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Jake Humphrey Q&A

The BBC Formula 1 team will be answering your questions in a new series for the website this year.

This week, presenter Jake Humphrey is the one called in for questioning. Thank you for all your e-mails, a selection of which Jake answers below.

Jake Humphrey
By Jake Humphrey
BBC F1 presenter in Kuala Lumpur

Do you get to have dinner or drinks with the drivers right after a race? Or are they whisked away to seclusion?
Timo Woelk

Hi, Timo. Thanks for your question. The answer is that every driver is different. Some are quite private and clearly like to keep themselves to themselves whereas others are just one of the gang, really.

The thing to remember is that we're all in the same part of the world and very quickly you get to know each other. I probably spend more time with some of the drivers than I do with my own wife! I'd say Mark Webber is the most social and I've shared quite a few flights with him... he's a nice guy.

Who is the grumpiest driver on the grid?
Mark Reece

Mark Webber
Red Bull's Mark Webber - all round good bloke

Well, I think you should ask Martin Brundle as he has to confront them as they're gearing up for lights out. The drivers tend to like to get in 'the zone' just before starting the race so I can understand if they want a few minutes to themselves.  

Lewis Hamilton, for example, isn't too keen on talking on the grid while Nico Rosberg wouldn't have a problem with it. The drivers and teams do realise that by not speaking to us they're not speaking to you and for that reason they're quite keen to chat.

How's the heat in Malaysia? Good luck!
Steven Brown

It's mad, Steven. Sauna heat one moment, monsoons the next. Rubens Barrichello lost 3kg here one year and you need serious fitness to nail 56 laps on the race.  It's a little easier for us in the paddock - we just need some factor 50 and the odd air-conditioned break! I am not a fan of the heat and the producer has to shout: "Keep your arms down" through my earpiece to keep my sweat patches hidden!

What does your job involve between broadcasts?
Hannah Jordan

I love watching the race unfold with two guys who know so much

Well, it involves a fair bit of research, Hannah, to make sure I know what the stories are for the next race weekend. There are interviews with teams to be done quite regularly as we are always keen to hear from drivers away from the race weekends in their natural habitat.  

Also, don't forget the travel. For China there are only two days to do but we'll be away from home for a week.  It's a tough job, a difficult job, but incredibly rewarding.

When qualifying and the race is on where do you, Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard go?
Colm, London

We find a team's motorhome and sit in there.  It's essential to have two TVs - one showing the race footage and the other one showing the timing screens, which display the lap times, gap between the cars and the sector times - so we can follow the action properly. After an hour's build-up in the sun, we're grateful for an air-conditioned room, a drink and a break. I love watching the race unfold with two guys who know so much.

Does the international travelling lead to an unhealthy lifestyle? How do the media and drivers try to fend off aeroplane germs and tummy bugs?
Jane MacKenzie

Lewis Hamilton on the grid before the Bahrain Grand Prix
Hamilton does not like talking to the media on the grid

It's not easy actually, Jane. Air-conditioned offices, planes, hotel rooms could all potentially carry germs.  If you add to the mix some food that you're stomach isn't used to, long hours at the track then becoming rundown is almost inescapable. This weekend, for example, Lee McKenzie spent Thursday back at the hotel as she felt a little under the weather, but she's well on the mend.

How do you decide which team to go to in the paddock for the F1 Forum?
Jo Cross

We try to get through them all through the course of the season as well as trying to make it relevant to the story. At the end of 2009, we had to be at Brawn for the last few races just in case they secured the title. Equally in Oz we were hoping to be with Mercedes but when Jenson Button won the race we scrapped the plan and spontaneously went to McLaren.  Here in Malaysia we're with Lotus, who are at their home grand prix.

Do you like being the face of F1 in the UK? Would you prefer presenting any other sport?
Peter Santamaria-Woods

It's the greatest job I could have asked for Peter and I feel incredibly blessed.  I really love the sport and to be at every race is a dream.  I particularly enjoy working with DC and EJ.  Quite often on-screen chemistry just doesn't happen despite people's best efforts, but I think the three of us work really well together.

Michael Schumacher
Even Schumacher sweats in the intense Malaysian heat and humidity

I also love the chance to use both Twitter and my blogs to interact with the audience. I hate being away from home so much but Harriet, my wife, is incredibly understanding.

I am aware that the BBC are not responsible for the camera coverage during the race however is it likely that we will see Formula 1 in HD?
Nathaniel

Well, it's totally out of our hands, Nathaniel, as we aren't provided the race coverage in high definition by the Formula One Management. Would it look good in HD? Yes. Would we like it in HD? Absolutely. Will it change anytime soon? Let's hope so!

If you could go to any race track, that has held a GP that is not on the calendar now, where is it and why?
Amanda, UK

Jake Humphrey blog

Well there is one I would love to see back on the calendar, Amanda... the Nurburgring Nordschliefe in Germany.  It is the most incredible circuit and just watching a few road cars round there blew my mind. The only other place would be Donington Park. I am delighted we still have a British GP, I think Silverstone is a fantastic home for it but I would also love to see Donington saved and returned to former glory again too.

How on earth do you get a Tim-Tam or a Twix to act like a straw in a cup of tea ? Have I even read that correct? How do you get what is to all intents and purposes, a chocolate biscuit to act as a straw? I cant feature that at all - I'm not even sure how its possible. These are important issues, mate - needs clearing up!
Riggadon, UK

So, Riggadon. Let the tea cool. Bite the top and bottom off a Twix (other chocolate bars are available), suck slowly through the bar and prepare to be amazed... the things you can do to while away the hours at a GP eh?



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see also
David Coulthard Q&A
29 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Mark Webber Q&A
19 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Eddie Jordan Q&A
12 Mar 10 |  Formula 1


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