Martin Brundle Q&A

ITV commentator Martin Brundle was a popular visitor to AUTOSPORT International Show. The former Formula 1 driver talked about his hope for the future of the sport, what's wrong with right now and how it could be made better

Martin Brundle Q&A


I have being doing this six years now and I think there have been five occasions when I have looked forward to an ad break coming along and all five of them were this year. It was hard work because it became so predictable and some of the TV images weren't as good as they needed to be. But as you dig a little bit deeper in Formula 1 there are always some good stories to tell provided you get the images on the TV to talk about them.


I think we are going to get some better stuff because obviously Bernie wanted to sell the digital TV and he invested a lot of money into it and so our images were capped while the digital stuff was very good. I think we will get some of those next year but not all of them.


I think we are going to get more onboard stuff, we are going to get further into the pits I hope. But the real key is how good is the new Williams and the new McLaren going to be?

I'm a bit surprised that Renault have opted for the Friday morning testing option. That's a huge gamble as far as I'm concerned because it is the team most likely to join the big three but I'm really hoping that the new McLaren and the new Williams will be quick. They are quite radical and they are going to be very fast. I think that McLaren in particular is looking quite confident and if they can take the fight to Ferrari then that is what is going to make the year interesting.


Well they are going to be running on the Friday morning, which is another thing that surprised me about this testing option. It will be the first two hours of the weekend so they will be cleaning up the track so it is going to help the other teams enormously. If they want to gain an advantage by taking this option they need to fight for an afternoon slot.

The track just changes out of sight as you start to clean up the diesel and the dirt and put down the precious Formula 1 rubber and so I'm very surprised Renault have cornered themselves like that.


Saturday afternoons are going to be very good. Whoever your hero is you are going to see his hot lap no question about it and we are going to find out just how good these guys. You are going to see Montoya, Schumacher and Coulthard out there, you are going to be onboard with them and you are going to really see who can jump in the car after two hours out of it and pick the right braking point for the first corner. I hope it is going to stir the grid up a bit too.

I think qualifying they are sorted. It is going to be far more interesting and certainly a lot less predictable and we are going to see everyone perform in their allocated two minutes. What I don't think they have done enough of is closing the pack up on grand prix day. I'm hoping we are going to see some fireworks on January 15, when Max Mosley forces on them some aspects of trying to cut some costs and even slow that cars up a little bit.


Max can only change the sporting regulations, not the technical ones. That requires a hundred per cent agreement from the teams. If you were Frank Williams or Ron Dennis and you need to find $300million to run your team, your winning championships, you have the drivers, the best engineers, would you happily give that up to a midfield team? Particularly with a team boss that has not invested, not run his team so well and is not as competitive. Why would they give up their competitive advantage? They are competitive people. They need to win and that's why they've ended up in the positions they are in.


These things are cyclic. If McLaren come out with a hot car, we will forget all this conversation and everything that's happened before if we see some real racing. The real facts are that there are 20 cars heading to Melbourne, you don't see any new teams on the horizon and the costs have now escalated to unreasonable levels.

The TV figures were actually quite strong last year until Michael won the championship. Until France we were up on the year before and then it just dropped. We need young heroes. F1 is very strong. It is still the biggest sport in the world after the Olympics and the World Cup. If you look at what the teams have got to spend, it is still far more than they had three years ago and the TV figures are still far bigger than they were three years ago. So let's just keep it in perspective.

F1 needs to take some action. They can't put their head in the sand and think everything is fine.

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