Former Toyota F1 driver Allan McNish is to take up an expanded media role for the BBC's coverage of the 2014 F1 world championship, and will be co-commentator for 15 of the 19 Grand Prix races this season alongside James Allen.

"We're delighted that Allan McNish is on board with the team this year in an expanded role," said Ben Gallop, BBC Head of F1. "His experience and expertise is an invaluable addition especially as he joins us straight from a highly successful career on the track."

Having just called time on his sportscar career that includes three victories at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, McNish will also be the BBC's expert analyst across TV and online channels as well as radio.

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"Now that I have hung up my racing helmet, I am really looking forward to joining the BBC team again for what I am sure is going to be a fantastic new F1 season," said McNish.

Last year, the Scot fitted in stints alongside Allen in the commentary box with his driving, which saw him rounded off the season with victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

This year the 44-year-old be using his extensive experience from across all areas of motorsport to steer audiences through the intricacies of the forthcoming season, particularly needed in 2014 with the raft of rules changes that are being brought in.

"With so many technical rule changes, as well as team and driver movements, there will be lots of things happening on and off track for the BBC team to bring to you," agreed McNish.

Jennie Gow will return as the radio coverage's main presenter and pit lane reporter, while on the TV side Suzi Perry resumes her duties as TV anchor for 2014 with the support of chief analyst and former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan.

This year BBC Television will be airing nine Grand Prix events live including Silverstone, Canada, Monza and Spa as well as the season finale from Abu Dhabi, with extended highlights programmes of the remaining races. All 19 races will be carried live on the BBC's radio network.

Ben Edwards will once again be the main television commentator, with David Coulthard returning as co-commentator and expert pundit.

"The strength of our presenting line up is something we are very proud of and its great to have them back again for 2014," said Gallop. "We're looking forward to the new season and delivering audiences a great package across TV, radio and online.

"The 2014 F1 season picks up pace tomorrow as testing begins and the BBC's F1 team is ready to deliver another exciting year of coverage," he added.