17 February 2011
Brundle: DC and I can get the job done
BBC F1's Martin Brundle reveals just what he believes makes for a good commentating pairing - and why he is convinced that he and fellow former grand prix star David Coulthard can 'get the job done' for Auntie in 2011
Martin Brundle has revealed that one of the key reasons he is so eagerly anticipating working alongside David Coulthard in the BBC F1 commentary box this season is that the pair have already struck up an excellent working relationship – something that, given how it is 'a chemistry you can't really force', he describes as 'gold dust'.
The erstwhile McLaren, Benetton, Ligier and Jordan star will replace Jonathan Legard as the Beeb's lead commentator this year – or the 'Voice of F1' – after the ex-Radio 5 Live man was edged out, many believe at Brundle's insistence after the pair notably failed to establish any kind of rapport.
Coulthard is stepping up from punditry duties to take over from his former sparring partner in the co-commentator's role – and Brundle admits that the new partnership could scarcely have got off to a better start.
“It's a chemistry that you can't really force,” he tellingly conceded, speaking during a special pre-season BBC F1 'Meet the Team' session at Television Centre. “I've worked in the commentary box with three different people and I have great respect for all three of them, but either you have a way where it knits together and you work off each other and it flows, or you don't – you can't force it at all.
“I think it does help that we have a mutual respect and we know each other very well. That doesn't mean to say we've always got to agree, it doesn't mean it will be seamless – we'll have to work at that – but I think from our early screen tests, we appear to be able to just follow on and flow from each other without tripping over each other too much. That for me is gold dust, because you can't make that happen really – it's in-place or it's not in-place.
“I'm looking forward to it enormously. Obviously we're good mates, and we know a bit about F1 – I think we've been to over 700 races between us, and driven in over 400. We haven't really scratched the surface, I don't think, of David's knowledge and understanding of F1. He's got a much bigger platform now to bring us up-to-date, and he's the most eloquent bloke that's recently stepped down from F1 that speaks English – or Scottish, anyway!
“I'm really, really looking forward to it. I think we can inform and entertain the audience – we speak to north of 50 million English-speakers around the world in the various countries that we go out to, but obviously our primary audience is the BBC back in the UK, and I'm confident we can get the job done.”
“I'm looking forward to sharing the experiences that we have,” echoed 13-time grand prix-winner Coulthard, whose F1 career overlapped with Brundle's by two-and-a-half seasons in the mid-1990s. “Some of them have actually been out on-track together. Obviously my grand prix career continued on when Martin retired from F1, and he's spent the last 14 years in the F1 commentary box.
“I'm just hoping I get a bit more time to get into the explanation side, because the role I've had before is part of a pre-scripted build-up and what happens after the event is a reaction to what's been going on out on-track, but there's limited time. Hopefully, we'll have a bit more time to get into why something has happened the way it has. Martin's got knowledge of driving the cars, I've got knowledge of driving the cars and hopefully we can put that across to the viewing public.”
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