Channel 4 has revealed the full line-up of its on-air presenting team ahead of the 2016 Formula 1 season.
The broadcaster takes over as the terrestrial home of F1 coverage in the UK after the BBC pulled out of its contract three years early. It will show ten races live, with the rest covered as highlights.
The channel had already announced that F1 driver-turned-commentator David Coulthard would be joining from the BBC and his co-owned Whisper Films production company will be creating the shows for Channel 4.
— Channel 4 F1® (@C4F1) March 8, 2016
Former T4 and X Factor USA presenter Steve Jones will anchor the coverage and a rotating cast of pundits will join him and Coulthard throughout the 2016 season.
Former Red Bull driver, and current World Endurance Championship champion, Mark Webber, and Susie Wolff, who was a Williams F1 development driver in 2015, who will be part of the presenting team for Channel 4’s live races.
Karun Chandhok, who raced in F1 with HRT and was spotted conducting interviews for Channel 4 at last week’s Barcelona test, will be the channel’s technical analyst and will report from the pitlane.
Lee McKenzie and Ben Edwards have also joined from the BBC with the latter confirmed as lead commentator, alongside Coulthard.
Four-times F1 world champion Alain Prost will be part of Channel 4’s “wider presenting team”, which includes Lewis Hamilton’s brother Nicolas, Bruno Senna and Alex Zanardi, the former F1 driver who became a Paralympic champion following his life-changing CART crash. Former BBC pundit Eddie Jordan was also announced as one of the channel’s rotating presenters.
Legendary F1 commentator Murrary Walker will also provide interviews with “stars of the sport” throughout 2016 and Renault rookie Jolyon Palmer is writing a blog for Channel 4’s website throughout his first year in F1.
Speaking about the new presenting team, Coulthard explained that Channel would aim to provide a novel approach to F1 TV coverage.
He 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.”
Channel 4’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt added: “This is the dream team – we’ve brought together the very best in screen and off screen talent to make Channel 4’s coverage unmissable.”
Channel 4 has confirmed that it will use Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” as the opening music for its F1 coverage. The channel will also screen practice and qualifying of the events it is showing live and those races will not have advertising breaks.
What do you make of Channel 4’s presenting team? Do you expect the broadcaster improve F1 TV coverage? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.