Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Double trouble - Having two on the grid walk makes it far more entertaining

Published by Christine

Coulthard on the BBC

I have, for a long time, been the minority voice calling for Martin Brundle's pre-race gridwalk to be axed. When it made the switch to the BBC along with Martin, I wasn't impressed. I do understand the joy of some unscripted driver moments, but I can't bear the painful minutes of TV that it takes to get there.

Brundle himself has said he isn't a perfect TV interviewer, or presenter, but he loves to walk the grid and if the fans love to see it, then he's happy to provide. Personally, it was a perfect moment to make lunch ahead of the Grand Prix.

This weekend, I've changed my opinion on the gridwalk, and that isn't just because there was a good minute or so of Rob Smedley footage, plus some questions to the man himself. The reason the walk no longer makes me cringe is because David Coulthard has joined the fun.

In a single broadcasting decision, the BBC have revolutionised the grid coverage. Martin no longer has to meander about the grid looking for someone to talk to, if there is no one available, he has DC there to discuss things with. Coulthard has the drivers perspective, and knows what the guys out there are going through. He provides some insight that Martin Brundle has probably lost since his years in the car.

When Brundle was angling for a chat with Vettel, when the young German was surrounded by other people, DC captured Christian Horner for a few questions as well. He has the connections, he has the friends, and he has some great thoughts to share.

The pair of them finally did catch up with Vettel, and Brundle's questions garnered mono-syllabic answers. Do you think you can win? How will you do in the wet? DC managed to get more out of  the pole-sitter than Martin ever would have. This isn't necessarily a judgement against Brundle because he is well loved in F1 commentary circles, but having DC beside him, in my opinion, makes all the difference. I may even watch the entire grid walk next time.