Murrayisms

While browsing my flash drive, which I do quite often, I found a text document containing a collection of Murrayisms.

For those who do not know, a “Murrayism” is an amusing (and usually factual incorrect) quip made by former BBC and ITV F1 commentator Murray Walker. He was a legend of a commentator, having been the voice of Formula One for many years. Whether you love him or hate him, you can’t forget him.

If you have any Murrayisms that I do not currently have on this page, then please send them to me at halifaxf1blog@gmail.com!


 

ACHIEVEMENTS AND VICTORIES

“And Olivier Panis justifiably wins such a well deserved Grand Prix” (in which Hill, Schumacher, Alesi, Berger and Villeneuve all came off and only 4 out of 20 drivers finished)

“…Cruel luck for Alesi, second on the grid. That’s the first time he had started from the front row in a Grand Prix, having done so in Canada earlier this year…”

“This has been a great season for Nelson Piquet, as he is now known, and always has been.”

“Schumacher is still the fastest man on the track, not only by virtue of the fact that he leads the Australian Grand Prix, but he also holds the fastest lap.”

“Schumacher’s appeal for ignoring the chequered flag is next Tuesday.”

“Andrea de Cesaris…the man who has won more Grands Prix than anyone else without actually winning one of them.”

“Nigel Mansell – the man of the race – the man of the day – the man from the Isle of Man.”

[possibly Murray’s most ecstatic moment when Mansell passed Senna to win in Hungary after starting well down the grid] “He’s going for it! OH MY GOODNESS…HE’S THROOOOOOUGH!!!”

“If they have any shillelaghs in Suzuka, they’ll be playing them tonight.” [after Eddie Irvine’s 6th place in his first grand prix]

“Mansell is slowing it down, taking it easy. Oh no he isn’t! It’s a lap record!”

“Victory at the 1999 Monaco Grand Prix goes to Ayrton Senna” [from the 1990 Monaco GP]

Jacques Villeneuve is just making the last turn on the last lap. “I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that Jacques Villeneuve is going to keep the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher behind him and win his first GP…”

“Well he’s world champion, and we only get one of those a year.”

“And this will be Williams’ first win, since last time a Williams won!”

“And Damon Hill exits the chicane and wins the Japanese Grand Prix, and I’ve got to stop, because I’ve got a lump in my throat!”
As his good friend Damon Hill finally won the Driver’s Championship, Murray Walker could no longer contain his delight.

“There are actually seven previous winners of the Monaco Grand Prix, starting in tomorrow’s race, and four of them are Michael Schumacher… there he is now!”

“But a brrrrrrilliant race for Michael Schumacher, who exits the chicane for the 53rd and last time, to win the 2000 Japanese Grand Prix and the World Championship, for the third time, to give Ferrari and Italy that dream and look! Look! He knows it!” As Schumacher wins the Japanese Grand Prix with title challenger Mika Hakkinen just two seconds behind.

 

HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

“Jenson (Button) will win, when the car is good enough for his talent.” – free practice, Silverstone 2006

“He is shedding buckets of adrenaline in that car.”

“Nigel (Mansell), first of all, would you slowly and carefully take your hat off? You’ve got an enormous bump on your head, can I show it to them (the viewers)?” [Nigel leans forward to show the camera] “Right up there?” [Murray accidentally pokes the bump with his finger] “Ooh… I’m sorry…” [A pained Nigel laughs it off]
During a post race interview with Mansell after the Austrian GP in 1987.

“Ah! Now here’s Senna in the pits (for the black flag). No point in saying I wish I could lip read: I can’t even see his lips! There’s Ron Dennis bending over at the right. This is A-! Out gets Senna! For whatever reason and I just hope we can get a message about this. I hope we can get a message. Ayrton Senna with, with rage and impotent fury etched in every line of his body, reluctantly drags himself out of the McLaren.” (In reality Senna calmly stepped out of the car and walked away.)

“Tambay’s hopes, which were nil before, are absolutely zero now.”

“Well done Ukyo, well done Ukyo, you are a Japanese gentleman!” [as Katayama got out of the way for Schumacher and Villeneuve, Jerez 1997]

“The atmosphere is so tense you could cut it with a cricket stump.”

“People ask me who’s going to be the next Hill, the next Schumacher, and I keep saying to watch out for Mika Salo.” (Salo crashes a few laps later)

“And Hill congratulates Schumacher. They’re not bosom buddies, but they’re not far off!” (Hill was actually critising Schumacher for heavy-handed driving tactics after the 1995 Belgian GP).

Monza 96. Remember those stupid tyre stacks on the kerbs which got scattered around the track on the first lap? Camera cuts to single tyre in the middle of the track. Murray:” And look at that tyre! Someone had better go and get that quickly. (As if on cue, a marshall runs out and grabs it) WELL DONE LAD!!!!!”

“And Panis is almost literally laughing his head off in that car.”

“And now, excuse me while I interrupt myself.”

 

INCORRECT OBSERVATIONS

Murray: “That’s Ralf Schumacher, you can see the cooling elements from his balaclava helmet sticking out over his forehead.” (he keeps talking then realises…) “They’re not the cooling elements – ” (laughing) “that’s his hair!”
Martin Brundle is bemused: “I can’t think of a one-liner to come back in there, Murray!”
Murray: “Neither can I, except ‘What am I saying?!'”
(Malaysian Grand Prix 2001)

“There’s a fiery glow coming from the back of the Ferrari”
James Hunt responded “No, Murray, that’s his rear safety light”.

Murray: And look at the flames coming from the back of Berger’s McLaren.
James: Actually, Murray, they’re not flames, it’s the safety light.

“And there’s the man in the green flag!”

“The Italian GP at Monaco…”

“Ukyo Katayama is undoubtedly the best Formula 1 driver that grand prix racing has ever produced.”

“And we have had 5 races so far this year, Brazil, Argentina, Imola, Schumacher and Monaco!”

“James has just nipped out to have a look at the far side of the circuit” [Actually James Hunt would leave the commentary box to smoke a joint!]

“Schumacher has made his final stop three times!”

“It has all come alive in Hungary. There is the proof! Williams! Benetton! Ferrari! The Benetton is Berger and the Ferrari is Damon Hill!”

“And this is Ralf Schumacher the youngest driver in F1 at only 21 years old, and of course he is the son of twice world champion Michael!”

“As an Englishman, I have my fingers crossed for Eddie Irvine in the Jaguar.” (Irvine comes from Northern Ireland)

(Jarno Trulli was on the screen, but just as Murray opened his mouth, it cut to his Jordan team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen)
Murray: Jarno Trulli… there’s a man who is yet to show his potential this year.
Martin: So that’s Trulli wearing Frentzen’s crash helmet, Murray?

“…Senna knows exactly where Mansell is because he can see him in his earphones…”
Attempting to describe how the leader can see the driver following him in his mirrors.

(Adelaide 1991, race stopped in appalling conditions) “Oh… hello-hello? That’s Riccardo Patrese, going up to tell the officials what the time of day is!”

 

LIFE IN THE PITS

“He’s obviously gone in for a wheel change. I say obviously because I can’t see it.”

“Hill, Hill … Hill is in, he’s beneath me now… and he’s got slicks! It’s slicks! He got a new set of slicks! This is strange” (as it was raining!)

“And Damon Hill is coming into the pit lane, yes it’s Damon Hill coming into the Williams pit, and Damon Hill in the pit, no it’s Michael Schumacher!”

(Schumacher is coming out the pit lane ahead of Villeneuve) “And Schumacher overtakes Villeneuve. Oh, no he doesn’t! Oh, yes he does!”

“Alboreto into the pits and I’m going to stop the startwatch…!”

“And Michael Schumacher is in the pits!” (he was out by then, although he was probably in the garage or something.)

Murray: There’s a car coming into the pits now, they’re so unreliable with all those electronics on board.
James: Actually, Murray, one of his wheels has just fallen off!

Murray: Eddie Irvine is in the pit lane.
Camera flashes to an empty Ferrari pit with mechanics milling about. Martin: “I think he … ahh … didn’t come in.” A little later when it was obvious (to Murray) that Eddie didn’t come in. “We all make mistakes, and I certainly made a whopper there.”

[Camera focused on a Williams in its pitstop] “Bitter hard luck for Nigel Mansell-” [Mansell’s Lotus flashes by in the pitlane] “There he is! That was Mansell leaving the pits, and so now… [Camera cuts to Mansell in his own pitstop] And there is Nigel Mansell in the pits…so I must have seen… Well I can hardly understand it… Oh, he must have been entering the pits, I apologise!”

“Are they on a one-stopper, are they on a two-stopper? And when I say who… er, they… er.. who do I mean? Well, I don’t know…”

“Now, if Alesi has run out of fuel – and I’m going to use an Anglo-Saxon expression here – the Benetton mechanics are looking AB-SO-LUTE-LY FUUUURRRIOUS!”

Adelaide 1995 (as Coulthard pits): “And into the pitlane… (Coulthard understeers into the pitlane barrier) OOAAARRRGGGHHH! My goodness! David Coulthard smashes himself out of the Australian- I have never seen that before!”

“Oh Jean. O-o-h Jean. You have got a MAJOR problem sunshine when you get back to the pits.”

“And he’s done that in a whisker under 10 seconds, call it 9.7 in round figures”.

 

MURRAY ON MURRAY

“They say clothes maketh the man… the clothes are Niki Lauda’s, but the contents are me…”
Said when preparing to take a drive in a F1 car. Walker subsequently stalled the engine. (Apparently, this was the second attempt to film Murray in an F1 McLaren – the first, earlier that day, had gone very well, but for technical reasons couldn’t be used as the onboard camera was not fixed when he thought another signal was the signal to go, almost obliterating a cameraman. When he came in after the end of his successful run, he drove for seven laps after the in-board was displayed!)

“So Bernie [Ecclestone], it’s some seventeen years since you bought McLaren, you’ve had some good times, you’ve had some bad times. What do you remember best ?”
Ecclestone responded “Well I don’t remember buying McLaren.”
Murray turns to the camera “I’ve done it again!”

“And I interrupt myself to bring you this….”

“Unless I’m very much mistaken… and YES I AM very much mistaken!”

“I’m applying intelligence and observation to the situation…”

“I don’t make mistakes. I make prophecies which immediately turn out to be wrong” [Murray on his style of commentary]

“I am inclined to go over the top and I know it. I am communicating an electric situation”

“I like to think I come over as a slightly over-the-top enthusiast. It is a very exciting sport after all”

“If I was Michael Schumacher…. which of course I am not…”

 

OVERTAKING AND RACE ORDERS

“With half the race gone, there is half the race still to go.”

“Alboreto has dropped back up to fifth place.”

“[Mansell’s] gone from seventh to sixth, from fourth to fifth and now to third…”

“As you look at the first four, the significant thing is that Alboreto is 5th.”

“And this is the third placed car about to lap the second placed car…”

From the Spanish GP 1995: “and Eddie Jordan is in fifth place”… (actually Eddie Irvine in one of his compatriot Eddie Jordan’s cars).
“…and he’s lost both right front tyres” (which may have been accurate back in the days of the Tyrrell P34, but it was from 1995!)

“ANNDD! We have a, uh, I – (laughing) – I, uh, I’m S- (still laughing). I have to eat humble pie again, for all the people out there. Uh, we have a lap scoring problem and, uh, I have to rather lamely tell you that, uh, it’s still Gerhard Berger in 2nd place. It’s Berger in 3rd position. In four- in- in-. Um, Boutsen in 3rd position…”

“That’s 55 laps completed by both Prost and Berger and and and and and the expeeerrrienced Alain Prost is really responding.”

“The beak of Ayrton Senna’s chicken is pulling ahead.”

“David pulls across in front of Coulthard…” (actually Mika Hakkinen at the start of the 1998 Australian GP)

“Two laps to go and then the action will begin, unless this is the action, which it is.”

“And the first five places are filled by five different cars.” (Teams of course)

“…the lead is now 6.9 seconds. In fact it’s just under 7 seconds”

“…and Blundell is doing very well in sixth position…in fact he’s lapping 2.5 seconds faster than Blundell who is in fifth position.”

“We’re watching the Finnish Driver who is third, but he won’t for very much llllong…oh yeah, he might be actually.”

“And an enormous gap building before Mika Hakkinen goes through in third position…when I say enormous it’s 1.5 seconds”

“Michael Schumacher leading Damon Hill by four tenths of a second or so, because it’s moving…[image cuts from Mansell to Hill under Schu’s rear wing] AND THAT’S NOT FOUR TENTHS OF A SECOND! That’s Michael Schumacher!”

“So now you’re looking at the battle between Frentzen and Herbert for 7th place. Heinz Harald Frentzen in the Sauber Mercedes behind Johnny Herbert, behind him Johnny Herbert in his first race in the Ligier Renault…”

“Alesi is in second place and Hill is in second place…”

“….Schumacher crosses the line to start another lap, and there’s nothing there!”

“…and now, just in case there is any CONFUSION (operative term here) this is the race order on lap 19: David Coulthard leads and has yet to stop; Hakkinen leads and has yet to stop…”

“Alain Prost is in a commanding second place.”

“Now the Frenchman Jacques Lafitte is as close to Surer as Surer is to Lafitte.”

“We’re now on the 73rd lap and the next one will be the 74th.” [Monaco 1992]

[Alesi, then in a Tyrrell, was passed by Senna at Phoenix, or was he…] “And Senna’s going through on the inside, or is he, YES!, but now Alesi has the inside, side by side, Alesi! Wow! Great Stuff!”

“..and Damon Hill is following Damon Hill”

“Jean Alesi is 4th and 5th.”

“And he has been lapped 9th, 10th, 11th'” (This was in reference to Jacques Villeneuve, who was leading at the time, and there were only 11 cars running anyway!)

“They’re now on lap 68, which means there’s one, two, three, four, five laps to go before the end of the Hungarian Grand Prix.”

“Into lap 53, the penultimate last lap but one.”

“Nigel Mansell is the last person in the race apart from the five in front of him.”

Near the end. “He (Jackie Stewart) will not produce a winner, but if he can produce second, it will be the next best thing.”

“…and if you look back 4 seconds…no, 31 seconds…!” (Imola, 27th. April 1997)

“And as the race starts… I regret that we must leave Brands Hatch, join us again at 4.45!”

“Three lights… four lights… five laps… (laughs) pause! Go, Go, Go!”

“Jenson Button, in the top ten, is in eleventh position…”

“Damon Hill, there he is, he in… er, leading the Belgian Grand Prix, for the first time in a Jordan! He’s leading the race, for the first time, since he led the Hungarian Grand Prix (of 1997) in an Arrows… apart from his earlier lead here, of course!” (It was actually the second time Damon had taken the lead after Michael Schumacher crashed out. You could just see that coming…)

Monza 1992: “Mansell is 7.3 seconds ahead of Nigel Mansell and Berger is in 13th place…”

 

RACING ACCIDENTS

“It must be Barrichello, it must be Barrichello .. no no, it’s Schumacher!!! It’s Schumacher!!! Oh my goodness!!! Michael Schumacher is out of the German Grand Prix!!!”

(Adelaide 1986, Mansell’s tire blow-out) “[Rosberg] may have been prepared to move over… (tire explodes) AAAAAND LOOK AT THAT!!!! Out, and… and collossaly… that’s Mansell!!! THAT IS NIGEL MANSELL!!!! And the car absolutely shattered… he’s fighting for control… you can see what happened… that’s Mansell out of the race. Now, this could change and will change the world championship.”

“What’s that? There’s a BODY on the track!!!”
James Hunt responded “Um, I think that that is a piece of BODY-WORK, from someone’s car.”

“…and there’s no damage to the car…..except to the car itself.”

“Eddie Irvine with smoke pouring up from the eng…I suspect something’s locked up and he’s out of the race.”

“And Alesi spins there…spins out of the race, surely… “Yes!…NO! Alesi manages to keep the engine, does not stall, but of course he will have lost the place I think. No! he’s kept the place.”

“Martin’s got a bald spot – he won’t be pleased…” (Germany, 1994, as Brundle retires, and climbs out of the car. Murray stops talking about the broken McLaren as soon as he sees Martin’s head)

“…and Andretti is going very slowly – he must have an electrical problem of some sort… “(Andretti is touring on three wheels, having hit something solid)

Murray: “And there are flames coming from the back of Prost’s car as he enters the swimming pool.”
James: “Well, that should put them out then.”

“Oh that’s the Forti, and, it looks like, err, its Roberto Moreno’s car , the err Brazilian .. I was going to say the elderly Brazilian , he’s only 36 but he’s actually the oldest driver in the race at the present moment, though he’s just retired from it!”

[after Derek Warwick spun at Monaco ending up facing the wrong way…] “Now he must not go the wrong way round the circuit, and unless he can spin himself stationary through 360 degrees I fail to see how he can avoid doing so.”

[hysterical as ever] “And that’s Alboreto OFF!” [long pause – somber voice] “Now Michele Alboreto did not in fact qualify for the race, so how we managed to see him go off I don’t know. We’ll let you know.” [Even longer pause, now laughing] “Now I’m not a technician, but it appears a shot of Michele Alboreto going off in qualifying has crept into this live transmission, thank you Mr. Producer, anyway that was qualifying, this is the race…”

“Nigel Mansell had a problem with the wheel-nut on his Williams, then he went on to win brilliantly for Ferrari!”

“Look at Michael Schumacher. He’s on the ragged edge between flying off the track and staying off it.”

“Stop! Stop! Look! Look! It’s a Williams, and I’m guessing that’s Jacques Villeneuve, I can’t tell you for sure because I can’t see from here. And so Villeneuve retires …. it’s Hill! Damon Hill is out of the Monza Grand Prix!”

“Michael Schumacher is scything his way through the field… (Schumacher crashes) OOHHHHH! Schumacher out of the race!” (Canada 1999)

Monza 1988 (about the McLarens): “Smooth… and very reliable.” (Commentator’s Curse strikes half a lap afterwards, when Prost’s engine develops a problem)

“And there’s just a few more corners for Nigel Mansell to go to win the Canadian Grand Prix…and…he’s going rather slow….HE’S STOPPING! HE’S STOPPING!” – on the last lap of the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix

“Now, for real spectacular driving… watch this!” (Car flips over)

“Well let’s, uh, lugsh, luxurrriate in a little hypothesis and try to work out what, if anything, is wrong with Alain Prost.” (Prost was being caught by Berger late in the race.) “Has he got tire problems? Very unlikely. Is Prost having fuel trouble? Well, who knows? I think it’s a bit unlikely. Is Prost having gearbox trouble? I can’t tell you. And since P, uh, Prost is unlikely to come on the radio and let me know you’ll have to guess along with me.”

 

STATEMENTS

“Anything can happen in Formula 1, and it usually does.”

“The car in front is absolutely unique – except for the one behind it, which is identical.”

“It’s raining and the track is wet.”

“This is an interesting circuit because it has inclines, and not just up, but down as well.”

“You can’t see a digital clock because there isn’t one.”

“Do my eyes deceive me, or is Senna’s Lotus sounding rough?”

“Yes, the beauty of this race is that it is totally unpredictable”

“…the enthusiastic enthusiasts…” (Italy 1994)

“…but Here is Now and There is Damon Hill”

“As you can see, visually, with your eyes…”

“And why would they want a bigger rear wing? Because a bigger rear wing means more downforce, more downforce means more grip, more grip means more transmission…”

“An Achilles heel for the McLaren team this year, and it’s literally the heel because it’s the gearbox”.

“And now the boot is on the other Schumacher.”

“I can’t imagine what kind of problem Senna has. I imagine it must be some sort of grip problem.”

“It’s not quite a curve, it’s a straight actually.”

“And Damon Hill is going under the drier part of the Monaco circuit, that’s of course because it’s got a roof.”

“And that just shows you how important the car is in Formula One racing.”

“There goes Panis in the Prost. For years we knew them as Ligiers, because that is what they were called.”

“And I usually say that if anything is going to go wrong with the car, it has done by now, but I’m not going to say that about Jacques Villeneuve…. Oh, I already have”. (Brazil 1997)

“Heinz-Harald Frentzen. The man with all the luck, and it’s all bad.” (Qualifying Imola 97)

“And the track temperature has in fact risen in degrees!”

“I should imagine that the conditions in the cockpit are unimaginable!”

“Well, that is amazing, but I fear, absolutely… predictable!”

“Will it rain?”, said Jim Rosenthal. Well Murray Walker says, “Yes it will… but then maybe it won’t!”

Nurburgring 1995 (on Délétrazs antics): “And what is Délétraz doing? (pause) Doesn’t matter what he’s doing, it’s what Alesi and Schumacher are doing that matters.”

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