BBC Formula 1 Lead Commentator
There are so many factors, Bob, but for me one of the most significant is commitment. Total focus and an inner drive to succeed that needs to come from the driver, not just those around him or her. I love to see that kind of focus in a young driver.
By talking to them! I remember being at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk in the UK on a bright and sunny test day in the mid 1990s when I was still quite early in my commentating career. A young Australian driver was testing a Formula Ford that day, and he came up to me and introduced himself as Mark Webber. I remember being surprised that he knew who I was, but also impressed in the way that he presented himself and talked about his racing, and I never forget that introduction. Did I talk about him in a positive way when he was racing F3000 a few years later? You bet I did; it's just natural to feel a bond with someone you've met and liked. So, go and talk to all the journalists and commentators you can find. They love motorsport, they love talking about it, but sometimes they don't get the opportunity, so make it easy for them.