The place for speaking your mind on current goings-on in F1
by Miguel98 13 Mar 2021, 18:07


This one hurts to report. Murray Walker has sadly left us today, at age 97. I don't think there's much to add, except that this one hurts. He was, for many of us, the voice of Formula One and motorsport. He was, in my opinion, the greatest behind the mic. He loved motorsport and he loved to report it. May he rest in peace, as we celebrate the life of a man who brought joy to many of us everytime he commentated on the sport.

Personally, I only found out about Murray a few years ago (or better, who he was), with the Murrayisms. But then I realized that I was listening to his commentary for years, when I listened to hours of ESPN's Classic broadcast of old F1 races. He was incredible to hear. Passionate, informative, funny, and despite the obvious british bias, he knew how to keep us informed and entertained in eras where information wasn't as acessible via television as it is today.

He will never be forgotten.

Mario on Gutierrez after the Italian Grand Prix wrote:He's no longer just a bit of a tool, he's the entire tool set.


18-07-2015: Forever in our hearts Jules.
25-08-2015: Forever in our hearts Justin.
by dr-baker 13 Mar 2021, 18:29
I loved his commentary and met him a few times at Beaulieu in Hampshire. Even saw him entering the commentary booth prior to the 1996 British GP. A very sad day.

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by WeirdKerr 13 Mar 2021, 18:50
THE voice of F1, always will be for me, Murray Walker.... :( RIP
by rachel1990 13 Mar 2021, 19:26
RIP Murray- Forget Hamilton, Senna or Schumacher- this man was the genuine GOAT. F1 and the world is a poorer place without him.

Benetton of 1992. Never a reject
by CoopsII 13 Mar 2021, 19:53
I know I shouldn't be sad, 97 is a long life well lived but even so...

The older you get the crapper it all is.

Just For One Day...
by Chrisdude 13 Mar 2021, 21:41
Incredibly sad to hear this.

Murray was the voice of F1 to me while growing up. I watched, recorded, and rewatched the 90s races so much that I could repeat many of his famous commentaries line for line by heart. His way with words, colourful metaphors, and unique delivery also richened my vocabulary and developed my passion to write about our beloved f1 as a hardcore anorak with the same infectious energy Murray had.

He gave so much to the sport and was loved by so many for his genuine enthusiasm. Thank you Murray, you will never be forgotten!
Last edited by Chrisdude on 13 Mar 2021, 23:56, edited 1 time in total.
by Paul Hayes 13 Mar 2021, 21:46
Very sad to hear the Murray Walker news. All of my memories of becoming an F1 fan in the 1990s are of course bound up with his voice as the soundtrack to it.

I was lucky enough to speak to him briefly once, when setting up an interview with him at work. We wanted to get someone to pay tribute to the local racing driver Jack Sears, who'd died. Walker said he hadn't known Sears well but was happy to talk about him if we couldn't get anyone else. Yeah, Murray, you'll just about do...

by dinizintheoven 13 Mar 2021, 22:18
I think everything that needed to be said already has been, and anything I could add is insignificant...

...except for this: Murray was the co-soundtrack to 180-something of my weekends, between 1990 and 2001. I've counted, and adjusted the figure for a few races I missed and "some" that he left for James Allen in his final year. And I thought James Hunt was a big loss at the time...

Something Murray always said, when he was asked about why he sounded like his trousers were on fire, was along these lines: "The commentator's job isn't just to describe the action, it's to convey his or her enthusiasm for the sport in question". He did that brilliantly, and when I was making The Hammer Of Retribution Ogg-Cast I'd like to think I did the same, even though it wasn't about any kind of sport.

I think I'll crack open a bottle of my finest home-brew cider in his honour. His former co-commentator would approve.

James Allen, on his favourite F1 engine of all time:
"...the Life W12, I can't describe the noise to you, but imagine filling your dustbin with nuts and bolts, and then throwing it down the stairs, it was something akin to that!"
by Freeze-O-Kimi 13 Mar 2021, 22:27
What more is there to add? We’ve lost a genuine legend in the motorsport community. I wasn’t lucky to hear Murray live as I started following F1 the year after he retired but having watched tons of the old races he commentated on it was so infectious to listen to him and his Murrayism’s were always forgivable because it was usually him tripping over the English language. Even outside of F1 he had some of the best quotes (Car upside down is a Toyota anyone?). This day I felt wasn’t too far away but even so it’s no less heartbreaking. A true great and he’ll be sadly missed

RIP Murray Walker
by BabyG 13 Mar 2021, 22:53
Best memory of Murray Walker is the Japanese Grand Prix 1994. Being 7 years old and a much bigger fan of Damon Hill than going to mass meant a compromise was made that we’d record the end of the race on tape. The result was being able to watch and listen to Murray Walker shout “Three point three six seconds!” with delight as Schumacher crossed the line on demand until the tape wore out many years later. Not to forget his squeal as Mansell overtook Alesi at the final chicane.

The man was a class act all round and is sorely missed.

Thank you, Murray.
by FullMetalJack 14 Mar 2021, 10:13
This one hurts.

Never have I heard a commentator for any sport display such passion and enthusiasm for his job. His voice captivated a young FMJ who would have been sat around his grandparents' house on a Sunday afternoon in the late 1990s; and made the racing all that more exciting.

Freeze-O-Kimi wrote:This day I felt wasn’t too far away but even so it’s no less heartbreaking.


Hit the nail on the head here. I know he was 97, but I just wasn't prepared for this day to come.

RIP Murray, you'll be missed greatly.

I like the way Snrub thinks!
by dinizintheoven 14 Mar 2021, 10:40
WHILE WE'RE HERE...

Somebody, somewhere, who's a collector and archivist of all things F1, must have a recording of the Grand Prix in which Murray said "you could cut the atmosphere with a cricket stump". It's been quoted so many times, and yet this is one you'll never find in the YouTube / Dailymotion / Vimeo library of Murray delivering his most memorable lines, because it was in the build-up to the race rather than during the action. But we all know it exists, and it was somewhere between the 1990 and 1997 seasons, inclusive - on the grounds that (a) I remember hearing it live and started watching F1 part-way through the 1990 season, and (b) the BBC used it in one of their F1 guides when they'd lost the rights to ITV, when they revitalised Skid Solo for a couple of cartoons in the 1998 and 1999 editions.

Those of you with vast F1 collections recorded from the BBC, you know what you need to do.

James Allen, on his favourite F1 engine of all time:
"...the Life W12, I can't describe the noise to you, but imagine filling your dustbin with nuts and bolts, and then throwing it down the stairs, it was something akin to that!"
by Barbazza 14 Mar 2021, 16:15
I don't have many race recordings from the 90s but I will check if I can find that quote.

Murray was the soundtrack to my childhood, I don't think I would've got into F1 without his commentaries, and I certainly wouldn't have got a feel for the joy and wonder of broadcasting and later decide that that's what i wanted to do for a living,

I wrote to him once when I was a student asking if he could do voiceovers for my show (I know, but if you don't ask, you don't get!) and got a brief but polite reply which was lovely.

My one and only meeting with him was at a book signing for his autobiography, one of those where you get hustled on before you can even speak. I briefly burbled something along the lines of 'thanks for all the fun I had listening to you, Murray' and he replied with "Oh!" (as if nobody had thought to say this before) "Thanks very much!". I can still remember the beaming smile.

Thanks for the memories and RIP Murray.
by Rob Dylan 14 Mar 2021, 19:14
My favourite thing about Murray was the fact that he was so famous and influential that the WAY he spoke about drivers is still repeated to this day. I can't think about Jean Alesi without describing him as "the French-Sicilian", for example. Mansell is "Red Number 5".

I love that he never tried to attribute blame to the controversial stuff. He was more worried about "oh you plonkers you've just gone and crashed out you silly muppets, but isn't this incredible for the guy who was in 3rd!" He commentated in an era without infinite replays and angles, and saw things present-tense. He did it all with a big board that he wrote himself before every weekend that told him all he needed to know, and went from there.

And so dies the voice of Formula 1. Rest in Peace.

Murray Walker at the 1997 Austrian Grand Prix wrote:The other [Stewart] driver, who nobody's been paying attention to, because he's disappointing, is Jan Magnussen.


Felipe Nasr - the least forgettable F1 driver!
by Klon 14 Mar 2021, 20:08
dinizintheoven wrote:WHILE WE'RE HERE...

Somebody, somewhere, who's a collector and archivist of all things F1, must have a recording of the Grand Prix in which Murray said "you could cut the atmosphere with a cricket stump". It's been quoted so many times, and yet this is one you'll never find in the YouTube / Dailymotion / Vimeo library of Murray delivering his most memorable lines, because it was in the build-up to the race rather than during the action. But we all know it exists, and it was somewhere between the 1990 and 1997 seasons, inclusive - on the grounds that (a) I remember hearing it live and started watching F1 part-way through the 1990 season, and (b) the BBC used it in one of their F1 guides when they'd lost the rights to ITV, when they revitalised Skid Solo for a couple of cartoons in the 1998 and 1999 editions.


The cricket stump quote comes from the 1997 German Grand Prix.

by dr-baker 14 Mar 2021, 20:25
Rob Dylan wrote:
I love that he never tried to attribute blame to the controversial stuff. He was more worried about "oh you plonkers you've just gone and crashed out you silly muppets, but isn't this incredible for the guy who was in 3rd!"

I remember just a few years ago, at a members event at Beaulieu one Saturday evening, he said he still didn't blame Schumacher for the crash with Damon Hill at Adelaide in 1994. He was probably taking into account that it was not premeditated and allowed for the possibility of blind spots, knowing that we couldn't have known for certain what was in his mind at that exact instant. A true gentleman who gave others the benefit of the doubt.

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by mario 14 Mar 2021, 22:34
dr-baker wrote:
Rob Dylan wrote:
I love that he never tried to attribute blame to the controversial stuff. He was more worried about "oh you plonkers you've just gone and crashed out you silly muppets, but isn't this incredible for the guy who was in 3rd!"

I remember just a few years ago, at a members event at Beaulieu one Saturday evening, he said he still didn't blame Schumacher for the crash with Damon Hill at Adelaide in 1994. He was probably taking into account that it was not premeditated and allowed for the possibility of blind spots, knowing that we couldn't have known for certain what was in his mind at that exact instant. A true gentleman who gave others the benefit of the doubt.

Something that seems to be much rarer these days, with a tendency that's leaning more towards hyper partisanship for the wrong reasons.

I would agree that, to many, Murray was an integral part of generating that initial interest in the sport, given the knowledge that he brought and the enthusiasm he radiated - and it is worth noting that, whilst Formula 1 might have been where some of his more famous exploits occurred, he showed similar adroitness when commentating on other series (touring cars, motorbike racing and so forth). In fact, I do think that side of his career is a bit overshadowed, but does also illustrate his uniqueness - I can't think of another motorsport commentator who was able to cover such a wide range of series either.

Martin Brundle, on watching a replay of Grosjean spinning:
"The problem with Grosjean is that he want to take a look back at the corner he's just exited"
by dinizintheoven 14 Mar 2021, 23:26
Klon wrote:The cricket stump quote comes from the 1997 German Grand Prix.

Well mown! You've earned yourself a corned beef sandwich, or a Seelachs-Ei-Brötchen or anything else I remember buying at Lübeck Airport back in the days when I went to Wacken by plane. And the date...

YouTube wrote:Date: 27th July 1997

...I should have remembered that day a lot better! I turned 18 that very afternoon...

James Allen, on his favourite F1 engine of all time:
"...the Life W12, I can't describe the noise to you, but imagine filling your dustbin with nuts and bolts, and then throwing it down the stairs, it was something akin to that!"
by Rob Dylan 15 Mar 2021, 08:55
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaeabUmhXbc

Would just like to share possibly my favourite Murray Walker clip, where he lives out his life-long dream to commentate on snooker. :D

What's everyone's favourite Murray moments? Maybe we can get a collection together :)

Image

Murray Walker at the 1997 Austrian Grand Prix wrote:The other [Stewart] driver, who nobody's been paying attention to, because he's disappointing, is Jan Magnussen.


Felipe Nasr - the least forgettable F1 driver!
by takagi_for_the_win 15 Mar 2021, 11:37
I can't find it anywhere online to save my life, but "and now the boot is on the other Schumacher" has always been a personal favourite of mine. Pretty sure it used to be referenced in the old F1R pods, but they're long gone now I think.

TORA! TORA! TORA!
by dr-baker 15 Mar 2021, 12:43
takagi_for_the_win wrote:I can't find it anywhere online to save my life, but "and now the boot is on the other Schumacher" has always been a personal favourite of mine. Pretty sure it used to be referenced in the old F1R pods, but they're long gone now I think.

I can provide a link to copies of the old podcasts if you wish.

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by UncreativeUsername37 15 Mar 2021, 15:39
No one loved Formula One as much as Murray Walker. If there was a weird penalty, he'd be able to get on with enjoying the race. (Imagine the value that would have had the previous decade.) No matter how boring a race would be to anyone else, he'd find something intriguing in it, and just by conveying his honest emotions as a fan he'd make you find it intriguing too. Maybe I'm just not as easily affected by others as everyone else, but "infectious enthusiasm" seems like an overused phrase to me, and he was someone who really deserved it. How many man-hours of boredom did he convert to excitement?

Rob Dylan wrote:Mercedes paying homage to the other W12 chassis by breaking down 30 minutes in
by Paul Hayes 15 Mar 2021, 18:44
This isn't the piece I mentioned having a hand in setting up, as it's from before my time at the station. But back in 2000, Murray did a long feature interview with us, which I've put online in its entirety if anyone fancies a listen. Well worth it for his discussion of the experience of going in the McLaren two-seater with Brundle at Silverstone!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p099qpsw

by Barbazza 15 Mar 2021, 20:51
I'm not sure why it's a particular favourite of mine, certainly it never seems to turn up in clips montages, but Johansson 3 wheeling his way to the line at Hockenheim in 87 to the sound of 'Look at that! This is absolutely unbeLIEVable!' is one I always love to see.
by Paul Hayes 15 Mar 2021, 22:13
One of the things which I think really comes across looking back is that although Walker was clearly a proud British subject, he was no Little Englander. He may have had his favourites, but he was always very happy to sing the praises of the likes of Schumacher even when they may not have been at the peak of popularity with the UK audience. I've always felt his line about Hill having reduced the world championship gap to one at the end of Japan '94 was at least as much due to his excitement of it setting up a dramatic championship finale as it was his enthusiasm for Hill. It seems to me that he was always happy with anything which made either the race or the championship more exciting.

by takagi_for_the_win 18 Mar 2021, 00:38
dr-baker wrote:
takagi_for_the_win wrote:I can't find it anywhere online to save my life, but "and now the boot is on the other Schumacher" has always been a personal favourite of mine. Pretty sure it used to be referenced in the old F1R pods, but they're long gone now I think.

I can provide a link to copies of the old podcasts if you wish.


Whyever not, would be good listening for old time’s sakes!

TORA! TORA! TORA!
by dr-baker 18 Mar 2021, 07:14
takagi_for_the_win wrote:
dr-baker wrote:
takagi_for_the_win wrote:I can't find it anywhere online to save my life, but "and now the boot is on the other Schumacher" has always been a personal favourite of mine. Pretty sure it used to be referenced in the old F1R pods, but they're long gone now I think.

I can provide a link to copies of the old podcasts if you wish.


Whyever not, would be good listening for old time’s sakes!

I have emailed you a link to Dropbox where you can find all the podcasts.

watka wrote:I find it amusing that whilst you're one of the more openly Christian guys here, you are still first and foremost associated with an eye for the ladies!
dinizintheoven wrote:GOOD CHRISTIANS do not go to jail. EVERYONE ON FORMULA ONE REJECTS should be in jail.
MCard LOLA
by Londoner 19 Mar 2021, 20:31
For all the Murrayisms and iconic moments in the booth, I think Imola 1994 was Murray's finest hour. It's surreal hearing him commentate as if the fire in his trousers had been extinguished, but got the tone spot on and guided the viewers through some of the toughest hours in broadcasting history. His off-the-cuff tribute to Senna during the BBC's 10 minute programme on Sunday evening is amazing, he's clearly working through his own grief but keeping it together. Murray, Jonathan Palmer and Steve Rider deserve plaudits for getting through it.

Been re-reading his autobiography on the commute this week, what an incredible life the man had. Gutted he didn't make it to his century, but to be 97 and still be as lucid and sharp as he was, and still be able to live in his own home with his wife until the last few months of 2020, that's a life I'd like to have.

Godspeed, Murray

kevinbotz, discussing magnesium wrote:But it's so light and lovely, Tommy. Never mind that it effectively turned Grand Prix cars constructed out of it into incendiary bombs. :P
by CoopsII 21 Mar 2021, 10:25
Thanks for sharing that Londoner, I hadn't seen it since May 1994 and it definitely brought that weekend back to me. To be fair, I thought Palmer gave a great and measured response too. Looking back he was an underrated commentator as well as a driver.

What's amazing about Murray Walker is that fans who started following F1 after his retirement still know about him, what other commentators have that kind of legacy?

Just For One Day...
by dinizintheoven 25 Mar 2021, 13:29
Freeze-O-Kimi wrote:What more is there to add? We’ve lost a genuine legend in the motorsport community. I wasn’t lucky to hear Murray live as I started following F1 the year after he retired but having watched tons of the old races he commentated on it was so infectious to listen to him and his Murrayism’s were always forgivable because it was usually him tripping over the English language. Even outside of F1 he had some of the best quotes (Car upside down is a Toyota anyone?). This day I felt wasn’t too far away but even so it’s no less heartbreaking. A true great and he’ll be sadly missed

RIP Murray Walker

Something that I could add to this comment in particular: "What makes a great commentator?" can be easily answered by the legacy that commentator leaves after hanging up the microphone... and after crossing the Rainbow Bridge. Sure, I was lucky enough to have seen so much F1 in the 1990s that had Murray's enthusiasm all over it - but I do have my own equivalent of Freezy's comment above.

And that would be John Arlott - he retired from cricket commentary in 1980 and died in 1990, a year before I started following cricket in anything other than the most casual capacity. And yet, there are so many clips of him commentating on great moments from the past, as soon as I hear that gravelly voice with a slight West Country accent (that wouldn't have been at all welcome at the BBC in his early days), I know instinctively who it is. I'd even know from an impression of him, such as the one Rory Bremner did for The Commentators' "N-N-Nineteen Not Out".

"It's a long, slow, lazy delivery... but it's the best I can do." The polar opposite of Murray's delivery, but then, cricket is played at a different pace to F1.

James Allen, on his favourite F1 engine of all time:
"...the Life W12, I can't describe the noise to you, but imagine filling your dustbin with nuts and bolts, and then throwing it down the stairs, it was something akin to that!"
by Ferrim 31 Mar 2021, 15:25
The best tribute I can pay to Murray, whom I only knew years after he retired, is the following:

I've recently passed my C1 level English examination, with flying colours: in fact, Cambridge says that my level of ability is equal to a C2 (the highest one you can obtain). I'm certain that a non-insignificant part of my skill comes from listening to Murray Walker's broadcasts: he had a fantastic voice and enunciation, a big vocabulary, great syntax - you name it. You can easily follow what he says and learn a lot, just by watching F1 races.

There will never be another one like him.

Go home, Bernie Ecclestone!

"There will be no other victory this year, I can tell you, more welcomed than this one" Bob Varsha, 1995 Canadian GP

F1 Rejects Forums – going off-topic since 2009!
by Francophone 10 May 2021, 18:20
Ferrim wrote:The best tribute I can pay to Murray, whom I only knew years after he retired, is the following:

I've recently passed my C1 level English examination, with flying colours: in fact, Cambridge says that my level of ability is equal to a C2 (the highest one you can obtain). I'm certain that a non-insignificant part of my skill comes from listening to Murray Walker's broadcasts: he had a fantastic voice and enunciation, a big vocabulary, great syntax - you name it. You can easily follow what he says and learn a lot, just by watching F1 races.


There will never be another one like him.


You weren't the only one. I remember getting one of Murray's books - Formula One Heroes when I was a teenager and remember very well one story he had about Ayrton Senna in 1994 just before he passed away.

For the 1994 season Murray changed his pronunciation of Senna's name in his commentaries to the Anglicised variant (Air-ton) , but Senna pulled him up and asked him - what happened to Ay-eer-ton? when they crossed paths , possibly at Aida. Murray said how he was astonished at how Senna could possibly find that out* - and Senna said that he always made a point of watching Murray's commentaries whenever he watched races back , and not his native Portugese with Rede Globo.

*I'm astonished too considering this is 1994 - no youtube clips , no social media , no world feed and very little shared commentaries, very little internet at 14.4Kbps , no world feed , I don't even think BBC had live coverage of all races that season so it's no small effort to track down Murray's commentaries being outside the UK!
by Bleu 10 May 2021, 19:58
Senna raced his entire F1 career with British teams so I can imagine someone in his team might have recorded races.
by Francophone 23 May 2021, 11:14
Bleu wrote:Senna raced his entire F1 career with British teams so I can imagine someone in his team might have recorded races.


Would be an interesting rider in his contract , having a VHS tape of his past race delivered to him every week or so :)

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