David Croft to remain part of Sky’s F1 team in 2019

David Croft will remain part of Sky’s Formula 1 team in 2019, the broadcaster has confirmed.

The broadcaster issued the statement to this site after F1 journalist Joe Saward reported rumours, through the Missed Apex Podcast last night, that Croft could be axed from Sky’s team in 2019. Sky strongly deny the rumour.

Speaking to The F1 Broadcasting Blog, Sky said “David [Croft] remains a part of the team and he’ll be with us when we become the exclusive home of Formula 1 in 2019.” In their statement, Sky did not confirm, and did not elaborate on, whether Croft would remain in his current lead commentator role.

Croft has commentated on Formula 1 coverage in the UK for over a decade. He started his F1 career as commentator for BBC Radio 5 Live in 2006, before moving to Sky Sports in 2012 as part of the shake-up of coverage at that time.

Whilst at Sky, Croft has taken on additional duties, such as presenting The F1 Show on occasion, as well as his #AskCrofty post-race segments.

A rumour, quickly followed by denial
In my article last week, I referenced potential changes to Sky’s line-up for 2019, noting that paddock sources expect some form of change, with Scott Young now leading the production team.

I also noted that I was unwilling to elaborate on the paddock rumours, as “at this stage they are just that, rumours.” One of the snippets of speculation was that Croft’s future at Sky could be in jeopardy, which Saward reported publicly on the podcast. As the information had entered the public domain, I tweeted out what Saward reported, which Sky quickly denied.

However, Sky’s statement does not confirm whether Croft will continue in his current role. This may infer that Croft is moving to a different role within Sky’s F1 team, although that would appear unlikely.

Top-class motor sport commentators are in limited supply, and finding someone who is up to the job is a difficult task. One paddock source claimed that Sky approached another commentator to cover Formula 1 in 2019, however the commentator in question quashed this piece of information.

Update – Priestley confirms his departure from Sky’s F1 setup
Shortly after writing the above block on Croft, former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley confirmed his exit from Sky’s Formula 1 team on Friday 29th September.

Priestley has worked both in front and behind the camera at Sky at various points since 2013, regularly appearing on the F1 Report since 2016 until it ended earlier this year as well as working on the production side of things.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Priestley said “I have been freelance for a number of years, and as many of you know, I have done around half of the races each season, most of them with Sky Sports.”

“Sky is changing the way they do things over the next year and coming years as they go exclusive. They’ve got a new boss in town, and as things stand, I don’t think I am part of their future plans. It’s been an absolute honour and pleasure, and an education to work with such a high calibre organisation.

“The Formula 1 product at Sky I believe is second to none. There’s no hard feelings with Sky, so I will be spending less time with them, but who knows what the future will hold.”

More stories such as Priestley’s may emerge soon. His departure is likely a combination of the F1 Report ending, plus the need for fewer people to be on-site for Sky as they move increasingly towards a ‘remote production’ setup.

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11 thoughts on “David Croft to remain part of Sky’s F1 team in 2019

  1. dont know why anyone has to be axed. Any aspect of concern can be addressed and they do it different.
    I dont think people pay vast subscriptions to debate tedious details like crossing the white lines during practice and I hope they stop dwelling on it which is easier than a new face.

  2. Surely the commentator Sky approached would be either Edwards or Jack Nicholls? I’d assume Edwards would want to stay loyal to DC/Whisper and C4, and Nicholls’ focus is more on FE and the non-clashing F1 races on 5 Live – not sure Sky would allow him to miss a few races to commentate on FE.

  3. Croft is essentially a great commentator, IMO. My only issue with Croft is that he’s become over hyped and over wrought. If he could tone it down a bit, I’d be very content with his work.

    Is there any word on Brundle’s contract re: continuing on Sky?

  4. Whilst Croft has become annoyingly loud he doesn’t make the howling mistakes that Edwards does. I think that Alex Jacques is pretty good from the little I’ve heard of him but I’ve no time for Jack Nicholls.

      • Edwards doesn’t look at the timing screen which is why he makes howlers, such as saying KR would lose out to MV and DR in Q3 because he pitted rather than staying out. MV and DR were both in the pits and didn’t have time to get out and start a lap. He doesn’t analyse what’s going on, he just commentates on the world feed.

    • I have to say I really like Edwards. Likeable, great chemistry with DC. All commentators make the occasional slip-up, then correct themselves a second or two later. There’s a lot going on, and they’re only human.

  5. It’s not even his shouty style that annoys me, it is his blatant bias and inventing controversy where there is none that makes me want to throw things at the TV.

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