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5Live F1 Season Preview - Bernie: 12 teams are too many, I'd like to see 10 // FOM's chief appears on British radio, with some F1 insights

Published by Christine

Davidson gets animated
Davidson gets animatedCredit: 5Live

5live hosted a Formula 1 season preview extravaganza in the UK today, with almost two hours of live F1 discussion. Jake Humphrey presided over an excellent panel, with current 5live commentator Anthony Davidson, and TV legend Murray Walker on hand to add their expertise.

Famous names from throughout the F1 paddock joined the group via telephone, with Mark Webber once again facing questions of equality, Mike Gascoyne fielding questions about the Lotus fights and Ross Brawn discussing Rosberg's position within Mercedes. Finally, Sam Michael got all technical on us with talk of gearboxes and diffusers. There's something for everyone, and we covered every minute of it.

As it happened: 5Live F1 Season Preview

  • 19:15

    Hello and good evening to one and all.

  • 19:16

    Today, we are looking forward to an F1 Season Preview special on BBC Radio 5live.

  • 19:16

    It gets underway at 7:45pm GMT, which is in roughly half an hour, and features Jake Humphrey and guests chattering about F1.

  • 19:17

    Murray Walker and Anthony Davidson will be on hand to chat with Jake, and Mike Gascoyne is also due to make an appearance.

  • 19:17

    TweetTweet from @mikegascoyne: Will be on the 5 Live Sport F1 show tonight at 8.00pm with @jakehumphreyf1

  • 19:19

    Get your questions ready, as well, they'll be accepting texts and emails - 85058 or 5livesport@bbc.co.uk.

  • 19:22

    Jake's deskJake tweeted about his desk earlier. For one day only, he's got real estate in the 5live offices. Looks a bit of a mess, but I can hardly talk.

  • 19:24

    This season preview will also be available as a podcast once it's all done as well, so make sure you subscribe to the Chequered Flag feed: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/cff1

  • 19:25

    For now, you can tune in via http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live or http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport

  • 19:27

    We're discussing the broadcast in the comments on Sidepodcast, head to the Dashboard to join in https://sidepodcast.com/dashboard.

  • 19:31

    This isn't the first time we've Factbyte Factboxed a 5live programme. Mark Webber made an appearance back in December and was totally brilliant: https://sidepodcast.com/post/webber-on-5live-i-snapped-the-brake-pedal-clean-in-half

  • 19:31

    Reading back, we spent quite a lot of time trying to figure out the drama between Mark's dogs and chickens. I wonder what will crop up on today's show.

  • 19:36

    About ten minutes to go now. The show was brought forward by 15 minutes today because they have so much to talk about.

  • 19:38

    TweetTweet from @antdavidson: Sitting in the waiting room with legends Murray Walker and @jakehumphreyf1 for tonights 5live F1 show. Starts in 10 mins. Can't wait!

  • 19:39

    TweetTweet from @sschaumloeffel: @MikeGascoyne is cooking for me today!! Oh yeah!!

    Busy chap!

  • 19:41

    Jake, Murray and Ant have all taken their seats. Jake is in the hotseat asking the questions.

  • 19:41

    The news is on at the moment.

  • 19:45

    Green flagThe Chain plays out.

  • 19:45

    The 5live setupThe 5live team prepare for their show.

  • 19:46

    Jake calls Ant the "Pocket Rocket."

  • 19:47

    You can also call: 0500 909 693.

  • 19:47

    Ross Brawn, Eric Boullier and Bernie Ecclestone also to appear later in the show (may or may not be live).

  • 19:47

    TweetTweet from @AussieGrit: Good day today,arvo at the factory working on some good stuff :) Interview with the top blokes at BBC radio 5 live shortly.

  • 19:47

    Add Webber to the list.

  • 19:48

    Ant: "I used to sit at home sucking my thumb listening to Murray... I just hope I could one day be 20% as good as Murray, that would be fantastic. A lot to talk about tonight, should be fun."

  • 19:49

    Murray: "There's so many people and so many cars that could do well. We're going to have a lot of surprises and a gigantic amount of enjoyment this year."

  • 19:49

    QuoteComment from RG: I'm not here, but I'm listening. I know it'll rile me about how focused they are on the big teams and only talk about Sauber in terms of Kobi's crazy driving.

  • 19:50

    Ant: "The cars are going to be extremely hard to drive, not just on the track, but off the track as well... It's going to be the driver with a lot of capacity to drive the car quick and understand everything under him as well..."

  • 19:50

    Best wishes to Jackie Stewart, of course, who was taken ill on a flight, but Jake has had a text from his son who says all is okay.

  • 19:50

    Bernie up first, a phone interview from earlier.

  • 19:51

    Bernie: "The signs are good. Red Bull are doing well. McLaren always complain at the beginning of the year, but they'll probably turn up and win the first race."

  • 19:51

    Bernie: "I don't want to have to go to a race knowing who's going to be on pole and who's going to win the race."

  • 19:52

    On Bahrain: "The person that runs the country was the right person to decide whether or not it was the right decision... I'm hoping upon hope things settle peacefully, and we can try and find a slot later in the year. I don't know how likely there will be peace in time, but if there is we will find a way."

  • 19:53

    Bernie says: "August, forget. Too hot."

  • 19:53

    A man of few words.

  • 19:55

    Bernie: "There's always been team orders, some under the radar, and some that cause the trouble... I think what happens is, if you and I were running a team, and we got close to the end of the championship and one of our drivers could muck up the chances of the others, we'd have to do something about it. And the public would appreciate that and understand it."

  • 19:55

    He says 20 races is enough! PHEW.

  • 19:55

    What's the future for the new teams? "Difficult."

  • 19:56

    "12 teams are too many. I'd like to see 10. 10 is enough."

  • 19:56

    End interview.

  • 19:57

    Ant on Bahrain: "It's obviously a shame for everybody, but I'm pretty sure we'll be back there later in the year. You have got to be a bit careful with the temperature there, that was touched on as well. In these cars it gets extremely hot, everyone involved. It's extremely hard at the best of times."

  • 19:58

    Murray WalkerMurray in the studio.

  • 19:59

    Murray on the wet: "The thought of turning sprinklers on mid-race, it's so artificial, so contrived, it's not Formula One anymore. I'd rather have the races with rain coming unexpectedly..."

  • 19:59

    Ant: "If you're in Barcelona in the heart of summer and the sun is beating down on the track and suddenly you're confronted with this sprinkler system, you'd just be blinded."

  • 20:00

    Murray on why artificial racing isn't required: "I think with Formula One, perhaps, you need to know more about the sport than you need to know about other sports... Formula One is a very complicated sport but there is always something dramatic going on."

  • 20:00

    Yellow flagNews now.

  • 20:02

    QuoteComment from Steven Roy: You have to wonder why we have some manay desert races if Bernie is so keen on rain

  • 20:04

    TweetTweet from @toomuchracing: This 5Live show has live video. You can watch Murray Walker patiently wait for the newsreader to finish.

  • 20:04

    Watch live: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9410671.stm

  • 20:05

    Green flagAnd we're back.

  • 20:05

    Mark Webber is the next guest, on the phone.

  • 20:06

    Mark on sprinklers: "It can be more exciting when we have some different weather conditions, that does happen... it wouldn't be the most sophisticated way to make this show more entertaining, I don't think."

  • 20:08

    Murray asks how Mark's shoulder really was at the end of 2010: "I was a bit nervous going into the Japanese Grand Prix weekend... but then when I did the first few laps there, I was relieved to be honest. If you can get round Suzuka, you can get round anywhere."

  • 20:08

    Mark on the Tasmania Challenge: "I'll still do it, if it's back on, I'll do it again."

  • 20:10

    Mark on motivation: "It hasn't been overly difficult. The writing was on the wall from the start of the year, but even towards the end, there was only going to be one guy that was going to be ultimately happy with the complete outcome and that was Seb... you quickly get your head round the fact you didn't get the ultimate...

    It's clear you must have done a lot of things right to be in contention for the championship to the very last race... a lot of things went right for me. Motivation wise, I thoroughly enjoyed the test so far this year, and very disappointed the first race is off."

  • 20:10

    He says he had a break after the end of the season, took a few weeks off and put on five pounds. After a rest, he was glad to get back into it.

  • 20:11

    Mark: "I feel that we were ready to go to Bahrain and certainly put up a good chance of fighting for some top results on all aspects, pace and reliability. We've got a bit more time now, I don't think it's going to change too much... in terms of performance and where everyone is going to stand, I think the guys that were going to be pretty quick are going to be in the same position come Melbourne."

  • 20:12

    Don't forget the text number 85058 and email 5livesport@bbc.co.uk - send your questions in.

  • 20:13

    On overtaking: "I think what has happened... you've seen the tracks change a bit, we've had a lot more asphalt in areas where if the driver does make a mistake he can come back on... and also, gravel traps mean that maybe it's a safety car and things like that. I'm a big fan of drivers being punished for their mistakes but we need that fine line of safety still."

  • 20:13

    TweetTweet from @MikeGascoyne: Cannot put the main course in the oven as waiting to go on 5 live in 20 mins

    Silvi will have to wait!

  • 20:15

    Mark on team equality: "It comes down to performance at the end of the day. As long as you are dropping the lap times in and winning races and beating all your rivals, then you would hope that you continue to get the best equipment to do the job. I have no doubt that's how it will operate this year, we've done that last year to the best of our ability. We learnt a lot last year. Hopefully we can take all that experience this year, and ultimately beat everyone else out there, that's our first goal, then there's the added bonus or problem if we're both competitive again. Let's hope we have to deal with that again."

  • 20:15

    On his teammate: "Seb will be strong. He's quick and he knows how to go about this sport. That's going to be the same again this year. Any sportsman is vulnerable when they don't have a run of results. The number one on his car is great, but it's a fresh slate."

  • 20:16

    Mark admits that he gets more and more recognition in Australia these days.

  • 20:17

    Jake double checks that Mark has no broken bones, and Webber confirms he is fully fit right now.

  • 20:18

    Ant explains why drivers have a map of the circuit in the cockpit: "When you come in, you need to do a quick debrief with your engineers, it's so you know which corners you're talking about... so you can analyse each corner straight away."

  • 20:19

    A question from Paul in Bolton for Murray, do any of the teams have a sneaky technical device up their sleeve.

  • 20:20

    Murray: "It looks as though McLaren are not in very good shape, it looks as though Mercedes are in very good shape, but until we've had two or three races this year, we're not going to know what the pattern is."

  • 20:20

    Ant gets animatedAnt gets animated.

  • 20:20

    Ant says he's sure Red Bull and Ferrari are on top of their game, that things will likely carry on from the performance of last year.

  • 20:21

    "The big part of this year is going to be saving your tyres. Gone are the days of the one-stoppers, and the team being chilled in the pits... if you can keep your tyres alive, that's really going to give you an advantage."

  • 20:21

    Murray says Williams have a secret up their sleeve - it's Rubens Barrichello.

  • 20:21

    Ross Brawn on the phone next.

  • 20:22

    Ross on how busy they are: "It's actually the most intense period of the whole year. I know the racing is the thing that's in the public eye, but for most teams the period over the winter is the busiest. With the close season being so short this year, it's certainly one of the most intense I can remember."

  • 20:23

    Ross on testing: "It is very difficult to judge because of different fuel weights... tyres are very important so the most sensible teams have been running with high fuel loads because that's when you have the highest degradation... it is difficult to judge."

  • 20:24

    Ross: "We're as quietly confident as we can be. We think our strategy is correct to have approached it the way we have."

  • 20:24

    But he then goes on to say they're a second off where they want to be, which is at the front.

  • 20:24

    QuoteComment from Kate: I can feel the optimism....

  • 20:25

    QuoteComment from Janna: Nice to hear Ross being realistic. This is a great show because it's not all PR speak from the contributors.

  • 20:25

    RB: "It's often the periods when you get the most motivation, because when you've been there, you don't want to let it go. It's the thing that drives you the hardest when you've got these challenges to face... Last year we didn't have a great year, so we've made some changes, we've made a plan for the winter. So far we're sticking to that plan and we'll know whether it's right when we get to Melbourne."

  • 20:27

    Murray asks about Rosberg. RB: "Certainly within our team he gets huge recognition. We've said throughout the year how delighted we are with his performance. He hasn't won a race yet, I think that's a threshold every driver has to go through... When we give him race wins, people will look upon him differently, but certainly within the team, he's hugely respected."

  • 20:29

    RB: "Pirelli were saying we don't want tyres that would just hold together forever, we've got tyres that are very aggressive and they're going to liven up the racing. We're going to see more pitstops than we are used to... there's going to be a lot more action in the pits which is great fun and that's going to shake the racing up. At times we're going to see quite bit laptime differences between a car on fresh tyres and a car on old..."

  • 20:31

    Ant confirms that Mercedes aren't where they want to be, but it's still too early to tell. They have numbers they want to achieve and are confident they can get there.

  • 20:31

    AD: "They set high targets."

  • 20:31

    Ant: "I'm way too busy to be The Stig... I'm way too tall, too."

  • 20:32

    Yellow flagNews moment.

  • 20:36

    Green flagGo, go, go.

  • 20:36

    Jake recaps some of the tweets he's got. Someone thinks Ant is hot.

  • 20:36

    Richard asks via text whether Kimi will return.

  • 20:37

    Murray: "He may have been an exciting driver to watch but he was not at all exciting out of the cockpit. He always reminded me of Mika Hakkinen, they were both Finnish and both absolute non-communicators... whilst I admired Kimi Raikkonen enormously, I haven't actually missed him in Formula One, and I wish him every success in rallying."

  • 20:38

    Eric Boullier on the phone.

  • 20:39

    Eric: "I did exchange a couple of text messages last night with him, and I went to see him last Wednesday. His progress is good."

  • 20:39

    Eric: "It's still very early, just started rehabilitation this week. His hand, elbow, it's a tricky one. We just need to wait a couple of weeks I think to have a clear understanding of what would be the recovery and when."

  • 20:39

    Talking about Kubica, sorry.

  • 20:39

    You knew that, I'm sure.

  • 20:40

    Eric: "He's surprised everyone at the hospital in Italy. All the doctors came to me last time I visited and they were all very amazed at how he was mentally strong and even smiling."

  • 20:41

    Eric on how tough the job is: "It's a full commitment, it's a very demanding job. Motor racing is clearly my passion, Formula One is where I wanted to be. Once you have accepted it, you have to dedicate your life to it."

  • 20:41

    Ant asks how Nick Heidfeld is settling in.

  • 20:42

    "Frankly, Nick fits very well with the team. I think it's clearly an opportunity for him. It was the right time for him... but so far it's not easy to step into the footstep of Robert, but I think his experience and his commitment that he's shown already to the team made his involvement into the team easier."

  • 20:43

    On where they are ahead of the season: "Nobody knows what's the limit of performance each team will be capable to bring. We still have to win. I hope, or expect, that we will be able to fight for podiums."

  • 20:43

    "We are where we wanted to be and I'm really looking forward to the start of the season."

  • 20:44

    Eric says goodbye.

  • 20:45

    Anthony Davidson on how Nick must feel: "It's fun as a driver driving a brand new car. It doesn't matter what it is. When you know the team, and you can hit the ground running in a new car that's really fast, then you know it's going to be a great season."

  • 20:45

    Jake confirms he'll likely be calling one of them Renault and the other one Lotus.

  • 20:45

    Mike Gascoyne on the phone now.

  • 20:46

    Mike: "As you said, we're not a new team anymore. We've got to race the 12 teams that are out there. We always said that this year for us was about moving into the mid-field and that's what we're determined to do."

  • 20:47

    Jake asks if there was a way for the two Lotuses to work out something simpler. Mike: "We bought the Lotus name back into Formula One, we did that under a licence from Group Lotus. They chose to revoke that licence, which is something we dispute, but in the meantime we had discussions with Dave Hunt who owns Team Lotus which is something we always intended to do... but it was very clear that Group Lotus wanted to go a different way."

  • 20:48

    Mike: "What we now have to do is take the Team Lotus name up the grid to where it should be."

  • 20:48

    Mike: "We absolutely have to be racing the second division of the established team - Toro Rosso, Sauber, Force India. They are the smaller independent teams and we have to be racing them."

  • 20:49

    He seems confident they have made the step required to get to the midfield as well.

  • 20:51

    Mike on Bernie's comments about smaller, slower teams: "Bernie has his views and he likes to make statements that provoke things. I think in some respects he's made some comments about the small teams and I totally support him. Formula One is the peak of motorsport... you shouldn't be there as a spare part, you've got to be competing..."

  • 20:51

    "The way we've come into the sport, we've done it with our head held high, we're not afraid to step up to the challenge, we're just looking forward to being here and competing."

  • 20:52

    Goodbye to Mr Gascoyne.

  • 20:52

    A caller on the line, Matthew from Norfolk, says that Team Lotus are mostly considered a Norfolk team.

  • 20:53

    He goes on to ask a question about McLaren, will the car be competitive?

  • 20:53

    Of course, the answer is... we don't know. We should maybe make a banner.

  • 20:54

    "They've got a lot of work to do before the last test which is coming up shortly, let alone before the first race in Australia... comparatively speaking, for a team of this experience, McLaren look as if they have a great deal of work to do, it's all up in the air, and I can't offer you any encouraging comments."

  • 20:54

    That was Murray Walker.

  • 20:54

    A pre-record now of Jake catching up with Button and Hamilton.

  • 20:55

    Lewis: "We did some long runs on the tyres, and one of the runs I did the tyres lasted nine laps and was almost down to the canvas."

  • 20:55

    He predicts some teams may be doing four stops!

  • 20:55

    Lewis: "You can't drive a Formula One car like you used to with the old tyres. You can't attack."

  • 20:56

    Jenson: "It's not about sprint racing."

  • 20:57

    Anthony Davidson on McLaren being able to improve: "They really optimised the KERS back then in 2009. It was the main hinderance in the beginning, but they perfected it as the year went on... If you're one of the drivers at McLaren, you've got the utmost confidence they're going to turn it around... They've got huge resources. If any team can do it, it's McLaren that can turn that car around."

  • 20:58

    TweetTweet from @sschaumloeffel: @MikeGascoyne finally stopped talking @5LiveF1 and started cooking again..starving

  • 20:58

    Phew. Silvi gets her dinner.

  • 21:00

    Ant on teams going down the wrong path in development: "It comes back to the targets you set yourself, sometimes you're happy with the targets and you achieve them easily, and you get to the first race and you get blown away. You realise you should have been a bit more forceful in terms of performance."

  • 21:00

    Ant: "You need to fully understand your wind tunnel, and sometimes if you know your half size wind tunnel inside out, you'll get better results from that than a brand new one, just because it's full size."

  • 21:01

    Murray says it is a joy to him to see Jenson and Lewis getting on and enjoying each other's company.

  • 21:01

    Murray: "Yes, when they're out on the racetrack, they are rivals... but they'll fight on the circuit but they're friends off it and it's nice to see that."

  • 21:01

    Ant points out that because they have known each other so long, they can't hide anything from each other.

  • 21:02

    Yellow flagNews break.

  • 21:02

    QuoteComment from Kate: Am I the only one who doesn't really buy that Lewis and Jenson are friends? I mean they clearly don't hate each other, but the friends thing seems a bit PR.

  • 21:03

    TweetTweet from SauberRG: If anyone is interested, current 5Live mentions of Sauber in F1 build up: 0.

  • 21:05

    TweetTweet from @merkin3k: @factbytefactbox Jenson takes care of his tyres. You'll see. ;)

  • 21:06

    Green flagAnd we're back. Just 25 minutes left.

  • 21:07

    TweetTweet from @WilliamsF1Team: Tune in to @5LiveF1 F1 show now! Great listening! #f1

  • 21:07

    Jake running through some texts.

  • 21:07

    Who is the best natural driver on the grid in equal equipment?

  • 21:07

    Murray: Lewis Hamilton.

  • 21:08

    Murray: "I think Alonso will possibly be World Champion this year, and you know what happens when I make a prophecy."

  • 21:08

    Any chance of a future drive for Ant?

  • 21:09

    Ant: Racing with Peugeot is fantastic. Le Mans is an amazing event. If you've never been before, I highly recommend it, even if you go just to watch the start. That's what I'm doing this year, racing wise."

  • 21:09

    Jeremy in Barry on the phone: I'm looking forward to seeing a certain Senna film, what do the panel think?

  • 21:10

    Murray says Senna was very special, and Ant says the documentary is excellent.

  • 21:11

    They're playing The Chain again. Never known so much music on 5live.

  • 21:11

    Jake on The Chain: "I can't listen to it, it makes me too nervous."

  • 21:12

    He's chatting to George, who has a campaign to get The Chain to number one in the charts.

  • 21:12

    Murray says the song is the greatest piece of music that has ever been written.

  • 21:13

    George wants the song at number one in time for the season opener. It seems unlikely, if I'm honest.

  • 21:13

    TweetTweet from @Lou_uk: Eeeeee... hands up who's grinning again now? #TheChain @5LiveF1

  • 21:14

    Jake says it was the most asked question when the BBC confirmed they were getting coverage back - would The Chain return?

  • 21:15

    More info here, if you like: http://twitter.com/#!/thechainnumber1

  • 21:17

    Ant on the new Silverstone: "I was very proud to look across the track from the Hangar Straight. It's gonna be a great start to the race, going into what was turn 11 last year, now will be turn 1. I think it's going to be more exciting."

  • 21:18

    A question from a phone caller brings the talk back to McLaren, whether the drivers are hiding some problems from the press?

  • 21:19

    Ant: "You've got to play a bit of the PR game as well as a driver, and remain confident that the team will turn it around. Saying that, it's difficult to stand at the side of the track, particularly when you can have such variance in fuel load... it's difficult to make predictions. A lot can be hidden in these tests."

  • 21:20

    Murray: "It's better to be at the front and faster, like Red Bull and Ferrari, than not so fast like Mercedes and McLaren seem to be."

  • 21:20

    Sam Michael at Williams on the phone.

  • 21:21

    Sam: "We get up every day and want to win. The amount of effort that goes in at Williams is no different from those at the front of the grid or the back of the grid..."

  • 21:21

    TweetTweet from @lukehmuse: Sam Michael is on now, hopefully he'll divulge on the secret weapon of Williams. #rubenstastic

  • 21:22

    Sam on the Williams museum and Adrian Newey:"If you go through the history of all their cars, you can see the day that Adrian turned up and the day they left."

  • 21:22

    TweetTweet from @hollysamos: Jake, Murray & Ant should have their own show. Brilliant.

  • 21:23

    Sam: "I thought the way the rules are being constricted now, things would get boring in F1 and it would get worse and worse. But this year there are so many more good designs on cars than any other year..."

  • 21:25

    Sam on where their designs started: "If you look at the 2009 Red Bull car, Adrian didn't think of the double diffuser, and because of that, he designed the rear end around a non double diffuser regulation. So it was simple for us to say that should be the start point. He's going to take a lot more height from it, so that's where we came out."

  • 21:26

    Sam confirms that this upcoming test in Barcelona is more significant than others (but still hard to tell) because everyone will have their race packages coming together.

  • 21:26

    Sam: "It wouldn't surprise me if the whole grid, the competitive cars, were within a second of each other."

  • 21:27

    Ant on Paul di Resta, who couldn't join the panel this evening: "He's got a great pedigree, I think he's going to do well. He's got a tough teammate though, to beat. It's going to be a tough challenge, with limited experience in the car. It's all about perception, and I think he's expected to beat Adrian Sutil."

  • 21:27

    Murray on Schumacher needing results: "He needs it a great deal to restore his self respect."

  • 21:28

    Ant, summing up everyone's testing thoughts: "You're never as quick as you want to be."

  • 21:29

    Ant on why F1 will be brilliant this year: "If last year is anything to go by, this year will roll on from that. With the new technologies involved... if you like your technology and close racing, then it's got to be Formula One this year."

  • 21:29

    That's it. Jake is wrapping up.

  • 21:30

    Chequered flagBye from all three of them, Jake, Ant and Murray.

  • 21:30

    A brilliant, brilliant show, although if I have to type "we really can't tell" again, I may cry.

  • 21:31

    If you missed any of it, or want to listen again, make sure you get the podcast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/cff1

  • 21:31

    And why not tweet @5livef1 and tell them what you thought! Feedback is always good.

  • 21:33

    That's all for this evening. Thanks for joining me on this Factbyte Factbox.

  • 21:34

    You've all been wonderful. I will see you next time for another exciting dose of facts!