2005 RACES



SEASON PREVIEW
The following quote submitted by David Crick:
As Martin was sliding around on a snow-covered track in Turkey, he initially commented that several people had said that they would know what the track was like before they even got there because Herman Tilke makes all his tracks the same. Later, however, he commented:

“Herman Tilke’s not got a one-track mind.”


AUSTRALIA
“You’ve gotta treat the brake and the throttle pedals as if they’ve got an egg underneath them that you don’t wanna break.”

(Massa’s team speak to him on the radio as the rain torrents down.)
Guy on the radio:
“It’s raining heavily – be careful.”
James: “No kidding!”
Martin: “Yeah, there’s a surprise!”

“Massa can only potter [along] and you cannot believe how pathetic that feels in what is usually a beautiful piece of machinery to drive.”

“We’re now seeing where that missing downforce is really penalising the drivers – in treacherous conditions where they need the mechanical grip and the aero grip, they just don’t have it.”

“The Viking horns of the McLaren.”

Martin: “Who do you want to win this race?”
Nicholas Cage: “All these gentlemen are risking their lives, so I’m fighting for all of them.”
Martin: “I think I might fail to mention that to them.”

“Don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day, you guys – get some chocolates and some flowers, yeah?”

“McLaren seem to be snatching defeat from the jaws of potential victory here.”

“I would imagine (Alonso) is still trying to get his tonsils back in the right place.”

“Raikkonen and (Michael) Schumacher are 15th and 16th. I feel I wanna get out of the commentary box, go down there, put the red light on and stop them and say, ‘Well, what are you doing?! What’s wrong?’ They’re thirty-eight seconds behind!”

“We ought to talk about (Fisichella), really. Flavio’ll be doing his pieces – his car’s not getting on the telly!”

“My Driver of the Day is Alonso for keeping his head in the middle of all of that action.”


MALAYSIA
(Anthony Davidson stands in for a sick Takuma Sato.)
Ted:
“You might know the answer to this one, Martin: when was the last time Formula 1 had an all-English driver line-up?”
Martin: “Don’t know the answer to that.”
Ted: “You should, Martin!”
Martin: “Was it me and Billy Blundell in ‘93, was it?! I was thinking thirty years ago or something!”
(David Crick emailed me to point out that Hill and Mansell were team mates for Williams in 1994. Callie)

“Michael’s walking around with a face like a wet Monday morning.”

“Jacques hates journalists, and certainly he’s gonna hate us even more for asking him, ‘What’s your problem?’!” ... “Jarno’s got a different style to Jacques Villeneuve [in] handling the journalists: sent me a case of wine for Christmas!”

Martin: “The car looked a bitch in qualifying, to be honest. Does it come better later on?”
Rubens: “Well, it’s, er ...” (He hesitates.)
Martin:
“‘No’ must be the answer!”

“Even the great Michael Schumacher appears to be sweating gently – no, merely perspiring, I would imagine!”

“Michael Schumacher, at the end of lap 5, is twenty-three seconds behind! He’s just cruising this afternoon – he’s making a point to the team.”

“Red Bull hunting down the Ferrari – I didn’t expect to be saying that this year!”

“(Klien) is easily getting the gong for most improved driver of 2005.”

“Like most racing drivers, I’m half-deaf, so I can’t really fully hear this radio stuff they’re putting across.”

Driver of the Day
“A bit of me wants to give it to Heidfeld [but] in the end it’s Alonso.”


BAHRAIN
“[A Formula 1 car] is one of the best hoovers in the world.”

“The data analysis on the car draws a line for you on a graph of your steering movement, and (Friesacher’s) will look like a hacksaw.”

“This looks like a corner to hurry up and wait on.”

Martin: “Who was the banker who took the wheels off your car – have you found him yet?”
Bernie: “‘Banker’, did you say?”
Martin: “I hope so!”

(Jock Clear talks Sato through the start, warning him of other drivers around him.)
James: “How useful would that be for a Grand Prix driver?”
Martin: “It’d freak me out!”

“Ooh, that would hurt so much when you bottom out – basically your backside is running along the sawtoothed edge of the kerb at 150 miles an hour. That definitely brings tears to your eyes, I can tell you.”

(de la Rosa outbrakes himself yet again.)
“Oh, no, come on, stop doing that! Poor old Pedro – he’s having a nightmare.”

“There’s been a lot of calls this last five years to ban all Germans in red cars – they’ll be wanting to ban Spaniards in blue cars next.”

(Alonso’s engineer reminds him not to pass anyone after he’s crossed the finish line.)
“That’s flummoxed me – why can’t he pass anybody on the inlap? I’ll have to go and find out about that one – that’s intriguing me.”

Driver of the Day
“That’s easy, isn’t it: de la Rosa – he’s been brilliant – he made my afternoon! He’s just been outrageous, and fast, and lunatic, and all the other things. I can’t give it to Alonso again, it’d be three times – it’d be boring.”


SAN MARINO
“I’m quoted in a magazine as saying I could go faster than (Villeneuve) if I got back in, but I didn’t say that, and absolutely nor could I.”

(Bernie pushes a reluctant Martin towards Roberto Carlos.)
(To Bernie)
“Well, I’d rather meet his girlfriend, I think. (To Carlos) Hi. Oh no, we’ve done this before! This didn’t work last time – you don’t speak English, do you? Who do you want to win today – Alonso? Who you want? Who you for? (To us) Why am I speaking half-English?!”

“This is a two-horse race, and none of them are painted red and prancing.”
(Not at that point in the race anyway – Callie)

“If I was Jenson now, I’d be feeling like those horrible nightmares you have when you’re running down the never-ending tunnel with something relentlessly catching you up.”

James: “This pace from this Ferrari – that’s more dominant than anything we’ve seen in the last couple of years.”
Martin: “‘Ominous’ is the word I was thinking of.”

(Schumacher overtakes Button.)
“We didn’t really quite see what disadvantaged Jenson – but better to be born lucky than rich.”

Driver of the Day
“It’s gotta go to Michael Schumacher, hasn’t it? That was something extraordinary.”


SPAIN
“I liked the press comment (Minardi) made after the drivers tripped over each other in testing – ‘they zigged when they should have zagged’.”

“I think this little guy (Karthikeyan) could just hang around Formula 1. I can see him driving for a few years yet.”

“The FIA have chosen to send the BAR team home, which is a real smart move, isn’t it?(!) It’s the fans who have been denied, as far as I’m concerned.”

“I never used to read that [lollipop] – you don’t actually sit there and go, ‘Oh, right, OK, brake,’ and ‘I’d better put a gear in.’ I don’t know why it’s on there really.”

“What a yo-yo race this is at present.”

“If you’re wondering where Jenson Button is, you haven’t been reading your papers or watching the telly. He’s on the beach somewhere.”

“Don’t know if there was some breakage of the front nose.”

Driver of the Day
“It’s a class of one, isn’t it – Kimi Raikkonen.”


MONACO
“You can’t see that [the Jordan] is too bouncy or too steerful.”

“Normally [the Renault] understeers like a cross-channel ferry.”

The following quote submitted by Nick Horsley:
(As a steward is seen walking away with the steering wheel from Ralf’s car after his crash)

“That’s about all there is left of it, mate.”

“The track is 42 degrees, the air is 22, the pressure’s 1019, but the real data I’d like to know is what are the pulse rates of the three drivers that have yet to run.”

(After Raikkonen’s qualifying lap)
“That’s the lap of the year.”

“(Kimi’s) not up for talking to me, which ten per cent of me says, ‘Grumpy little sod,’ ninety per cent says, ‘I really don’t blame him’.”

(To Jenson) “You should be up in the commentary box! Do you know where it is? Go that way, [then] that way a bit and if you get wet, you’ve gone too far.”

“Looking at the way Karthikeyan’s car was handling, I imagine [his pit stop] was for fresh underwear.”

“We’re sick! Why do we wanna go 120 miles an hour pointing at a barrier?!”

(Martin and Jenson debate whether Alonso or Webber, or both, should be penalised for passing each other after both missing the chicane)
Martin: “There should be some big spears there!”
Jenson: “Just disqualify them both!”


EUROPE
“This Jordan looks unstable in a straight line, so I can’t imagine what it’s like in the corners. [The drivers] look frightened to death in them.”

“Being interfered with by Michael from behind is not the nicest thing in the world.”

“I was talking to somebody on the Sunday night after Monaco and he was absolutely lashing Jacques Villeneuve – lashing him – and his name was Jacques Villeneuve.”

“‘Never mind Coulthard,’ you say – he’s leading the Grand Prix!”

“Those rear tyres are looking a bit skinny ... Michael could find himself tyred out by the end of the race.”

“Raikkonen throwing himself all around the scenery.”

Driver of the Day
“Coulthard – he had a faultless drive.”


CANADA
“I’m not sure what else you could say to a racing driver that could possibly be worse than, ‘You’re too slow’.”

“(Red Bull) are gonna be picking up some scraps from the table that others are generous enough to give them.”

Michael Douglas: “I don’t know if you have ‘Desperate Housewives’ in the UK?”
Martin: “We’ve got loads of ‘em.”

The following submitted by Susan Chamberlain:
(After Alonso’s accident)

“On the radio later on, he’ll say, ‘There is something wrong with the car.’ Well, that’s because you threw it at the wall, mate!”

(After Button’s crash)
“Your downforce disappears, you get into an understeer, you’re on the marbles, and you’re eating concrete.”

(Raikkonen is told to maintain ‘standard procedures’ during his slowing-down lap.)
“‘Standard procedures’ will probably mean moving offline to get as much debris on your tyres – that can add a couple of kilos with a bit of luck.”

Driver of the Day
“I was hoping you were gonna forget to ask me that! There’s been no real stand-out driver today ... I’ll give it to Massa.”


USA
The race that really wasn’t (a.k.a. the 73-lap parade lap)


Martin: “I think [the situation has arisen] through ego, self-interest, some other agendas, and generally people not being able to sit down and make a common sense decision. ... We’re gonna have a six car race – really that’s a two car race and four cars to make noise while the two Ferraris are round the other side of the track. ... If [the Michelin-shod cars] are gonna go slowly through Turn 13, how slowly; how many times?”
Jim: “Formula 1 is not about who’s gonna go slowly.”
Martin: “No, it’s not, but today it might just be. ... The common sense route is the chicane, and go racing for the good of Formula 1.”

“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry – it is just complete lunacy. If the [Michelin cars] slow down through [Turn 13], how slow is slow? And what about the other cars coming steaming through there at full throttle on the Bridgestone tyres?”

“You cannot contract out of negligence.”

Bernie: “I feel sorry for the public; I feel sorry for the promoter here.”
Martin:I feel sorry for my eight million mates sitting at home looking forward to a good Grand Prix. ... Surely we have to have a sensible pill.”
Bernie: “Tell me where we can buy the pills!”

(Slavica Ecclestone [Bernie’s wife] tells Martin she has nothing to say)
“I think you should have something to say, and give them a jolly good slapping!”

“I think [the six cars running] are probably just as guilty here of doing the wrong thing as the guys in the pits.”

“Maybe the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association should have got together last night too and started jumping up and down and screaming.”

“If it was Ferrari, Bridgestone and the FIA fighting all of the solutions, then they’re as guilty as everybody else. I hope now they’re watching this, they realise the stupidity of it, cos this is nonsense – absolute nonsense.”

“Both these Ferrari drivers wanna steal those ten points, even if they’re cheap.”

“The other irony and stupidity is it’s all about safety [and yet] we’ve got marshalls on the track retrieving full beer cans down at Turn 1 where the cars are approaching at 210 miles an hour.”

“Right from the get-go yesterday morning when this problem reared its head, you got the feeling of, ‘The answer’s no – now what’s the question?’”

“We don’t really know if the Bridgestones can do seventy laps round here. Maybe we’re lucky to have six cars in the race; there’s a piece of useless information for you.”

(As Button prepares to leave the circuit)
“It may not pay to wear your team shirt at the airport tonight.”

(With 14 laps to go, Ross Brawn radios to his drivers that both cars must finish the race)
“Just to confirm to you at home: the race is effectively over.”

“I remember standing on the grid in Adelaide – it was absolutely pouring with rain. Senna wanted to race, Prost didn’t, most of the rest of us were unsure. Bernie Ecclestone walked down the grid and said, ‘Get in your car, the race is about to start.’ That was pretty much how it worked in those days. ... We were in Dallas and the track was breaking up – I was already in hospital with smashed-up legs cos I was one of the victims of the track breaking up.”

“We’re talking about the fans that are leaving but there’s a humungous number of people still in all the grandstands around the circuit. Don’t imagine that it’s a ghost town in the grandstands.”

“[The race] has gone quite quickly, hasn’t it?! I bet there’s been more boring ones in the past from time to time.”

“If Michael does a victory leap on the podium, I’m personally gonna go and punch him.”


FRANCE
“We leave the massive turkey legs of northern America to the smaller frogs’ legs of the middle of France. ... We high-tailed it out of North America with a posse chasing us.”

“We’ve had three fake poles recently, which kind of annoys me ... We don’t think Trulli in Indianapolis had enough fuel to get out of his own way.”

“Call the chiropractor – the last chicane kerbs – ow!”

“Let’s see if we can find Friesacher. To my eternal shame, I’m not entirely sure what he looks like! [He finds Patrick sitting on the ground.] We know the track temperature’s 49 degrees. Isn’t your Botticelli a bit hot sitting here?”

(To the cameraman as they jog along the grid)
“We’ve got very little time – can you run that fast backwards, Andy?”

(Referring to the start)
“Well, how well-behaved was that?!”

“It struck me how slippy it is out there [on the last chicane]. It’s like a carpet in your front lounge.”

James: “Michael Schumacher is building himself a 17 million pound castle on the shores of Lake Geneva.”
Martin: “That’s probably just for his trophies, I would imagine.”

“Alonso had every bit as much fuel as the majority of the others, and his lead of 25 seconds is pure, raw, brilliant pace.”

“We’re now beginning to see the drivers work for their money.”

“(Ferrari) are 66 seconds behind, so if they’ve got no problems, then they’ve got problems.”

James: “At least Jenson is gonna get BAR Honda off the mark; a great result for Jenson.”
Martin: “Don’t go and do a Murray on him! He’s not got them yet!”

James: “I’m not even gonna ask you who your Driver of the Day is, cos presumably it’s gotta be (Alonso).”
Martin: “Yeah, it’s an easy one, isn’t it?”


GREAT BRITAIN
“A racetrack’s a living thing – it changes as the various cars take to it.”

“When you imagine coming up to corners at over 200 miles an hour, get in your bath, lay right back and look across the taps – that’s the view a driver’s got.”

“As Jackie Stewart would say, he looks like he’s trying to hang wallpaper on a windy day with the window open.”

James: “The FIA released some survey results this week saying that Silverstone is the third most popular track in the world, Monaco and Spa coming out on top.”
Martin: “Took me ages to get my 10,000 votes registered for Silverstone, but obviously paid off.”

“Launch it through the Abbey Chicane – wow, that’s a lot of kerb, DC!”

“It’s so frustrating not really knowing how much fuel [they have on board]; I don’t say that tomorrow cos I like the uncertainty of it all.”

“(Trulli) was a bit of a mobile chicane last weekend in Magny Cours.”

(Alonso exits the pitlane and runs side by side with Montoya)
“They were obviously watching the Red Arrows earlier with all the formation stuff.”

(Alonso allows Raikkonen to overtake him)
“He parked his car in the middle and said, I’m gonna make it as hard as I can for you but I’m not gonna lose a wheel up against you today, mate ... amigo ... or whatever he’s saying inside the cockpit.”

“One thing that’s bothered me today: how hard it is to follow the other cars under these ‘05 regulations. The drivers have been bitching about it since day one of the season. At this track we have seen a lot of overtaking in recent years, and today it couldn’t and hasn’t happened. They’ve gotta really consider what they’re doing with these cars for ‘06 to find a way to enable them to travel much more closely together.”

“Flavio looking suave and sophisticated and sublime as ever.”

Driver of the Day
James: “It’s that time of the day, Martin, when we start to consider who the Driver of the ... (He laughs) Don’t look at me like that! I know you always get into trouble from everybody you don’t choose!”
Martin: “It’s their deputations who come and poke me in the chest! But it’s only my opinion, my gut reaction from the day. It goes to Raikkonen.”

Martin’s mid-term report on the drivers (marks out of ten)
Alonso – 10
Raikkonen – 10
Heidfeld – 9
M Schumacher – 9
Barrichello – 8.5
Button – 8.5
Coulthard – 8.5
Webber – 8.5
Fisichella – 8
Montoya – 8
R Schumacher – 7.5
Villeneuve – 7.5
Karthikeyan – 7
Monteiro – 7
Sato – 7
Albers – 6
Friesacher – 6
(No marks given for Klien, Massa or Trulli)


GERMANY
James: “The braking point seems to be the problem; (Karthikeyan)’s just not getting the car slowed down to the right speed, is he?”
Martin: “No – a bit of a pivotal job when you arrive at a corner. It can’t be surprising him – [the corners] are all in the same place as when he first went round the track.”

“We know (Villeneuve) caught the refueler in Silverstone. I didn’t realise, but his refueler apparently punched him on the helmet while he sat in the car!”

“We’ve seen Trulli driving like a girl’s blouse.”

James: “Do you think [the accidents that Ralf has had over the last few years] have taken anything out of him?”
Martin: “I don’t think they do. If you’re a bit frightened, you just can’t drive these things at all. You know you’re gonna have accidents. He did rattle his brain a bit last year at Indy, but the one he had this year at Indy wasn’t, in my view, a particularly nasty accident. I’d be surprised if it’s slowed him down.”

“So infrequently you see Jenson hanging it out, and you think, ‘Oh, push it a bit harder, mate!’”

“The Iceman is in the deep freeze, I would imagine, getting ready for the start of the race. He doesn’t usually wanna talk to us but I’ll give it a try ... (To Kimi) Any chance of a ... no? Not today. One word? You sure? (To us) Well, he is definitely in the deep freeze, isn’t he?”

Martin: “You’re getting pretty good at this, aren’t you?”
Jenson: “The qualifying bit, yeah; we’ve just gotta sort the race out!”
Martin: “You started 13th last year and finished second; you’re starting second this year – you should be first at least, maybe much better!”
Jenson: “I don’t think it quite works like that!”
Martin: “Anything you wanna ask me? I’m fed up with always having to think of the questions.”
Jenson: “Yeah – nice to see you’ve pulled your trousers down!” [Jenson commented last year that Martin wore his trousers very high up his waist.]
Martin:
“Be careful – you look like an icecream man in that suit.”

(Martin pushes through Renault mechanics to interrupt Alonso talking with Pat Simmonds.)
Martin (sighing plaintively):
“I hate doing this, but it’s gotta be done, hasn’t it? (As he’s waiting, lots of air horns go off in the crowd.) That sounds like Michael Schumacher might have just lifted a little finger or taken two steps.”

“What on earth is Rubens thinking? He’s wombling all over the road.”

(As Raikkonen breaks down)
“He should talk to me on the grid – I’ll bring him some good luck.”

Driver of the Day
“You can’t really give it to Montoya, can you, cos he shouldn’t have been at the back of the grid. You can’t reward him for having made a mistake. I think I’m gonna give Driver of the Day to the only man who didn’t finish the race, which is Kimi Raikkonen. What did he do wrong? He was absolutely perfect. He is driving supremely well.”


HUNGARY
No Martin this weekend.


TURKEY
“What Jacques should have done [was] go back across the greengrocer’s carpet.”

(Sato blocks Webber’s fast lap, then claims that he wasn’t getting radio feedback from his team)
James:
“To be fair, it is impossible for him to know exactly where the next car is.”
Martin: “Apart from those two little shiny things they put beside the cockpit called mirrors.”

“That Honda donkey sounds glorious.”

“If you’ve done Silverstone and Spa and fancy coming to a faraway one, try this: it’s absolutely brilliant as a racetrack; the traffic’s abysmal.”

(After talking to Mike Tyson)
“I had my headphones on – I hope he wasn’t peckish for my ears.”

“It’s very easy to watch on TV and criticise these guys hurtling into a very tight corner at 240 kilometres per hour, 140/150 miles an hour, and occasionally making mistakes.”

(Button overtakes Alonso)
“Alonso will say, ‘After you, thank you very much, good luck, have a nice day’.”

“It’ll be a very sad day when we lose the Jordan name from Formula 1. We need that kind of energy and personality that Eddie brought to the game.”

(McLaren keep the drivers’ trophies but allow them to make a copy)
“When I finished second for Ron at Monaco, I managed to keep the original and slipped the replica back in to him. Don’t tell him.”

Driver of the Day
“I’m gonna give it to Raikkonen.”


ITALY
“They need to give (Albers) a seat cushion or something – he sits way too low in the car.”

“I’m impressed di Montezemolo is here – he’s not just a fair-weather friend.”

(Fisichella makes a huge error in the first chicane)
“Giancarlo! How many laps have you done around this place?!”

“It just reminds you yet again that they’ve got to change the aerodynamics in Formula 1 to stop drivers getting penalised so heavily in the airstream of another car.”

(Heidfeld missed the race because of headaches)
“The Heidfeld thing: I just can’t get my head round it. Unless you’ve got a leg hanging off or something, wild horses wouldn’t keep you out of the car.”

(James suggests that Montoya shouldn’t pit despite a badly delaminating tyre because it’s so important for McLaren to get the points if at all possible)
“I hear what you’re saying, James, but I tell you, arriving at Parabolica at 220 miles an hour with a hooky left rear tyre is not to be recommended. It is a serious safety issue.”

“This Parc Fermé situation where they’re not allowed to touch the cars: it’s now clear that for decades, pulling the cars apart after every session created reliability issues.”

Driver of the Day
“For me, Pizzonia did the best job. I think he’s done a stellar job out there.”


BELGIUM
“I hate this new layout for the Bus Stop - it’s as soft as marshmallows.”

“The track’s so smooth, it’s just like going down the shops for a loaf of bread in your car.”

“The only predictable thing about Spa weather is its unpredictability. It seems to have its own personal raincloud.”

“The kerbs are so low now. I crashed a McLaren heavily in ‘94 because the kerbs were like the north face of the Eiger.”

(Martin explains why they have to change the ride height if it’s wet)
“The plank underneath and the 50 mill - the 2, 2 and a bit inch - step that’s on the floor acts like a canoe. You end up floating on top of the water.”

“Blanchimont - that used to frighten me every lap. There used to be a barrier [there] that doesn’t exist any more. Eventually halfway through the race you’d pluck up enough courage to go full throttle. Now they’re kind of eating their sandwiches.”

“How good is Ralf Schumacher? I just don’t know the answer to that question.”

(It starts to drizzle as Trulli goes out)
“You have to tell yourself it’s not raining that hard. It’ll be streaming off Trulli’s visor if there are even a few spots out there and you have to convince yourself that the track has full grip.”

“The BAR was getting intimate with the Ferrari.”

(Some teams change to the wrong tyres during pitstops)
“I’ve had it myself - you’re just pulling out of the pit [box], the lollipop goes up [and] it’s like, ‘What?! What have they put on?! I’m not expecting those - that’s not what I wanted!’“

Martin: “(Ferrari) are leaving those inters on. They look pretty daggy. I think I’d have had a [new] set of boots there, Rubens.”
James: “Playing to your Australian audience there, Martin! Certainly a ‘daggy’ set of intermediate tyres.”

“(Raikkonen)’s not gonna be world champion, is he, not unless something freakish happens.”

Driver of the Day
“Jenson Button - two brilliant overtaking moves and he hauled himself back up the field.”


BRAZIL
James: “(Button)’s fifteen kilometres slower on the straight than Juan Montoya.”
Martin: “Yeah, he’s gonna get mugged on the pit straight tomorrow down into turn 1.”

(To Jenson on the grid)
“Your car seemed ever so slow in a straight line, then I heard something about a personal gust of wind, if you’ll forgive the expression.”

(To another interviewer talking to Klien)
“That’s enough questions – bye-bye!”

“If (Alonso) takes the championship today, it will be one hundred percent deserved.”

“A lot of talk [that] they’re gonna change qualifying next year. I think Bernie Ecclestone’s thumped the table and said, ‘OK, you can’t agree, so this is what we’re doing’.”

“I imagine Rubens was gesticulating to the grandstand – probably all his cousins in there!”

“Fisichella – he’s quite a handy peddler.”

“Kimi’s head’s gone ... his neck, not his head!”

The following quote suggested by David Crick:
(As Alonso crosses the line as World Champion)

“What a feeling that must be. I wonder how he’s gonna be on the podium – is he gonna be calm and collected as he’s been at all times; is he gonna cry a bit? Brilliant, brilliant achievement by Fernando Alonso ... yeah, it’s brilliant.”

(As Alonso gets out of the car)
James:
“Behold the new World Champion.”
Martin: “He even remembered to put his steering wheel back on – amazing. You’d think he’d just throw it away at this point.”

Driver of the Day
“Montoya.”


JAPAN
“(Pizzonia) is having more than his fair share of moments and he’s only halfway through the lap.”

“It’s an instinctive reaction – you don’t think, ‘Oh, it’s sliding, I’d better put a bit of steering lock in.’ If you’re not there with it, if you’re not moving the wheel and turning into the slide at the same time, then you’re gonna lose it.”

“This is as tough as it gets as a Grand Prix driver: single lap qualifying in changeable conditions. You don’t know what to expect but you’ve gotta hang it out.”

“You’re gonna have two McLarens and a Renault right at the back of the field ... What a Grand Prix this is gonna be – Alonso, Montoya and Raikkonen are all gonna be at the back of the grid.”

“Surely Raikkonen will abandon this lap. There’s no point in doing anything else, is there? (Raikkonen passes the pitlane entrance.) No, he’s elected to go and do the full lap and get himself a time. I suppose I’m arguing against myself there. He does at least get himself a ... no, but he goes back ten [places] – what’s the point of doing that lap?!”

(To Jenson on the gridwalk)
“I’ve been telling our nutty mates here who got up at five o’clock in the morning ...”

(Sato hits a second car without damaging his own)
“I think they’ve got iron girders on the front wing of Sato’s car.”

“Fisichella defending some fresh air!”

Driver of the Day
“This is year nine for F1 ITV and I have to say that this is one of the most enjoyable races that I’ve commented on. Stunning driving, all sorts of drama and action, but you can surely only give it to Raikkonen. Alonso’s two overtakes were sensational, but for me Raikkonen just edges it. But sensational, brilliant skills. What a pleasure it’s been watching that race.”


CHINA
“Listen to the traction control babysitting him through the corner.”

“It’s the have-a-go Turn 14.”

“Dreadful colour scheme on this (BAR) this weekend. Looks a bit of a mess.”

“(Albers) is not troubling the racing line at all through Turn 7.”

(Villeneuve’s engineer tells him to go slow on his in-lap)
“He’s already done a slow lap, mate!”

(Michael makes a big mistake in the first corner)
“I wonder if he swears in English or German?”

“I’m super-impressed with these Grand Prix teams – still developing, still hustling and pushing when they’re gonna bin all this lot after tomorrow night. It’s all history, isn’t it, the V10, and they’re still developing them right up until the last Grand Prix. Superb.”

“We were at a party after Suzuka and (Fisichella’s) chin was on the ground.”

“They’ll be faster than a fast thing down the back straight.”

“The World Champion is in a world of his own this afternoon.”

“I don’t think Sauber’s ever really delivered anything to Formula 1, personally. He’s been around for a long time, had decent budgets, and filled the midfield on his best days. I think it’s a good time for him to move over and let somebody else have a go.”

“We need some action. Come on, you lot!”

“You can always tell when a driver’s embarrassed – I’ve done it myself – you don’t take your crash helmet off when you get out of the car.”

“They’re talking of banning tyre warmers for next year, making the drivers have to get the tyres up to temperature and pressure, and they’re all saying, ‘Hey, hang on, we can’t control these things on low pressures and temperatures,’ so I don’t know where they’re gonna meet in the middle on that one.”

“Christian Klien has just set the fastest lap of the race, which has left me scratching my head.”

(Alonso sings ‘We are the champions’ over the radio after crossing the finish line)
“He’s a happy bunny, and so he should be.”

(Alonso burns out the engine in Parc Fermé)
“Kids will be kids.”

“Classic season – I don’t think it’s the best ever season but overall it’s been the hardest season ever in Formula 1 racing with 19 Grands Prix, and every new Grand Prix that comes on the calendar seems further and further away and harder to get to and harder to work at, but it’s been a great season, hasn’t it?”

Driver of the Day
“It is Alonso.”


END OF SEASON REVIEW
Jenson (discussing the race in Canada): “I was suffering a little bit with the balance of the car.”
Martin: “Especially after the wheel fell off!”

Martin: “David, 99 per cent of the paddock thought you should give up, retire; and they thought you were crazy to go to Red Bull.”
Coulthard: “Well, given that you were the 1 per cent that supported me ...”

Martin: “We’re all in awe of Michael’s ability and his achievements ...”
(David and Jenson look at each other.)
D.C.:
“Are you?!”
Jenson: “In awe?!”
D.C.: “Are you in awe of Michael’s achievements?!”
Jenson: “Of his achievements?!”
Martin: “... don’t you guys just sort of say, ‘Oh yeah, but Michael’s still gonna win,’ as an insurance clause in case he blows your doors off?”

(Discussing Sato)
Martin:
“Sato scored one championship point. I always try to defend him, but it’s difficult this year, isn’t it?”
D.C.: “But why would you do that? Why would you try and defend him? Because he’s the only Japanese driver in Formula 1? You have to get there on merit and you have to stay there on merit. That one point – Martin, not having raced for several years, you could get one point if you turned up for nineteen races this year.”
(Jenson says something quietly to him.)
D.C.:
“Are you saying he’s too big to get in the car?!”