The F1 Times Interviews Jake Humphrey

Adam PooleAnalyst IMay 3, 2009

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 28:  (L-R) The new BBC Sport F1 punditry team of Jake Humphrey, former driver David Coulthard and former team owner Eddie Jordan broadcast during qualifying for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit on March 28, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The F1 Times got the pleasure of meeting the new face of BBC F1 and we had chance to ask him a few questions that will give our readers an insight to the man that can make or break the BBC's coverage.

Join us as Jake talks about how he got to where he is now and find out what Jake's most memorable F1 moment of all-time is.  Who are Jake's all-time heroes of F1.  What Jake's favourite circuit on the F1 calendar is and why when he was 8, F1 made him cry.


Firstly Jake, a huge thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.  It's great to see F1 back on the BBC this year!  When you were offered the position of presenting F1
what initially went through your mind?

I was genuinely shocked to be honest.  There were so many people being linked with it that I never really thought F1 would come my way. 

I have been a fan of F1 going back years but I wasn't sure if that would be enough to land me the gig. Even though I've done the Olympics, the Euro's and Sports Personality I see this sport as the new jewel in BBC Sports crown, there are very few events that generate such interest on a bi-weekly basis and I always thought it might pass me by thanks to the gravity of it. 

I did know one thing though and that's if the Beeb bosses did go with me I wouldn't let them down.  All my years at CBBC were my equivalent of Lewis' time in GP2, it is the proving ground of live TV and I owe all the Children's BBC bosses a huge amount of gratitude for helping me to progress this far. 

I was also keen that if the job came my way I'd work really hard to make people feel like our coverage is very much theirs, like their a part of what we're doing. I try and answer all the emails I get sent and I really enjoy sharing my thoughts on my blog too.

Well, I must say you do a great job at keeping on top of your work-load.  Now, obviously we have all seen the raw pace of the Brawn's over the last four races.  We have also seen bigger teams such as McLaren, Ferrari and BMW struggling.  Do you think any of the afore mentioned teams will pull
back into title contention?

Well it couldn't have worked out better could it!  If BMW, Ferrari and McLaren were up there with Brawn, Red Bull and Toyota then we'd all be waiting for one of them to poke their noses in much more exciting to see big names with big budgets attack the front from way back. 

Many people think we're already seeing McLaren's effort pay dividends after their 4th place in Bahrain and improved quali speed, and Lewis' performances have really made people sit up and take notice.  As for BMW and Ferrari, it seems the balls in their court now. A 2 week break before the European season begins and the paddock will be expecting to see serious improvements...and fast.

Yeah, Ferrari in perticular need to get things sorted as McLaren are obviously making the effort.  I gather you must have always been an F1 fan so surely working alongside the likes of DC and Eddie Jordan must be a huge thing for you?

Of course. One of the joys for me is when the races begin and I get to sit with DC and Eddie. Watching a race unfold next to them is incredible.  They see things that you or I just wouldn't, and I learn so much more in 2 hours than years watching on my own at home.  They've both been fantastic servants to F1 over the years, achieved a great deal and we're so lucky to have them on the BBC.

Indeed, it must be fantastic to sit with such an experienced driver and team-owner for a Grand-Prix - something that any F1 fan would love to do.  When you were growing up, following Formula One, who would you say have been your favorite drivers and teams?

Mansell, of course. Ayrton Senna too, and in later years DC and Schumi. I always loved Lotus having come from Norwich, I loved what I called the 'John Player Special' car when I was about 7...I now know it as the 97T.  I used to drive an Elise, I've got my eye on the new Lotus Evora, and still to this day I harbour a hope that they'll return to F1.  The budget cap might just persuade them to stick their toe in once more!  Here's hoping.

We can all hope and as you say, the budget-cap is proving to be quite attractive for new teams.  Obviously everyone has their favourite circuit but which one is yours and why?

I love Monaco.  For me it represents everything that F1 is. Listening to drivers describing just how close to the barriers you need to be, just how scary it is keeping your foot down through the tunnel, and how important it is to get a good start still makes the hairs on the back of my next stand up.  I can't wait to be there.

As you say, it's any F1 fans dream to go to Monaco and we can't wait to see what un-folds there this year but what would you say is your favourite moment in F1 history?  Is there a particular lap that stands out?

Adelaide 1986. I think Nigel Mansell was voted Sports Personality of the Year, despite not winning the title...and that was due to the manner in which he lost it.  It was a cracking season-long battle between him, Prost and Piquet and all came down to the last race.  I'll never forget the moment his rear left tyre gave way and the championship went with it...incredible! I was only 8 or 9 and I think I cried.

I can't say I've seen that lap - to be honest I wasn't even alive then but I will make an effort to watch that at some point.  Now, It's every F1 fans dream to meet their F1 hero, in your new role you get to meet everyone, do you still get nervous when it comes to interviewing them or do you see it as "just part of the job?"

Na, when you're live on air there are so many other things to worry about you just get on with it.  It's only afterwards that you think...'blimey that was Jackie Stewart, he's one of my heroes!'

Finally Jake, I know it's probably too early to call and you may not want to say, but who do you think will win the championships this year - drivers and constructors?

Brawn are in the box seat aren't they, but I genuinely couldn't call it...we need to see McLaren and Ferrari declare their hands first.

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