2006 RACES


SEASON PREVIEW
(Martin drives around the Bahrain circuit)
“I’m in an Aussie Holden V8 lookalike. Minimum speed [in Turn 1] for a Formula car is about 50 miles an hour, the same as this, but compared to a Formula 1 car, this thing could barely pull the skin off a rice pudding.”

(Talking with new presenter, Steve Rider, about his hopes for the new season)
“I think it’s gonna be absolutely fascinating. Can Alonso retain his World Championship? Is it Michael Schumacher’s last year in a Grand Prix car? Is he gonna retire at the end of the year? Can Jenson Button win his first Grand Prix? How good is Nico Rosberg gonna be – a rookie in the Williams? I think the cars are gonna be very close, too, so I think we’re expecting a lot of close and exciting racing.”

“The Honda looks very strong, as does Renault and Ferrari. The McLaren and the Red Bull look fast but a little bit frail. The dark horse could well be the Williams Cosworth.”


BAHRAIN
“There’s gonna be a lot of controversy over that (Toro Rosso): it’s a heavily restricted V10 car but it’ll just run all day; with a couple of hundred horsepower less, all they need to do is wash and polish it every so often.”

“Massa wins the ‘most awake’ prize.”

(James asks if he’d like to be one of the drivers who is struggling to go through to the next qualifying session)
“I’d like to be in any of [the cars], cos it looks like really good fun out there!”

(Explaining the format of the final qualifying session)
“Now, pay attention to this, cos I’m gonna make this as painless as I possibly can.”

“Every lap they do, they’re given a credit – or a Tiger Token, as I’m now calling it.”
(Submitted by David Crick)

(During the early part of the final session when the cars are just cruising around and burning up fuel)
“It’s a little bit of an impasse, it’s it? After those first two manic 15 minutes, we’re treading water now.”

“You wouldn’t wanna play poker with Renault this weekend – they’re the bravest of the lot.”

“Hello, everybody, welcome to the grid. At least you haven’t got to get up at five o’clock to see the first race of the season. ... Michael Jackson was due to be on the grid today but apparently he’s not gonna make it. It’s gonna be a Thriller anyway.”

“Fisichella giving abuse on the radio – there’s no point. It’s not gonna make any difference, and you wouldn’t hear Michael Schumacher, Alonso or Raikkonen saying that. All it does is upset your crew and it doesn’t buy you any time.” (Then later, when the car breaks down) “If you call your car nasty names, it’s gonna give up on you.”

“Alonso’s car is handling beautifully. He keeps launching it into apexes and I’m thinking, ‘That’s gonna let go, son,’ but it doesn’t!”

(Alonso and Schumacher are side by side as Alonso exits the pits)
“How close do you need it?!”

“Rosberg’s already in the points, so there’s no point in doing a banzai and taking a couple of wheels off.”

Driver of the Day
“How many am I allowed? Just the one? That’s nearly impossible! There’s been some brilliant moves. Button’s overtaking moves; Rosberg, fastest man out there, stunning drive; Raikkonen, 22nd to 3rd ... uh, I’ll go for Rosberg. You have to say that was a brilliant drive from a very, very young man. Rosberg – the new Rosberg – Baby Rosberg is my Driver of the Day.”


MALAYSIA
“These are astonishing lap times – just a couple of seconds slower than last year’s best lap times with over 200 horsepower less than they had last year.”

(Villeneuve asks over the radio how many cars go through to the second session)
Martin (laughing):
“I cannot believe Jacques is asking that question! That’s fundamental! I can’t believe he didn’t know that!”

“The Racing Drivers’ Book of Excuses has already gone to print for this year, half of it written by Blundell and Brundle.”

“[Montoya has a] fantastic car through Turn 12. He upshifted in the middle of it! That thing’s absolutely glued to the track.”

“(Rosberg) has outqualified his team mate by, oh, a massive five hundredths of a second.”

(Watching in-car footage down the back straight)
“The only action going on is the mirrors flapping up and down.”

“Wouldn’t want my mortgage being bet on who’s going to win this race.”

“Flavio Briatore just said to me, ‘Yeah, we thought we’d let Fernando drive to Australia for the next Grand Prix, we put so much fuel in him’.”

(Rosberg is philosophical after his engine blowout)
“Great attitude – he’s not thrashing himself when he’s looking inwards.”

(Trulli keeps getting overtaken at the same corner)
“You’ve just gotta go and cut off the inside and force them wide and then hang ‘em out to dry, give ‘em a little nudge or something. Look – Trulli made a kind of a bit of a dart but he left all that space available. It’s like a big green arrow, ‘Pass me this side’.” (A lap later) “Massa following the green arrow to pass Trulli.”

“There’s something mysterious about McLaren. They don’t seem to have a consistent something or other.”

“Tell you what surprises me – that the Toro Rossos have not been stealing a few points. We thought they would just pound relentlessly round, didn’t we? I really thought they would steal some cheap points and it just hasn’t happened.”

(The Renaults hold station in the closing laps)
“It’s the sensible team decision, although it spoils the fun for us.”

“You read the regulations twice: the first time to see what they say, and the second time to see how you can stretch them to the breaking point.”

“Villeneuve with a faceful of back marker.”

(Barrichello sets his fastest lap with three laps to go)
“I don’t think it’s the sleeping driver finally waking up when the points and the prize money’s being paid.”

“(Massa’s) solid enough when he’s pointing the right way and on the right bit of track.”

(Watching the drivers being weighed)
“You have to remember to hold your crash helmet and your gloves and all the goodies – and then if you’re really crafty you can hold a bottle of water in your hand and add a little bit more to [your weight] as well.”

“Wicked looking trophies, aren’t they? Look like something out of a movie.”

“Fisichella is the Driver of the Day, no doubt about it.”


AUSTRALIA
(Watching in-car footage of Rosberg driving erratically)
“Lairy. Absolutely lairy! It scared me going into Turn 1 – I don’t know how it felt from where he was sitting.”

“Fisichella [must] feel he’s got the upper hand because Alonso’s leaving for McLaren, and we certainly felt that Fisi had more support in Malaysia than we’ve seen for a few months now and he’s gonna want to keep that advantage. He pretty much got smashed, didn’t he, last year, mentally, by Alonso’s confidence, speed, consistency, and he’s gonna want to try and stay on top this time around.”

“Jenson will be there or thereabouts.”

(To Jenson on the gridwalk)
“You’ve gotta get some elbows out to keep the Renaults behind you.”

“Let’s have a quick word with Raikkonen. He’ll just ignore me, but I’ve been ignored before.” (Then, after Kimi has spoken to him in his usual laconic fashion) “He’s so low voltage, isn’t he? I’ve never seen a driver that’s so relaxed.”

(Trying to find a driver to talk to on the gridwalk)
“We’re running out of drivers. I think we’re gonna have to park ourselves outside the gents’ toilets another day.”

(Jock Clear warns Barrichello over the radio that Rosberg is ‘hot headed’)
“Some pretty libellous stuff going on there!”

(Montoya spins at the end of the parade lap, then retakes his original position during the second parade lap, which some of the teams obviously disagree with)
“I’m not even gonna go to the rule book, ‘cause I’m sure it’s not covered.”

(Klien hits the wall, then heads for a collision with the tyre barrier)
“It’s the second impact you’re always scared of, because the carbon fibre’s [already] done its work.”

(During yet another safety car session)
“The drivers are saying, ‘This is such a dangerous moment for us when we’ve lost this tyre pressure,’ and quite rightly in many ways the FIA are saying, ‘Well, make your tyres and your car work, then, for these conditions’.”

“You cannot imagine how much fuss that’s gonna make, seeing a Toro Rosso pass the Ferrari down the straight. Toro Rosso did such a good job of trying not to go fast, they actually really got it all wrong in the first two races.”

“Rubens’ chin’ll be on the floor of his cockpit, having to follow Sato, that car that’s been almost cobbled together for the start of the season in a matter of weeks.”

“There ain’t a lot of grip [when the car’s] in the air.”

“What you need to understand is that they choose the tyres for this event a few weeks ago, so they choose the construction and the compound, second guessing track conditions and weather conditions – and quite clearly they’ve all been wrong-footed by the very cold afternoon.”

“(Scott Speed) is a difficult young man to get to like, I’m finding, when I’m talking to him.”

“Fisichella’s just found a bundle of time. Will he get his Bottichelli kicked when he gets out of that thing?!”

“Interesting that they’ve stopped Button so that he doesn’t get a ten place drop on the grid at the next race and gave up some guaranteed points. I think they might live to regret that.”

Driver of the Day
“I think that Ralf Schumacher has made the best of his equipment today.”


SAN MARINO
“The track surface looks as bad as ever.”

“I packed three jackets and a raincoat to come here, but no suntan cream.”

Martin: “I wonder if either (Schumacher or Massa) will be driving for Ferrari next year? I’m pretty convinced Raikkonen will be in a Ferrari next year. [If he was] with Michael Schumacher, that’d be a pairing, wouldn’t it?”
James: “I wouldn’t wanna have to pay that wage bill, would you?”
Martin: “The team don’t pay it. They lay it off with one of the sponsors, so they’ll get over it. They don’t have to keep flogging road cars to pay Michael.”

“The extra silly thing about this phase of qualifying [in the early part of the third session] is they’ll all do the same number of laps, all get the same fuel credit back, and it all sort of negates itself, doesn’t it?”

“It’s a funny thing to say, isn’t it, after all those years of having a red car win and everybody getting a bit bored with it – it’d be nice to see anything other than a blue car win, wouldn’t it, just for a bit of variety this weekend ... not that I wish any harm to the Renaults.”

To Tamara Ecclestone (Bernie’s daughter) on the gridwalk:
“Do you know Michael Schumacher really well? It’s just he won’t talk to us ‘cos he hates the British press, and me and him fell out about three years ago – neither of us can remember why. D’you fancy trying to get an interview with him? Let’s have a go. It might annoy him, but then I’ve annoyed him before when he was my team mate.”

“[Imola is] a nightmare place if you suffer from hayfever, by the way. Do not choose this as an overseas Grand Prix if you’re a hayfever sufferer.”

“This is a carbon copy of last year but reversed.”

“Now he’s gotta use a back marker to tuck him up, or it’s gotta be a Dan Dare into a corner somewhere.”

“The problem, at the risk of stating the obvious, is you arrive in the corner, say, ten metres behind the car in front of you, you’ve got a car that’s 5 metres long, 1.8 metres wide; if the braking zone is only 80 metres long, you’ve gotta be something like 20% better on the brakes to pass him.”

“I don’t understand why they don’t all paint up those HANS devices and put sponsors on them. It seems like a wasted opportunity there. Fisichella’s one is all pimped up.”

Driver of the Day
“I don’t think there is one. Am I allowed to not have a Driver of the Day? I’m not gonna have a Driver of the Day – there’s nothing that really stands out today.”


EUROPE
“Massa still three-wheeling the Ferrari around the track.”

“Look at the state of his tyres. They wouldn’t get through an MOT.”

(Discussing whether Renault will keep Fisichella next year, especially after he stormed down to Villeneuve’s garage to shout at him for blocking him)
“They’ll have to stay with an experienced adult – somebody who shaves every day, at least. What I would have been impressed with is if Fisichella had jumped on Villeneuve’s front wing or something like that. Now that would have been worth walking all the way down the pitlane for.”

“This is a yahoo-type corner where you can just sling it in.”

“When you hit the brake pedal there, your stomach carries on.”

“I think it’s irreparable between Villeneuve and Fisichella. I don’t think that one’ll ever go away. Whether it translates into some wheel banging on the track, but yeah, these things build up over the years between drivers. It’s only when you finish and end up meeting in a bar somewhere and just grow up a little bit and mellow quite a lot that that sort of thing starts fading away. ... (Fisichella) will get his own back somewhere like Monte Carlo.”

“It’s amazing how much information you can take off a pitboard despite accelerating probably to 150 miles an hour. You don’t really look at it properly either – you glance over at it and just absorb what it says. You can quite easily spot your own pitboard as well. I don’t know how you do it but it’s a very useful – if slightly old-fashioned – piece of equipment.”

(Schumacher leaps into Ross Brawn’s arms in Parc Fermé)
“He jumps well for an old man, doesn’t he?”

Driver of the Day
“Michael Schumacher, unquestionably.”



SPAIN
“The drivers know this circuit like the back of their hands, and that’s with their gloves on.”

“There’s nowhere to hide, this weekend, for anyone. There’s so much testing around here, they must have the right tyres, they must have their optimum setup.”

“The teams are gonna be going ape – the Ferraris are so much faster in the speed traps. There’s a lot of dissatisfaction in the paddock about flexible wings – the Ferraris are blitzing the speed traps. I’m pretty sure they’re either gonna try and nail that Ferrari wing, or they’re all gonna turn up in the next couple of races with floppy wings themselves.”

“The Catalunya race track is a few miles north of Barcelona in a rather dodgy industrial estate.”

(Watching in-car footage of Alonso’s qualifying lap)
“You need to watch the last [corner] from behind a pillow.”

Martin: “What are you doing here, guv’nor?”
Murray Walker: “I’m achieving my third ambition in life – to be interviewed on the grid by Martin Brundle! I’m Honda’s Formula 1 ambassador, and I’m learning there’s a whole new world on that side of the circuit.”
Martin: “I thought you’d retired, you daft old sod! What are you doing here?! You’re supposed to be on a beach somewhere!”

“The Ferrari boys have been given the ‘now or never’ from the pitlane.”

“You never read the lollipop – I don’t know why they put things on there. All you ever do is respond to it moving, but they always write things on it.”

“There’s five thousand pieces in the latest V8 engines, and every so often one of them tries to escape.”

“The concern for Renault next year is that Fisichella, who’s done a solid job, is 30 seconds behind his team mate; and even more of a concern for Alonso is he’s 55 seconds ahead of the McLaren that he’s jumping into next year.”

“Schumacher very much in a Renault sandwich, but not a lot of butter in it for him.”

Driver of the Day
“That’s easy, isn’t it? Alonso.”


MONACO
“There are gonna be some tears; people are gonna spit the dummy.”

“With twenty cars on the track, there cannot be more than 150 metres between them, and that’s if they’re equidistant, so that’s the kind of congestion that Steve was talking about earlier in the show.”

“With a minute 45 to go, all ten of them should be out on the track. There’s three of them in the same corner! Raikkonen’s on an absolute flyer and he’s gonna find three guys trying to make space for themselves. This is where the moaning and upset is gonna start.”

“On the scooter coming in, I caught myself wondering if Michael Schumacher would even turn up today, whether the events of yesterday would upset him so much that he’d go, ‘You know what? I don’t need you either,’ but he’s here and I’m sure he’ll be giving it plenty.”

“It’s a 15.6 for Alonso. ‘Try that,’ he says. I wonder why he’s just suddenly put this spurt on. He’s nowhere near a pitstop. It’s like he’s, ‘OK, right, now let’s go racing then’.”

“Albers [was] more than a little rude, but Monteiro could have lifted the throttle. It is optional.”

“We’re on lap 20. Amazingly, Michael hasn’t had any problems at Rascasse corner in those first twenty laps.”

“It’s like laying in the bath and looking out over the taps. That’s from your car – then you’re looking up underneath the rear wing of the car in front and the barriers are giving up a border to the side and you’re aiming through a letterbox and it’s so easy to get mesmerised and run into the car in front, slap the barrier, or just follow the car in front into an accident.”

“Jacques Villeneuve under investigation – not for a baggy race suit, either, I don’t think.”

“The car looked like a pogo stick.”

“Christian Horner said – and I was there – that if his car finishes in the top three, he will dive naked in that swimming pool on the Red Bull motorhome area, which [means] we’re probably hoping (Coulthard) will stay 4th, I would imagine. Not sure we wanna see that.”

Coulthard goes onto the podium wearing a Superman cape because the new movie is sponsoring Red Bull this weekend.
“There’s a clause in his contract that says the team can’t do anything that brings him into disrepute, and that is close to breaking it, as far as I’m concerned! Luckily he hasn’t got the red pants on.”

Driver of the Day
“Of the drivers that didn’t finish, it’s gotta be Webber. Of the drivers that did, I’ll give it to DC.”


GREAT BRITAIN
“It went out as a V8, came back as a V7.”

“Jenson – I think I’d have been round the back kicking something.”

“I love facts and figures and trivia and data – this race has only been won twice in the past ten years from pole position.”

“He was making little sandcastles with the right rear wheel.”

“I wouldn’t wanna comment until I saw it – is DC going for the equivalent of the professional dive, hoping to get himself in the top ten, [or] did Montoya move over on him?”

“I like to see the cars in the ultimate condition for speed, with just enough fumes to get them back to the pits after their hot lap. I wanna know who’s the fastest in the lightest, best condition.”

“If a football match went to penalities, you wouldn’t choose Jenson [to take one] at the moment, would you?”

“An investigation between Speed, Ralf Schumacher and Webber. That won’t take long – it was all Scott Speed’s fault.”

(Speed bluffs his way through his interview with Louise, claiming it was just a racing incident)
“He’s gonna be an MTV presenter, isn’t he, when he’s finished being a driver.”

Martin: ”I reckon (Alonso) is out front listening to the Kaiser Chiefs now, and looking forward to my CD collection turning up.”
James: “Have you ever heard of them, ‘cause he caught you out, didn’t he, that guy? (Martin had interviewed Peanut from the Kaiser Chiefs on the gridwalk.)
Martin: “I’m more into the Arctic Monkeys, to be honest.”

James: “What’s the state of mind of Jenson Button at the moment, do you think?”
Martin: “Pretty depressed, I would imagine. [These drivers] are young men and they’ve been in this since 8, 9 years old and they’ve only ever known going to racetracks, and sometimes they don’t have the full perspective of life. I think the expectation level, the spotlight burning the back of their necks, having to deliver week in, week out – qualifying, racing, testing, do the PR and all the travel that goes with the Grand Prix circus – it’s tough for them.”

“They’re looking for fractions of shavings.”

“Rosberg on the bubble – that’s a terrible feeling when you’ve driven well and you’re going home with absolutely nothing. Ninth may as well be 19th.”

Driver of the Day
“I think actually the guys [who came] 7th, 8th and 9th did a great job – Heidfeld, Villeneuve and Nico Rosberg outperformed their cars today – but you’ve got to give it to Alonso.”


CANADA
“Nobody, but nobody, can afford to take it easy out there in the three sessions, otherwise they’re gonna get punished. You’re talking [that] if you brake five metres too early for the hairpin, you’ll miss the cut.”

“(Massa) does tend to carry a bit of Michael’s workload through a weekend. Unfortunately that’s all part of the membership of being Number 2 to Michael Schumacher at Ferrari.”

“Mark, you will take no further part in today’s qualifying session. Goodbye.”

“Imagine last year leaving two plug leads off and sending them out and saying, ‘OK, now go and do a 14.7 with eight cylinders.’ It’s just extraordinary.”

“(Alonso) finally said hello to the apex of the hairpin.”

“Right, you ugly lot, we need a good clean start. We don’t want this Grand Prix being extended and getting messed around by football matches later on.”
(Prophetic words indeed, as the ITV1 coverage ended to make way for the football as the cars pulled into Parc Fermé.)

“What was Trulli doing?! He gave up about a hundred yards before the corner.”

“Online, there’s good grip; half a metre offline and you’re heading towards the boonies.”

“I’m just wondering if Ralf’s preparing to drive the other way around the track for the last few laps.”

(Coulthard’s race engineer radios him to say, “Let’s get Jenson – let’s ‘ave ‘im.”)
“DC’s saying, ‘Tell me something I don’t know!’ But it’s the new way on the radios in Formula 1. We didn’t used to have good enough transmission to have that sort of conversation, so you always kept communication down to an absolute minimum so you didn’t misunderstand something that was going on.”
Submitted by David Crick.

Driver of the Day
“Coulthard did a spectacular job and I loved the overtakes, but for me today the man who did a great job was Michael Schumacher. I’ll probably give it equally [to] Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard – the two oldest guys on the grid. Now maybe that’s interesting: on a tricky track like this, experience paid off, didn’t it?”


USA
“This circuit is hardly the Sunday Times crossword.”

“The Toyota dragging its backside down the track.”

“Johnny Herbert described (Midland)’s aero budget as £1.59.”

James: “That’d be quite a nice initiative in this final phase of qualifying, to introduce overtaking.”
Martin: “They could give them an extra half litre of fuel or something, couldn’t they, for each overtake.”

“Every time I’ve looked out of the window of the commentary box, (Alonso)’s being molested by a Ferrari down the pit straight.”

“I’m expecting the Ferraris to be in a different postcode to the others by the end of the race.”

“Heidfeld says, ‘It’s the first time I flipped a racing car. Actually it was quite fun. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was gonna be’.”

“His car will be handling like a wheelie bin.”

(Race Control lists the numbers of the cars which will be investigated after the race.)
“Looks more like a lottery draw, doesn’t it? If I was Nick Heidfeld I’d put those on my lottery ticket for next week after that little triple roll.”

“That will please Coulthard about like a wet Monday morning would.”

(Monteiro and Sato give different explanations of their tangle.)
“It’s a bit like a primary school playground, isn’t it? ‘It wasn’t me, it was him!’”

(Liuzzi’s telemetry shows his V8 engine reaching only 16½ thousand revs.)
“Probably feels like it wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding compared to last year’s full fat V10s.”

“If (Rosberg) had been caught out with the braking of that Toro Rosso, he’d have been so high in the air, he’d have turned up on the satellite down at Indianapolis Airport.”

James: “Four in ten of all Ferraris are sold in America.”
Martin: “Yeah, probably bright red with white leather or something.”

Driver of the Day
“I’ve been very quick to criticise him when he appears to let everybody past him easily and [he] disappears for a few races at a time but today I think he’s done a great job, and that’s Jarno Trulli.”


FRANCE
“The kiss-and-fly final chicane.”

(Commenting on the new aero device on the BMW)
“Well, it’s plain ugly, that’s for sure. That is horrendous. That looks horrible. I hope it gets banned before the end of the day.”

“A lot of risk in that first lap for Alonso and absolutely no reward for him other than he’s still got a complete car with all four wheels pointing in the same direction.”

“Most drivers finish up their careers with all sorts of gremlins, particularly in their lower back. It’s a very unnatural position – you’re laying in the car, almost, with your spine curved, and those sort of kerbs do take their toll.”

“This is a miserable racetrack if your car’s not working and we saw it etched all over Rubens’ face. He looked five years older than when he started the race.”

“Jenson Button is in this race. We’ve politely ignored him after his awful qualifying situation yesterday.”

“That’s one unhappy bunny hopping out of that Williams.”

“My Driver of the Day is easily Michael Schumacher.”


GERMANY
“Something that intrigued me about the interview we did with Jenson earlier on the show, where he chose to say – and it almost jumped out and you could tell he wished he hadn’t said it – ‘It’s not me,’ like he felt the need to justify himself.”

“That first corner – when I was doing the track guide with Fisichella, he just so nonchalantly said, ‘Yeah, well, Turn 1’s sixth gear,’ and it blew my mind how fast the corners are.”

“This is gonna turn it upside down a bit.”

“[The main damper has been] banned because it’s an aerodynamic device, which is curious because it doesn’t even see daylight, let alone the airstream of the car, but it’s such a complex subject, I won’t bore you with that now.”

“Massa has really upped his game, hasn’t he? He always looked like an accident waiting for somewhere to happen in between some very good laps.”

“The mirrors are about as useful as a chocolate fireguard on a Formula 1 car.”

“I don’t know what’s going on – this slow phase, they look like they couldn’t drive a nail into a piece of wood, let alone a Formula 1 car.”

(Alonso protests over the radio about how Schumacher cut him up in the pitlane.)
“Get on with it, son – nothing you can do about it now.”

(Martin finds Massa talking with a female interviewer.)
“It’s no wonder that the Formula 1 drivers are not remotely interested in talking to me when they can talk to beautiful girls like this.” (He listens in on the conversation for a while, then leaves.) “OK, bored with that.”

“Five rows on the grid doesn’t sound like much, does it? I said to DC, ‘If I get a chance, I’ll pop back and see you.’ He was like, ‘Oh, thanks a lot! I’m not that far down the grid!’ I didn’t mean that but it’s surprising – there’s only eight metres between the cars but it’s surprising how far it is when you’re wandering along. There is he talking to Karen, his fiancée.” (David and Karen are kissing.) “Another guy who’s gonna be certainly disinterested in talking to us! Can we butt in from the final kisses and all that sort of thing?!”
Coulthard: “Can we kiss again?”
Martin: “If you want to, but it’s a family show.”
(David offers for Martin to kiss Karen.)
Martin: “Well, it’s very kind of you but, er ... yeah, there’s a good one-liner there that I’ll choose not to use. Anything else you can tell us to make us look smart and intelligent and well-informed?”
Coulthard: “I think you know it all, so I was kinda hoping something would rub off on me.”

“It’s a wonderful feeling when you’ve got hot tyres [from your pit stop] and you just floor the throttle – the grip and acceleration is just mind-blowing and the scenery starts rushing past the corners of your eyes. It’s a wonderful feeling of power and grip and control.”

“The Ferraris are now back into the 1.19s. There’ll be cobwebs on the side of them if they go much slower.”

(Massa jumps out of the way as Ralf unlaps himself.)
“Massa says, ‘Go – don’t get me into trouble. I’m gonna be right over here. All I’m doing this afternoon is rear gunner for your brother and he seems to be doing just fine. Go and enjoy yourself’.”

Driver of the Day
“Of the drivers that finished, Kimi Raikkonen, no doubt about it. Of the drivers that didn’t finish, clearly it was Mark Webber.”


HUNGARY
Martin was not at Hungary.


TURKEY
(Watching footage of Villeneuve at Turn 8 last year.)
“Hits the ground, starts to run out of space, and grip, and finally runs out of talent as he tries to correct the car.”

“The left-hand side of the neck of a racing driver is never as strong as the right-hand side. Most circuits are clockwise and of course inevitably you have to make more right-handers than lefts to get back to the beginning of it.”

“(Michael Schumacher) got a twenty-minute lashing from all the other drivers about his conduct at the Hungarian Grand Prix – going across chicanes and then not yielding and holding his position, or running into just about anything that moved – and Michael apparently was not at all happy or comfortable with it. So Michael not exactly Mr Popular, but he’s certainly Mr Fast.”

(Albers asks over the radio whether he’s through to the second qualifying session.)
“It just amazes me! It’s just such fundamental things, you know: when you leave the pit garage, you will turn left; the top sixteen will get through to phase 2 of qualifying. You wonder what else they don’t know, don’t you?!”

James: “What does that say about Formula 1 cars at the moment if a 19 year old [Sebastian Vettel for BMW] racing in Formula 3 can hop into one of these things and bang in a time that tops the sheets on Friday?”
Martin: “What it says is there are too many control systems on the cars to keep them on the black grippy stuff and not in the wall, but then I sound like an old duffer saying that – you know, ‘It was tougher in my day’ – but the kid had only done a couple of hundred miles maximum in the car; turns up and goes fastest of everybody. It just confirms there are too many computers and control systems helping the drivers. Thankfully for 2008 – hopefully before – they’re gonna throw a lot of those away.”

“Albers will not be getting through this next phase – but maybe he won’t understand that.”

“We wanna see the fastest drivers, in the fastest cars, in the fastest condition. I hate that pole position where you think, ‘Yeah, he’s on pole but is he twenty kilograms lighter than the guy beside him?’ Nobody understands it, nobody cares – all we want to know is who’s the fastest driver and is he on pole position?”

“It’s difficult to rate or understand Nick Heidfeld. He’s such a quiet man, isn’t he, and he lacks a bit of emotion. He’s a pretty solid racing driver, but unfortunately ‘solid’ is about all you can say. There’s never any dramatic moments coming from Nick. I think there’s some in there – he’s gotta drag them out somehow.”

“It was Amateur Hour down into the first corner.”

“Massa surely the Driver of the Day. It’s an irony, isn’t it: if Raikkonen does go to Ferrari as we expect and Michael decides not to retire, this young man must be looking for a drive somewhere.”


ITALY
(Walking along the track): “In the ten metres that it takes me to explain to you that a Formula 1 car on the straight is doing over 220 miles an hour – that’s 100 metres per second – it will have travelled one kilometre or 5/8ths of a mile.”

“Curve Grande – a corner that wasn’t always full throttle in the turbo-charged days in the earlier days of Formula 1. Now it’s absolutely eat your sandwiches and read the Financial Times, even in the rain.”

(Some of the drivers have said that the circuit isn’t safe any more.)
“I can’t get my head round what they’re talking about, frankly. They should have been here a few years ago, or 50 years ago, whatever. There used to be a barrier going straight across the front of you at Ascari, going around a tree that they weren’t allowed to take down. [Today’s drivers] haven’t lived compared to some of [the previous drivers]. I know they’ll say, ‘Yeah, you silly old fool, what do you know? It’s changed since then, and no doubt about it the older you get, the faster you was,’ but I do not believe this place is unduly dangerous.”

James: “(Heidfeld’s) had a massive hurry-up from this young Polish driver.” [Kubica]
Martin: “At this level you’re not allowed to have a hurry-up – you should be giving it everything you’ve got all day, every day.”

“Jenson Button in this fuel-burn phase trying to make his mind up whether to get a cream or a white sofa for his new apartment. I can’t imagine there’s much more going on in there, ‘cause it’s not exactly challenging. Oh. There’s a McLaren. That’s interesting. Let’s watch that. Anyway, we’ll get through this bit. It’s the lull before the storm.”

“Alonso’s understeering like a supermarket trolley.”

“You’d think he’d have as much grip as a salty otter.”

James: “I’m gonna ask you for your Driver of the Day but I’d like to volunteer the name of Robert Kubica.”
Martin: “Yeah, fine, but it’s gotta be Michael Schumacher, surely.”

Martin: “Do I sense that di Montezemolo is keener to hug Michael than Michael is [to hug] di Montezemolo?”
James: “Yes, you do.”
Martin: “Thought so.”

“I think we’ll have a Kleenex moment later on in terms of the emotions that are gonna come out of Michael Schumacher and his team. A perfect end. It’s official – he’s out of here, and it’s exactly how he hoped it would be at this end of the day.”

“It’s a shame, isn’t it – there’s always an if and a but around Michael Schumacher. The stats speak for themselves – he is the winningest, fastest, best Grand Prix driver of all time, but there is a legacy of controversy. His morals have come into question on the race track. He would argue, ‘Well, it’s why I’ve got these stats that I’ve got’.”


CHINA
“The visibility from the cockpit [in the rain] is ten times worse than it looks from a camera angle.”

“Full wet for full wet, it seems as though it’s even stevens ... although Button’s just smashed that with a 1:47, so I’m talking rubbish.”

“Some talk that Button’s still on the intermediates; that’s gotta be a fun ride!”

“There are people out there like Liuzzi and Doornbos and Speed who can spoil Ferrari’s day but at the moment they’re too busy falling off the road.”

(Albers runs the red light telling him to go into the weighbridge)
“I got sent home from Monaco once for doing that, and that was after they’d moved the red light because Nigel Mansell ran over the foot of the guy with the yellow flag next to the light, so they’d moved it and they still sent me home.”

“Kimi Raikkonen’s down here somewhere – let’s see if we can get two or maybe even three words plus VAT out of him today.”

“You’re busy minding your own car whilst keeping an eye on those in front of you and you’re going along in the spray. It’s an instinctive, reactive way of driving. Not too much thinking goes on – you don’t have time to wonder what you’re gonna do next. You just have to live on your nerves.”

“What is this coming down here? Is it Michael Schumacher? Indeed it is ... not.”
(The new Spyker livery causes confusion again.)

“Alonso on the ragged edge. If he puts half a wheel out of line, he’s gonna be eating the barriers.”


JAPAN
“An absolute tragedy that this could be the last time we see Formula 1 cars at this magnificent racetrack which would make it into the top five of any international driver that’s been around here.”

“It’s unusual to see a car out of control before it gets to a hairpin. You usually wait and give it a little bit of respect, and fall off in the middle of a hairpin.”

“Sato knows this track like the back of his hand, even with his fireproof glove on.”

(Louise does a report on what the weather might be doing in Quali 3)
“Our weather girl is the nicest, isn’t she?”
Submitted by David Crick.

“I wonder if you can really pinpoint a time when Michael has been driving better than he is at the moment, because he really is in supreme form, isn’t he, and the irony of that is that he’s moving towards retirement. Maybe that’s the perfect moment.”

“Massa has beaten Michael Schumacher to pole! What on earth are they doing?!”

“D’you know what one driver said to me? It’s amazing how few of them wash their hands at the toilet just before the race. Don’t you think that’s shocking?!”

“Trulli has returned [to the grid], hopefully with clean hands.”

“Finally, I think we might be able to find ... (Martin goes in search of Ralf, then gets a message in his earphones and turns around again) ... I’ve just walked past him, apparently.”
Submitted by Hannah Crick.

“Massa certainly knows how to peddle a Ferrari around this marvellous track.”

(James diplomatically points that the local TV director missed a critical overtake because he was showing a Toyota pitstop.)
“The director a complete numpty, you wanted to say.”

“How much does Michael Schumacher wish he hadn’t have pulled that parking stunt in Monaco and he hadn’t have tried to take Heidfeld when he didn’t need to at the Hungarian Grand Prix when Alonso was already out of the race?”
Submitted by David Crick.

(Michael comes up behind the four Red Bull cars line astern.)
“Let’s hope he doesn’t choke on all that Red Bull.”

Driver of the Day
“I think that’s pretty easy – Alonso.”


BRAZIL
“It was interesting listening to Ralf Schumacher [over the team radio], a German driver. His engineer’s French, probably, in a Japanese team, but the language of Formula 1 is English. You’d expect them to be conversing in a different language, wouldn’t you, but they talk technically and generally in English, which is lucky for us, isn’t it?”

“Alonso might be happy with P8 and the team might need P4, so there could be a conflict of interest there in the second half of tomorrow’s Grand Prix.”

“[Qualifying] is one of the most stressful times of the weekend for the Grand Prix teams. I think they love it and hate it in equal measures.”

“Jenson drives a car like he’s pushing a spoon through treacle.”

“Watch (Alonso’s) hands create horrible understeer on the turn in but he compensates accordingly. Ugly, but effective.”

(Pointing to Michael’s race car)
“This car belongs to Michael Schumacher at the end of the day. It goes to his museum in Germany, so I guess he’d better hope he doesn’t bin it.”

“Surely Fisichella has got to have the widest Renault in existence. You know they have that advert with the big backsides on them? He’s gotta get one on the back of that.”

Martin: “Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t seem interested in the proceedings going on up there. Kimi, you missed the presentation by Pele.”
Kimi (nonchalantly): “Yeah.”
Martin: ”Will you get over it?”
Kimi: “Yeah. I was having a shit.”
Martin: “OK, thanks for that! Obviously you’ll have a nice light car on the grid, then.”

“It’s brilliant to be down here [on the grid]. You can’t do this on a football pitch or any other sporting environment, get right down into the action.”

“That’s both Cosworths out of the race. What a tragic end after that glorious career of Cosworth dating back – what was it – ’67 when they first came into Formula 1?”

“There’s a lot of respect going on out there for the great man. Nobody’s putting up much of a fight, are they? They’re sort of, ‘OK, after you, sir,’ with Michael Schumacher.”

“I tell you, I was watching that from behind a pillow. That is not the right place to overtake!”

“Fisichella does pit for Ferrari.”
(Proof that even Martin can get it wrong sometimes!)

Martin: “Michael’s passed Barrichello down into Turn 1 as we expected. Sadly the director here was not expecting that.”
James: “He’s a numpty – I think that’s what you meant to say!”
Martin: “Absolutely.”

“I wouldn’t wanna be the guy that has to stick his hand down the side pods to clear the rubbish out. That’s gotta feel terrible – the engine revving, the car and driver eager to get away and you’re parked in front of it with your arm stuck inside the radiator.”

“Michael’s got a bit of head block on Fisichella today. It’s not working out for him with the young Italian ... not that young any more.”

“I’ve watched every race Michael Schumacher drove – as a team mate, as a competitor, as a TV commentator – and he is the most complete driver of all time, no doubt about it. I just wish he had ten less wins, 1 less championship and all of those negative moments didn’t exist. I think we would have been lining the route to applaud him out of the circuit tonight. There’s some negativity around and you can’t help it. We know so many things from being in the paddock and you just can’t help those feelings and it’s a tragedy, it’s a great shame, but what a drive today.”

“(Massa’ll) take those lucky overalls into next season, won’t he?”

Driver of the Day
“I think it’s relatively easy – Michael Schumacher, of course.”