Driver-turned-commentator Martin Brundle has confirmed that he will not be a part of the BBC
team in 2012, having been lured to F1 newcomer Sky Sports
Rumours have been rife since the satellite channel was controversially announced as an F1 broadcaster during the summer, but it has taken until the last race of the 2011 season for Brundle, who enjoyed a lengthy career behind the wheel with Tyrrell, Brabham, Benetton and McLaren amongst others, to confirm that he would be swapping sides behind the mic.
The Briton, who has won more awards for his television work than he achieved in F1, announced the switch via his Twitter
feed, insisting that Sky Sports
' intent to tackle the sport full-on - and not a bigger pay cheque - played a big part in his decision.
"Can confirm I'll be commentating on Sky Sports
F1 in 2012," Brundle wrote, "All races live on dedicated F1 channel + more tech features is what motivates me. Yes, money is better but, with deals I could have put around lower key BBC role + 50% of my income going to UK taxman, not the deciding factor."
The former British F3 runner-up confirmed that he would be taking some of his BBC
innovations with him to the rival channel, but could not divulge too many details on whether any of his colleagues would be joining him on 'the other side'. Current BBC
frontman Jake Humphrey is staying put with the 2012 Olympic Games set to play a major role on the channel, but the commitment of colleagues such as David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan and Lee McKenzie has yet to be tested.
"It's not for me announce who else is working where from next season," Brundle insisted, "I'm convinced two mighty broadcasters in Sky
head-to-head at 10 races will be great for F1 fans overall. Be patient, lots happening. I'll be doing grid walks in the future of course, it's my trademark. That's all the news from me today. I'm here to commentate on F1 with the creative hard working BBC
crew I've had the privilege to be part of."
The news, while no longer a surprise, comes in contrast to Brundle initial 'tweet' when the announcement that Sky Sports
would be sharing F1 coverage with the BBC
was first made back in July.
"BBC/Sky/F1 2012+. Found out last night, no idea how it will work yet I'm out of contract, will calmly work through options Not impressed," he wrote at the time.
The Briton, who recently announced that he would return to competition by joining son Alex in an assault on the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2012, has had to fend to off reports that he would be teaming up with another BBC
convert at Sky Sports
next season, after Britain's Daily Telegraph
suggested that 5Live
radio commentator David Croft would lead the commentary team with Brundle reverting to the analyst role he made his own at the BBC