|(c) Patrik Lundin|
The 35 year old will be a familiar face to Motorsport fans. Gow had previously presented the BBC's Moto GP coverage, as well as covering feeder series of Formula 1 like British Formula 3 and Formula Ford. An avid sports fan, Jennie worked as the pit reporter for BBC Radio 5 Live in 2012 alongside popular F1 Journalist James Allen and ex-F1 driver Jaime Alguersuari.
Jennie chatted to me about her career, the 2012 season and the action on track this year.
JG: It's quite a long story I suppose so I'll give you the key moments! I went to University in Bristol to study Communication and Media but didn't get on with it, I just wanted to be doing it rather than learning so I left and did a Journalism course in London. I wanted to do sport so applied for work experience with the BBC working on Match of the Day Magazine and then in BB Choice and one thing led to another. My first real job at the BBC was Production Secretary for Sports Personality of the Century - an amazing job!
JL: You mentioned that you wanted to go for sports journalism, looking at where you are now with Formula 1 have you always been a fan of sport and more specifically motorsport ?
JG: I really love all sport - I think it's the passion and pure competition I enjoy being able to watch or listen to. I always watched motorsport when I was growing up and first worked in it with the Speedway in Bridgewater when I was about 22. Motorsport is definitely in my blood now (a few years later!!!) and I couldn't live without it.
JL: Looking more specifically at Formula 1, you joined the F1 Paddock in 2011 at the Canadian Grand Prix. What a race to enter the industry, the weekend must have been pretty manic for you. Where you nervous building up to the weekend?
JG: I was too excited to be nervous! I couldn't wait to get into the paddock and be inside a sport I have followed as a fan for so long. It was an honour and a privilege and I wanted to get every detail and experience across to our listeners - I just wasn't banking on that being 2 hours of rain!
JL: I don't think anyone did, the race was fantastic though. You stepped up to be the BBC Radio 5 Live’s Pit Reporter last season, how did you find your first full season in the role?
JG: Amazing! What a season....it was intense, thrilling and went down to the wire. Twists and turns all the way. What more could anyone ask for?
JL: I completely agree. That links nicely in to my next question, looking at the 2012 season, would you say it has been the best we have ever seen? I certainly think it has been the best I have witnessed.
JG: In the modern era of racing there can't be any doubt it is the best we have seen. I think a lot of people fell out of love with F1 when Ferrari and Schumacher were dominating, there was a worry the same would happen in 2012 with Vettel dominating. Yes, he might have won in the end but the journey was spectacular. We all spent the first seven races wondering what on earth was going on...it was brilliant.
JL: You mention Vettel there, it is a hotly debated topic but many fans feel that despite winning the world title, the driver of the year was in fact Alonso. Would you agree? Who was your driver of the year?
JG: Until the last race of the year my driver pick would have been Alonso without doubt. However, Brazil proved many of Vettel's doubters wrong. To have the presence of mind to steer the Red Bull backwards through the field, finish the race in a car that many would not have been able to control and make that overtaking move (on the limit) proves to me that not only is he talented but he can think his way to a championship as well as drive from the front. Although Alonso was amazing in 2012!
JL: That was a phenomenal race, now one of the other big talking points in 2012 was the signing of Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes. What was your initial reaction and view on the move and has it changed now after a few months to think about it?
JG: My initial view was that he was incredibly brave! I spoke to him at length about his decision in Japan and it was fascinating. He said he wants to become a man and the only way to do that was move on. Mercedes happened to be the right offer at the right time. It's impressive really and I hope the move works for him. I haven't changed my view - I think it will be the making of the man, or maybe I should say 'hope'. He has had two troubled years and a break might be just what he needs even if winning will be hard. I actually think it could be a tougher season for Jenson than Lewis...Can you imagine if Lewis beats Jenson in that Mercedes?
JL: Yes, that will certainly silence the doubters! Another big talking point mid-season was the future of Nico Hulkenberg. He was linked to moves to Ferrari and McLaren, but decided to switch to Sauber. What do you think he can achieve next season, some are even suggesting it is to help set him up for a future Ferrari seat?
JG: I felt for both he and Paul di Resta. Both are ambitious young drivers who are hugely talented and want to be with one of the big teams. However, with driver movement this season it meant both would lose out on a seat with Ferrari or Mercedes. I was surprised McLaren didn't sign him up and the switch to Sauber is intriguing. The Ferrari link must be a key factor surely otherwise it just doesn't make sense. The financial boost to Sahara Force India at the end of the season also raises questions about the move away from the team but Nico is hugely talented and a really nice guy. It was be interesting to see what he can do in the Sauber - a car that was immense in design last season but not driven to it's full potential.
JL: Yes it will be interesting to see if Sauber can keep the pace up with the rules being so similar. Now 2012 has been a big year for F1 and was your first full year reporting from the pits, what have been your highlights of the season?
JG: That's a tough one because there were so many amazing moments - from the sublime to the ridiculous! Colin Murray started the season on BBC Radio 5 Live by setting me a challenge to sniff all the drivers and work out who smelt the best (highbrow I know!) I remember subtly trying to sniff Sebastian Vettel as he was getting ready for the drivers parade on Sunday!
JL: Lots of people (including me) are very jealous of you Jennie, you do have a fantastic job! There must be some downsides to travelling around the globe though, you mentioned earlier family and friends get neglected.
JG: There are some downsides to my job, I spend a lot of time in airports waiting, a lot of time at circuits waiting for drivers and team and a lot of time getting rained on - but the good bits far outweigh the bad bits. And when the season is over I get to spend some quality time catching up with everyone so I definitely can't complain.
JL: Yes I was going to say, the positives definitely outweigh any negatives. Looking at your travels around the world with F1, which country have you enjoyed visiting the most?
JG: Austin. Amazing place, people and race. Easy!
JL: That is a race that I would love to visit! Moving on to the drivers, who is the best driver to interview?
JG: Kimi is the toughest but when you get something good from him it is very rewarding. The best...that's tricky. It depends on the story really and how successful you are at getting honest, interesting answers from them. That changes as you go through a season...I really enjoy interviewing them all and trying to get something different from them not just the standard answers.
JL:Your also a big fan of other motor sport's and you presented the Moto GP coverage in 2010, how did it feel when you found out you were going to front the BBC’s coverage, as it is a very big role.
JG: It was amazing and terrifying all at the same time. It was one of those surreal moments I will never forget!
JL: As you may know I aspire to be a journalist, preferably in Formula 1. What advice do you have for people out there like me who enter that field of expertise?
JG: BE PERSISTENT - it is very unusual to get into journalism without a few knocks and rejections only the way. They are useful and toughen up the skin - which you need for when you start work.