Brundle to miss European Grand Prix weekend

For the first time since they entered the sport in 2012, Sky Sports F1 will be without Martin Brundle for a race weekend.

Brundle has confirmed that he will be racing in the new LMP3 support race during the 24 Hours of Le Mans weekend. The race takes place on Saturday 18th June, the same day as qualifying for the 2016 European (Baku) Grand Prix. Sky have confirmed to this site that Brundle will be missing the whole weekend.

It is the first race he has missed since the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix when James Allen and Anthony Davidson voiced the race for ITV. Sky have also said to this site that their European Grand Prix co-commentator will come from their existing range of talent, meaning that it is likely to be one of either Damon Hill, Paul di Resta or Johnny Herbert alongside David Croft.

Don’t expect the co-commentator to be confirmed in the form of a press release before the race weekend. One thing is for certain: Sky’s team will be significantly weaker without Brundle during the Baku weekend.


7 thoughts on “Brundle to miss European Grand Prix weekend

  1. Di Resta has a dour voice, Herbert is too jokey and I wouldn’t be able to take him seriously (I don’t anyway) and Hill speaks with a bit more authority but is still a little wooden. It kind of backs up my opinion that the team needs a major refresh (though I’d keep Brundle and Kravitz)

    1. Well if the rumors are true and Esteban Ocon (or maybe Sergey Sirotkin) will have replaced Jolyon Palmer at Renault by then, he would be great to listen to. I really enjoyed him last year during F1 practice and GP2 coverages. But as much as I’d like Ocon to get an F1 seat, it would be unfair to give Palmer the boot so early on. Of those three named by David, Hill would be the best, and Di Resta would be needed for the SkyPad as Davidson and anyone else they could have is racing in Le Mans.

  2. The weak link in Sky’s line up is Herbert. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the vocabulary to deal with punditry, let alone commentary! His reliance on the stock fillers “sort of” and “at the end of the day” litter his contributions to the show, and need work. I’d rather he paused or gave an “erm” or “um” if he needs more thinking time!

    I think Brundle will do the race, and for qualifying they should give di Resta a go. He has been much better recently on the Sky Pad, and has recent F1 driving experience, which is important when explaining the technical details.

    1. I think Sky’s line up is absurdly weak for the premium UK F1 broadcaster. Brundle and Kravitz are excellent, but the rest irritate me to the point I’d prefer to listen to DC – even with that Welsh bloke who doesn’t know much about F1 – when I have the chance.

      I’ve never been an Alonso fan, but I loved his dig at Johnny Herbert about winning 2 WDCs! At least Damon Hill is interesting in what he says, though his delivery is dreadfully monotonous. Herbert just repeats a tired stock of platitudes and banal observations, in a terribly boring manner..

      Recently I’ve been lucky to find NBCSN pre and post race coverage posted on Youtube. Will Buxton really puts everyone apart from Kravitz and Lee McKenzie to shame, and he does it all by himself. The Skypad is nothing more than a gimmick; it might work better with more creative folk operating it, but the dull and disgruntled tones of DiResta and Davidson spoil any half-decent content.

      I think it would be harsh for Renault to drop Palmer. Given he was reportedly paying £250,000 per FP1 with Lotus last season, he must be paying a fairly big sum for the race seat. Given Carlos Ghosn is not inclined to spend any more money than necessary, I can’t see them losing a pay driver unless a better offer comes along.

      I do agree that Palmer (Jr) was quite good co-commentating with Shifty last season, so if he does get dumped I hope Sky pick him up. If they insist on a ridiculously large entourage of has-been and outright failed drivers on their staff – they might as well have the most up to date. I find it hard to see what the value is in all these fringe hangers-on who never drove in the current engine formula. I’m not sorry that McNish is gone from the screens, but at least his LMP2 experience gave him a working knowledge (of sorts) relating to hybrid engines.

      The one good thing Sky still do is throw to genuine experts on the pitwall during broadcasts. It stops hack journalists having to pretend to be technically coherent. C4’s coverage has been woefully lacking in this respect. I have been impressed by Chandhok’s pit lane reporting – he seems to have a much sunnier disposition than other F1 failures of his generation, plus he seems good at combining technical expertise with charismatic broadcasting. However why don’t C4 throw to Pat Symonds, Christian Horner etc? I know they have proper jobs to do, but Symonds has always been keen to rehabilitate himself post crashgate, whilst spice-boy is an unashamed media whore – and also makes me laugh when he’s trying to hide the fact all the important decisions at Red Bull are made above his head.

      I can’t work out what kind of role Marc Priestley has with Sky. I’m certain he’s stated on the midweek show that he was actually at the races, but I don’t recall him appearing on screen during a race weekend – have I just missed him?

      Also I wish Sky would make more use of Motorsport Magazine’s Mark Hughes. Shifty gives the impression he’s always working away silently in the Sky commentary box. Why not bypass David Croft and just let the knowledgeable, personable and Geordie journalist talk directly to the viewer with his own informed voice, instead of suffering his material as filtered through the vacant brain of Mr Shifty?

      I also suspect Sky will have Brundle back for the Sunday. After all, the journey can’t take long from France to the European GP 😉

  3. i dont think it matters to much with only 250k watching in qually. i know i will be watching le mans over f1

    1. That’s only 250,000 from the official figures. Most other F1 fans I know either can’t or won’t pay the absurdly high price Sky charge. However they are able to access a variety of streams online, most of which look reasonably good to me.

      Also I believe it’s confirmed elsewhere on this site that the official viewing figures don’t include official streaming platforms such as SkyGo and NowTV. Admittedly I don’t actually know anyone who uses those to watch F1, but they look handy and I suspect their popularity will only grow moving forwards.

      However even if it was only the stated 250,000 watching – considering how much most folks pay for their Sky subscription, I expect Sky to provide the best quality broadcast it can. Without Brundle, Sky’s commentary team is severely weakened, but this to me is just further evidence of Sky putting less and less effort into their F1 coverage.

  4. Listening to Ben Edwards and karun chandhok in free practise is like dying and going to heaven compared to David croft and kravitz talking rubbish about who they were on the plane with or who they happened to see in the restaurant last night telling pathetic in jokes and generally treating the sport with smugness and disrespect. Sky need to either kick croft into gear or find a suitable professional replacement ASAP. James Allen was actually great in the day

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