FIA trying to ban Martin Brundle?

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Doctorvee spotted a story about Max Mosley’s right-hand man Alan Donnelly trying to prevent the BBC bringing Martin Brundle on board as one of its F1 commentators for 2009.

Today’s Daily Mail claims:

Alan Donnelly, the official representative at races of FIA chairman Max Mosley, has been trying to dissuade BBC executives from employing Brundle, who has been at odds with the governing body since he questioned their handling of last year’s McLaren Spygate affair.

Last year the FIA announced it was suing the Sunday Times over an article of Brundle’s that described the McLaren-Ferrari espionage scandal as “a witch-hunt”. In a response, Brundle said:

I expect my accreditation pass for next year will be hindered in some way to make my coverage of F1 more difficult and to punish me. Or they will write to ITV again to say that my commentary is not up to standard despite my unprecedented six Royal Television Society Awards for sports broadcasting. So be it.

Which raises the question: did the FIA lean on FOM to replace ITV as Britain’s host broadcaster in an attempt to avoid having Brundle as a commentator?

As Vee writes:

If there was not a witch-hunt against McLaren, there is certainly a witch-hunt against Martin Brundle. It is yet further evidence that the FIA is scared of open debate and is only interested in hiding the truth. Mosley’s father would have been proud.

If the Mail’s report is correct is quite disgusting that the FIA should got to such lengths to avoid legitimate debate and discussion.

Martin Brundle is an excellent commentator and the BBC must not be cowed by such shameful bullying.

More on the BBC’s 2009 F1 coverage

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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39 comments on “FIA trying to ban Martin Brundle?”

  1. Shameful.
    I’m sure Brundle’s sided with the FIA a number of times on different things, surely they should take that into account before blacklisting him.

  2. Wow… the FIA really hate him, huh? If anything, Brundle is the one pick on the BBC lineup that’s a lock-in. Even his 2009 salary figures are already leaking out.

    But here’s the thing: remember that Monza gridwalk, where Bernie asked Martin if he was already with the Beeb? That alone should’ve told you who Bernie wanted to run the show on BBC, regardless of what Mosley, Donnelly, or anyone else thinks.

  3. One more example of the FIA having NO idea what’s good for F1 and how to keep the fans coming back.

  4. If anything, the Daily Mail expose will force the FIA to at least give pause to what they’re doing, and the BBC will probably realize that ratings are more important, which means Brundle stays on.

  5. These guys make Reggie and Ronnie Kray look like kindergarden kids. This is quite insane, really really insane. Who do these people think they are?
    Martin Brundle is a commentator for Gods sake, whats next, are they going to send some bruisers over to break his legs. The FIA should stick to what they are ‘supposed’ to be doing, and that is Formula One racing, and improving it as a spectacle, not in trying to ruin the reputation of a well respected former grands prix racing driver.
    Who, I might add, only made those comments because he cares about the sport, unlike some within the FIA. He had the courage and conviction to speak out, when others stood down. I guess we ‘should all’ watch what we say. I might wake up with a pigs head on my pillow tomorrow morning, for my pains. I will have two semi naked girls and a whip handy, as I know the ‘boss’ likes this!!

  6. What on earth does this have to do with the FIA? Did their remit from the EU allow them to dictate the commentators for each broadcast? On what grounds? Safety? Has Martin Brundle failed an NCAP safety test?

    Another disgusting abuse of power from Mosley.

  7. Max is obviously still fuming about who ‘stitched’ him up being filmed with 5 prostitutes. One things for sure it wasnt Martin Brundle, we all have our own ideas who did that. the fia needs to get rid of Max and his cronies, Martin Brundle is the best commentator second only 2 Murray Walker and is totally within his rights to express his opinion about anything he likes. Yet another nail in Max’s coffin.

  8. It’s certainly nothing to do with FOM, ITV pulled out of the contract, not the other way around.

  9. Loki, so how does Martin Brundle fit in with these points? :D
    Yes I know, wrong thread. Sorry couldn’t resist it.

    Maybe the FIA do not like him interrupting FIA dignitaries on his grid walk. Like his magical question about the local weather at Singapore.

  10. Brundle is one excellent commentator, who has somehow been able to come out as the only objective one in ITV’s Hamilton Show crew

  11. This would be a bigger scandal than any of the Ferrari-McLaren rubbish!

  12. Journeyer – If anything, the Daily Mail expose will force the FIA to at least give pause to what they’re doing.

    Did FIA/MAX at least pause after News of the world story? Max bought the members to get confidence vote. and convinced the Judge, as in NOTW had trespassed his property, peeped in his bedroom, encroached his privacy.When the fact was that he compromised his own position, and one of his “vendors” sold the tape to NOTW.
    What everyone missed out that NOTW published the tape, it could have been worse, misused to blackmail Max.

    I haven’t wished bad for any one in my life, barring two persons , incidentally both are sports administrators. The other person was sacked few months a go and I am waiting for Max’s tyranny to end

  13. The world gets stranger every day.

    I can understand why Max Mosley tries to have control over how F1 is run, he is FIA President after all.

    But why should this extend to commentators ?
    Aren’t we supposed to have a free press and the right to freedom of speech ?

    Martin Brundle is my favourite commentator and has been for several years.
    I don’t always agree with his opinions but I respect them due to his experience. He’s not sensationalist, doesn’t get overexcited & is far more impartial than most other commentators.

    I thought his opinion of Spygate was very reserved & I remember reading far more damning reports in the press & on many websites.

    It should now be clear to everyone that it is time for Max Mosley to go, bring in someone new who isn’t weighed down with so much baggage.
    Mosley has become an embarrassment to himself & to motorsport in general.

  14. lol the FIA have gone completely mad. Is this another smoke screen (i.e. “a good day to bury bad news”) to deflect us from a more serious developing story and if so what is it. I saw the story on PitPass and particularly liked the last paragraph. I never thought I would ever give Rupert Murdoch a positive nod,…but there you go… never say never. Check it out.

  15. I can’t wait until the final race. Knowing that it is their last race, do we think James, Ted, Mark or Louise will speak their minds’ a bit more, or slip in some purposeful faux pas’ during the weekend’s coverage regarding that they really think of any of the drivers, teams, or the FIA?

  16. I wondered what James Allen might make of this so I posted a comment on his blog. It has been put live (they don’t appear automatically) but no reply yet…

  17. Alan Donnelly might well be the devil. I cannot rule it out at this stage.

  18. This is outrageous if it’s true! Brundle is an excellent commentator. In Asia, we’re stuck with the really rubbish commentators of Star Sports. I’d download ITV race coverage after every GP just to hear what Brundle has to say and enjoy some “real” F1 coverage.

    I think Brundle is impartial and a real professional. He sided with the FIA over some of Fuji’s penalities, and sometimes it is his insights that liven up the occassional dull races to the naked eye. If Bernie thinks his TV audience is important, he should really push the Beeb to employ Brundle at all cost.

    What’s next? The FIA will put in place “friendly” officials as commentators in global coverage? If someone starts a petition to put Brundle on the BBC, I’d sign in a hearbeat. I think Brundle is the modern “voice of F1” that spice up the show.

  19. i like Martin, all he does is call it as it is, which after all, is his job!
    he’s an experianced racer himself, honest in his opinion and detailed! i cant think of a better person to do the job than him!

  20. I don’t dispute Brundle’s ability as a commentator . That coupled with the fact he has actually raced in F1 (for a number of years , I think ?) gives him an added advantage and he obviously knows what he is talking about , but his biggest negative is that he comes across as very biased towards a certain driver and a certain team – I won’t mention who. It will take a lot to eclipse Murray Walker – even when he made huge mistakes , it came across well because he was so balanced , he exuded a class which the modern world unfortunately seems to have forgotten , while still retaining a position of humility . And best of all , his love and passion of F1 flowed out through his excitable commentary whenever an exiting move would occur – no matter from which team it stemmed. I miss Murray Walker.

  21. Jean, you could either be talking about DC or Lewis, but even so, his bias is nowhere near those many other commentators have around the world. And besides, methinks his bias is more down to ITV’s F1 producers than to his personal taste.

    I’d love to have Murray too, but he’s retired long ago, and since then, Brundle’s been the best.

  22. Maybe the FIA don’t like the way Martin always seems to find Bernie to talk to “Live” when things are going wrong.
    Like this infamous day in F1.

  23. One word: censorship.

  24. It is quite amazing that the FIA even have time to sit there criticising Martin Brundle over the way he commentates on F1. Surely they should their own house in order first – lets face it – the way F1 has been run this year is nothing short of disgraceful! They seem to have forgotten that F1 is about racing and not giving out penalties for every single little misdemeanour (and don’t even start me on the bias towards certain teams… which is the whole reason why Brundle is so unpopular within the FIA). Brundle only says what a lot of the F1 public think (certainly in the UK anyway). One of my favourite parts on race day is watching Brundle do his grid walk – he gets to talk to drivers which other commentators would not be able to do and he is insightful. It would be an absolute disaster if he is not working for the BBC coverage in 2009. Can you imagine if it was Mark Blundell doing his job instead… No, I don’t want to think about it either

  25. unless they want to keep him free to be the head Steward…..

  26. Thanks Chalky, that’s a top quality interview.

    If he doesn’t get the BBC job Keith should see if he can get him on here for a live audio feed on the live blogs, I’d happily pay a few quid to hear him, even if he’s only watching the T.V. & live timings like us !

  27. It is absolutely outrageous that the FIA are getting involved in things like this. Brundle has won numerous awards for his commentary but frankly even if he was as hopeless as James Allen it is no business of Donnelly’s. Donnelly has turned up out of the blue and is behaving like he owns the sport. The sooner this guy disappears back wherever he came from the better.

  28. michael counsell
    24th October 2008, 0:30

    Brundle took the step from from innuendo to accusation, which probably wasn’t what he was aiming for as he used a metaphor (witch hunt). However it was obvious enough to get the lawyers involved.

    The FIA have no power in this domain and they will fail.

  29. It will be very very disappointing if the FIA’s attempt to hinder Martin’s move from the ITV to the BBC will be succesful. Brundle is indeed a very very good commentator, and he deserves to get the job (or rather keep it, as apparently he’s signed the deal already, but he’s still silent about it – remember Muzza’s silence all through ’96 before his move to ITV with the F1 coverage?), and politics would be a shameful excuse to get rid of a fantastic F1 commentator and pundit.

  30. I have been left awestruck by Mosley’s achievements in F1.

    The 2005 US Grand Prix was one of the most exciting races the sport has seen to the extent 14 drivers dived into the pits at the start to watch the action live.

    Mosley also helped Felipe Massa stay in touch with Hamilton throughout the 2008 season (not the Nazi-maso kind of touch if u know what i mean).

    Of coz, his benevolence extends to helping Ferrari out whenever Schumacher and Todt ran into the odd spot of ‘trouble’ which is surely what all F1 fans would agree with anyway.

    Lastly, his dalliances with some women of disrepute and his well-constructed defence also convinced me that it is alright to be a Nazi and act like one so as long as no one knows – oh wait, it was in the tabloids 24/7….

  31. Seems Eddie Jordan is speculated to join the BBC team line-up according to the Daily ‘Depress’ (as Brundle likes to call them)?

  32. michael counsell
    25th October 2008, 0:35

    Desire, surely ‘Le Vice Anglais’ is something to be proud of.

  33. Remember that during the Nazi-Sex-Mad-Max scandal, Martin’s name came up severally alongside that of SJS as a possible replacement to the pervert. To Mad Max Martin is not just a hack – he is the other enemy, the first having been labelled “a certified half wit” – what an idiotic pervert [sorry Keith but i am sure you can understand me being ****** off with Mad Max]

  34. I dont really mind Brundle, I think he is a good part of the commentary team, the guy who annoys me is James Allen, if only they could ban him!

  35. Typical tabloid crap

  36. Great fan of Martin.

    One small matter.Have been hard to listen to them going on about Lewis all the time.We actually want to know about the other drivers as well.
    So please BBC hire Martin , just get a foreigner(Brazilian /Italian/German) to c0-host F1 broadcast for 2009.

    Deserving world champion Lewis, come drive for Ferrari please.

  37. What right have the FIA to try to influence any organisation, they are only the servants of the sport but they are so arrogant,corrupt and biasd they think they are the maffia which is not far wrong when you consider that Ferrari always get their way.

    We don’t want a FIA bottom licker we want an objective reporter/ presenter and Martin is the man, can’t imagine any other ex driver being as good at communication.

  38. Martin Brundle does a superb job [good sub for Murray]hes got guts,determination,patience i think he’s ace he is the man for the job, Mosley do one [know what I mean]!

  39. property value will go down more unfortunately. Anyway it might be a positive thing for the first time buyers.

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