David Coulthard – The gem in the BBC’s disintegrating #F1 crown

 Brought to you by TJ13 contributor Adam Macdonald, with special assistance from Mattpt55

Some things have been very poignant from the BBC broadcast this season, with one of them being David Coulthard holding the show together.  Primarily, he provides expert analysis pre and post-race, and is relied upon even more since Eddie Jordan has been intermittent on screen.  Also, he co-commentates on the races with Ben Edwards.

Earlier in the year I covered the shortcomings of Suzi Perry (Perry Looking Perilous?).  However, it seems the problem is more than just lacking of technical know-how for the BBC.  When commentating live, Edwards does not seem to be able to give much of a useful insight into the race. He injects excitement into the racing that is essential, but David Croft manages this for SKY F1 week in week out as well as considering occurrences in the race.  For those who own the F1 year review DVDs, you will understand my feelings of how Edwards is more suited to highlight reel commentary than live action.

Therefore, it is often left to DC to explain much of race to the viewers.  Whilst this may not seem like a problem, going forward this is a disaster for the BBC.  With SKY F1 clearly still angling towards gaining the world broadcasting rights to the sport, they will continue to hoover up any talent there is out there in the Formula One broadcasting world.  With the broadcasts in 3D having been a real success story for football and rugby, with the only limiting factor at the moment being the ownership of 3D televisions, it is surely only a matter of time before F1 follows suit and enhances the viewers’ experience even further.

I for one, would relish the opportunity to have F1 being broadcast in 3D in my living room, with a decent surround sound as well, it would revolutionise the experience.  Perhaps it would even help to reach the occasional viewer and give them more of an idea of what it feels like to be at a race.  Until 2011, I had never been to a race, and would find it difficult to do the race atmosphere justice in writing.  The smell of the burning oil, the crackle of the gear shifts and the glimmer of the cars are something quite magical.

How long will DC be able to resist the (presumably) increased pay cheque and further opportunities they (SKY) would be able afford him?  As the saying goes, “Every man has his price.”  Martin Brundle jumped ship from the BBC at the first opportunity, citing being able to commentate on all the races live as the reason for doing so in 2012.  Was this his price or the large quantity of notes that were suddenly going to be in his pocket?  The jury is still out on that one.

The feeling that you were watching friends chatting about the race that Jake, DC and Eddie Jordan brought to the F1 broadcasting was entirely different.  I recall the watered down F1 for dummies show after the Korean GP this year left me feeling slightly short changed.  Of course, it doesn’t help the broadcasting that DC has nobody really to discuss race issues with, apart from when, Gary Anderson makes an appearance.

Gary Anderson has grown into the role this year being able to explain technical aspects of the cars when others have been flummoxed.  Hiring him was and is still the best move the BBC have made this Formula One Season.

So where now?

What can the BBC do to change this half-hearted feel to their broadcast?  Now that only half of the races are shown live it really seems they are in an unenviable position.  There is little they can do to compete with SKYF1’s coverage of GP weekends and nothing to counter the dedicated channel with extras like the F1 Show every Friday.  The BBC is becoming the breeding ground for young talent to be tried and tested, before being shipped off to the ‘Big Time’ and bright lights of BSKYB.

You could even draw the comparison of SKY being Red Bull Racing, with the junior sister team being the BBC – Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Given that the household favourite, Jake Humphrey, has left for the more steady life of Premiership football presenting it would suggest flying all around the world to make a highlight show is just not worth the hassle.  The only reasonable thing (both economically and logically) the BBC can do is appeal to the less dedicated fans who watch towards the end of a season when ‘it gets interesting.’  Although a rocky road could be ahead if they do this…

The Return to the USA

With the possibility of there being 2 races in America next year – even if it looks extremely unlikely now, (even with the helping hand that Bernie is offering New Jersey with Valencia’s fencing) – it will only be a matter of time before F1 becomes more popular stateside.  With many fans turning away from IndyCar there is a thirst for racing which needs to be quenched in America.

Currently coverage in the States is on the NBCSN network. They have spent barrels of money on the rights to F1 this season, stealing them away from the former SpeedTV (now Fox Sports). Clearly, they have a long term plan for growing coverage in the states, which might well include acquiring some overseas expertise to bulk up the current commentators.

As part of the NBCSN deal, former Speed commentators David Hobbs, Steve Matchett and Leigh Diffey jumped ship, leaving behind Bob Varsha from the original team. Hobbs, of course, is a world class driver and Matchett a former wrench for Benetton in their title winning years. Varsha had covered F1 since it came to ESPN in 1986. Often, the best of their broadcast was simply listening to them reminisce as the race unfolded before you. With Varsha gone, Diffey an Australian with many years less experience covering the sport has stepped into the spotlight (he formerly substituted for Varsha at Speed as well as covering Supercars and Champ Cars amongst others), and the difference in chemistry is noticeable.

It’s not just chemistry, though, with the large bet NBCSN has made on F1, commercials and set piece production numbers have become even more prevalent than they were on a Speed (for example, during the Brazilian GP, they actually ran a nice piece about the last of the V8 engines, DURING THE LAST TEN LAPS OF THE RACE) as well as a marked simplification of commentary, that wasn’t all that sophisticated to begin with.

So it may be that if the audience growth doesn’t meet NBC’s expectation, it will not be only the BBC experts in front of the camera, but also those behind it that find a new home with welcoming arms and fat pay cheques in the land of the super-sized fries.  There is little recent American F1 experience to help with punditry.  I can’t see viewers being happy to tune in to watch Scott Speed talk about the race, they will want someone they recognise more as a household name.

The ailing BBC coverage with lower wages and declining publicity could suffer as a stateside broadcaster wants to air the races with expert knowledge on what is at the best of times, a complex sport to understand.  This, coupled with the interest in a foreign presenter could open doors for many.  One only has to look at the likes of Piers Morgan, who wasn’t the most popular character in the UK, who is, for all intents and purposes, a household name in the States, or Will Buxton who seems to be adored working by many, working for NBC as the pit lane reporter.  The simple fact of the matter is ‘Being British’ sells.

So where now?

With Tom Clarkson the BBC has a future star as well.  Retaining this kind of talent is essential if they want to regain the viewers and maintain some level of broadcast.  Jennie Gow and James Allen do a sterling job for Radio 5Live – so long may that continue.

The best move the BBC could make over the winter would be to appoint Lee McKenzie into the position she rightly should have been given in the first place.  We saw Suzi Perry once again exposed with her lack of F1 knowledge when she was unable to give an opinion over who would be on pole, when questioned by Eddie Jordan.

One example was her floundering when dealing with people who put her on the back foot, as seen in the video below.

The video below shows how Lee McKenzie is just that little bit cooler under pressure, and why Eddie Jordan is sometimes a loose cannon with the microphone in hand.

What would the TJ13 viewers like to see in the UK for the BBC?  And for our stateside viewers, is the NBC broadcast a realistic long-term station to bring F1 to the masses?

It would appear it is not just the teams that have a lot of work to do over the winter break.

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60 responses to “David Coulthard – The gem in the BBC’s disintegrating #F1 crown

  1. You start to ramble halfway through… Are you suggesting the UK or the US will end up with a syndicated commentary, like they already get in some other parts of the commonwealth? If you’re not, I will suggest that… Could give the BBC the budget to compete while being cheaper for the Americans than NBC paying their own people.
    I only watched about ten races this year. Eight were more or less Sky, one BBC, one NBC.
    I’ve never really enjoyed the American commentary team (been the same for years, regardless of network, as you say)… It’s just dull, and I don’t warm to any of the talking heads.
    Now I’m rambling too…

    • i would definitely prefer the BBC or Sky commentary over the NBC commentary here. Its so damn annoying being spoken to every five seconds about how DRS and KERS works. If they think that helps the odd newbie, it doesn’t, they don’t get it anyways.

    • apparently easy to do! Sharing would be great, but it would create all sorts of complications with races not being live in the UK throughout the whole season on the BBC.

  2. How about losing that silly, useless iPad – for starters… 😉
    2nd: Keep Brundle at bay…
    3rd: find a new role for Eddie – he gets too tongue-tied off the cuff, but would be better now with planned, and possibly edited clips…
    4th: I think DC and Lee would be perfectly fine as a two-some…

    • A gag would be a good starting place for Eddie, that and keeping a microphone out of reach. Planned and edited clips aren’t within the BBC’s ambit judging from the amount of coverage we get every broadcast of e.g. Gary Anderson demonstrating a development, or Suzie calling in a heads up, all the while the cameras are rolling blithely on showing something totally unrelated. Even replay and commentary are often at odds.
      DC is okay, would be better if he could resist the urge to regurgitate how to suck an egg every broadcast, several times.

      His Honour made a point on a commentator being more of a ‘reel’ commentator rather then live. Had heard a lot of Buxton’s abilities. After a season of listening to him with GP2/3, ‘reel’ fits him to a tee. If he didn’t pop-up on the podiums – which he does do well – I’d have sworn he wasn’t trackside.

      • I don’t know how the BBC’s ambit is defined but I was thinking: when one of the anchors says: “Now let’s go over to xxxxx, in the xxxxx garage…” there is no reason for the cutaway to be live. Get Eddie away from Anchor (three people doesn’t work in my view) and offering his views, which can be recorded a few minutes (or an hour or two) earlier, will allow him to speak at a coherent speed…

  3. Where to begin with the US coverage of F1? It SUCKS. There is no flow, no continuity, with the race being repeatedly and frequently interrupted by long commercial breaks. I can’t stand to watch it. And I don’t. I watch F1 on Sky streams, thank you very much whoever you are. There is absolutely no promotion of F1 over here. You cannot find any mention of F1 on sports pages or sports coverage. No one (except us gallant few) who know what is going on, and no one is explaining. To watch races live takes a large commitment, as the European races start at 5:00 am here on the west coast. Some of the Asian races at on at times like 1:00 am. I haven’t been able to watch a race and drink a beer for years; it was such a relief to be able to watch Austin at 11:00 in the morning.

    The US broadcasts are on a cable network that generally requires purchase of an expanded packet. I refuse to pay $75 to $100/month to watch a sucky F1 broadcast on American TV. I would gladly pay FOM some money to have a legal stream – they should really think about doing this.

    F1 becoming a major attraction in the US? Dream on FOM.

    • F1 in the US is following the same route as the TdF. Once, it was a niche sport with devoted followers. It was on at strange times without too many interruptions because no one cared. Then, it began to attract notice and the money showed up. Suddenly there were more commercials, new less knowledgeable presenters show up, more pre filmed filler erased larger and larger chunks of the event in an effort to demonstrate how important the producers were to the value/ commentary was dumbed down even more in an effort to attract a new audience (always a failing move IMHO). I used to watch both F1 and Tdf late at night on ESPN2 and it was awesome, till I got rid of my telly. TdF in the late 90’s with Bob and Phil and Paul was also great, and then one day they got rid of Bob and starting bringing other people in and it’s never been the same.

      Ultimately I blame ABC and their 1980 Olympic coverage that started the trend of valuing personal narrative over the competitive narrative. It’s all been downhill since then here in the States.

    • SteveH hit the nail on the head. If you are a hard core F1 fan, the US coverage sucks. It might suffice for newbies and occasional viewers, but for anyone with at least a decent knowledge of F1 it’s a big fail.

      Too many commercials, too dumbed down, but then it’s obvious why that is. F1 just isn’t that big over here. For the vast majority of the US population F1 is just too complex. Cars going around in circles, bashing into each other and “swapping paint” is much more their speed. Personally I can’t stand NASCRAP, but it’s the king of motorsport here.

      Also, as SteveH mentioned, NBCSN is in the highest priced tier of most cable/sat providers, meaning the average person would have to pay $80/month or more just to get the channel. How many people are going to just happen upon a race and possibly become interested in F1 when its broadcast on an obscure channel that most people don’t have? At least when it was on SpeedTV it was more accessible as most basic packages include SpeedTV.

      I only watch British coverage of F1, the best on the planet IMHO. I loved the BBC when they had sole coverage, but I watch Sky now as they have the better commentator team IMO. I like my F1 in HD, so live streams just won’t do for me. I wait until the coverage is up on the Internet and download and watch. It typically means I can’t watch the race until Sunday evening, but I’m fine with that because it’s beer:30 by then. I also watch all practice sessions and qualifying via downloads. The Internet is a wonderful thing, because if I had no other choice than watching the US coverage I doubt I would be as big of an F1 fan as I am.

          • Would love to get a few of the finer points of using that technology. Via email if you prefer.

          • Sure, but I wouldn’t want to be held in contempt by His Honour as he may not approve, so e-mail is probably best. Drop me a line at americanf1fan at gmail dot com.

          • Also, just for the court’s record, I’d gladly pay FOM a reasonable amount, say $100 a year, to have access to top quality streams straight from the source. But as a hard core US F1 fan, without that option, you gotta do what you gotta do to get quality coverage.

          • I don’t think it’s even about being international. As a university student in halls of residence, there was no way I could get SKY. It’s not just a problem for those abroad.

    • So how can you balance the need to grow the sport in the US with needing to have a less basic level of analysis for those who already know and love the sport?

  4. i am quite happy with the current BBC crew. Suzi is doing as good a job as any other anchor – bar Jake.

    As for “… to appoint Lee McKenzie into the position she rightly should have been given in the first place … “. No, please, no. Not Lee “how tough is it out there” McKenzie, in the anchor role, never, ever.

    in any case, F1 on BBC is going to end after the end of the current contract in 2017. BBC is getting the message from politicians that they should leave bidding for sports rights to the commercial companies and let punters pay to watch sport as they choose.

    • That will be a great shame for all the ‘casual’ viewers of the sport. It will make it harder to attract those people who are not hardcore fans…

  5. McKenzie to replace Perry is a no-brainer, but less straightforward is who to put next to JA then, I wouldn’t mind if it were to be an ex-driver a la Alguersuari or Karthikeyan, both have co-commentated with JA before and I found them to be a real added value. Not sure if either of them would be able and/or willing to replace DC if he were to go to SKY, guess they still prefer racing (at some level) over commentating…

  6. Interesting that when Ben Edwards was announced I was rather scathing at the choice while almost everyone else was really in favour of him. He was good with the BTCC but even then he needed Tim Harvey to help him out.

    Mind you, I’m not sure who there is who would be better and available. Sky have hoovered up so many people who are in fairly minor posts on their show and away from F1 there isn’t really anyone obvious.

    As for the Lee vs Suzie debate, I fall in both camps here – neither of them would be a good anchor.

  7. NBCSN will be wise to seek out Eddie Cheever for a F1 commentary job. He is a respected F1 veteran and well known to American audience for his efforts as racer & owner in Indy Car. Cheever would be a most welcome addition to Hobbs, Diffey, Matchett, and Buxton team.

    Another option on an ad hoc basis would be Eddie Irvine. Irv the Swerve pulls no punches and American viewers tend to respond favorably to such characters. (Simon Cowell for starters) Irvine spends a fair amount of time in the States tending to various business interests. Would probably not take much to get him to agree to a handful of guest commentary slots at the NBCSN F1 studio in Stamford, CT.

  8. Unfair to expect Suzi to have specialist knowledge of F1 – she is there as the presenter and has plenty of “experts” about her to assist. It is unfair of them to drop her in it and I hope she gives them a bollocking after the event! The drivers and managers like her and she gets the most out of them in interviews which are not technically based, as she did for MotoGP. Bernie is an impossible man to interview off the cuff so I do not know why they try it? Eddie is a bit of a loose cannon as someone has already noted, but has great contacts and insight into the business. I do not rate DC as a broadcaster however, but as the acknowledged driver expert he is OK. I hate his use and missuse of trendy F1 terms like “undercut”, which one week seems to mean overtaking in the pit stops and another week means overtaking in a corner! Also stupid terms like “over or under rotate the wheel”! Gary Anderson is a breath of fresh air with his technical knowhow and his ability to explain some of the dark secrets of F1 – also his uncanny ability to forecast the cut-off time during qualifying.

    As a TV viewer I do not want 3D and surround sound, I just want the complete race, every race, but I won’t pay a SKY subscription to have it, unless It comes without all the other channels you have to purchase in order to get it. I used to attend the British GP with friends when it alternated between Silverstone and Brands and you got a whole programme of motor sport for your money over the long weekend, but cannot see me attending a modern race at today’s prices, so it looks like Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Revival for me where I can get the sights and smells that the TV cannot offer Thanks goodness for in depth reporting after the event in the specialist press – impressed with Joe Saward & co’s GP+ on-line mag which I subscribed to for the first time this year.

    • Watched the Brazil forum on IiPlayer. Problem with Suzie is she struggled with controlling or commanding the anchor role.

      Voices in her ear seem to unsettle her rather than help with direction.

      Agree with much else of what you say…

      • Surely the most important role of an anchor is to control the show and steer it in the correct direction. All of Perry’s weaknesses were Humphrey’s strengths!

        The problem with Perry seems to be she doesn’t “love” F1. She just doesn’t seem that interested in it.

    • I agree with comments about Gary Anderson. He is far better than anyone on the Sky team on the technical stuff.

      re. TV coverage – I hardly watch the main TV broadcast. I follow the race mainly on the real-time timing app and driver tracker. The free version on F1.com and/or BBC is a few seconds delayed and has a tendency to freeze on occasions. I also use the red-button to follow the pit-lane or drivers-cams.

      The commentary I prefer to listen to Radio5live, with Sky and/or BBC1 turned down to a low volume in the background (just in case one of them says something that catches my ear)..

      The TV broadcast is fine for slow-mo and missed action/incident replays.

    • Hi Ted – agree with all you say… but…

      “Unfair to Suzi…”
      Nobody said it had to be ‘fair’… It’s how television has operated for decades. You take a job and either sink or swim. You get the job (usually…) because you’ve shown promise in a ‘lower’ position. If the promise fails to materialise you sink… The ‘fair’ bit of the equation is that you got the chance in the first place.
      Everybody has their limit and, when it’s reached you have to hold station. By all means try to go further but don’t whine (I don’t mean you) that it isn’t fair, if it’s beyond you. Accept that you were given a chance – many people in lower echelons would love the opportunity to shine…
      Remember: ‘sink or swim’ – Nobody said life was fair…

      But I do agree with your other points.

      • The fair bit was in reference to the criticism in this blog, not her chance to perform! However if she is not appealing to people and encouraging them to continue watching the show, then she is failing. Jake Humphries was a hard act to follow.

  9. Half-hearted? I think the BBC is nearly perfect during the weekends they broadcast live. They have put all the pieces together and have a flawless team. I’m also a big enthousiast of Suzi. The only downside is they don’t broadcast every single race weekend.

    • Did you watch the broadcasts before this year? They are a long way short of where they used to be.

      As for calling them flawless….. 😮

  10. Granted, earlier in the year was too soon to judge, but she had now had more than enough time to grow into the role. She doesn’t want to adapt her style as a presenter which is Suzi’s problem.

  11. I dont think you can have a truly immersive experience even with a 3D TV and surround sound. You’d have to have speakers capable of reproducing 120db of sound pressure all the way down to 40hz (I am a music engineer). Imagine having that and the commentators at that volume. There would have to be a way to mute the commentator audio.

    Better to spend the money to develop reliable online HD streaming with full camera selection control and audio with or without commentary. This should also include an iOS app that can stream to Apple TV, non-drm enabled HDMI, and also apps for smart TVs.

    • Seconded.. it would also be impractical to reproduce the sound at a GP, for one you would get a hell of a lot of neighbour complaints! But the development into HD streaming with all camera angles available is long overdue! Definitely would help with new and hard to reach places such as the USA outlined above!

  12. 3D is a dying fad so I don’t think that’s the way forward/ 4k and 8k are the real future.

    Suzi is out of her depth and her stance on f1 was always going to go against her. DC is pretty good , EJ is fun and whilst many consider him to be just a joker he is actually rather canny and knows a whole lot more than he lets on…..Gary A is without doubt the best on TV.

    As regards Jake -good at first but recently David Ginola summed him up perfectly

    • Yeah more likely to see 4k and 8k come in in the next 5-10 years and 15-20. Perhaps another try at mainstream 3D after that. I do like 3D though, especially for Sport and specialist movies like Avatar it’s great for depth perception. But it almost needs a cinema like start rather than individual TV sets (always will be slower on the uptake). Maybe filter down through cinema rooms at rich people’s houses to get cost down…

      I think the latest generation of video gaming consoles (Xbox 720 and PS4) have 4k capability built in?

    • The cost of F1 is definitely prohibitive to any youngster that wants to go, unless his parents are similarly interested/have the disposable income.. at over £100 per ticket it could well be some people’s Xmas budget for their kids.

        • For sure… definitely a different feel about racing around structures.. I’d compare it to being a bit like 5-a-side or futsal for being so up close to the action and having less room all around.. makes the noise seem even more in your face! Definitely a cool sight to see F1 cars so up close, so I’m sure there’ll be a similar effect for Formula E, minus most of the sound issues of course! Replace that with sliding traction action and we have a hit 🙂

  13. Interesting article… shows what lies ahead for the BBC, who indeed have been told to axe free to air Sports in order to save money. They should probably just try and cut down on having so many pointless managerial pay-offs really, but you know what the top brass can be like with money..

    I always wondered why they didn’t just combine the Radio and TV commentary. I know there are different requirements for Radio, as the action can’t be seen on the screen, but to be honest some of the TV commentary is made more perplexing by them trying to figure out what is actually happening on the screen. James Allen and DC would be a great combo, reminiscent of the Allen/Brundle days. Ben Edwards could move back to other motorsport (like Legard did to football matches), or go for reeling as you say (Buxton does well here, and does US Pit/track reports). I know Allen does something for Aus as well (TV perhaps? Not sure how he can do that along with BBC Radio 5 live?).

    Further business could be rustled up by aiming for the world feed online when that happens, allowing live on all races, subsequently making the 10 highlight shows for BBC coverage in the late evenings. Or, an attempt at a combination with USA/Australia coverage as outlined above. From the USA Will Buxton would be a good guy to pick up for the team. These places would save money by paying the BBC instead of using their own team.

    Anyway, a slimmed down BBC team, perhaps a better selection of live races (highlight the ones on processional Tilke tracks/no atmosphere) if possible (it’s a negotiation with Sky.. who literally tore apart their only competitor in ITV Digital by leaking how to crack their box software), and combine all the areas into one, would give us something like:

    Anchor: Lee McKenzie (Perry will probably go in another year or two)
    Expert: Eddie Jordan
    Technical: Gary Anderson
    Commentary: James Allen, David Coulthard (secondary role: co-host)
    Interviews/Pit Lane reports: Tom Clarkson, Jenny Gow

    2013 live: China, Spain, Can, GB, Bel, Italy, Japan, India, Brazil
    Highlights: Aus, Mal, Bah, Mon, Ger, Hun, Sing, Korea, A.D., USA.

    Ideally: Spain, Monaco, Canada, GB, Ger, Bel, Ita, USA, Brazil
    Highlights: Oz, Mal, Chi, Bah, Aust, Hun, Sing, Jap, Rus, Abu Dhabi

    I am aware of the method being pick one from every three, and that Sky might have exclusivity on Monaco and certain events (a shame really). The BBC would be best served by having EU/western races live and far east races on highlights for timing, but perhaps they couldn’t get this.

    So far, the only reason I have found to watch BBC is Gary Anderson’s technical knowledge, and that the SD picture is better than a tablet stream. Gary is what they should be pushing forwards, for the ‘national interest’ and their role as a benevolent TV provider. I can’t find claimed onboards and extras online (It’s hard enough to get Red Button on an old free-view box, only the forum I have accessed before), so better promotion or ease of use is needed there. They could put the radio show (30 mins) I just read about onto TV as a filler for 30 mins, also to compete with Sky’s F1 show – just as The Bottom Line is a business chat shown on BBC2 at late night. You even see them in the studio talking into the radio mics (and why not? might as well get double usage out of it). Radio figures must be small now – if it is still to be done, why not get more out of it by putting good stuff on TV as well.

    It’s been said by David Dimbleby that the BBC should scale back to 3 channels if they want to save money – I do like BBC3 and 4 (youth viewing and science/technical programs), and it seems he is right in how BBC2 has gone from being the more anorak type programs to following BBC1 in having cheap TV for the masses – housing, gardening, entertainment, cooking formats and daytime chat shows.. With the loss of big name sports on BBC1, they could adapt BBC4 back into BBC2 and run that all night long (it’s off at night now, while BBC3 and 4 run a 7pm-4am type schedule). At least the BBC is getting more value now out of everything it buys, e.g. actually broadcasting all the F1 practices it has bought on BBC2 or BB4. There’s even started to be a few repeats of shows midweek..

  14. Get James Allen back in full time to commentate with DC, have Gary play more of a part in race commentaries too, he’s the real strong point in the team.

    Yep, get Lee in Suzi Perrys place, and find someone else to do the pit lane/interview stuff, as no one bloody listens to it anyway, and they all ask the same dumb questions.

    Edwards and PErry out primarily, as they are dire.

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