So beloved is Walker by the British, and indeed the international English- speaking audience, that one of the largest crowds of the show yet turned out to see him interviewed on the Autosport Stage. Adored by the TV public for his excitable style...
So beloved is Walker by the British, and indeed the international English- speaking audience, that one of the largest crowds of the show yet turned out to see him interviewed on the Autosport Stage. Adored by the TV public for his excitable style of commentary that occasionally leads him to on-air gaffs that are as endearing as they are amusing. A typical example might go something like this:
Walker: "The starting lights go out and Schumacher in the McLaren swerves across the front of Coulthard as they head for turn-1!"
Martin Brundle: "That's Schumacher in the Ferrari, Murray."
Walker without missing a beat: "Quite right you are Martin!"
In spite of the occasional miscue, Walker's knowledge of Grand Prix racing is encyclopedic, having witnessed personally most of Formula 1's triumphs as well as tragedies. His authority among the F1 press is almost without question as rare is the occasion that a driver or team owner will turn down an interview with Walker.
The arrival of Barber Pro Series veteran Juan Pablo Montoya is according to Walker one of the key ingredients for producing one of the most "mega-exciting" Grand Prix seasons ever. Walker had high praise for Montoya, stating that he was one of the most impressive drivers to come into Formula 1 for quite some time.
"He's really the complete package," said Walker.
Seldom at a loss for words, Walker was asked if he had witnessed anything throughout his long career that had left him utterly speechless. There had only been one. At Suzuka, Japan in 1996, Damon Hill, son of the late Sir Graham Hill clinched his first and only World Driving crown. Walker had of course commentated on Hill's father, and has known Hill since he was in diapers. As Hill crossed the finish line, Walker announced that he would have to excuse himself as lump had welled in his throat.