Channel 4 announces Formula 1 on-air team

Channel 4 and Whisper Films have today confirmed the line-up that will cover Formula 1 throughout the 2016 season.

As noted, and analysed in a separate article, Steve Jones is presenting Channel 4’s coverage. Alongside Jones in the pit lane will be a plethora of pundits.

How The F1 Broadcasting Blog has covered the Winter story
> December 21st: Channel 4 in, BBC TV out
> January 11th: Whisper Films and David Coulthard confirmed
> January 11th: Your Channel 4 F1 team revealed
> January 16th: Suzi Perry out
> January 18th: 2016 scheduling confirmed
> January 29th: Steve Jones in the presenter hot-seat
> February 12th: ‘The Chain’ confirmed
> February 20th: No technical expert expected
> March 8th: Steve Jones (and everyone else) confirmed

Ben Edwards joins from the BBC, where he was lead commentator from 2012 onwards. Edwards will again be joined in the commentary box by Coulthard. In pit lane, Karun Chandhok will be interviewing the drivers up and down the grid (his role is billed as ‘technical expert’), with Lee McKenzie also jumping over from the BBC.

On the punditry side will be Eddie Jordan, Mark Webber, Susie Wolff, Bruno Senna, Alain Prost, Alessandro Zanardi and Nicholas Hamilton, all of who will be used in rotation through the season. Like his previous role at the BBC, Murray Walker will be interviewing stars of Formula 1 away from the race circuit. There are three main surprises here. The first is that Jordan and McKenzie will be part of Channel 4’s coverage despite early suspicions that both would not be involved, the former having recently signed up for Top Gear.

Furthermore, Bruno Senna has defected from Sky Sports to Channel 4. Lastly, Hamilton may be a surprise, but he has presenting experience having presented Channel 4’s coverage of the Race of Champions last November which was produced by Whisper Films. Overall, this looks like a fantastically strong team that Channel 4 have put together.

In other news today, it was announced that Channel 4’s coverage will be sponsored by the travel search engine website KAYAK.co.uk. Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer, said: “This is the dream team – we’ve brought together the very best on screen and off screen talent to make Channel 4’s coverage unmissable.”

David Coulthard said: “I’m very proud to be a part of this exciting line up which will give F1 fans who choose to watch the most creative and innovative free-to-air coverage of the season a totally fresh perspective. This season promises to be the most competitive for years and viewers can look forward to extensive coverage of all the races, expert punditry, unrivalled paddock and pit access as well as exhilarating stunts and features throughout to bring the audience right into the heart of the race action.”

Update on March 13th at 12:00 – In what I can only describe as a very bizarre development, Alex Zanardi has denied that he will be part of Channel 4’s Formula 1 team. This is odd because there was a VT shown with him talking during the press morning last Tuesday. I’m chasing up word from Channel 4 and will update this when I get word.

Update on March 13th at 19:00 – Pitch PR have re-iterated that Zanardi will be part of Channel 4’s coverage. They say: “Alex is very much part of the coverage. As per the press pack from Tuesday, which gives more details on each person’s role in the coverage, he will be filming features with DC during the season but will not be presenting at any races as he is in training for the Rio Olympics.”

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25 thoughts on “Channel 4 announces Formula 1 on-air team

  1. Good to see DC as main pundit and co-commentator, better choice than Webber. Alongside DC is Chandhok as Repoerter and Expert Analyst so only 1 additional pundit is needed afterwards. Think EJ will only do Monaco, Britain and Abu Dhabi if given the choice. Webber will also have to work around WEC championship, e.g. won’t be present for Azerbaijan. Glad that Murray Walker is back, could suggest Classic F1 will make a comeback (possibly on More4, more likely online). Great choices in Ben Edwards and Lee McKenzie. Sky F1 need to up their game now, only Kravitz and Brundle of any interest.

    • Sky will be the only choice for me as see the Channel 4 line up as predictable and boring. They SHOULD had the chance of bringing in newbies but had to stick with people who have been in F1 for many many years which seems a good thing BUT it does gets stale. Do hope that Sky bring new talent as kinder fed up of seeing the same old faces on TV even if they have changed channels.

  2. Really excited about Zanardi. Chandhok should be excellent and they’ve got the best bits of the beeb (+ EJ).

    I still would have chosen Rick Edwards over Steve Jones, but this choice suggests to me (along with previous suggestions of split presenting team) there’ll be an onsite static location somewhere in paddock, plus roving presenter role (Poss Chandhok/DC) doing other interviews/tech links as Jones will surely be much more comfortable with this ‘studio type’ setup whereas Edwards (or even Craig Doyle) would have had much more experience of a less showbiz approach.

    I certainly think (and very much hope) it will be the most original sports presentation we have seen in a long time.

  3. Sky are done for. Brundle, Lazenby, Croft, Herbert and Slater are all twats (Brundle was ok, but recently he’s just been pissing me off). Channel 4 wins by a mile and a half. That is one amazing line up. Great to see Ben, DC, EJ and Lee back, awesome to see Mahk Wibba, Karun and Bruno on this list as well as probably one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time, Alain Prost. Also, great to see Alex Zanardi there as well! I hope to god that Nic can not be biased this year. Sky are done for. Long live Channel 4.

  4. Everyone is optimistic about this… I think it could be a disaster… If Steve jones’s twitter feed is anything to go by it’ll be a car crash… And Nic Hamilton????? Really???? He knows next to nothing about the sport except driving a Clio.. As for some of the “international” pundits… Some viewers may have trouble understanding them… I’m all for them don’t get me wrong.. But I can’t see it being anything other than a disaster

    • It says Steve Jones was on x factor in us and some kids show T4, kept hearing his name mentioned with f1 but means nothing to me, but now we know hes the presenter.
      Coulthard would have been better fronting their shows.
      Eddie Jordan be honest just bores my pants off, but I feel he is liked for some of his background snippets for some now and again.
      Karun I really liked when hes done a bit on other channels, a nice guy that comes over very professional.
      Alex zanardi not heard of, never watched the cart series and all the others suppose will come and go along the way. Suppose there are so many as a few of them are in other race series during the year.
      Wonder if c4 will do a after show like the BBC forum? A friend said C4 used to a lot of of pre and post shows with their horse racing and they were quite good.
      Is c4 showing this on their main channel, people keep mentioning e4, are they going to do like itv then and have an itv4?

  5. Sad that Suzi Perry isn’t among the team l will miss her tight jeans that she always wore ,no joking apart she will be missed

  6. I don’t understand the few comments saying Sky is done for/Sky need to up their game? It’s still the only place to see every race live. They could stick Jedwood in the commentary box and still be ok. People would watch it, mute it and stick the radio on for commentary.

    • Yup, but you still have to pay extra for Sky…Money that goes straight into the pocket of phonehacker Rupert Murdoch. Let’s face it, most people will watch the Sky-only live races on Sky and the races both cover live we’ll probably watch on C4. (Out of curiosity I imagine) Only thing is I absolutely loathe and detest Susie Wolff for pretty much every reason under the sun. But as long as she’s kept to a minimum I won’t have to complain too much about that up-herself delusional drama queen, weak, pathetic driver and generally useless piece of human garbage.

      • I feel the same about EJ, for that reason I won’t be watching new Top Gear and I won’t be watching C4F1. I already pay for Sky so I don’t consider it extra cost to view the F1.

      • Ah I get it Tommy, so if I don’t like Susie Wolff that automatically makes me a dick? Fuck you. I don’t have to like her, especially not when she is so reprehensible. I’m sick of hearing about her “success” when she’s achieved nothing. She doesn’t deserve my respect just because she is a woman, and because she uses that excessively as an excuse to get attention.

  7. This is not the ‘presenting team’ this is simply their proposed guest list, probably for only a single race each, over the course of the season.

    What a shame the new broadcaster has to start by spouting bollocks 😦

  8. presumably there will be adverts during the highlights races? but allowing us to not actually miss any action?

  9. To answer the why is nic there?
    Because every question will be what will lewis be thinking/doing blah blah

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