The Martin Brundle Quotes Page

2001 Archive


"Down to Turn 3 - could be called Brundle Curve" ... "This is where Michael Schumacher rolled his car into a ball on Friday."

"Schumacher appears to be very fast, even if he was in a McLaren sandwich at the end of the practise session this morning."

"I think [Marques] already knows he's not on the pace and he's driving like a rock ape."

"The Michelin Men - of which Jacques Villeneuve is not one of them - will have a reasonable qualifying pace this afternoon, but the degradation looks pretty grim for the race tomorrow."

"In the past there has been variations on 'Jos the Boss' as a bit of a handle for him, but only amongst the drivers that he's managed to trip over."

Martin: "Have I been asleep all weekend? Have you seen those little winglets on the sidepods?"
Murray: "Yes, you have! ... They were there [on the Ferrari] this morning."
Martin: "I haven't seen those up until now. Obviously I haven't been paying enough attention."

"[Raikkonen] was too fast for the camera on that corner - the camera was watching the space he'd just been through."

"We're seeing a lot of scrappy driving from the McLaren boys, who I think sense that Ferrari has the edge on them, trying to make the difference and all they're doing is making mistakes at the moment."

Murray: "And Schumacher has.... done it!"
Martin: "Wow. Park it up, Michael, let them have a bit of polish and a rag on it, and nobody is going to get anywhere near that in my view."

"Hakkinen's on a stonking lap at the moment but I don't know where exactly this car is parked - and it's a red flag, and that's hurt McLaren. Talk about on your back foot."

"You're a journalist, Murray, you're a nice bloke aren't you?"

"Kimi Raikkonen doesn't even look 21, looks like he should be in short trousers or something."

"Michael's here. Poor old boy - just over half a million pounds a week he earns, and he's come all the way around the other side of the world to put a show on for you."

"I often have a job finding drivers because they're off to the gents, they pre-load so heavily with the water. This year is going to be very embarrassing - we've got so many young kids it's going to be all the parents finishing off the potty training, I think."

"We know Michael is not an electric starter, normally - excuse the pun."

"It is very easy, as I know to my own cost, to trip over somebody on the first lap of this Grand Prix."

"That's a wake up call, I'm afraid, for everybody involved in Formula 1, because we're so sure the cars and circuits are as virtually as safe as you can make them. Something like that is so scary both for the driver and the spectator." (then, jokingly) "I thought the camera man did very well to stay focused on it with all that stuff coming towards him."
(tragically, we would later learn that a marshal had been killed and several spectators injured)

"Talk you through it? He's hanging on for grim death! I'm wincing here watching Montoya trying to get to grips with that car."

"That's a good one - round the outside. Giving him the squeeze - he does like to beat up on a Ferrari when he gets half a chance, doesn't he - David Coulthard? And that was a sweet pass."

"I'd be surprised if they saved 10 laps worth of fuel [under the safety car] - I'm only a simple car dealer, but that seems a little too many to me."

"Look at his front left tyre, by the way, while he's blowing up. Absolutely bald as a coot, so those Michelins down to virtually no groove. We're expecting a bit of a fracas some time through the season over these grooved slicks."

"Scary thing about Raikkonen is he doesn't even look 21, does he? I think he'd get thrown out of a few pubs in the UK."

"I thought he was patting himself on the head - he knew he was going to win the race, Murray, actually - that was only half way through."

Murray: "Now we go on to another 16 races, the next one is at Brazil, Sao Paulo, in two weeks time."
Martin: "I'm going to Malaysia, first, Murray."
Murray: "Yeah, so am I, I'm sorry. I know exactly how I did that but thanks for reminding me!"
Martin: "May see you there, then, by the sounds of it!"


"One very simple question to finish - excuse the pun - how do you say your name in an English tongue, your surname?" (asked at the end of an interview with Kimi Raikkonen)

"I was just about to say, amazing commitment through the exit of 6 for Trulli, but then he went flying off the road - a bit too much commitment!"

"It's a damage limitation exercise for McLaren this afternoon."

"When you see a car suddenly growing pieces, you know that they're [McLaren] on the back foot."

"It's a bit of a Noah's Ark, really, up the front. You've got two Schumacher brothers on the front row; but the top six consists of two Williams, two Ferraris and two BARs."

Murray: "That's Ralf Schumacher, you can see the cooling elements from his balaclava helmet sticking out over his forehead." (he keeps talking then realises...) "They're not the cooling elements - " (laughing) "that's his hair!"
Martin: "I can't think of a one-liner to come back in there, Murray!"
Murray: "Neither can I, except 'What am I saying?!'"

"And look - Ralf shaking his head because Michael's done a 31.8 in the middle sector. And Ralf's going, 'Oh no, he's going to spoil my day, like when he used to take my toys away from me when I was a kid, he's going to do it again.'"

"And Barrichello - isn't he driving well? He's been so smooth, look - he's saying 'How much was that? Ninety-nine thousandths of a second I'm away from beating Michael Schumacher', and that's no small achievement."

"I thought I'd walked into the wrong commentary box, Murray - you were talking about underwear as I came through the door!"

"Well, what an amazing start to this Grand Prix - drama all the way." (and that was before the rain!)

"What on earth is going on down at Ferrari, James? They still haven't got any tyres on Barrichello's car. They just do not appear to have any tyres ready!"

"All of those windows that they've so carefully planned as to when to come in, are now out of the window, so to speak."

"Ferrari took a long time to find the tyres, but at least they put the right ones on!"

"We're only on lap 17, but so much has happened during this race that it feels like it should be somewhere near the end."

"There'll be a lot of, uh, scepticism as to whether the pace car staying out so long was anything to do with Michael on the radio screaming, 'It's too wet, it's too wet at the moment.'"

"Hakkinen goes through and Button says, 'Thank you very much, I'll have some of that!'"

"Michael Schumacher with a half a minute advantage over a Ferrari 1-2 at the moment, and you wouldn't have imagined that, would you, as they were bouncing across the gravel and spent a minute in the pits. It looked like their afternoon was completely trashed."


"You're just watching Marques there taking, I believe, a rip-off off the helmet ... there's another one coming off now. It's very very generous of him to leave those on the racing line for the other runners to pick up in their radiators or whatever. It's a stupid move there for Marques."

"They have a stonking donkey in the back of that BMW-Williams, and when you're hauling up the hill here, that makes a big difference." (yes, as Michael would find out at the race restart!)

"Jacques and David went to the big fight in 'Vegas last weekend together, we sat having dinner last night, the pair of them side by side. But I suspect the next time they're side by side DC will be having a little word in his shell-like." (Villeneuve blocks Coulthard in qualifying)

"That's a cool fifteen to twenty thousand pounds' worth of front wing then, I'd imagine, gone by the wayside there, but when you're down you're down."

James: "D'you think he's done enough now for the FIA to say no problem, you are a Formula 1 driver?"
Martin: "I thought he'd done enough by about 11.30 on the Friday morning at the first Grand Prix, to be honest - I don't think Raikkonen's got to prove anything to anybody."

James: "I remember back in 1991, when you and I worked together at the Brabham-Yamaha team, you started the race here at the back of the grid, didn't you?"
Martin: "I think next door to my team-mate Blundell, wasn't it!"

"All [Button]'s got behind him is Mazzacane and Marques, and neither of those two could drive a nail into a piece of wood."

"There's a one year old Ferrari engine in the back of that [Sauber]. I don't know whether it's still under guarantee or not but it's doing a pretty good job, isn't it?"

"Mummy and Daddy Schumacher are going to be very proud of their two boys on the front row of the grid."

"When you have days like that, normally you go forward and win." (the nightmare, however, would continue for Rubens)

"That could have been a Mother and Father of a shunt." (Hakkinen stalls at the start)

"I think [Michael]'s got a good picture now of Montoya's mentality, that's for sure."

"Verstappen ran over my head there, back in 1994."

"Very American style there, thanking all of your team and your sponsors and your mechanics, that's what they do all the time over there, but he was calm and collected wasn't he, I think he'll be very satisfied with a brilliant performance this afternoon, Montoya, taken out by Verstappen who had a bit of brain failure - he let Montoya through and then ran into the back of him as he was being lapped."

"[Coulthard]'s pushing too hard, he's having moments everywhere, he's 18.9 seconds ahead as you say and he doesn't need to be pushing this hard."

"That was very sweet of Panis and Alesi, they were waving at each other as Panis took away his sixth place."

James: "Heinz-Harald Frentzen, once again - he's been a points-scorer in both of the first two races..."
Martin: "Just as you're saying that, Frentzen's off the road!"

"I stood in a group of ex-drivers last night with Marky Blundell, Berger, J J Lehto, all sorts, standing having a good old gas about the good old days and Jean Alesi walked up and we said, 'Jean, when are you joining us? We're forming a new club of ex-drivers, we're gonna have a Masters tour soon,' or something like that and Jean said, 'Can I please join you tonight? I've had enough.'"

"There's the young lady that I was supposed to interview on the grid who I didn't know who she was... and she's the Mayor of Sao Paulo! Oh well, you learn something new every day."

San Marino

"You saw some times on the screen, they're changing on the computer like a fruit machine here; they were already out of date by the time they put them up in front of you on the screen."

"This is very much moving into Happy Hour territory in a Formula 1 car, Murray. Doesn't mean to say you're gonna get two energy drinks for the price of one; what I mean is the track temperature is really low, the air temperature's low ... a Formula 1 car absolutely sings in these conditions."

Murray: "And you can see that [Irvine]'s really having to fight the McLaren as he comes round."
Martin: "I think Irvine definitely wishes it was a McLaren!"

"Marques needs to learn that there is something on the throttle pedal between 'nothing' and 'full', because he only ever seems to use one or the other."

"I want to stand up for Rubens and defend him. I think it's outrageous what Lauda and Piquet and Berger have been saying about Rubens Barrichello. I mean, sure he tagged a couple of people in the first two races - they weren't exactly accidents, he was muscling his way past and it was his fault in Brazil in my view (not in his view necessarily) but these things happen - but I think he's driving beautifully and I really don't understand the venom with which the likes of Lauda and Nelson Piquet have attacked Barrichello, I just don't think it's justified at all."

Martin: "Here's a little man I want to have a word with. Bernard! Great to see you again - we've really, really missed you. What have you been up to? I see you've sold about 140% of Formula 1 so far. When are you getting rid of the rest of it?"
Bernie: "I'm trying to get rid of the 60% this afternoon."
Martin: "I've been out testing my Bentley Le Mans car. I hear you're gonna be working with the manufacturers or something?"
Bernie: "I've been working for everybody all my life."
Martin: "I assume you're gonna put your normal piece of invisible elastic and it will all come shooting back to you."
Bernie: "That'd be naughty!"
Martin: "Good to talk to you. Don't leave us in a hurry or it will all fall apart if you're not around!"

Murray: "Mika Hakkinen, doing what they all do - having a quick shufty at the competitive cars. If he tried to do that in the Jaguar garage he would be given the old heave-ho before he knew where he was."
Martin: "I suspect he'd be given a contract actually, Murray, right now if he did that in the Jaguar garage!"

"Eddie Jordan's lucky underpants badge he had on certainly worked out for him today, with three World Championship points. Good to see the Jordans up there in the top six."


"What you were seeing there was Michael Schumacher being weighed on the official scales. Amazingly, he put his sunglasses down so they didn't get weighed - that's how finely they're moving that [ballast]."

"I have to say I hate to see and hear these things coughing and spluttering [with the traction control] ... it takes away all the driver skill."

"Maybe he should have kept his sunglasses in his pocket, then." (Michael's Ferrari is re-weighed)

"We've got Burti on Pole with a 1:11 - must be a computer glitch; I didn't want you to get excited, Murray."

"Onboard the Jaguar then, here in Barcelona ... into Turn 3, you should be able to take this almost flat out - ooh, and the pussy cat wagging its tail!"

Murray: "As you watch Jenson Button here, and he's with Alonso..."
Martin: "It's Fisichella. But it's still a very significant situation - when did you last see a Minardi chasing a Benetton for all it was worth?"

"It's a 17-race Championship, and you can jump and scream and shout all you like, it will not drag a Formula 1 car out of a gravel trap."

"I've been listening to how much traction control they're using through the corners - it's really banging and popping and spluttering; it sounds like a load of gravel in a five-gallon drum being washed around, it's an awful sound, and a crime to make a Formula 1 car sound like that, in my view."

"How wrong was I about McLaren not having the tools to get Hakkinen in front? I really don't know what happened to Michael's lap - over the course of two or three laps, this race just completely turned around."

"That's a replay of Irvine's Jaguar blowing up. He parks it right underneath the stand of the team bosses so they'll smell the oil burning." <Willem Bester>

"Coulthard going for some slipstream off the back of the Button Benetton, and - yes! he had a double helping of slipstream down there; smart thinking by David Coulthard."

"Well, what a change of fortunes. It all looked so easy for Ferrari, and all of a sudden I remember saying 'wow, it's turning in McLaren's favour here,' and just at the last moment, there's two sick McLaren drivers there."


"There'll be some wicked traffic jams at the end of this session, they really are playing it cool."

"I seem to remember a couple of years ago it was a full 35 minutes into the one-hour session before they took to the track, but meanwhile can you yodel, Murray?"

"The Benettons are likely to be inhabiting the rear and final row of the grid this afternoon, one of their cars, so I'd have thought they'd want others to copy them at the moment, Murray, it might be a smart move to show the technology!"

"I hear an engine! They've switched it off again."

Martin: "[In Barcelona, Schumacher] used [his tyres] to such good effect to win the race, although of course he said he had a tyre vibration on the last set, which is a story I still don't believe."
Murray: "Why don't you believe it?"
Martin: "Because he was losing seven seconds a lap and it only takes 20 seconds to come in and change the tyres, so if you've got such a bad vibration you would not go on for 20 laps with it."

"Michael had a bit of a cloudy face as he came to the grid. A few dignitaries standing in the way of his grid slot, he didn't look happy at all."

"All of those fandango electronics, look, and they're failing."

"Barrichello shaping up to have a look up the inside into Turn 2. Can he make it round Michael Schumacher? That was close!"

(Martin does an in-car commentary) "This is turn seven, which is an absolute nothing for a Formula 1 car..." (the camera cuts away to a routine moment in the pits, to which Martin comments sarcastically) "and we head to a very exciting Minardi pitstop."

"I wouldn't really wanna swap places with Coulthard right now. This is massive, massive pressure. The whole of the corporate world of McLaren and Mercedes-Benz and a couple of hundred million dollars' worth of annual budget sitting on his shoulders. He's gotta drive it on the ragged edge: one slip and he'll look silly; if he cruises too much he's gonna be eaten alive by the two prancing horses that are menacingly galloping along behind him."

"I heard barbecue sales have been very strong in the UK over this lovely sunny weekend, and Jenson decided to join in with you." (Button's engine explodes)

"I dunno what the opposite of 'brain fade' is but surely Coulthard was the master this afternoon."

"Barrichello will be on the podium with a face like a wet Monday morning."

"There is the synchronised swimming act of Ferrari."

Murray: "Jean Todt has a word with [Barrichello]. What do you think the word was?"
Martin: "'Maybe ze cheque should be bigger next time, Rubens.'"


"This is the qualifying session that used to really make me nervous."

"And unfortunately we have now lost Eddie Irvine out of our picture. We're watching the pretty boats; we wanna see Eddie Irvine doing his stuff."

"I got thrown out of this event back in 1991, I believe it was, because I did not see the [weigh-bridge] lights."

"[Frentzen] ran out of talent just when he needed it most."

"There's so many celebrities on this grid, I can hardly see the wood for the trees. Other than the people working on the grid, I think I'm just about the only person I've never heard of on here, I think."

Martin: "Somebody's cuddling me here, I don't know who it is - it's The Bolt! Bernie, a quick word: who's gonna win the race?"
Bernie: "This one here" (pointing at Hakkinen).
Martin: "Yeah, you're just saying that cos he's standing there! I never thought of you as..."
Bernie: "What d'you expect, I'm a politician! I tell you what, d'you wanna have some money on him?"
Martin: "I'm not having any money with you on anything!"
Bernie: "I'll put money on him, then."
Martin: "No, but you can have the computers changed to make sure he wins or something!"
Bernie: (turning to Mika) "Yeah, we need to talk about that."

"Montoya losing it in the first part of the swimming pool, whacking the barrier, launched across the kerbs I think, lost the back end and finished his accident at the end of the swimming pool. So, a bit of an untidy length there, of the swimming pool."

"[Coulthard]'s gonna have to nerf [Bernoldi] off, that's his only chance - the darker side of me but I'm afraid we all think the same way." (Mark Blundell would echo the same thoughts)

"Serious amount of toe-out on that front-left, and this time [Fisichella] connecting too hard with that barrier."

"Tell you what, these drivers'd get murdered on the North Circular round London, they're so polite. I mean, Alesi pulled right off onto the dirty part of the track at Rascasse; that'll take him two laps to clean his tyres up."

"I tell you, just clip the edge of those kerbs, remember the car runs about half an inch high off the ground only and you're sitting on the floor of it, I can tell you it brings tears to your eyes, one of those things, and it trashes the underfloor. That's probably twenty grand's worth of carbon fibre just gone underneath that." (Coulthard jumps across the swimming pool)


"There was a fracas, and it's not just Villeneuve that's unhappy with Montoya. There's a group of them. Definitely a bit of a storm brewing there - Montoya versus the rest of the world, it seems."

"Marques completely messed up the last chicane and, oh! bringing tears to your eyes as he bumped across those new chocolate block concrete lumps they've put."

"Coulthard ready to launch into his second flying lap of the afternoon, and his best friend Bernoldi [is] behind him."

"Barrichello has found his way across the race track, and he'll be hoping that Mr Schumacher will lend him his spare toy."

Murray: "You know, you all amaze me. I remember seeing you do exactly the same thing at Montreal after you'd had that monumental crash in the Jordan. You just leapt out of the car and ran back as though nothing had happened, as Barrichello has just done. What's going through your mind at the time?"
Martin: "You just wanna go and get a qualifying lap done or you wanna go and rejoin the race. There's no ifs or buts about it, there's no second thought. What are the options, Murray, sit and cry your eyes out and get your handkerchief out?"

"I was out training the other day trying to get fit for Le Mans to beat all those young whippersnappers like Blundell, or at least try to stay with them, and Zonta was jogging through the park and I thought, 'That's commitment for a guy who's never gonna drive the car this weekend,' and hey presto here he is, the test driver, in the car because Frentzen's got a headache and didn't bring his Nurofen with him or something."

"I think it's a yahoo for Michael really, just a bit of fun as he manages to spoil somebody else's lap, which is extremely unfair and unkind of him; pretty gormless, that, from Michael."

Murray: "Nick Heidfeld always looks to me as though he's left his fairy cycle against the school wall - a very very young-looking man."
Martin: "Unfortunately, he left his Formula 1 car against the wall today, Murray!"

"They're all chasing a man who couldn't be bothered, he's staying in the pits, he knows he's more than fast enough. Michael wants to watch and have fun watching this on the monitor."

Murray: "So, Michael Schumacher - I don't know what the problem was, but he won't be too unhappy."
Martin: "The problem was Ralf in the Williams was faster."


"It's always cold at this place. I used to test here every week when I drove for Zakspeed back in, uh, 1987 - that's a long time ago, isn't it!"

James: "We're about to have the traditional two minutes to two stampede. Just about everybody who's driven Formula 1 in the last few years is out on track at the moment."
Martin: "Yes, it's 'me too' time, isn't it? 'You're going, I'm going. I'll follow you.'"

"You just can't get traction while your car is in the air." <Phil Huff>

James: "Six years in age between them, and about 1.7 seconds between them on the race track at the moment."
Martin: "Well you know that horrible nightmare, when you're running down that dark tunnel and whoever's chasing you is getting closer and closer? That's exactly what Michael's going through at the moment."

"You have a peripheral view and you tend to pretty much know what's going on in your mirrors without having to directly look in them ... unlike most people on the road, I seem to find."

"That's not a smart thing to do - if you miss that chicane, carry on on the grass. Do not try to rejoin, otherwise you rip the Botticelli out of your little Formula 1 car."

"And Ralf, that is the longest ten seconds of your life."

James: "'Talent and discipline,' he said yesterday when asked what made him different from the other drivers. Do you agree with that?"
Martin: "I think he's just smart, to be honest."


"Thirty-seven year-old Alesi, he's certainly pretty excited with the way it's [been] going these last few races, so still bit of life left in the old war-horse yet."

"He's using them like a true qualifying tyre, really, where we used to creep around. It used to be terrifying - we'd be creeping around saving our qualifiers on the out lap, and there'd be Senna or somebody coming along on an absolute hot lap, right in the sweet spot of his qualifiers, the speed differential used to be terrifying."

"I've been round this place so many times that I'm mentally scarred with this place."

"Can he blow out the birthday candles of his brother this afternoon? Can he take this pole position away?"

"The poor old French director's having a bit of a nightmare today, isn't he, he's not spotting anything!"

"Wife Erya, there, looking suitably horrified."

"Well the Schumacher Brothers are now a worldwide brand, aren't they? How much do they really tell each other lying on the beach?"

"Sounds like he was looking for the ejector seat. It's not been a good season for Jacques Villeneuve, that's for sure."

"Obviously very excited about his work for F1-ITV, maybe that spoiled [Jean Alesi's] concentration."

"That's the second consecutive Sunday a good race has been spoiled by necessary penalties, I'm afraid. I mean, you can't even stop and talk to the policeman and try and talk your way out of that and pretend you're on your way to your wife having a baby or something, can you? You're nicked and that's it, and you've gotta come in, argue about it later with the judge."

"That was a very quick nose change too - it normally takes seventeen, eighteen seconds, but ironically they had the nose on before they finished refuelling. That was impressive!"

James: "Still never seen a blow-up quite as spectacular as the one you had, though, on the start-line at Silverstone with that Peugeot in the back of your McLaren, where the whole thing literally grenaded itself to bits."
Martin: "Yup - nearly barbecued everybody behind me."

"This will be half-century up, if he gets over the line - this will be his 50th win."

"And how comfortable is it for Michael Schumacher, he's going to be on the podium - the top step - for the 50th time. To his left will be his brother, and to his right will be his team-mate, and that's a big comfort zone, isn't it?"

(seeing several Ferrari mechanics on mobile phones after Michael's win)
James: "Everybody trying to get the good news back to Maranello."
Martin: "'You're on telly,' they're saying, 'You're on telly!'"
(As he said that, I'd just turned round to my boyfriend, held an imaginary phone to my ear and yelled, "Hullo? I'm in the pitlane!" - Callie Sullivan)

"I remember lapping a Ferrari at Silverstone in a Ligier - that's how bad it became for them."

"...and look Michael Schumacher is about 4.5 seconds behind, erm, Michael Schumacher now..." <Cai> (Martin makes up for Murray in his absence!)


"It looks so wide doesn't it, but when your backside's scraping along the ground it looks as if you're aiming at a postage stamp."

"A commentator's nightmare - we saw Barrichello putting his coat on, not his crash helmet, his coat on."

(After Jenson Button has done an interview with James, wearing sunglasses with red frames and red lenses)
"I would never have dared steal my sister's sunglasses, would you Murray, she'd have thumped me one!"

"Using some very hi-tech F1-ITV equipment we know - by looking out the back door of the commentary box - that there are some dark clouds out there."

"I think the speed is still there; whether the need is is another matter. It can't be a financial thing, [Hakkinen] must be worth tens of millions of pounds and his only extravagance was a tortoise - and that died."

"I tell you what, I think [Coulthard] would be happy to be three tenths behind Michael Schumacher's magnificent 1:21.4... and it's three tenths up!"

Murray: "He said he knew he wasn't as popular in Britain as in other countries..."
Martin: "I think it was when Michael bundled Damon into the wall that he didn't do himself any favours with the British crowd."

(After Murray has talked about Trulli while the camera was on Frentzen)
Martin: "Was that Jarno Trulli in Frentzen's crash helmet, then, Murray?"
Murray (recovering brilliantly): "No, it was Frentzen in Jarno Trulli's crash helmet!"

"They'll be catching themselves up if they go any faster!" (Schumacher's blistering pole time)
<Andrew Cosstick>

"Luffield - a long, clumsy, boring right-hander."

Martin: "Ed, why are your cars so fast this weekend?"
Eddie Jordan: "Because, Martin, maybe you're not driving them any more, I suppose."
Martin: "Thank you, mate, thank you very much, you've been saving that up for a long time!"
(Then, at the end of the interview:)
"Alright, mate, and don't forget I have always got the last word on you, so I'll get you back for that!"

"It makes you wonder who all these people are on the grid - I've always said that. Let's do a Marty's random person." (Martin picks a French journalist, who tips Hakkinen for the win)

Damon: "I've always wondered what people did on the grid during races."
Martin: "I was just saying that! Who have you met? Have you met any famous people?"
Damon: "Well I've met you, and there's Paul [Stewart] here ... no, it's mad, I mean, there's people trying to race here!"
Martin: "Can't you afford a pair of scissors or something, what's this new hairdo, is that for the Conrod band or something?"
Damon: "It's attached to the hat, if I take it off it's not there any more!"
Martin: "Right, I see, it's a wig is it? Good to see you!"

"Michael Schumacher on an absolute Sunday cruise here for whatever reason, and we'd love to know why."

"Montoya still looking like he wants to give [Michael] a cuddle as he goes past him."

"It's just like an extended test day for Mika Hakkinen."

(onboard with Jenson) "It's like somebody's hit the wrong button on the Sony Playstation game there because it went dark - maybe we'll throw a bit of rain at him a little bit later on."

"Well this is good, look. We're gonna get a pitstop from a driver's eye view. You can see - you just choose the colour that you want to go in to, and there's a box full of 22 men all dressed in the same colour. You very rarely read that board - you're just waiting for the lollipop to go up and it's instinctive, the movements you're making in the car."

"No life for a Formula 1 clutch, is it, they get burned out pretty quickly with those starts out of the pit lane."

"I heard they were re-building the Reliant Robins again this week." (Alonso's wheel falls off)

Martin: "Michael Schumacher earns about a million dollars a week during the racing season, and we expect excellence."
Murray: "Well, you do!"
Martin: "Yeah, I'd like to be a pound behind you, Murray!"

"I bet there's a good book in Herbie [Blash], wouldn't you? But you couldn't write it 'til a few people had departed."


"Eddie's no fool - you've got to assume that Eddie has some other cunning plan to go with it. Who knows, but I'm sure there's method in his apparent madness of giving good old Heinz-Harald the tin-tack in the middle of the season."

Martin: "Sensational! Sensational, unbelievable lap-time from Ralf Schumacher! Well that's set the tone for the afternoon, hasn't it?"
James: "Wooooooow! That's a full half-second faster than he went this morning. That is a mesmerising, mesmerising lap from Ralf Schumacher - and here comes big brother; what can he to do respond to that? That was a stunning, stunning performance from Ralf Schumacher."

"It's just part of the job really, big accidents. You're never going to have a small accident when you're flying around in Formula 1 cars week in, week out."

"That's what it looks like to be run over by a Formula 1 race car, if you ever see one coming towards you."

"He's at the far end of the circuit - he's over two miles from home - and many a Grand Prix driver has been lost in that forest."

"Finally Trulli has found ... a Driver Shuttle! I've never seen one of those down there before! That's amazing, actually, that's a good idea. It's only taken them about 15 years to come up with that."

"What's going through your mind then right now - apart from having to talk to me, which is a nuisance?"

"There's this really enormously tall geezer I want to talk to." ... "Might as well have a little trot [down the grid], keeps us fit." ... "I'm gonna get pulped if I try and interrupt this guy!"

(laughing) "That's the shot we've been looking for all weekend - that is really sweet!"
(Martin gets Bernie Ecclestone to pose next to Shaquille O'Neal)

"I think the only chance that McLaren have got of beating Williams today is to try and get track position." (Martin in training to replace Murray as the master of stating the obvious! - Callie)

"A lot of people might say, there'll be some chat in the paddock about, 'oh of course they had to red flag it because it's Michael Schumacher and it's Hockenheim and it's Ferrari,' but, I firmly believe there was much too much debris on that race-track."

"This is the time when Grand Prix drivers really earn their money, James. It sorts out those that can keep their head in the heat of the moment and those that can't. A little reset button in your head, and 'OK, it's a start of yet another Grand Prix - no problem.'"

"The prancing horse there - looks rather more like Bambi at the moment doesn't it, just after it was born."

(after James tells how Montoya used to fly regularly in a plane transporting flowers)
"I thought when I was talking to him on the grid that it was just a bad aftershave, but obviously it was too long spent in the cargo hold of a flower aircraft - but he's coming up roses today!"

"That was the man I said sat in his car looking like he was getting stewed, didn't I; I thought De La Rosa looked a bit intense in that car."

"I went down one of those escape roads backwards once in a Ligier and still got penalised!"

"Those marshals can dine off that for a long time, can't they - the day Michael stopped and had a chat with us."

"I'm travelling home with David tonight. That's gonna be a bit of a grim plane journey, I think."

James: "An indication of just how much Montoya has got his act together this season, that in the four races that you and I have commentated on together, he's been your driver of the day three times."
Martin: "Is that right?"
James: "Yeah."
Martin: "Well that's interesting." (sounding anything but at James' statistics)

Martin: "If there was a little window in the front of his crash helmet I'm sure you'd see the teeth of Jean Alesi gritted, trying to catch that Benetton."
James: "Do you ever catch yourself snarling, or ever catch yourself doing anything strange inside the crash helmet or breathing very hard or anything like that in situations like this?"
Martin: "You talk to yourself all the time and - oh look, there's Michael listening [on a portable radio] to ... dunno what - I'm assuming it's the race - it certainly won't be cricket, will it, or whatever - but sometimes you get out at the end of a Grand Prix and your jaws ache 'cos you've clenched your teeth, certainly at Monte Carlo where you're concentrating and working so hard, and your jaws actually hurt."

James: "Nice to see that Jacques Villeneuve has given up the Bilbo Baggins look and has become more clean cut - he's shaved his beard off, got a nice haircut - what's becoming of him?"
Martin: "He's got a new 19 year-old ballerina girlfriend from New York, I think that might be something to do with it, apparently."


Murray: "Who's gonna be in pole position?"
Martin: "I think we're gonna have to wait a little while to find out, Murray. As always here I think we will be working harder in the commentary box than the drivers. We'll be able to check out their latest type of sunglasses, I think, as they're all cruising around waiting at least half an hour."

"I hope they've told their insurance companies - all those passengers in the back of a [two-seater] Formula 1 car."

"Luciano Burti, the man that went skywards at the start of the last Grand Prix."

"Turn four is also well out of view..." (the inboard camera cuts off) "and everything's well out of view now!"

"It's great to see the cars working hard over the bumps. I hope when we do Silverstone we'll engineer a few bumps back into it."

"I guess he's got different mirrors, I suppose." (Frentzen in his new car blocks Coulthard)

"The drivers do enjoy this circuit even though it does look a bit Mickey Mouse."

"The four to five inch height of those blocks is way higher than the half inch ride-height clearance of a Formula One car." (referring to the strips of concrete introduced to the outside of the kerbs to deter the drivers) <>

"The kerbs look like small hills in a Formula 1 car."

"This is [Michael's] view down to the first corner. Of course, this very attractive young lady will not be standing in the way."

"It's won a few Grands Prix before, hasn't it, the old gaffer tape."

"Michael's playing games. He's just done a 1:17.4, smashing even his new lap record. He's absolutely playing around this afternoon; he'll put the spurts in when he has to - he's got it absolutely under control."

"You make your own luck. A good driver and a good Formula 1 car always somehow spin down the middle of the track."

Murray: "This could give Mika Hakkinen his opportunity to get past Ralf Schumacher, as Nigel Mansell did to Senna in 1959."
Martin: "I was born in 1959; I think it was a touch later than that, Murray!"

Martin: "And if my mathematics are correct, Ferrari are on for taking the Constructors' World Championship as well. They need just six points more than McLaren today."
Murray: "I thought it was seven ... it is seven."
Martin: "You're including tax in seven aren't you?! I'm gonna work it out again - I'm sure it's six!"

"If you'd have cruised up to Jean Alesi on Thursday and said, 'Jean, you're gonna get lapped twice this weekend,' he'd have thumped you."

"Pity the cameraman's looking as if he's in prison today. Apparently they won't let the host broadcaster into parc ferme today."

"[Coulthard] must feel like a stone in a shoe up there, but mum's the word and champagne is the game."


"Well they used to trust us through this fabulous Eau Rouge corner with Formula 1 cars, Marky, but now we're down to go-peds." ... "Blanchimont - less skill and more fear."

Murray: "We are now 22 minutes into it..."
Martin: "We're 22 seconds into it Murray!"

"I'm very impressed with Gerhard Berger, you know, Murray - he's done a great job, hasn't he? Everybody thought he was too much of a playboy to take on a serious job. You never see him poncing about on the pitwall, trying to grab some extra glory and some extra kudos."

"This track doesn't dry like any other. Because it's up hill and down dale, the water runs away very quickly, but conversely you always get a few rivers at the bottom of those hills."

"Arrows boss there, Tom Walkinshaw, with his sort of 'let's get on with this' scowl on that I've seen so many times, often directed at me."

"Trulli swaps with Fisichella for next year; can't help but feel that's swapping a Jack of Clubs for a Jack of Spades."

"Mika Hakkinen said to me 'easy life, isn't it?' as he was cruising around with nothing to do. I said 'Well, let's wait and see this afternoon.'"

"There's the safety car - we've sometimes seen the race started with that car. It does exactly what it says on the tin: it is there to neutralise the race."

"If you've looked at the grid you will have noticed that there are three German drivers and nil English drivers, but we still win on aggregate in that case then, don't we?"

"I wouldn't mind seeing Rubens ... well I won't see Rubens here, this is Michael's car!"

"Well, it's looking a bit sparse up at the front end, isn't it?"

"And somebody's had a big one! That is a nasty accident, Murray, I'm not looking forward to this thing connecting. There are no good accidents but that is a bad, bad incident. I'm not happy with [them not stopping the race immediately]." ... "I don't want to see too many more replays of this one, please."

"We've no idea where Frentzen is - it looks like he's having a test day out there, isn't he?"

"Michael Schumacher having a laugh up the front, twenty seconds ahead, still one and a half to two seconds a lap faster than anyone else."


"Building towards 18,000 revs - top gear - and 210 mph down to the first chicane, a corner that makes a fool out of the world's best drivers."

"I think it's a nice sentiment to take the sponsors off and put the black nose on the Ferrari. Unfortunately it makes the car look like a Formula 3000 team that's about to fold, doesn't it, with no sponsorship on the car. Makes me, I have to say, appreciate much more a car that is fully liveried."

"The new boys today, then - a baptism of fire."

Murray: "That's an Acer engine if you ask Ferrari, and it's a Ferrari engine if you ask almost anybody else."
Martin: "And it will now become a coffee table for somebody, because some severe problems inside that engine, whatever you want to call it."

"Coulthard's not been faster anywhere so far than he had on his current 13th position on the grid, so deep trouble at the moment for Coulthard ... although that one - a very good final sector's amazingly put him up into fifth! That doesn't make a lot of sense given his other sector times but there you go, that's what the computer says." (Martin would later work out that Coulthard's previous fast lap had been a slower one, hence the strange improvement)

"Could this be the first race of 2001 without a Schumacher on the front row of the grid?"

"There is only one decision: you race or you go home. You can't start a race under a safety car situation, otherwise you'll start applying that to all sorts of circumstances."

"Safety car in the background was warming his tyres up. I don't think I've ever seen that one before!"

"Interesting little aside - Button running into Trulli - providing Button's at Renault next year, they will be team-mates, and they've had a few run-ins before, haven't they?"

"Bernoldi doing what he apparently does best in Formula 1 and blocking four people, and they're going very very slowly in the process."

"Rubens has made his stop, Michael's made a stop too; third and fourth - will they stop again? Do you know, I haven't got a clue!"

"All the cars here have got dustbin lids for brake ducts."

"Montoya deserved this. What a great fillip - well at least a tiny bit - for CART racing after the terrible accident of Alex Zanardi yesterday, which saddened everybody in professional motor racing. He was a particularly popular driver, and a Williams driver of course."


"Turn one, a vast expanse of famous Indianapolis tarmac. Doesn't really look much standing here but in fact it's probably one of the finest places in the world to see Formula 1 drivers wheel to wheel."

"From hereon in it gets quite Mickey Mouse, doesn't it?"

"Here's something I've never seen before, Mark, somebody's ironed the gravel trap, it seems!"

"Well it's difficult to achieve, Murray, but [Villeneuve's] got a car that's both understeering and oversteering."

Martin: "Hakkinen is about to put it on Pole Position - the Old Man, the guy who's taking a sabbatical!"
Murray: "'So you can stick that in your exhaust pipe,' he says to Michael Schumacher."

"It's the chemistry of the people. I think [BAR]'ve got the basic ingredients; somehow or other they're not mixing them in a way that makes the soufflé rise."

"[Heidfeld] needs to drop a postcard to the man who does the software on his traction control, because that car was heading into the scenery until the traction control scooped it up."

"Enge's gone off into turn eight. It's a spectacular effort round there to actually manage to hit something!"

"I think it's going to be a bit busy on the front of the grid, Murray, 'cos if Ralf moves up there, there's going to be three of them."

Martin: "Remember yesterday, Murray, when you mistakenly for a few seconds called two Schumachers on the front row? Well you were right - you were a prophetic man!"
Murray: "I was right all the time, wasn't I!"

"Eleventh-place man Alesi, Fisichella on the end of his nose. Picks up that extra surge and later on the brakes - a really clean move, but he's done two hundred of these, he should be good at that by now, Murray."

"'200' written clearly on the side of Alesi's Jordan. I started over 150 of these but when I walk down the grid I can't remember any of them and it seems like it was somebody else's life, it really is a strange feeling when it's all over."

"Barrichello is not far enough ahead, as you rightly say. You're getting good at this commentary game, Murray!"

Martin: "This is Montoya in Turn 3, and really had to turn into that slide as you would on the road in your road car."
Murray: "I don't get too many slides like that in my road car, Martin!"
Martin: "Well you're a very sensible chap, Murray!"

Murray: "Hullo! What's the significance of that [bag], Martin? What's he got?"
Martin: "Must be the cash, is it?"
Murray: (laughs) "I don't think so - I don't think Bernie would let that get out of his sight!"

(to Murray at the end of his final race commentary)
"I'm sure I speak for many millions of people - tens of millions all around the world - when I say to you, thank you so much for what you've done for Formula 1 over the decades."


"Let's start down at turn one, cunningly named the First Curve."

"[Alesi's] being a complete animal - you can tell it's his last Grand Prix, can't you? I really enjoyed watching Alesi at work."

"[Yoong] was saying that he's really had a problem to let Malaysians and people from his home region understand that he, you know, will not win a Grand Prix - and he certainly won't win a Grand Prix if he misses apexes like that - that he can't win straight away."

"Coulthard and Hakkinen are both in the second sector on fast laps, and that's where Michael Schumacher is, just watching it all unfold, as we are indeed."

"They're not braking through any of these corners - they've never touched the brakes in any of that section, all the way up to Degner 1 - and I saw a print-out this morning, so I know what I'm talking about!"

"Your car's got no grip when it's in the air, surprisingly."

"It makes me draw breath when you see [Michael's] commitment to the corners."

James: "Juan Montoya there, can he respond?"
Martin: "Can he believe it?! He looks like he couldn't believe the time he'd just seen!"

"What on earth is up with Fisichella? He's up in fifth place in the Benetton!"

James: "Oh he's having a laugh - a 1:32.484. Mega. Mega Michael."
Martin: "It just looked the perfect lap. You couldn't say, anywhere that, 'oh he would have liked to have been here, or he would have liked to be there,' or, 'this would have been better' - that just looked absolutely perfect. A full seven tenths ahead of the rest of the pack - Michael Schumacher in supreme form."

Martin: "What we're really keen to know is what's going through your mind?"
Mika: "Well... er..."
Martin: "Not a lot!"

"I'm afraid the Japanese director here has missed absolutely everything so far."

"This then is your leader by 8.9 seconds on lap five. Michael Schumacher having a laugh."

"And a spare wheel going across the track - no, not a spare wheel, but a front wheel."
(Thanks to Graham Naylor and many others who pointed out this Murray-like gaffe)

"Will Hakkinen give [Schumacher] any space at all? And the answer is... no way, thank you! Might be my last Grand Prix, you might have been my arch enemy in the last few years of my Grand Prix career, you are not coming through, mate!"

"Several incidents for Raikkonen recently and I'm afraid that's the reality of Formula 1. They may seem only 30 mph faster in the corners than your Formula Renault, but they don't half hurt when they hit the wall, and unfortunately I can tell you that from a lot of personal experience."

James: "Ralf Schumacher two mistakes. What does that say about his state of mind? Why is he making those mistakes?"
Martin: "Desperate Dan. He's getting rattled by this man, Montoya."

Louise: "According to the Williams guys, Rubens Barrichello actually backed off as he was exiting the pit lane, so Ralf was really forced to overtake him."
James: "Martin, you're pulling a funny face."
Martin: "Yeah, cos I'm laughing! That's a good one, 'he backed off!' Yeah, sure! It's a question of 'they would say that, wouldn't they?'"

James: "10-second stop-and-go penalty for car 14, Verstappen, for overtaking on the formation lap. It's taken them a while to suss that one out, hasn't it?"
Martin: "It certainly has, hasn't it? That's all of 36 laps ago, so good effort there by somebody. I don't know why it's taken so long."
James: "I'll tell you what they've been doing - they've been wondering what Ralf Schumacher's been up to for most of the afternoon! They've had a lot to entertain them!"

"Well the computer screen has looked like a fruit machine all day long, hasn't it?"

"I'll be amazed if [Montoya's] not a Formula 1 World Champion at some point. I was talking to one of his good friends the other day and he said, 'Oh yeah, he was moanin' and bitchin' about some understeer,' and I'm thinking, 'You what? You've gotta be joking! I've never seen him anything other than sideways!'" (Thanks to Neil Boyle for the correction on this one)

Martin: "The exciting news is about six hours from now Michael Schumacher will be singing old Beatles songs in the Karaoke Kabin and three parts drunk, and by midnight he'll be fully drunk."
James: "And you'll be with him, presumably."
Martin: (unconvincingly) "I'll be having a quiet dinner somewhere."

"The world's best driver in the world's best Formula 1 car dominates the world championship. I just wish we had really seen him against Ayrton Senna."

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Document Copyright 1997-2004 David Crick.
Last Updated: 07 July 2004