New BBC Sport F1 presenter Suzi Perry chats to's Rob Wilkins ahead of the 2013 F1 season opener in Australia...
Suzi, how much are you looking forward to being the figurehead for the BBC's F1 coverage in 2013?

Suzi Perry:
I am really thrilled to be back on the BBC and broadcasting live. It is my passion and to be asked to come back into the sport realm and work in F1 is really exciting. I found out just before Christmas [that I would be the new anchor] and we are now a couple of months on. I really just want to get to Australia and get going.
How do you feel about taking over from Jake Humphrey?

Suzi Perry:
Okay, Jake did an amazing job. I think he was part of the furniture and he was a really good person to bring F1 back onto the BBC. Obviously he had a great relationship with DC [David Coulthard] and EJ [Eddie Jordan], which evolved into this crazy three amigos' thing. It is big shoes to fill. Jake is very professional. But obviously I have my history in motorsport and technology and will probably bring something different to the coverage. I wish he would have been a bit rubbish really as it would have made my life easier! [laughs]. But we will see. He was him and I will be me.
Are you looking forward to working with DC and EJ?

Suzi Perry:
[laughs]... I'm looking forward to working with DC! No, yes, I am [looking forward to working with both of them]. The question that has been asked the most since I got the job is, 'How are you going to control EJ?' And the answer is I am not am I? He is uncontrollable. But that is what people want to see. The dynamic between the three of us will obviously evolve as time goes on and I don't know what it is going to be like. I would imagine there is going to be a lot of banter. I am going to give as good, as I get - as you would expect. It should be a lot of fun and I will obviously try and pull as much information out of the both of them as I can along the way. I think it should be a really good show.
You worked on the motorcycle racing coverage for the BBC for over ten years before standing down at the end of 2009. What do you think it will be like doing F1?

Suzi Perry:
I am actually relived to get back into motorsport really. I had 13 years with bikes - 13 wonderful years with Superbikes, Speedway and MotoGP and GP before that. I really did love, I think, every minute of it. It kept me alive. Over the last three years I feel I have been dormant looking back on it. Pre-recorded television is great but it is not broadcasting live and it is not live sport and my passion is live motorsport. Whether it is two wheels or four I am in. I think the racing last year in F1 was spectacular. I just want to see some racing again and I think to be a part of F1 is very special. It is the pinnacle of motor racing. I am excited.
What do you expect down under in Australia? Have you got any predictions for the first race?

Suzi Perry:
No, I haven't got any predictions for Australia or the whole season and I think that is what is so good about it. There was a time when you could predict what was going to happen. It was a little bit processional and a little bit dull really to a degree. I have no predictions for Australia other than the fact it is me and DC and so it will be a gentle breaking in process for myself. I don't know [what will happen]. I think last year in Australia there were surprises and incidents with Pastor Maldonado, for example, going out towards the end. I think we will see races crammed full of action, incidents and overtaking, which is so important. I remember somebody once saying to me - I use to go on about overtaking all the time with bikes, quite famously - and they said or wrote, 'It is not about the overtaking Miss Perry - it is about the anticipation of the overtake' and I just remember thinking, 'Bulls**t - it is about the overtakes'. Whether it is a bike or a car, it is the same emotion, the same passion. I love racing and watching a good race. I don't really care who wins.
Related to that then, do you like the DRS (Drag Reduction System) device? Are you in favour of it?

Suzi Perry:
I am in favour of it. I think anything that helps the racing and the overtakes is a good thing. You have to accept the technology evolves. There have been so many changes over the years with F1 and I think they have got the formula right at the moment in terms of making the racing exciting. Going down the expense route, the changes next year, it is a different story. That is a completely new load of politics we are entering into there. But if you are just looking at good races you can't say it got any better than last year can you?
How do you think the British drivers will get on this season?

Suzi Perry:
I think it will be interesting this year. I am glad Lewis [Hamilton] is with a different team. Jenson [Button] is with McLaren and we wait to see how he 'feels' in that car. Whether it gives him 'the feel' and if it gives him 'the feel' he can be there like anybody and right up there. That would be great.

Lewis is an interesting one really. I think all winter they have played it down and sandbagged and he wasn't sure if they would win a race and I think they will win a race. They will win races. Are they going to be up for the championship? I don't know. But it is a tantalising prospect isn't it? The thought of another manufacturer being right up there is great and if they can make headway, after slightly underperforming over the last few years, then that is a good thing. It brings them up to the front and into the mix and the more teams that are at the front end the better racing for all of us.

Everyone got excited about testing and how Mercedes did but I still think you don't know. You don't go and watch a football team warm-up and pick which team is going to win. And this is the same thing. You don't know.
Can Red Bull Racing make it four titles in a row this year?

Suzi Perry:
They haven't showed any reasons for me to think they won't or can't make it four in a row. But you have still got so many other drivers around that could spoil the Red Bull chase down. Again a mouth watering prospect....
Switching to two-wheels and MotoGP, what do you think of Valentino Rossi's move back to Yamaha?

Suzi Perry:
I'm so excited about this year in MotoGP. Rossi should never have left Yamaha in the first place. Easy to say now, but I think I said that at the time. He gave me the ['it's me or Lorenzo'] interview at the end of the 2009 season and it made headlines across the globe, although not many in Britain took notice. He shouldn't have gone to Ducati really. I felt it was a bit of an ego driven move, with what was going on with Jorge [Lorenzo, team-mate], which wasn't the right reason. I'm glad to see him back with Yamaha. I feel as though he has almost wasted two years in a way. I think we could see him back on the top step of the podium this year. That would be great, because so many people have written him off. I just want him to come back and stick two fingers up at those people! For so many years he propped up that sport [MotoGP]. He was the hook that they hung their coat on and I'm really surprised that so many journalists switched quite quickly off to him. I was quite shocked by that. From his point of view - and from his team's point of view as well, his mechanics that have been with him all the way - I really hope they do well this year. I think Jorge is the man to beat, but we'll see.
How do you see the British riders doing in MotoGP?

Suzi Perry:
On the British side, Cal [Crutchlow]'s been terrific. An absolute revelation in the sport. So fingers crossed for him and we've got Bradley [Smith] and Michael [Laverty] arriving. It's going to be good. The last few years of MotoGP have been a little bit flat. There have obviously been spikes of brilliance and genius from different riders, and different races have provided the entertainment. But not as much - I hate to say it - as probably the year I left. It seemed to sort of flatten after that. Nothing to do with me! I think this year will be great. I know a lot of guys in F1 watch MotoGP so I'll be in there during the breaks to see how it's going.
You didn't want to make any specific predictions for F1, but what about MotoGP?

Suzi Perry:
No, I won't make a prediction on that either. I like it when you can't predict something. Last year I could have said Casey [Stoner], but I don't like that because I like racing. I love Valentino. I have got friends within that paddock but ultimately all I ever wanted to do was see a really good race. So prediction wise, I don't know. But I will predict it'll be the best season in the last few years. I also think it'll take until the first three races to see who is really going to shine.



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