Sky Sports make major change for 2024 with David Croft taking step back

Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft will not be present at all 24 races in 2024.

(L to R): David Croft (GBR) Sky Sports Commentator with Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team. Formula 1 World Championship,
(L to R): David Croft (GBR) Sky Sports Commentator with Esteban Ocon (FRA)…

Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft will be absent at three races in 2024 - the first time he won’t be present at a grand prix during his time with the UK broadcaster.

As revealed by The Independent, Croft has decided to take a small step back.

Harry Benjamin - who has commentated on FIA Formula 3 and F1 juniors - will be his replacement.

Croft has been ever-present for Sky since joining their coverage as lead commentator in 2012.

The 53-year-old is set to miss Imola, Austria and Azerbaijan, with Croft keen to focus on his family as he prepares for his wedding later this year.

Croft told The Independent: “It’s more about keeping fresh for the whole season. I’m not getting any younger.

“I’ve given up and sacrificed a lot for my career. I want to give a bit of time back to my family and not be on the other side of the world. I’m getting married this year as well, so I’ve got a wedding to organise!

“But I also want to sit and watch a race at home. I want to enjoy it. Maybe I can learn something by not commentating on a race. I can spot a few things when I’m watching – I want to see what the viewer sees.”

Croft’s decision to miss a few races isn’t too surprising given the rest of the Sky Sports F1 team tend to rotate.

Co-commentator Martin Brundle is contracted to be at only 18 races, so he will be absent for six weekends in 2024.

The ever-growing F1 calendar - now at a record-breaking 24 - is only putting additional strain on personnel as they spend even more time away from home.

“The triple headers do take their toll, you can be pretty exhausted by the end of it,” Croft added.

“The one time-shift you could really do without is Vegas to Qatar. I’d like to see Vegas change its times a bit. A 12-hour shift in time-zones – you can’t do more than that on this planet. Abu Dhabi last year was exhausting. I think that’s something which could be addressed.

“But we’ll see what 24 [races] is like. It’s uncharted territory. It will be a huge effort for everybody. If we have a close season on track, the adrenaline carries you along a little bit. If the title’s wrapped up early, then it can be a bit ‘another race, another race’ so we’ll see.”

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