”

“Rest assured you are watching some of the finest drivers in the world, if not the finest [but] they all keep falling off the track, and in a way I like it. It’s nice to see the cars moving around: it’s bumpy, the kerbs are nasty, it should be a challenge.”

“Raikkonen seems like he’s on the edge of an accident every time he comes through that final chicane.”

Martin: “I understand Lewis didn’t follow team radio instruction in Monaco – he chose not to hear them. Is that true?”
Martin Whitmarsh: “I think Lewis drove a great race, and I’m sure he will here today.”
Martin: “That’s a yes, then. Thank you!”

“That’s the man (Michael Schumacher) I was drinking tequila shots with last night, and I’ve got a headache, and I hope he has too.”

“Well done, Louise. She’s always having to find disappointed racing drivers in the paddock.”

Coulthard (over the radio on being asked how the car is): “Not good. Doesn’t turn, doesn’t stop, no traction. ... (Sarcastically) Apart from that, it’s great. Having a lot of fun.”
Martin (laughing): “That’s just what I was gonna say!”

“Congratulations to the FIA for the incredible work they do in making the teams crash-test and develop the cars year on year.”

“(Lewis) was on [the Safety Car’s] back bumper. It looked like he was on the North Circular, he was so close to him.”

“The track gets more and more like a building site every lap.”

(Trulli and Rosberg spin side by side without touching.)
“Well, that’s odd! They both just fell off by themselves!”

(Fisichella gets a radio message that he’s been black flagged.)
“And that means park it and go home.”

(Martin lists who is out of the race and why, then falters when he gets to Sutil.)
“There’s been so much going on, I can’t remember!”

“What a drive, what a megastar we’ve got on our hands with Lewis Hamilton. I can’t imagine a more challenging afternoon – on a dry racing track, anyway. Absolutely sensational, faultless, brilliant performance by Lewis Hamilton.”


USA

“You will not lift the throttle again for 23 seconds before you get to Turn 1 – unless you find Mark Blundell on a skateboard just around this corner.”

“Amazingly, on the F1 ITV site on Monday, despite Lewis winning his first Grand Prix, at one point I think 60% of the voters had voted Sato as Driver of the Day in Montreal last weekend rather than Lewis – I guess because he was cruising up and passing the likes of Raikkonen and Alonso, and beautifully too.”

“I still think if I was sitting beside (Vettel) on the grid tomorrow, I’d have a bit of a wary eye on him. A teenager in his first ever Grand Prix at the sharp end of the grid – does he really know where he wants to be pressing the brake pedal down into Turn 1?”

“Hamilton hooking up the beautiful one.”

“Happy Father’s Day if you’re a father.”

(To a marshall during the Gridwalk) “You gonna throw me off the grid, son? Well, you’ll have to try harder than that.”

James: “There’s a white patch in front of Alonso’s start box. I believe that was an oil spillage from an earlier race and they’ve put cement dust down on it.”
Martin: “Could have been the make-up dripping off the girls who were standing at the front of the grid.”

“These cars do not have brake lights. They’d be about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.”

“Jenson’s on it today. You’d never believe it back in 16th, would you, but Jenson’s driving nicely.”

“Where’s the beef? Hamilton’s on pole, leads the race, gets hooked up behind a back marker; Alonso has a run at him, Hamilton parks his car in the right place and brakes spot on. What’s the problem? Why does (Alonso) need to go and demonstrate to the pitwall? Hamilton’s doing nothing wrong, nor is the team.”

“Haven’t seen much of the Maccas lately [on screen].”

“I love statistics and trivia, and for nine of the last ten years, the driver that left Race 6 of the Formula 1 World Championship in the lead of the Championship won the world title.”

“That’s Alonso’s message – he was beaten fair and square. He’s accepted that.”

Driver of the Day
“Three choices really. Vettel – great job for him – made a few lairy errors early on; I think Kovalainen drove well too; but it has to be Lewis Hamilton.”


FRANCE

“Remember the only job [of the first qualifying session] is to convert six Grand Prix drivers into six spectators.”

“They do handle differently if you take 50 kilograms of fuel out. It’s like taking a smallish passenger out of the car.”

(Jenson acknowledges a radio message by saying, ‘Roger’)
“Practising to be a pilot there.”

“It’s a long way down here [to Magny Cours] but as Fernando Alonso said, it might well get replaced with a 14-hour flight to somewhere on the far side of the world – so we have to be careful what we ask for: we might just get it.”

(The French TV director shows the leaders on their slow-down lap while others haven’t yet crossed the line.)
“They’re still out there delivering the goods! Sorry about this, ladies and gentlemen. We’ll tell you what’s going on behind but we’re watching them saving fuel.”

James: “What enormous courage from Fernando Alonso.”
Martin: “Enormous something or other, anyway. I wanna watch this [replay] from behind a pillow. ... I will relish and enjoy that move on Heidfeld into the Imola chicane for an awful long time.”

“The only time I’ve ever known [Turn 1] not to be flat out was in a Bentley for a 24-hour test, at night! It’s such a grippy fast corner but when it goes wrong it goes horribly wrong in there, as I also know to my great cost, but it’s a good old yahoo corner in a Formula 1 car.”

James: “(Kubica) is a definite contender later on for Driver of the Day, I would say.”
Martin: “That’ll save you asking me, then.”

“(Hamilton) needs to get some sponsorship from Brasso, ‘cause that’s another pot for the trophy cabinet.”

“Go on, Kimi, surprise us with a Schumacher leap.”

Driver of the Day
“I agree with you – Kubica in fourth. It wasn’t a sensational Grand Prix by any means, or any specifically brilliant performances, but Kubica you have to show respect after that shunt three weeks ago.”


GREAT BRITAIN

“There are bumps at this circuit and some of the drivers have been complaining, but Hamilton and Coulthard said, ‘No, it’s part of the nature; it’s how Silverstone is. You cannot just have billiard table racing circuits’.”

“All those pictures on [the Red Bull cars], including Mark Webber’s donkeys!”

James: “Do you see (Hamilton) as the kind of guy who’s gonna get his head turned as he becomes friends with the rich and famous?”
Martin: “Not at all. Famous last words, but I think the family, and Lewis in particular, they’re so grounded I think they’ll be able to cope with that.”

“I still think the teams should have to nominate a fuel load and then run empty. We wanna know who’s the fastest driver out there this afternoon, and the fuel corrupts that information.”

“(Kubica) is the one driver that Lewis Hamilton would say privately, ‘I think he could be my problem going into the future. When this era moves away, the next era will be Kubica as my main rival,’ so that’s a pretty big endorsement.”

(After listening to a radio transmission)
“You need to be one of the Daleks to understand what he said.”

“I’d rather retire than come ninth in a Grand Prix.”

Driver of the Day
“Kimi Raikkonen, unquestionably.”


EUROPE

“For me, this is one of the most key weekends of the year as to how this championship is going to play out.”

“A lot of technology, but a simple signal, waiting for the hand to say, ‘Take the blankets off, the car is warmed up enough, all the pressures are correct too – send the car for a run’.”

“Job done. Park it ready for the second session.”

“Curious wheel covers they have on the front of the Ferrari this weekend – they just sort of hover in place like the spinners on a pimped-up car.”

“The chequered flag is out, and so therefore is David Coulthard.”

“The top four are not bothering; so six cars ... sorry, ten cars on the track of the 16 ... my maths is not good here! It’s 12 of the 16 are out on the track.”

(Louise reminds Wurz that he was only “a gnat’s” slower than Rosberg)
“Alex is a good Anglophile – he understands what ‘a gnat’s’ is exactly and just what a small margin it relates to.”

“The cars are so strong now and they’ll take a pounding [but] often your body’s not strong enough to cope with it. Lewis had one of those horrible accidents where the whole thing stopped in about a metre. It’s like jumping off the top of a building – it’s not the fall that hurts you, it’s the sudden stop at the bottom.”

“When you step over the side of a racing car, you have to mind-manage the situation from time to time. You will get something like total brake failure, the throttle stuck wide open or something like this where you’re a passenger. It’s a matter of when it’s going to happen, not if it’s going to happen, so there’s no shock element as such – you’re certainly not gonna be scared by it and not wanna get back in one.”

(My personal thanks to Hannah and David Crick who, between them, got me a copy of the Sunday session after my DVD player didn’t record it.)

Martin: “You’re leaving Formula 1 and you’ve bought Arsenal and you’re gonna become a coach for football, yeah?”
Bernie: “I haven’t bought Arsenal – this is all nonsense in the newspapers. How much is it, incidentally?!”
Martin: “I haven’t read it. It’s only pocket money for you, anyway!”
Bernie: “Oi, stop that!”
Martin: “At least we go round and round in circles at several hundred miles an hour and we’re not twenty-two guys chasing a bag of air around a field. This is proper sport, don’t you think?”

Martin: “You talk at Formula 1 speeds! Are you a petrol head? Do you drive cars fast?”
Quentin Tarantino: “I realised that I would almost purposely be just a little late to get to places so I could actually have an excuse to just drive a little faster.”
Martin: “That was my excuse when I was on the back of the grid.”

“It’s crawling pace you need, otherwise you’re in a canoe, you’re not in a Formula 1 car.”
(Quote submitted by Peter Counsell)

“Crazy to let anything and anybody out there until they’ve neutralised the race, because everything is gonna arrive backwards! You do not wanna be going underneath one of those digger-trucks.”
(Quote submitted by Peter Counsell)

“Believe it or not, in these conditions, the F1 cars can’t keep up with the Safety Car. When they’re floating along the track, they just can’t get going and the Safety Car has to slow down.”
(Quote submitted by Peter Counsell)

“The Safety Car did a brilliant job in all the carnage because he saw the Toro Rosso coming backwards down the track at him at 150 miles an hour in his mirrors and accelerated out of the way so it didn’t hit him. There are spare Safety Cars but that could have caused a bit of a headache.”

“Michael Schumacher knows, just like I do, just like Mark Blundell and any other ex-driver, these are terrible moments for a driver because you feel to a large extent out of control of your own destiny, and often heading towards the barrier as well.”

“I think ‘Lucky’ is Lewis’ middle name today.”
(Unfortunately his luck then ran out!)

“By and large, the rules of the game are: be on the right tyres at the right moment. It’s better to keep coming in the pits and changing them than to be on the wrong tyres.”

“You love the marshalls – they save you, they look after you, but you just don’t wanna be grabbed hold of.”

“In this day of technology and data, the driver has to ask the engineer what happened [when the car breaks down] whereas it used to be the engineer asking the driver.”

“(Hamilton) is so confident under braking, isn’t he? You can see his mentality: ‘OK, I’m gonna get you. Any which way you don’t go, I’m going there’.”

“Lewis should stay away from the casinos, that’s for sure – his gambles just haven’t paid off today.”

(Michael Schumacher presents the constructors’ trophy on the podium)
“How much pleasure is Ron getting from taking that trophy from Michael Schumacher?! That is definitely cream on the cake for Ron Dennis. He’s loving that!”

Driver of the Day
“All of them, really, [but] my Driver of the Day is Alonso.”


HUNGARY
Martin was not at Hungary.


TURKEY

(The camera homes in on someone in the garage who has his nose bandaged)
“Caption competition going on there, I think.”

“He completely failed to wear out the apex tarmac.”

“The trouble is from P18 on the grid all you can do is put a load of fuel in it on the line, try and stretch your first stop as far as possible and hope you steal a point at the end of the afternoon because of other people having problems. It’s a pretty negative way to go racing but that’s all you can do.”

James: “So you’ve got the top three separated by, what, a tenth and a third.”
Martin: “A fraction, basically.”

“His boss, Ron Dennis, is not keen on facial hair, and Fernando’s grown himself a beard, so there’s a message he’s sent out!”

“I’m not surprised we don’t have any Turkish Formula 1 drivers at the moment, witnessing how they drive on the road.”

“Turn 1 should be a bit of a laugh with such cold brakes and tyres.”

Hamilton (on the gridwalk): “Let me just say a big shout-out ... to all the supporters. I know I haven’t been talking to you for a while. It’s just ‘cause I don’t really like Martin!”

James: “Onboard with the McLaren – let’s enjoy this.”
Martin: “Because Alonso’s not, that’s for sure, back there in sixth place.”

(Kovalainen gets the hurry-up over the radio)
“I’m waiting for the ‘What on Earth do you think I’m asterisk asterisk asterisk doing out here?!’ I don’t know how I would receive a ‘hurry up’ message while I was flat out in P6, doing a good job.”

“That was a lunge with a capital ‘L’! Where did that come from?!”

“(Massa)’s a lovely man, isn’t he? He’s a really, really nice, level, straightforward, uncomplicated lad.”

(James explains the new rule where the team aren’t allowed to hug the drivers before they’ve been weighed)
“They should be doing doughnuts on the way in, and backslapping, and stopping and picking up flags from the crowd, and all that; get out and kiss it like Rossi does in MotoGP. We need all of that. Too sterile.”

“Kovalainen is my Driver of the Day.”


ITALY

“If you’re remotely scared, you can’t drive them at all; you can’t do a hundred miles an hour, let alone 220, if you’re scared. It’s what you do for a living; it’s your job. As long as you haven’t broken anything, you get in another one. You kind of can’t wait to get in, really – you’re almost embarrassed if you’ve caused the crash. You wanna get in and prove you’re not that bad after all.”

“Let’s talk about the sports issues today. I’m fed up to death with all the politics and skullduggery. They all deserve each other as far as I’m concerned. They should be put in a barrel and rolled down a big hill.”

“Jenson is really driving beautifully at the moment, although it doesn’t show up much.”

“As always, Hamilton reversing that McLaren into the corners.”

“Button is heading for his second world championship point of the season. When did he ever imagine he’d be pleased to get a second point towards the end of the year?”

“The driver of the weekend and Driver of the Day is Fernando Alonso.”


BELGIUM

“Had enough of Paris court hearings for a while? So have I.”

“(Heidfeld’s) usually got something sensible to talk to us about. Nick, can you give us a quick word? (Nick shakes his head. Martin turns and walks away again.) Well, it was that sensible. You certainly can’t misunderstand that, can you?”

“Right, my last chance [is] probably Fernando Alonso. I’m expecting a complete blank down here as well but we’ll give it a try. (He pushes past someone wearing a jacket.) Sorry, sir. Dunno who that was, but he looked quite important.”

“Raikkonen is in that zone – that lovely zone that you sometimes experience [when] you don’t feel the need to go too near the edge of the racetrack, it all feels so easy. You’re looking in your mirrors thinking, ‘Where are they? If I go any slower, I’ll have to stop.’ Raikkonen is just doing so little work at the wheel, and the car looks peaches.”

“I wonder if Lewis is tightening up now? That flamboyant, nothing-to-lose everything-to-gain sort of new, puppy-dog almost, coming into Formula 1 – all of a sudden you can’t afford to make any mistakes and that’s when you start tightening up a little bit and not letting your natural skills come out.”

“Barrichello looking like he’d forgotten where Turn 1 was.”

“It’s one of those days when you can say, ‘Well, the car felt OK, it just wasn’t fast enough.’ It’s better to have a car that felt terrible and wasn’t fast enough.”

“You can get out of the car after this Grand Prix and your jaw hurts – many of them, actually. You find that you have to consciously not clench your teeth in corners like that.”

(Kimi spins a doughnut before entering the pitlane)
“Excellent! That’s what we wanna see! He’s not allowed to do it, but we love it.”
James: “Will it end up in a courtroom?(!)”
Martin: “I suspect not.”

“It’s been a redwash, really.”

(Raikkonen hoists his trophy, straight-faced)
“That’s happy, for Kimi.”

James: “Who’s your Driver of the Day?”
Martin: “It’s really difficult. I’m just standing thinking that, knowing you were about to lob me that hot potato, and I’m gonna say Mark Webber. Raikkonen was peerless – probably should be Raikkonen but I just fancy giving it to Mark Webber.”


JAPAN

“The longest pit straight in Formula 1. The drivers are almost gonna be bored down there, waiting for the car to accelerate.”

“Common sense tells you that Alonso is the clear favourite to take this year’s title – but we haven’t seen a lot of common sense in Formula 1 this year.”

“‘Go fast, don’t crash,’ will be the final instructions they’ll get today.”

“Sometimes in these conditions the Safety Car can be faster than the Formula 1 cars.”

“Let me just sanity-check this with you, James.”

(Sato leaves the pits with his car on fire)
“He’s thinking, ‘Where can I find some water? I know, I’ll drive out onto the race track – there’s plenty out there!’”

“If you ever thought Grand Prix drivers were overpaid, change your mind right now. This is supreme sporting skill and bravery. Two hundred and five miles an hour – cannot even see your own dashboard. All of your senses are in hyper-mode – your eyes are on stalks, you’re listening for when the guy in front lifts the throttle pedal.”

“If (Hamilton) wins the world championship this year, he fully deserves it just on the back of this afternoon.”

“They’re shaking hands in Parc Fermé, saying, ‘Wasn’t that good fun?’”

“Today’s not a day you’re gonna get sweaty; you’re more likely to get rusty.”

“I forgot I was commentating: I was just sitting down and I started applauding (Hamilton) on the podium! It was just an awesome drive.”

Driver of the Day
“It’s easy, isn’t it? It’s gotta be Lewis Hamilton.”


CHINA

“Traction control disappears next year – thank goodness.”

(Discussing Ferrari and McLaren)
”Contrary to what some people would have you believe, they are two different cars.”
(in reference, of course, to the whole spygate affair.)
Quote submitted by David Crick.


“Creep around on your outlap and then banzai it a couple of corners from home.”

“Turn 2 and 3 are a deceleration zone before you fall down the hill to what they call 4.”
(What else would they call it, Martin?!)

(Sitting in the Safety Car on the grid)

“This is a souped-up version of the car that would scare you witless on the road. ... The little boy in me, the schoolboy in me, really wants to steal the key and run off with it and see how they cope with that.”

“(Lewis) is off the grid at the moment with a last-minute comfort break – a bit of a panic pee, I suspect.”

(To D.C.) “What gave you the extra confidence? Those dodgy shirts you had made in Hong Kong?”

“Within two minutes we went from a track that looked like it might be shaping up to dry up a little bit to, ‘Hang on a minute, are these tyres gonna clear enough water?’”

“If Alonso ripped the door off his changing room [yesterday], he’ll kick the whole place down today because he’s really not got the pace at all.”

“Total respect for Lewis Hamilton taking the trouble to talk to us and not spit the dummy, not throw his toys out of the pram.”

“There have been some great drives out there: Raikkonen of course – and Lewis Hamilton, I imagine, will never be happier to see a Ferrari win a Grand Prix – but clearly I think Vettel has to take Driver of the Day.”


BRAZIL

“It’s one of those days where you get over the finish line, your lap time comes up on the dashboard and you look at it in total disbelief. These are some of the slowest laps they’ve done for ages.”

“(Rubens) clearly likes this air of Sau Paulo that seems to be 30% exhaust fumes.”

“Raikkonen goes fastest on a 12:5 – that’s proper fast.”

“He sweeps past the end of the pitlane that scares you silly when you’re driving this racetrack.”

“Look at this gaggle in front of him. It looks like a video game, doesn’t it?”

James: “Do you think Alonso would [yield to allow Hamilton to win the championship]?”
Martin: “I think he’d have a radio problem.”

“Let’s remember Raikkonen has won six Grands Prix this year. He’s not lucked into [the championship] or reversed into it.”

“Let’s just have a mind re-set: it’s been an awful weekend for British sport, but Raikkonen is a worthy World Champion.”

“I’m surprised Michael (Schumacher) wasn’t here this weekend as a consultant but this man (Kimi) clearly showed he didn’t need him.”

“I’ve seen it happen a few times: whichever party Raikkonen goes into this evening, it’ll be three people who carry him out.”

Driver of the Day
“Rosberg, Kubica, Heidfeld did a very good job but Raikkonen won the race fair and square. Massa pushed for all he was worth and Raikkonen had an answer. I’m gonna give it to the new World Champion, Kimi Raikkonen.”