The confirmation of Sky Sports
first-ever F1 broadcast team will do little to dampen the uproar that has followed the announcement that the satellite broadcaster had snatched the UK television rights from the BBC
, but executive producer Martin Turner is excited by the talent at his disposal.
stalwarts Martin Brundle, David Croft, Anthony Davidson, Natalie Pinkham and Ted Kravitz all switch sides, where they will be united with Sky Sports
regulars Georgie Thompson and Simon Lazenby, as well as former ITV
F1 anchor Steve Rider, in 2012. Turner explained the composition in a brief Q&A with the satellite broadcaster's website.....
So what was your first step in compiling the team?
"The first priority was to provide a compelling reason to watch F1 on Sky
and so our first approach was to go for the biggest name in our territory of F1 broadcasting and that is Martin Brundle because of his reach and his almost universal popularity. He is, we think, an amazing signing and somebody I've been watching for the last 15 years become the wise man of F1. It's just fantastic that he's with us.
And there will be a new partnership in the commentary booth next season....
Building commentary teams takes time - and that's true in all sports. It's not just something you can turn on with the switch of a button. They need time to build an understanding and that only comes with time. We're very fortunate in signing David Croft along with Martin Brundle because, although they have never worked in a direct partnership before, they have worked together for many years, know each other well and know each other's styles well. And the great thing about David is that, having covered every grand prix for the last five years, he's very current, already has an enormous fanbase, and is an exceptionally knowledgeable and passionate commentator.
The other coup is that we have kept David with Anthony Davidson for all the practice sessions. Their commentary pairing is proven and has already deservedly earned plenty of plaudits, combining experience and professionalism. It's a real coup for us.
As is the signing of Ted Kravitz...
We think so. In Martin Brundle, we have the person who we consider to be the most experienced and talented F1 broadcaster. In Ted Kravitz, we have the most senior reporter on F1 by a country mile.
He's by far the most experienced reporter in his field and what he's brilliant at doing is conveying an excitement about the intricacies, technical specifications and secrets of the sport without ever making it boring. He's passionate about what some people would find it difficult to ever be passionate about and with that passion he gets the public interested in things they wouldn't otherwise be interested in. That's his secret. I'm very excited about working with two such stellar names as Ted and Martin.
But you have recruited from inside Sky
We knew that one of the big challenges in F1 broadcasting is that because the sport has always been with an exclusive broadcaster there is not a big choice of people who know how it works. There's just that one major broadcaster broadcasting exclusively and nobody else in the market. So what we've tried to do is combine the experience we've recruited from outside with all the things Sky Sports
does so well - offering a passion for sport and a breadth and depth that other broadcasters can't. It's about getting across what we do so well with a mix of experienced, credible and accepted broadcasters.
So, in Georgie Thompson and Simon Lazenby, we have two of Sky
's home-grown sensational talents - Simon with his vast experience of live broadcasting for someone so young and Georgie as one of the most recognisable faces on Sky
. They both have enormous experience of broadcasting live sport and broadcast in general, but are still very much from the Sky
Beyond that, we have a production team drawn from across the various sporting disciplines broadcast across Sky
, all massively passionate about F1 and committed to bringing their expertise - from cricket to rugby to football - to work on this massive new challenge. We can't wait for it to begin.