back to article Car-crash television: 'Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?' 'Yes I do,' replies AMD's CEO

Some of us love watching Formula One for the prangs and crashes – but we don't really expect them to happen before the race even begins. Yet, that's the only way to describe a live TV interview at the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday, which went embarrassingly wrong. Former Formula One driver and Sky Sports telly …

    1. CheesyTheClown

      Re: F1 is a Car Crash

      I'm pretty impressed.... I had to look up what F1 was. Then I realized it was those cars from Iron Man.

      I didn't realize people knew this much about people who drive around in circles over and over again.

      I suppose it's cultural or something.

      Is it true that these cars are meant to be as similar as possible and that the organizers strictly prohibit the teams from doing anything to modernize the vehicles beyond tuning them? Is it basically really well tuned Ford Model T technology? It's just an internal combustion engine with lots of electronics to tweak and tune them right?

      From a technological perspective, are they allowed to do anything interesting outside of material sciences? Can they even do anything good with material sciences? Like could they make the body of a more advanced composite than their competition? Could they make something like a run flat tire using a carbon nanotube structure which would allow them three or four more laps without changing tires?

      It disappoints me a little that AMD would spend so much money on something as wasteful as this. But I'd imagine that it helps them make sales.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: F1 is a Car Crash

        @CheesyTheClown

        Thry this thing called the Internet.

        First hit for "Technology in F1" gives an insight....

        http://www.racecar-engineering.com/category/technology-explained/

        It wasn't really that hard to find.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: F1 is a Car Crash

        "I didn't realize people knew this much about people who drive around in circles over and over again."

        Circles? I think you know more than you claim since you are confusing F1 with NASCAR.

      3. Lotaresco Silver badge

        Re: F1 is a Car Crash

        "I didn't realize people knew this much about people who drive around in circles"

        You're thinking of NASCAR. HTH.

      4. David Beck

        Re: F1 is a Car Crash

        You got the wrong cars. What you just described is Indy racing. Circular track, IC engine only, ...

        F1 uses sports car track, like VIR or Sebring, "engine" is hybrid, bodies are to the formula but not at all similar (only in the sense that all aircraft are similar). Regarding the electronics, the average F1 car has about 120 sensors reporting to the pits and on to the factory during the race. Admittedly quite a few of these are temperature sensors but if you are going to fly a 600 kilo car at 1 cm above the ground at 320 kph using a 1000 horsepower engine, temperature is a big deal.

        As for Brundle's aborted interview with the AMD CEO, it was nothing compared to when he attempted to interview Maria Carey.

    2. David Nash Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: F1 is a Car Crash

      "Races are rarely live and even then its just once"

      What does that even mean?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        '"Races are rarely live and even then its just once"

        Someone wrote 'what does that even mean'... Let me have another bite... In Latam, throughout Alonso's Ferrari tenure Fux Sports 3 used to show every race 'Live' as it was happening. They then repeated the race up to 4 times throughout the same Sunday, and there were repeats throughout the following week too. Whereas at the moment, its rare for Fux Sports to show any Live races, and midweek repeats, that's all over!

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: F1 is a Car Crash

      I gave up when BBC stopped showing it live, then spoilered it on their news web site

  1. Thoguht Silver badge

    Can anyone else remember when some childrens' TV show or other used to recreate highlights of F1 races using Scalextric? Although I don't remember any Playmobil figures getting run over in the pit lane.

    Ah, those were the days, when Ayrton Senna was regarded by at least one commentator as a talentless rich kid who'd bought his way into F1 instead of a saint.

  2. Adus

    Why should he?

    I wouldn't recognize her or most other tech CEOs.

    I read their names in articles, very rarely do I know what they look like.

    And honestly, why does it matter? It's not like he was rude, he was in Asia and saw an Asian and asked if they spoke English... that doesn't seem particularly offensive and she didn't seem to mind.

    1. streaky Silver badge

      Re: Why should he?

      I wouldn't recognize her or most other tech CEOs.

      Nope, me neither. If she'd just mugged me I wouldn't be able to pick her out of a line-up and fwiw same Intel's CEO.

      Some of us have to actually do work and couldn't care less about c-levels.

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Why should he?

      I suspect most Americans can recognise Musk and Zuckerberg (and Trump, but he's not a tech CEO).

      Of course there's a big difference between a company founder and a recruited executive.

  3. jockmcthingiemibobb

    F1 yawn. MotoGP, rally cars, sidecars or the hillbilly OZ V8s offer far more entertainment,

    1. aregross

      Up one for "hillbilly OZ V8s".... I LOL'd

    2. AdamWill

      Also

      "F1 yawn. MotoGP, rally cars, sidecars or the hillbilly OZ V8s offer far more entertainment"

      Also more entertaining than F1: that channel that just shows a fireplace the whole time. Also, reading the minutes of European Commission subcommittee meetings. In all the official languages.

    3. Shugyosha
      Happy

      RE: "hillbilly OZ V8s"

      Ahem, it's the 'Bogan' OZ V8s, thank you very much.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: RE: Re: Fwd: "hillbilly OZ V8s"

        AKA "V8 Supertaxis"

    4. Spasticus Autisticus

      "F1 yawn. MotoGP, rally cars, sidecars or the hillbilly OZ V8s offer far more entertainment" - add IndyCar to that list. There's more excitement in the 24heurs du Mans than an F1 race - and has been for years.

      After failing to find F1 highlights in Sky's EPG (a ten minute program in reality) on anything other than Sky F1 I've decided to not bother with F1 any more. Having watched the last two IndyCar races live, both with plenty of excitement, that's what I'll now watch for fast racing.

      Why do French presidents of the FIA always fuck up motorsport, Jean-Marie Bastard killed Group C for a decade or so.

    5. imanidiot Silver badge

      Then you really haven't watched any of the more interesting F1 races. Last weeks race in China didn't start out very exiting (though there were some nice overtakes) but ended up very close.

      F1 isn't always exiting, and some races ARE snooze fests, but then sometimes something happens like last weeks crash between Gasly and Hartley causing a safety car and the whole race is back open. Or a race like the 2016 Brazil GP (wet race, plenty of exitement).

      1. Spasticus Autisticus

        Who and who? 2016 WTF! Were no races exiting (sic) in 2017?

        F1 - 1 race in 10 interesting?* Regular occurrence

        IndyCar - 1 race in 10 boring? Sometimes

        * And it doesn't matter how many times Ben or David say 'interesting' during their commentary - it mostly isn't :-)

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          That was just one example that popped into my head when thinking of interesting/exiting races I'd seen myself. There were enough good races in 2017 as well.

        2. David Nash Silver badge
      2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        F1 isn't always exiting, and some races ARE snooze fests, but then sometimes something happens like last weeks crash between Gasly and Hartley causing a safety car and the whole race is back open.

        It does seem F1 is getting less exciting as time goes by, that the only kick does come if there's an incident and a non-virtual safety car bunches them up and resets everything.

        It's getting common that races are mostly settled after the first few laps and then it's just a tedious procession and maybe some battles for the minor placings. There's little on-track skill shown, get out in front then lead all the way to the finishing line.

        When it goes pay-to-view I doubt I will miss its departure.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Uhuh, less exciting than for instance 1988, where the MP4/4 with Senna or Prost was guaranteed to win every race?

          It's not the first time in F1 history that there is little overtaking and the battle is decided by strategy and pitstops. Sure the sound was more impressive but that was about it.

          And little on-track skill shown?? Have you WATCHED any of the recent races? Plenty of skill shown by multiple drivers.

          Yeah, F1 could be a lot better since the aero heavy cars make overtaking difficult and the sound of the V6 turbo's doesn't come close to the V12s, V10s or V8s of the past but it's still the pinnacle of racing. The speeds achieved are INSANE and only the LeMans LMP1 class comes close, even the slightest error can mean these guys miss a brake point, clip the inside curb on the apex then lose the back end on the exit ending up in the gravel or the wall (or the nice flat run-off asfalt if they're on one of the Tilke-temples). It's not for the faint of heart and not every driver can make it.

          1. AdamWill

            "but it's still the pinnacle of racing. The speeds achieved are INSANE and only the LeMans LMP1 class comes close, even the slightest error can mean these guys miss a brake point, clip the inside curb on the apex then lose the back end on the exit ending up in the gravel or the wall"

            Yes, but that doesn't mean it's particularly interesting to watch, that's the thing. All those things are perfectly true, but watching it happen still winds up being dull as hell 95% of the time. This is not at all unusual, is it? 99% of people wouldn't want to watch the 'pinnacle' of software engineering played out in real time for two hours. Or tax accounting. Or sewer maintenance (actually that'd probably make a pretty good History Channel show...)

            All of the following things can be true at the same time:

            * Building a fast F1 car is insanely difficult and expensive and technically advanced

            * Driving one fast is extremely difficult, dangerous and skilled work

            * Watching it happen is boring

            Weirdly enough for me one of the bigger blows recently was the removal of pit stop refuelling. All the arguments for it make perfect sense - remove a non-actually-driving-a-fast-car-fast factor from being able to influence race results, avoid people having to handle large volumes of highly flammable fuel at ridiculously high speeds in close proximity to extremely hot race cars, etc. etc. - but at least when we had refuelling strategies and more potential for pit stop mess-ups it gave the commentators something to talk about for the 15 laps at a time when absolutely nothing else of interest was happening and added a bit more unpredictability to keep you watching after lap 2...

  4. Mike Flex

    "who speaks excellent English, thanks in part to gaining a masters and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from MIT and 46 years living in the US."

    Shouldn't that read "speaks excellent English ... despite 46 years living in the US"?

  5. Symon Silver badge
    Coat

    F1 has moved with the times.

    It could have been much worse. If she had gone to a race when she was at MIT, James Hunt would've tried to shag her. Breakfast of champions!

    http://cdn2.autoexpress.co.uk/sites/autoexpressuk/files/2016/02/hunt3.jpg

  6. Stanislaw
    Meh

    Um..

    Brundle is famous for his "talk to a random person on the grid" spots and minor faux pas are practically the objective, or at least an acceptedly high probability. Nothing unusual in this one at all.

  7. LucasNorth

    Brundle is talentless and incredibly boring, this is standard drivel from him.

    1. Paul Ward

      Agreed. Never met the guy but anecdotally apparently he isn't the nicest chap...

      Still, he's done well for himself as a pundit considering he never actually won a race.

      1. lybad

        That's a bit unfair - he never won an F1 race. He did win plenty of races in other categories.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If he was a really good reporter

    If he was a really good reporter, after he realized she was the AMD CEO, he would have asked her why she sold her company's server IP to Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Co. Ltd., with THATIC being a cousin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a national research institution.

    https://www.amd.com/en-us/press-releases/Pages/press-release-2016apr21.aspx

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: If he was a really good reporter

      Because that's clearly what an F1 commentator and his audience cares about...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If he was a really good reporter

        Yes, you're so right, his British audience -- the one that often makes fun of the French, Americans, and other foreigners, from the BBC on down -- cares deeply that he picked an Asian woman at random out of the crowd and assumed she spoke his British English.

        1. IsJustabloke Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: If he was a really good reporter

          "....random out of the crowd and assumed she spoke his British English."

          Actually old chap, we tend to just call it "English"... you know it being our language and all that.

        2. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: If he was a really good reporter

          He didn't assume, he asked her.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: If he was a really good reporter

        Because that's clearly what an F1 commentator and his audience cares about...

        In Ten years time when they're racing servers, then is the time to ask that question...

  9. Steve Evans

    It doesn't sound that bad...

    I didn't see the race, I gave up following F1 when BBC ducked out of their contract and half the races went to SKY, but from how you describe it, it doesn't sound that bad. Especially given Brundle's previous gaffs.

    He's in a foreign country, covering an international event, surely asking if someone speaks English is far more polite than just going up to someone and then blabbering something to them and assuming they'll speak English? There are plenty of very successful Asian business people who don't speak English who are more than well-heeled enough to have been on that grid.

  10. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Meanwhile

    The race was an absolute cracker. Bit of a slow burn initially, spiced up by a safety car at about two thirds distance.

    I just wish the sport didn't require SC interventions to be interesting...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh this is nothing. For over twenty years the Dutch commentator has been this moron who can't even tell two drivers apart.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Agreed, Olav Mol should be replaced. The guy is too often an idiot and his English is atrocious (Which is annoying when he tries to "translate" team/driver radio transmissions). I vastly prefer to listen to the British commentary when possible.

  12. Thomas_Kent
    Facepalm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWynJkN5HbQ

  13. VeganVegan
    IT Angle

    At least the drivers didn’t have to download and install drivers

    I look forward to the day when autonomous cars become common, the IT folks will then need to download both kinds of drivers.

  14. soulg

    So AMD isn't just sticking a logo on the nose of the Ferrari? They are putting in some kind of AI APU in the car as well? This was the most interesting part of the article.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    F1 telecast not so great

    Lisa Su is a class act. I doubt AMD is spending fortunes to sponsor but they probably provide some cash, product and technical support to Ferrari. Ferrari has the upper hand so far in 2018. The F1 telecast leaves a lot to be desired IMNHO.

  16. Nimby
    WTF?

    WTF = False Positive

    As someone who has done a fair bit of living abroad in Foreign Language Land, I think it is quite possible that the scenario went askew simply because of a moment of confusion that had nothing to do with language. I've been there many a time myself, where my wondering things like "why the heck is he asking ME about THAT" causes people to automatically switch languages, even though language was never the problem. Because a look of confusion, regardless of the reason, creates false positives in the "Do they understand me?" test.

    So I think it started more like this...

    Brundlefly approaches Su, microphone in hand.

    Su has a WTF moment, wondering why he has picked her out and what questions he will have.

    Brundlefly sees Su's confused expression and assumes it is language that is the problem.

    "Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?"...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Martin Brundle

    I don't know why but every time I see the name "Brundle" it immediately reminds me of the 1986 remake of the movie "The Fly" starring Jeff Goldblum as the scientist Seth Brundle.

    (I need to get out more)

  18. wolfetone Silver badge

    She's sort of wrong in what she's said.

    AMD have paid Phillip Morris to have their logo advertised, Phillip Morris then decides to stick it on the Ferrari. Ferrari contract out their sponsorship to Phillip Morris, and have done since the 60's I think.

  19. trevorde

    It could've been worse

    "YOU SPEAKEE ENGLISH?... E N G L I S H!!"

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "ploughing"

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