The Amazing Powers of Martin Brundle

September 20, 2010

Unfortunately I was on my way to Brussels when the Italian Grand Prix took place at Monza the previous weekend. In my absence I did manage to record the live broadcast of the race (copious use of post-its everywhere to make sure my wonderful daughters didn’t turn the thing off in a quest to watch Glee). However, by my return on Monday night, I had not managed to avoid the results of the race or some of the press coverage (the person next to me on the Eurostar kept the sports page open and I couldn’t resist). So I was aware of the result – it’s always great when Ferrari win at Monza, and I was also aware of the way in which Lewis Hamilton had ended his race shortly into the opening lap.

I therefore sat down to watch the race this weekend aware of what was going to happen, but was amazed that not only did I know what was going to happen, but Martin Brundle also seemed to be 1-2 seconds ahead of everyone else (including Lewis Hamilton) in recognizing how things were going to unfold, and this of course was a live broadcast!

As they approached the second chicane Brundle spotted Hamilton as having made a great start and was now right behind the Ferraris, but then as Lewis’s front wheel was level with the Ferrari midships Brundle recognised what was going to happen: ‘he’s in between the ferraris, he’s got to be careful that err….’ then Jonathan Legard intervenes loudly with a ‘ohh.. they’ve come together’, Martin had seen Massa’s rear wheel break Hamilton’s steering arm, and so when Legard pauses for breath he states calmly: ‘Broken steering arm, Hamilton is out’. The camera now cuts to a long shot where we can see the dust created by a car going off, Martin Brundle knows this is Hamilton, but the rest of us, including Jonathan Legard, haven’t caught up with him yet. ‘Someone’s gone into the gravel there’, Legard shouts, going into commentator overdrive, Martin doesn’t say a word and the camera now cuts to Lewis’s on-car camera showing us this it is in fact, as predicted by MB, Lewis.

Perhaps most F1 drivers are not like Martin Brundle and couldn’t read and articulate the race in this way, James Hunt had a similar ability to see a situation unfold well before the rest of us had realised what was going on. The BBC made a great choice when they moved Martin Brundle from ITV to remain on the F1 commentary team, perhaps his grid walks are a little cheesy, but long may he continue to see the future for us.

5 Responses to “The Amazing Powers of Martin Brundle”

  1. gadi Says:

    sometimes Its more a matter of intelligence then knowledge itself and surely is one of the more Intelligence mind out there ( although I can’t get him talking in Israel )

  2. Ago Says:

    Martin is a fantastic commentator. I used to like the driver and I love the commentator. He says what has to be said when it has to be said. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Nobody does it better (… and certainly not on French TV).
    Love the beeb, love Martin !

  3. Yes, well picked up Mark. It was pretty quick, wasn’t it? I’m beginning to feel a bit sorry for poor old Legard. I get the feeling he’s getting more and more desperate as the weeks go on; working almost too hard at times.

  4. Trevor Says:

    I wonder if DC and Brundle would make a good commentary pair. There is a growing intolerance for Legard, much as there was for James Allen (who’s blog is very interesting by the way, as is this one Prof). Do ex-drivers make better commentators? The ability to read a situation quickly is an innate quality of an F1 driver, I would say.

  5. Kieren Says:

    Martin Brundle also spotted that Massa was out of his grid slot at the start of the Belgian GP when the FIA’s electronic system and race director didn’t.

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