Emotions run high in Interlagos pit lane as Humphrey chases his BT Vision


TV view: It was an emotional weekend, with Felipe making the podium in Brazil and Rafa facing the ire of the Chelsea fans

Emotions, understandably enough, were running high at the end of yesterday’s Grand Prix in Brazil, not least from the BBC’s Jake Humphrey who is now leaving Formula One to move into sport, having been chosen to front BT Vision’s Premier League football next season.

“Like so many other things in life, don’t be sad it’s over, just smile because it happened,” he said, as he abandoned a rain-soaked and slightly forlorn-looking Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard in the Interlagos pit lane and headed for his shiny pastures new.

Jake did, at least, have an exciting conclusion to his F1 stint, Sebastian Vettel holding off the challenge of Fernando Alonso on an eventful enough day to become the youngest ever triple world champion – despite having a ’mare of a start that resulted in a bit of his car dangling off, which, not to be too F1 techy about it, isn’t a good thing.

But most emotional of all the protagonists, maybe, was local boy Felipe Massa who finished third in the race, earning himself a chat with the legend that is Nelson Piquet as he stood on the podium after.

“My friend Massa, you start the year not very good and you’ve been proving all the time,” said Nelson, while massaging Felipe’s left shoulder, “what about next year, you start in the right way?” That seemed to make Felipe even more tearful, or maybe his shoulder hurt, his voice trembling again as he addressed the crowd. In Portuguese, naturally. “That was lovely to hear,” said commentator Ben Edwards, “I didn’t understand it, but it was lovely to hear.”

It was too, and a whole heap lovelier than the reception Rafa Benitez received at Stamford Bridge yesterday when he was introduced as Chelsea manager, prompting Sky, at the end, to show the latest odds for the next Chelsea manager. Hasty, that.

“I’ve never been at a manager’s first game and straight after talked about who the next manager would be,” noted Niall Quinn, but Ray Wilkins was busy zooming in on the fourth name on the list, Gus Poyet. “He just jumps right off the page for me . . . he’s a very, very good coach . . . I love him to pieces, as a person he’s a top quality human being as well . . . I think he’ll be a very, very top quality manager,” said Ray who, incidentally, is a currently-available-for-work assistant manager/coach.

Not so Declan Kidney, who looks to have cemented his position as Ireland coach after Saturday’s mauling of the Pumas. “We could be in the bargain basement of world rugby if we lose this match – if we lose, it’s over,” said George Hook in his upbeat preview of the contest, before those seven tries and 46 points. The only negative on an otherwise positive afternoon, really, was the sight of all those Santas sitting in the crowd, reminding us that the plum pudding-constructing deadline had passed.

A cheery end to a testing rugby year, then, “you just have to really enjoy days like this,” said Conor O’Shea, to which George’s face replied: “Bah, humbug”. “You’re still not happy?” asked Tom McGurk.

“I’m NOT unhappy! But I can’t come in here like the fellas dressed as Father Christmas and start dispensing gifts,” he growled. Unhappy, then. Don’t be sad George, smile, 2012’s nearly over.

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