Paul di Resta will be part of Sky Sports F1’s line-up for the 2016 season, it has been confirmed.
Speaking as part of a short piece filmed in Stuttgart with Mercedes (currently available via Sky’s On Demand service), Simon Lazenby interviewed di Resta and noted that he would be joining Sky “for a large part of 2016.”
di Resta first appeared with Sky at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix and was seen frequently on screen as the year progressed, analysing incidents on the Sky Pad alongside commentating on practice. As I noted in my Channel 4 prediction pieces a few months ago:
To my surprise, I found myself warming to di Resta more than I expected and he was welcoming to hear a different voice in Sky’s coverage.
I’m happy to see that di Resta is returning for 2016, as always it is good to hear a variety of voices in the coverage. Anthony Davidson, Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill and Martin Brundle have all been providing analysis since the inception of Sky Sports F1 in 2012, a change to the status quo is overdue and hopefully di Resta can help in that respect.
It will be fascinating to see how Sky fare against Channel 4 this season, the latter choosing to go down a rotation route with a range of pundits appearing on screen during 2016.
Update on March 13th – BBC are reporting that di Resta will be reserve driver for Williams this year, so this news makes a lot of sense now as di Resta will be in the paddock for the majority of the year.
Update on March 14th – Official confirmation from Sky. di Resta said: “I’m very excited to be joining the Sky Sports F1 team, the coverage is excellent and I hope I can play my part to help excite and educate everyone watching at home. It’s a huge season, more races than ever and working with both Williams and Sky Sports I’m going to give it everything and enjoy being part of an amazing sport that provides drama and excitement at every turn.”
Martin Turner, Sky’s Head of Formula 1, said: “Paul brings huge experience to Sky Sports F1 and having someone embedded within a current F1 team is going to add a new level to our coverage this season. He has raced against most of the drivers on the grid this season, and that competitive knowledge will help take viewers closer to the action and provide a deeper level of insight.”