Martin Brundle

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Martin Brundle

Born

6/1/1959, Great Britain

Birth Name

Martin Brundle

Gender

Male
6.9
out of 10
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4 votes

Biography

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Martin Brundle started racing 1973 aged 12, driving a self-built Ford Anglia grass track car near his home. Moving to Hot Rod short oval racing 1975, the 70mph quarter mile tracks generated many wins and 'Star grade' status, preparing him for circuit racing. Throughout this time, school and…more

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 2009 Martin left ITV to join the BBC, after they won the rights to cover Formula One grands prix over ITV.

    • Martin left the chef at the Grosvenor Hotel unimpressed in 2008 when he rose to announce a winner at the annual 'Autosport Awards', and said, "I'm still picking the lamb out of my teeth. Wasn't that the worst meal we've ever been served at the Grosvenor House?"

    • Martin took up a position with the BBC in 2009, to commentate on Formula One races alongside David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan, Jonathan Legard, Lee McKenzie and Ted Kravitz.

    • Martin was voted top Sports Pundit for the second consecutive year at the 2006 Royal Television Society sports awards, held at London's Savoy Hotel in May 2007. It was the fourth time that he has received what is one of the most coveted awards in television.

    • In May 2007, Martin was awarded an honorary Doctor of Civil Law by the University of East Anglia in recognition of his career of a driver, racing in more than 150 Grands Prix, and his career as a TV commentator.

    • In May 2007, Martin will drive the 1983 Tyrrell-Ford at the inaugural GPlive event at Donington Park. The car - now owned by Nick Mason - was one of the last cars to be powered by the Ford Cosworth DFV engine. The Tyrrell will complete a line-up of 40 DFV-powered machines assembled to create a stunning 'wall of sound' to mark the 40th anniversary of the engine's debut victory.

    • Martin lost the bet to see who would present Michael Schumacher with the comedy retirement present from ITV Sport. He presented Michael with a signed England shirt from the 1966 World Cup Final (which England won). Michael views all UK media warily, but he did a good job of accepting it even if the two former team-mates were a little wary in each other's presence.

    • The engines Martin raced with are as follows:
      Ford Cos. DFY 3.0 V8 (1984)
      Ford Cos. DFY 3.0 V8 (1985)
      Renault 1.5 V6T (1985)
      Renault 1.5 V6T (1986)
      Zakspeed 1.5 L4T (1987)
      Judd 3.5 V8 (1988)
      Judd 3.5 V8 (1989)
      Yamaha 3.5 V12 (1991)
      Ford HB 3.5 V8 (1992)
      Ford HB 3.5 V8 (1992)
      Renault 3.5 V10 (1993)
      Peugeot 3.5 V10 (1994)
      Mugen-Honda 3.0 V10 (1995)
      Peugeot 3.0 V10 (1996)

    • Martin attended the post-race 2006 GP party at Silverstone the night of the race. It is now the traditional finale to the British GP weekend, and was hosted by former ITV Sport analyst Tony Jardine. The attendees were entertained by Status Quo and appearances from a host of Formula One stars past and present.

    • Martin is the manager of retired F1 driver David Coulthard.

    • The Chassis Martin raced in are as follows:
      Chassis: Tyrrell 012 (1984)
      Tyrrell 012 (1985)
      Tyrrell 014 (1985)
      Tyrrell 014 (1986)
      Tyrrell 015 (1986)
      Zakspeed 861B (1987)
      Zakspeed 871 (1987)
      Williams FW12 (1988)
      Brabham BT58 (1989)
      Brabham BT60Y (1991)
      Brabham BT59Y (1991)
      Benetton B192 (1992)
      Benetton B191B (1992)
      Ligier JS39 (1993)
      McLaren MP4-9 (1994)
      Ligier JS41 (1995)
      Jordan 196 (1996)

    • The teams Martin raced for are as follows:
      Tyrrell Racing Organisation (1984)
      Tyrrell Racing Organisation (1985)
      Data General Team Tyrrell (1986)
      West Zakspeed Racing (1987)
      Canon Williams (1988)
      Motor Racing Developments (1989)
      Motor Racing Developments (1991)
      Camel Benetton Ford (1992)
      Ligier Gitanes Blondes (1993)
      Marlboro McLaren Peugeot (1994)
      Ligier Gitanes Blondes (1995)
      Benson and Hedges Jordan Peugeot (1996)

    • Martin competed in 12 seasons in Formula One, from 1984 to 1990 and again from 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996.

    • As of 2006, Martin commentates Formula One Grands Prix on ITV.

    • During his Formula One career, Martin:
      - raced in 165 F1 GPs
      - finished 86 F1 GPs
      - finished in the points 39 times
      - finished on the F1 podium 9 times
      - had 72 retirements from F1 GPs - earned 98 points in his F1 career

  • Quotes

    • During the 2006 Brazilian GP, Martin got so excited about Giancarlo Fisichella pit-stop that he got him to swap teams:
      Martin: And finally Fisichella does pit for Ferrari.

    • At the 2006 season ender Brazilian GP, Martin noticed that Kimi Raikkonen was the only driver to miss Pele's presentation of a gold trophy to Michael Schumacher, whom he replaces at Ferrari in 2007 and beyond.
      Kimi: Yeah
      Martin [sarcastically] You'll get over it, then ?
      Kimi: Hey, I was having a sh*t.
      Martin Thanks for that! At least you'll have a nice light car on the grid ...

      ITV were 'inundated' with complaints from viewers of the live feed.

    • Martin: (the worst commentary box he visits and why) The worst commentary box we visit must surely be Spa. It's an unusual tin box at the beginning of the pit lane with no view and not enough room for James, Mark Hughes and myself to function. This would be closely followed by Magny-Cours where we are actually sideways to the little bit of track we can see.
      Bernie wants to put us underground with no windows and apparently this may even happen at the new Spa facilities. His view is that we don't need to see the racetrack, just simply watch the television from a remote location which, needless to say, I could argue about for some hours. He also feels we clutter up the paddock.
      The best commentary boxes would be Barcelona, and Shanghai where we are high up in the gods of the new grandstands with a view of much of the race track and all of the pit lane.

    • Martin: (on losing circuits to new ones) It is a tragedy to see circuits like Suzuka dropping off the list because of politics or lack of finances.
      Clearly F1 has put the cart before the horse on that. What is even worse is the constant pressure from the drivers and the FIA to take out any bump or curve and put in acres of tarmac run off areas.
      130R at Suzuka is a classic example of a mighty corner which has evolved into little more than a flat out kink in the latest F1 cars. That's a bit like Eau Rouge at Spa too, but the drivers still have a high level of risk without the satisfaction of beating the challenging corner.
      At least Tilke's new tracks are now coming really good with Bahrain and particularly Turkey.

    • Martin: (on watching his son take his first steps in car racing) It is strange to see my son, Alex, racing especially as he is already learning the circuits despite having just turned 16. I give him all of the advice I can but as usual you don't often believe your father when you are a teenager. It is a bit like that story of Gary Lineker's son who said to him how cool it must be to have someone like David Beckham as a father. But Alex is a bright boy and he will find a way.
      I get more nervous watching him, just as I did watching my brother when he was a touring car driver, than I ever did when I was racing myself.

    • Martin: (on watching his son take his first steps in car racing) It is strange to see my son, Alex, racing especially as he is already learning the circuits despite having just turned 16. I give him all of the advice I can but as usual you don't often believe your father when you are a teenager. It is a bit like that story of Gary Lineker's son who said to him how cool it must be to have someone like David Beckham as a father. But Alex is a bright boy and he will find a way.
      I get more nervous watching him, just as I did watching my brother when he was a touring car driver, than I ever did when I was racing myself.

    • Martin: (on Raikkonen moving to Ferrari for the 2007 season) I think Kimi could be a new man at Ferrari. He should have had at least one and probably two world championships from his McLaren days but it just didn't happen, mostly because of lack of reliability. I have never encountered a more laid back and chilled out driver at any time and providing Ferrari put a good infrastructure of engineering around him then he will just get in and drive the wheels off it.
      There is bound to be a transition as quite clearly Michael has been such a pivotal and driving force there for so long, but with everybody having to run Bridgestones, Kimi surely starts 2007 as championship favourite by a slim margin in my book.

    • Martin: (on how long it takes to prepare for a GP commentary, and what he does to prepare?) I am surprised I haven't been asked that before, thinking about it. My main preparation for a Grand Prix commentary is hoovering up information in the paddock. I do have a range of historical statistics on laminated sheets in the commentary box and we also all have a comprehensive circuit document provided by Event Books. However, I make no further preparations and certainly have never had any pre-prepared notes in 10 years of commentary. Sometimes I haven't a clue what I am going to say until the moment where James lobs a point or question to me for the first time.
      Luckily most things that happen on the circuit have happened to me at some stage so I simply speak from the top of my head and sometimes from the bottom my heart.

    • Martin: (if you could take any of the technical regulations from the GP2 series and apply them to F1 to stop races becoming a procession which would they be?) I think GP2 racing is fundamentally more exciting because of a wider range of driving skills and more driving errors than you would see in F1. Furthermore, the cars are a little more benign than an F1 car with far fewer aerodynamic pieces hanging off them. Therefore they appear to be able to follow more closely.
      Unquestionably the slick tyres then encourage the drivers to 'have a go' as they are more confident that they can tip-toe around the outside and live for another lap if it doesn't work out.
      I also think that the driver mentality of a single focus on their own career and getting into F1 will always generate more of a frantic race than when they become Grand Prix drivers with a 300-million-dollar-a-year manufacturer budget resting on their shoulders

    • Martin: (explaining the 'heel and toe' action) 'Heel and toe' action is a key part of driving a manual gearshift car in track conditions. Some people do it on the road too when possible.
      In reality the brake and throttle pedals of most road cars are not ideally positioned in relation to each other to be able to do this, especially as the brake pedal tends to travel a lot further on a road car than a race car.
      When downshifting the left foot operates the clutch and the right foot is braking with the ball of the big toe on the edge of the brake pedal and the heel swivelled over to the right and blipping the throttle in synchronisation with coming down the gears and re-engaging the clutch. This keeps the engine revs up so that as the clutch bites it doesn't have to spin up the engine which otherwise will often lock the driven wheels and unsettle the car.
      That is why it is called 'heel and toe' and something we simply had to do even in F1 until electronically controlled throttle blips on sequential gear shift arrived, followed of course by a steering wheel with paddle-shift where the throttle and clutch is synchronised for the driver and no fancy footwork is required.

    • Martin: (On the end of the tyre war for the 2007 season) In many ways I am going to miss the tyre war because it adds another level of complexity and interest to a Grand Prix weekend which is further boosted in changeable conditions. I love the way, for example, that in Suzuka everyone was convinced that Bridgestone were going to walk it and a handful of laps into the race it was clear that we were all wrong. However, I read in the Sunday Times where my fellow columnist, Hugh Mcllvanney, had reacted to my - and many of the drivers' - predictions that the championship could well be decided by tyres. He pointed out that Bridgestone v Michelin was hardly a sporting spectacle to get excited about such as Ali v Frazier was the example he used, which is an interesting point.

    • Martin: (On Honda and Button challenging for the title in the 2007 season) It is an important factor that Jenson has continuity and confidence within his team.
      A title challenge for Honda depends very much on how well their new car runs and how quickly they can adapt to the Bridgestone tyres which is no easy task.
      I think Kimi is going to be absolutely mighty in a Ferrari and I see no reason why Alonso will not be strong in a McLaren although both have to find out how to make the best of their new teams.
      I recently had a tour of the new Honda wind tunnel which was very impressive and they appear to have some very good people.
      I hope Jenson does not live to regret his alleged claim but you can't blame him for setting that target for himself and the team.

    • Martin: (If Alonso wins the title will that leave a stain on Michael Schumacher's legacy – having been beaten by the best of the next generation?) There usually tends to be a transition period, a handing over of the baton if you like.
      I said at the beginning of the year that I felt that on the same day in the same car Alonso and Raikkonen could just shade Michael but that in a better car Michael would still be a champion.
      Senna's death robbed us of the last baton change although Mika Hakkinen made a brilliant job of taking the fight to Michael.
      I think Michael's pedigree and stats will leave his legacy fully intact whatever happens in Brazil. I think it is far more significant that he has shied away from a really strong team-mate in recent years and some of his driving stunts too.

    • Martin: (on Michael Schumacher retiring) I think Michael will cope easily in the beginning as no doubt he has a long personal 'to do list.'
      Unquestionably all professional sports people become adrenalin junkies and somehow you need a fix by having an unusual challenge.
      Michael is in a slightly different position as he has ticked most boxes with his immense list of achievements and I think this is a key point. However I would fully expect to see him competitively driving something in the future, possibly even F1.
      I got over the F1 retirement blues by immediately going into live television which to a certain extent gives me the adrenalin fix I need.
      Other drivers have set up successful businesses but, curiously, some seem to disappear off the face of the earth.

    • Martin: (on the chances of Michael Schumacher winning the 2006 championship heading into the final race) I have to say I am a bit confused by all of this. By the time the race started in Suzuka Michael was the clear favourite to take the title, both in terms of performance and momentum. Of course his engine blow up very much made Alonso favourite again.
      I think Michael's words effectively conceding the championship were part emotionally driven and part mind games going into the last race.
      But the fact of life is that twice in the last three races we have had a scenario identical to that which would win Michael the championship.
      Michael won in Monza with Alonso having an engine failure. Alonso won in Japan with Michael having an engine failure.
      We saw Michael a few years ago making a real pig's ear trying to secure one championship point in Suzuka to take the title (which he did) and it is highly likely we could see a Ferrari victory in Brazil.
      I just think it is all to play for except that Alonso is back in the position of being able to lose it rather than Michael being able to take the championship regardless of the young Spaniard.
      Both Alonso and Schumacher are on new engines for the race but that just means they will be pushing them even harder and it will be a slightly nervous Alonso heading down to Turn one in the pack and he knows full well how hard the walls are around there from his 2003 crash.

    • Martin: (on Alonso stating F1 is no longer a sport) Well that's a very strong statement from the reigning world champion and on behalf of the fans, I apologise to you because I just think you've been cheated. But there's a long way to go. We have a saying in English, don't get angry, get even – I don't know whether you understand that, but you've got to not take that frustration down to the first corner.
      Fernando: Yeah, for sure I have to be calm, I have to finish the race. I think the championship in the end will be in our side, even with all these problems.
      But, yeah, things like that make the image of F1 quite poor.

    • Martin: (on Alonso's penalty at the 2006 Italian GP for blocking Massa during qualifying) I'm really sorry for you. The lap you did yesterday deserved a reward, not a penalty…
      Fernando Alonso: I tried to fight for the sport with a difficult car to drive, nearly broken, but I risked even my life for the sport, for the fans, and I have this penalty.
      For sure Formula 1 is not any more a sport.

    • Martin: (Martin expresses his disagreement about Honda sacking their Technical Director, Geoff Willis) It strikes me as throwing out the baby with the bathwater. When a team is struggling it is vital that they continue to believe in each other. It staggers me that Willis has turned out to be the fall guy, especially since there is a shortage of top calibre technical people.

    • Q: (on the championship at June 2006) In terms of the championship now, is Fernando Alonso out of reach?
      Martin: Oh no it only takes for him to DNF one race in the next two and its all back on again. You know he is not that far ahead. You can go through a bad spell- two or three races unreliability, trip over a backmarker, or have a first corner incident. That can spin on its head sooner than you might imagine. Having said that he is going to take some beating because he is probably the best out there at the moment. His car is reliable and fast- so it might take an unusual situation but it could easily happen in the next grand prix.

    • Martin: (after receiving Britain's award as 'Sports Pundit' on TV in 2003) I have been very lucky to have two careers and I am somewhat amazed to be recognised in television.

    • Martin: (interviewing Max Mosley after Alonso's penalty at the 2006 Italian GP for blocking Massa during qualifying) I've looked at it very closely, I've raced 158 GPs, I commentated on it live, Alonso was so far ahead that you wouldn't have known whether it was a Toyota, Renault or a McLaren at one point…
      Max Mosley: That is exactly where you are wrong. You see we have the advantage that we have the actual data from the car.
      We can look at what actually happened to the car, we can see whether it was a driver error or whether it was an aerodynamic problem and so on.
      He was destabilised in the Parabolica because of the wake of the car in front. That wouldn't have happened if Alonso had had more time.
      There is no question he would have let him go.
      He only didn't let him go however distant behind because he was so short of time.
      Martin: But when I'm commentating on the next qualifying session and I see a car 100m in front of another and he is not faster than him is he going to get penalised?
      Max Mosley: Well if he is on his out lap and the fast car was on his hot lap then the answer is probably yes, if there was any evidence that he interfered with him. If they are both on their hot lap then that's tough, that's what happens. But the absolute rule is that if you are on your out-lap you must not interfere with a man who is on his hot lap.
      Martin: We will have to settle to differ on this one. Thank you.

    • Martin: (interviewing Max Mosley after Alonso's penalty at the 2006 Italian GP for blocking Massa during qualifying) I have to say I do think it is grossly unfair what happened to Fernando Alonso yesterday, what is your view of it?
      Max Mosley: Well you only think that because you don't know the facts. You see the fact was that Massa was impeded, although Alonso didn't have a lot else to do, Massa was the one who was completely innocent.
      The reason that Alonso was in a hurry was because he went out the pits a little too late. Not his fault but it was his team. Somebody had to suffer and he should have suffered and let Massa go.
      He shouldn't have made Massa suffer, that was the view of the stewards.
      It was a very hard call, we all would have preferred to see him up the front.
      The fact is that he broke the rules and what was done to him was the same that has been done to everybody else this season.

    • Martin: (on Alonso's penalty at the 2006 Italian GP for blocking Massa during qualifying) Does it make you angry against Michael or against the system?
      Fernando: Against the system I think. Many things happened in the last few months against only one team with no reason, with no explanation.
      The image I think for the people watching outside is that F1 is a little bit too many politics.
      Martin: I think you're right. Goodbye, have a great race.

    • Martin: (on Honda's performance in 2006) They have just got to get their head into gear, work as a team, believe in each other and get back on track. I think they just haven't moved forward rather than they have gone backwards. With Formula 1 it just moves on at such a relentless pace that if you are standing still, it's the same as moving backwards. It's the same as being in a strong current and stopping swimming. You are just going to go with the current and move backwards. And that's what they've done.

    • Martin: (on the 2006 British GP) I loved the weekend and I thought at the circuit the day was great- the GP2 race was brilliant, the first 10 laps of the Grand Prix were good, a lot of razzmatazz, brilliant weather, Red Arrows- I just thought it was a fantastic event to be at.
      If I'm honest, the overall TV spectacle of the GP was a bit disappointing because the cars just couldn't get anywhere near each other. They are so fast this year. I mean they are 20kph up in the apex of a lot of the corners and they are brushing the brake pedal four or five times a lap. There are no braking zones anymore, so they have desperately got to change those cars to give some areas where you can overtake. Otherwise you have got to be 10 per cent better than the guy in front of you in the braking area to get past him, what little braking areas there are, and that isn't going to happen. So there's no surprise there in that respect and it ends up being a pit-stop race, and even that didn't really quite work out. So generally speaking good, but could be better.

    • Martin: (his favourite races he has commentated on) Two races that stand out most in my mind are the 2003 Silverstone Grand Prix which had everything from a crazy man running on the track to safety cars, changeable weather and a stunning drive from Barrichello; secondly, last year's Japanese Grand Prix with the great overtaking moves from Raikkonen and Alonso.
      I am sure there are many others I should be remembering but of the 150 or so I have commentated on they are the two that spring immediately to my mind.

    • Martin: It has been very clear for some time that Michael's work rate, both in and out of the car, is higher than anyone else's.

    • Martin: The B teams are eminently sensible, especially if they can use hand-me-down equipment. It is a way of spreading the costs of development and production of the A teams and generally absorbing costs in a more efficient way. Just as importantly, it can be a development ground and feeder for drivers, engineers and even sponsors who want to dip their toes in the water before ramping up to a massive investment. If costs really are brought down by hundreds of millions of dollars, which I am sceptical about, then it seems a no-brainer for the manufacturers in future years.

    • Martin: Michael took exception to something I was quoted as saying which had been taken completely out of context by a German newspaper. I think it was about three years ago and I think it was me being critical of him for driving people off the road when he had a bad start. I cannot fully remember and nor can he, so it's really not important.

    • Martin: It really miffs me that Michael won't talk to other television companies on the grid except the Germans, especially as he rightly has so many fans in the UK. If you notice, we actually get very little access to him through the year and only Ross Brawn really looks after us. It is crazy on their part because the UK is an important market for F1, Ferrari and their sponsors.

    • Martin: It really miffs me that Michael won't talk to other television companies on the grid except the Germans, especially as he rightly has so many fans in the UK. If you notice, we actually get very little access to him through the year and only Ross Brawn really looks after us. It is crazy on their part because the UK is an important market for F1, Ferrari and their sponsors.

    • Martin: It is a funny thing but I get great comments all over the world about the grid walks and I have yet to see one on TV! I have caught glimpses here and there but I have never really had the inclination to watch them. I hate seeing myself on TV.

    • Martin: I have been involved with a McLaren contract every year since 1994 – firstly with my own and then with David Coulthard and recently with Gary Paffett – and Alonso will not be reversing out of one of those in a hurry.

    • Martin: I believe his (Alonso) move to McLaren started on a victory podium when he congratulated Ron for continued improvement in the McLaren. Ron responded with "why not be part of it?" and a short while later Alonso effectively was.

    • Martin: I remember when Montoya declared he was leaving a very strong Williams team to go to a struggling McLaren that it didn't seem very smart at the time but certainly proved to be so 18 months later when he actually made the jump.

    • Martin: We won't really know how smart is Alonso's decision until next year. He couldn't be sure how committed Renault are to the long term of F1 but for that matter I believe there will be challenges and changes at McLaren and Mercedes Benz too, but that is in the longer term.

    • Martin: The Renault appears to understeer more on some circuits than others but Alonso is fast everywhere. Therefore I do believe he has adapted to the car rather than the car to him. I am pretty sure he will not have any problem galvanising the McLaren team around him to provide the type of car that he can be fast in.

    • Martin: The regulations for 2008 are proposing standard electronic control units which hopefully will eliminate much of this artificial assistance but no doubt the teams will still find a way to help the drivers control their cars using other parameters and devices.

    • Martin: I think it is not only the traction control systems but others too which prove different between the Honda and the Ferrari. Whilst fundamental items such as anti-lock braking, launch control and other aspects are banned, the teams devise a number of systems which can to an extent eliminate the car sliding and yet remain within the rules.
      I would imagine that Ferrari's systems are better developed because they have had a consistent driver and technical package heavily focussed on this area for several years now. For example, under braking the throttle is automatically opened in a controlled way to avoid the rear locking up. Whilst all the teams have this basic concept, some will be better than others.

    • Martin: (on team tactics) The teams can revert to using all sorts of coded instructions because their radios are being listened to at all times by the FIA.
      The team order ban is aimed at avoiding arrangements between the teams' own two cars to prevent situations like the Ferrari swap-around in the disastrous 2002 Austrian Grand Prix.
      I would expect that tactically operating as a team unit against the other teams would not be an issue. It is still potentially compromising one of your own cars but they can always correct that later on where possible.

    • Martin: (on the new qualifying session adopted in 2006) What I would do is fine-tune it slightly to have three 15-minute sessions where on all three occasions you can complete any flying lap that you started before the chequered flag dropped, in order to make this consistent throughout.
      Between sessions one and two, and two and three, I would have a seven-minute break which would allow those late runners to recover to the pits and prepare for the next round if they have made it through, and also give the broadcasters more time for their ad breaks and then a fuller analysis of what had just happened.
      It would remain that six runners dropped out in each of the first two sessions making a top-10 shootout, and those in the top 10 would have to declare their race fuel before the start of the session in a sealed and confidential way.
      This is exactly what occurs anyway if you have qualified for the top-10 shootout but are unable to run, as happened to Ralf Schumacher in Malaysia.
      This would leave a true low-fuel, head-to-head fastest combo wins in session three and still leave uncertainty on race day as to who was stopping when amongst the key runners.
      That leaves a 59-minute qualifying session which is perfect for everyone.

    • Martin: I think the new qualifying system is basically very good but still some people, who I know understand F1 well, feel the need to ask me to explain it again.

    • Martin: The safety of the mechanics and other people around the pit area is paramount and that Honda incident in Imola, although serious enough, could have been grave to say the least.

    • Martin: I have known Gary and Martin for many years and we all share a strong belief in Gary 's potential. Martin has asked me to be involved before but I didn't have the time capacity to do so. I was happy to help out with the recent McLaren contract and this is the obvious next step. Martin Hines has done a great job for Gary to get him this far.

    • Martin: I heard barbecue sales have been very strong in the UK over this lovely sunny weekend, and Jenson decided to join in with you.

    • Martin: (on McLaren giving Hamilton a seat in 2007) There might be a slot at McLaren. That would be quite a gamble for McLaren and Lewis. Competing in your first year in grand prix racing up against Alonso and with a US$400m team resting on your shoulders, that's a big ask and it's quite difficult when you're just 22-years-old. They just need to be careful. I'm sure they are thinking it through.

    • Martin: If you've just driven your heart out, you've got to trust that your team mate is not then going to stick the car in a hedge.

    • Martin: (at the 2005 Monaco GP) There's so many celebrities on this grid, I can hardly see the wood for the trees.

    • Martin: ..and look, Michael Schumacher is about 4.5 seconds behind, um, Michael Schumacher now...

    • Martin: (after Michael Schumacher was stripped of pole position at the 2006 Monaco GP) Michael's reputation is sadly such that nobody was ready to give him the benefit of the doubt. I wasn't comfortable he was telling the truth in the press conference. He said he was on a lap that was "hop or stop", which I presume to be the equivalent of "nip and tuck" and that is not correct. His middle sector was slow. He knows the car will switch itself off after 10 seconds if you don't cancel the anti-stall. On-board footage clearly showed him turning away from the racing line.

    • Martin: (after receiving Britain's award as 'Sports Pundit' on TV in 2003) It is a great honour to receive a Royal Television Society award, one of the highest accolades in British television.

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