Coleraine born Gary Anderson, the former Technical Director of Jordan, has teamed up with his former boss Eddie Jordan after a gap of 24 years.
The duo are part of the BBC’s revamped 2012 Formula One coverage which had its first outing last weekend.
The reorganising of personnel has come about due to the introduction of competition from Sky Sports this year and notably the departure of Ted Kravitz, who Anderson will be replacing.
Gary’s role is more upfront than behind the scenes, as he will be the teams main technical analyst and is hoping to give the low-down on this year’s new cars and team changes and drawing from a lifetime of motorsport technical knowledge gained from working for the likes of Jordan, Stewart and Jaguar Formula 1 teams.
“It is really good to be back with Eddie,” Anderson told Times Sport. “We have known each other from the very early 80s, and have done Formula 3 in Europe, so it is a long time, I don’t think we have really ever fallen out.
“When I left Jordan and went to McLaren it was for reasons other than Eddie. I just didn’t like the management structure there, at the time I needed a bit of an arm around my shoulder, and they didn’t back me up. Even during that period, I have always known Eddie was there for me, and he always knew I was there for him if he ever needed it.
“He was a good friend, I am looking forward to working with him again, in this way, he is not my boss this time, that is always a big benefit, but I don’t think i’ll be sharing a room with him too often.”
Jordan is looking forward to linking up with his old pal again and he believes he will be a great asset to the BBC team.
“I think the team, we are called the Amigos and that is why we all work together and get on together, and keep chiselling up ideas,” said Jordan.
“One of the ideas was, guys you know the work Gary Anderson does on another channel and his wealth in experience, I have been with him throughout numerous championships. It’s not just Formula One, in the 80’s as well, he was the guy who designed the first Jordan car, he won Grand Prix’s but he also won Formula 3000 races, and Formula 3000 championships, and he designed those cars.
“So there are so many great stories I could tell you as the season goes through, but I would like to see what he has to say about me before I respond because I would like to keep the little in-house tricks that we have got up our sleeves to ourselves, for the moment, to see how he approaches it. He is an outstanding guy and you will see a new level of information, of intellect, of technical awareness, and understanding of how the car works, that I don’t believe has ever been on television before.”
Anderson also believes that the teams have to publicly show they are developing and that aerodynamics are everything in a racing car. “It can be hidden in plain view but if you look underneath, I will see something, and I will hopefully know how to bring it to you,” he explained.
“I can bring to you through a few sketches or a bit of artwork, what they might do. I suppose about ninety per cent of people won’t even notice it. My side is the technical side, I will pull you some interviews with the directors of the technical teams, I know them well enough to know.
“Hopefully i can explain that to you in good enough terms get the public to understand where these people are going to.”
Gary has already started getting up to speed with this year’s developments by visiting Barcelona, the last test session before the season gets underway. He feels Red Bull are doing something a little bit strange at the moment, on the rear wing assembly, and it looks like Mercedes are ducting air into the front wing.
Gary also thinks at this moment in time, Red Bull have got something that would be questioned on the rear wing assembly and that other teams will be getting an explanation of why it is legal.
“What happens is that the teams will contact the FIA to get an explanation of what has happened and then they will make a proposal to the FIA and say I want to be in a car that is legal,” explained Anderson
“The FIA will start to be shaken, because they will know that there is one out there that is legal and one that is not. I think between here and Melbourne there will be some smoke without fire, to see what people can get away with.”
Gary’s relationship with motorsport started around the age of 16 with friend Freddie Healey and a guy called Jim Scott, his brother-in-law, who both raced minis at Kirkistown and Gary acted as mechanic.
It was inevitable that Gary’s career would take him away from Northern Ireland but he still gets back to visit on a regular basis and has noticed the huge changes from 1972 when he left to now, saying
“It is just a different momentum, it is a lovely part of the world and you have just got to accept the changes that are there,” added Anderson
The 2012 season got underway at Melbourne’s Albert Park on Sunday. The championship this year comprises of 20 rounds with the notable addition of the Circuit of The Americas in Texas, USA appearing on the calendar for the first time.
STORY: Tony Gregory