W Series have announced their on-air presentation team for the inaugural season.
The championship will air live on Channel 4 beginning this Saturday from Hockenheim, with Whisper Films producing, in a similar relationship to Channel 4’s F1 coverage. However. Whisper is producing the complete World Feed for broadcasters, including Channel 4 to take.
Lee McKenzie presents the World Feed output. McKenzie has been reporting on Formula 1 for the BBC and more recently Channel 4 since 2009. “It’s a huge pleasure to be involved at the start of W Series,” McKenzie said.
“I’ve covered almost every series of motorsport and to be involved in one that could also change the face of the sport as we know it is really exciting.”
Sky’s F1 pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz joins McKenzie in pit lane. Sky reduced Kravitz’s commitments for 2019 after the broadcaster u-turned on a decision to axe him from their offering.
“It’s rare that a brand-new motorsport series comes along that captures the imagination and interest in the way that W Series has,” Kravitz said. “I’m really looking forward to telling the stories of all these drivers and joining the W Series team of new and familiar faces.”
Claire Cottingham and David Coulthard are the two personalities in the commentary box. Coulthard is a familiar voice to Channel 4, but Cottingham is a name that readers may not be unfamiliar with.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this incredible and ground-breaking team, being one of the first female commentators in motorsport,” Cottingham added. “It’s an absolute dream come true to be involved in such a historic series, which supports women in fulfilling their potential.”
“I can’t wait to see W Series grow and watch the drivers excel in a sport that I love so much.”
A fantastic line-up
To succeed as a championship, W Series needs to have the right people leading the way, in all different disciplines. A great championship needs a top-tier presentation team, with a calibre of voices that are recognisable to a wider audience.
W Series also needed a range of voices, with both males and females as part of their on-air team. Thanks to the range of contacts that the team of Whisper Films have, the team have managed to achieve just that.
Whisper have leaned on their Formula 1 line-up, with Coulthard and McKenzie both part of the team. Both voices have been part of Formula 1’s free-to-air offering for a decade.
It would feel odd in my view to watch a women’s racing series with a male only commentary team. Although unknown, Cottingham has significant commentating experience, most recently with Formula E on their radio coverage alongside Tom Gaymor and Marc Priestley. Arguably, this is Cottingham’s biggest role to date.
As if the trio already mentioned were not good enough, W Series have also brought in the “legend” (Catherine Bond Muir’s words, not mine) that is Kravitz. The idea of Sky’s F1 pit lane reporter appearing on a rival station is unusual – none of Sky’s other F1 personnel fall into this boat.
But of course, this is no ordinary time as readers who have followed the Kravitz situation in recent months will know about. W Series have quite rightly gained from Sky’s poor decision making.
If the quality of the racing is as good as the on-air team this season, fans watching should be in for a treat.
4 thoughts on “W Series announces presentation team”
Those who understand F1 broadcasting appreciate Ted. I assume the Allison interview was too technical for Karun Chandhok. That leaves one question – will Ted be allowed to wear shorts next week?
Sounds excellent, will definitely watch that, or record it as it is a family wedding day.
Re: Ted working for both Sky and Ch4. Ted hasn’t been given a full season of work with Sky, so he’s now a free lance F1 journalist having to fill his diary where the work is. Isn’t he already working with FOM?