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

Brundle and Coulthard take over from Legard at BBC

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

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

    1. yep, this changes nothing really, 5live is still the place to listen to F1.

  2. 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.

    1. 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!

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

  4. Benson_Mutton
    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

    1. I guess they couldn’t justify breaking up a partnership that works to try an experimental one.

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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,

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

    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?

    1. Greatest poem ever created by anyone about anything, ever.

      1. Yeah, but he didn’t come up with it, it was on the sites ages ago. Plagiarism

        1. Didn’t Mag Geoff make this up?

          1. yep, I remember hoping for a first poetic COTD.

          2. Yup, that was me. I am F1Fanatic’s resident Poet, after all!

          3. do another one mag geoff!

        1. unless you’re a geordie.

    2. Very amusing!

    3. That’s excellent.

    4. You are a genious my friend. I must admit the Abby Dabby bit had me LMAO.

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

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

      I seriously reckon I’d do better than DC.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Hurrah! Sniff Petrol has a whole new year of material! “Hoots, shame about ma man Ledge, he goin’ to the job centay now Crazy D keepin’ it side by side with Marty B! Bringing you informed modern commentary handing over from Jakey down in the Lane they call Pit, with the latest exposés from ma good buddies down at Red Bull! And don’t forget you can join us afterwards for the F1 Lunchbox Forum on the Red Button here at the BBC.”

    I can hardly wait…

  12. Worst. Decision. EVER :o. They could have chosen Crofty, but oh no … let’s go with the unknown quantity. The worst BBC executive decision ever …..

    Whoever made the decision …. hang your head in shame. David Croft would have been miles better, with more charisma, more enthusiasm, and ten times more suited :(. Martin should have kept his existing role, and DC needs a little more experience of doing pieces-to-camera.


    1. I agree. People didn’t love Murray Walker for his accuracy, it was his enthusiasm and emotion. Crofty has plenty of both along with considerable experience, DC may well have both but so far has been unable to let it show. I hope it works out though.

      One other point I was thinking about – Legard didn’t do much to win fans over did he? In all the time he was there, I can’t recall seeing him on screen for more than a few seconds, and I don’t recall him ever joining in with the post-race red button sessions. I wonder if that was his own choice or the BBC’s?

    2. They’ve not even covered the first race yet…give them chance!

    3. Not for the first time
      You know BBC didnt go for Croft? Do you not think Crofty has a voice. He clearly loves his roll at 5live. He has freedom and a team that clearly are all his mates. Why would he want to change.

      Well done BBC. Crofty and Ant still happy and doing well for 5live and TV improved as it can only be after this news.

  13. I’m surprised the comment is made by two drivers. It is more frequent you have a former driver and a journalist too, the second one to give rhythm to the programme and say “easy” things.
    Just like your Ledge appeared to do…:-D

  14. I think the pairing will work, they both have different views. I look forward to heated debate from them.

  15. 2011 will be Martin’s 15th (believe it or not) year as a commentator. His commentating career has already outlived his Formula One career. An as much as we all loved him as an F1 driver, and he didn’t get the breaks he deserved, I believe he’s a better commentator than he was an F1 driver.

    He started out at the driver expert… the ex-competitor, the colour commentator. The Jerry Lawler to Murray Walker’s Jim Ross (if you’ll excuse the WWF comparison), but over the many years of his second-to-none time in the box, I believe he more than capable of being the Jim Ross. He is the expert of all, and he knows how to commentate. He is accurate, witty, and on-the-ball, and It’s about time he was made the number one in a team. And I’m sure DC will fit into the xpert driver role just fine.

    I’m now very much looking forward to 2011. HD, and no Legard. Scrummy…

  16. Get the feeling Brundle is about to become even more of a legend commentary-wise than he already is. No worries about DC either, he’s been there and done it all (almost). Hope he loses any Red Bull bias he may have.

    Just hope we dont lose Martin’s gridwalk!

    Now hoping the BBC replace Eddie Jordan, Legard never annoyed me really, but EJ needs to go!

  17. I don’t car who they put along side Brundle. As long as he’s there it’s all good.

    I feel sorry for Legard, but like he says, life moves on.

  18. As much as I would have liked to have James Allen back, I think my sheer elation that race weekends will now be Legard-free is greater than any disappointment felt there. Also to all those saying it should have been Crofty, would the BBC really want to break up the great partnership between him and Ant and then have to find a new radio commentator who may be another Legard? Yes the TV coverage is the flagship but they ar the only ones to cover practice.

  19. Very good news in my view, I wont miss the Legardisms:

    “Here he comes”
    “This man”
    “Down/up the hill”
    “On a charge”
    “Shot in the arm”
    “Winding himself up”
    “Knows the time to beat”
    “WOW look at that fast pit stop, but the Red Bull mechanics have beaten it. They worked so hard over the winter months, practising tyre changes..”
    “And he’s DONE it”

    1. I won’t miss his constantly telling us that something “has been a feature of” a race or season or lap or whatever.

      And his “X from X from X from X…”

      Not convinced whether DC will thrive in the box or not…but time will tell and well done BBC for taking the chance.

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