Brundle and Coulthard take over from Legard at BBC

2011 F1 season

Sebastian Vettel, Martin Brundle, Jake Humphrey, David Coulthard, Yas Marina, 2010

Sebastian Vettel interviewed by the BBC's Martin Brundle with Jake Humphrey and David Coulthard

The BBC will pair two ex-Formula 1 drivers in the commentary booth in 2011 after replacing Jonathan Legard as lead commentator.

A BBC source confirmed to F1 Fanatic that Martin Brundle will take over Legard’s role and David Coulthard will join him there.

An official announcement from the BBC is expected soon.

Legard sent the following Tweet:

Life moves on. Ask Nick Heidfeld or Narain Karthikeyan. You never know what’s next. To the critical and the complimentary, thanks for the company.
Jonathan Legard

Brundle and Legard have commentated together since the BBC resumed its F1 broadcasts in 2009.

Update: BBC have officially announced the change. Their head of F1 Ben Gallop said they wanted to use the ‘combined expertise’ of two racing drivers:

We’re always looking for ways to take our Formula 1 coverage to another level ?ǣ and for 2011 we have an exciting new combination in the commentary box.

We’re keen to make the most of Martin Brundle’s wealth of broadcasting experience and his popularity with the audience by giving him the role of lead commentator and putting him alongside David Coulthard ?ǣ one of the biggest names in British motorsport and a skilled race analyst.

We want to tap into their combined on-track expertise ?ǣ together, they will provide our viewers with more immediate discussion, analysis and debate as the action happens. The results of screen tests have been very impressive and we are convinced this combination will deliver a fantastic commentary for our audience for what promises to be a thrilling 2011 season.

The change of direction we are taking unfortunately means there is no place for Jonathan Legard in our commentary set-up. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Jonathan for his great work over the last two seasons. He is a first-rate journalist and broadcaster who has been a core member of our team ?ǣ helping to re-establish BBC Sport as the nation’s F1 broadcaster. We wish him all the very best for the future.
Ben Gallop

Coulthard added:

I’m very excited to be joining forces with Martin in this new role of co-commentator.

F1 is all about challenging yourself and this will be a big challenge for me, but one that I am looking forward to. There is a great team on the BBC F1 show and we’re looking forward to the year ahead and to bringing something new to our loyal viewers.
David Coulthard

And Brundle welcomed his new commentary partner:

I’m absolutely delighted and very motivated that BBC Sport has asked me to become the lead Formula 1 commentator, alongside David Coulthard.

We have been friends, rivals and colleagues for 18 years and, combined, we have driven in more than 400 F1 Grands Prix and attended over 700. I’ve never felt more passionate about Formula 1 and I can’t wait to get started.
Martin Brundle

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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238 comments on Brundle and Coulthard take over from Legard at BBC

  1. Bryan said on 11th January 2011, 10:19

    He did not improve in 2010. If anything he got worse. Korea 2010 being his nadir, painful to listen to at times. Someone really has to work hard to make me want James Allen back.

    • SennaNmbr1 (@sennanmbr1) said on 11th January 2011, 10:21

      I watched a recording of Silverstone 2008 the other day and James really wasn’t a bad commentator. Perhaps he offered his own opinion of things too often, but overall I’d have him back in a flash.

  2. driftin said on 11th January 2011, 10:24

    YES!!!! I wonder how Coulthard will fare but he’s bound to be better than Legard. He actually knows what it’s like to be on the track for one thing.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th January 2011, 10:29

      Brundle will be OK, but I am curious to find out how DC will fare as well.

      Certainly he must cut out the Red Bull PR stuff now, it was painfull to hear all year how he defended them and hailed all things they did as great.

  3. vjanik said on 11th January 2011, 10:24

    “thats extraordinary!”

  4. Great news, I can’t remember how many times I’ve shouted in my head during 2010 season, “Shut up Legard, just let people who know what they are talking about talk!”

  5. mrgrieves (@mrgrieves) said on 11th January 2011, 10:27

    Urgh. Definatly not looking forward to hearing DC in the commentry booth why couldnt htey have promoted Crofty

  6. SirCoolbeans (@sircoolbeans) said on 11th January 2011, 10:32

    In all honesty, I will remain listening to crofty and davidson. They are great together.

  7. David B (@david-b) said on 11th January 2011, 10:36

    In Italy we have RAI (our BBC) and there is a lot of people there: Gianfranco Mazzoni is the leader, not particularly brilliant and expert, but good enough in giving rhythm to the programme and telling interesting news or statistic. Ivan Capelli is the second voice, not bad. Than we have a very good technician, with minor series track engineer experience, to give technical and strategical updates. Then a great journalist (Ettore Giovannelli) in the boxes, grabbing pit voices, running back and forth to the team leaders and drivers to get hot interviews (he speaks italian english and german also, he has a great feeling with Norbert Huag), and another pit runner dedicated only to Ferrari’s team. I don’t like her too much (sometimes she gives details that are clear already…!).
    In the end it is a good team, and I like them.

    It was much worst when races were broadcasted by Berlusconi’s Mediaset network: there was two commentators, one was Andrea de Adamich former driver. I really don’t like him.

    • Burnout said on 11th January 2011, 19:19

      Somehow state owned broadcasters do a better job with F1 coverage, which is ironic considering how Bernie’s F1 is all about the money.

      Although I don’t expect DoorDarshan (the Indian state broadcaster) to do a good job. They still run grand prix clip shows from 1999-2000 about how Sepang is the most modern circuit and Toyota’s plans to enter F1!

  8. SirCoolbeans (@sircoolbeans) said on 11th January 2011, 10:44

    “And Mark Webber’s gone right up there!”

  9. Benson_Mutton said on 11th January 2011, 10:47

    Great news !!!!
    But surely Ant Davidson would have been a better choice than DC…….. he does such a good job on 5Live with Crofty

  10. robk23 (@robk23) said on 11th January 2011, 10:49

    I was rather hoping David Croft or even better Ben Edwards would get the gig but as long as Legard’s shouting has gone, I’m happy.

  11. newnhamlea1 said on 11th January 2011, 10:50

    can we have the rather boring legard bashing thread taken down from the forum now, please?

  12. Golden Fish said on 11th January 2011, 10:50

    Jonathan Legard – a short tribute.

    Down the hill,
    And towards turn one,
    Jenson BUTT-on,
    Pushes on.

    Pole for Ferrari,
    Is going to be tough,
    Here comes Fernando,
    IS THIS GOOD ENOUGH?!

    Webber is flying,
    But so too is Vettel,
    As Nico Rosberg,
    Is joining the battle.

    THERE’S PROBLEMS THERE!
    Is that a Ferrari?!
    Nope, it’s actually,
    Jaime Alguersuari.

    SOOT-il has lost it,
    And KOO-bica too!
    That was the last thing
    They needed to do!

    I’m sorry there Martin,
    You’ll just have to wait,
    I’ve just been informed,
    That Petrov is eighth.

    Hamilton wins!
    He’ll surely be happy,
    But will he be champion,
    Come Abby-Dabby?

  13. I’d like to have a f1fanatic commentry team to listen to online while I watch without commentry using the bbc red button.

    • Hamish said on 11th January 2011, 11:00

      I’d happily volunteer. I have the voice of an angel (cough cough)

      I seriously reckon I’d do better than DC.

  14. Hamish said on 11th January 2011, 10:58

    I think Brundle is more than capable of doing the lead role, just watch him commentate the pole laps before races. Its done with passion and thats what the fans want.

    Coulthard, I have never enjoyed his commentary. Firstly because he just rants and as a viewer all I want is to be informed. Putting it out there now, by the end of the year we will be sick of him saying “I remember when I was at (insert team name). Secondly, hes bloody hard to understand.

    BBC should not be seeking a replacement that is satisfactory, but more one that exceeds expectations. Unfortunately you won’t get that with DC.

  15. Abuelo Paul said on 11th January 2011, 10:59

    Oh Dear. Jonathan, fastest of anyone, will not be with us in 2011. Well at least there will be less ridiculous statements and stupid questions flying around the cabin. Just means that Martin and David will be fighting over the mic time instead. lol. Bye bye leg guard, go back to footie or rounders.

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