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 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 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 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ one of the biggest names in British motorsport and a skilled race analyst.

We want to tap into their combined on-track expertise ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 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 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 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 ?ι?® Red Bull/Getty images

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

  1. topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 11th January 2011, 10:59

    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 exposΓ©s 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…

  2. 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.


    • Neil Davies (@neil-davies) said on 11th January 2011, 11:25

      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?

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th January 2011, 13:31

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

    • adamf184 (@adamf184) said on 11th January 2011, 22:04

      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.

  3. David B (@david-b) said on 11th January 2011, 11:15

    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

  4. Tiomkin said on 11th January 2011, 11:16

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

  5. 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…

  6. taurus said on 11th January 2011, 11:21

    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!

  7. Daniel said on 11th January 2011, 11:22

    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.

  8. TomD11 (@tomd11) said on 11th January 2011, 11:26

    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.

  9. bendy said on 11th January 2011, 11:26

    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”

    • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 11th January 2011, 12:12

      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.

  10. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 11th January 2011, 11:46

    Well, the vultures have got their man. I hope they’re happy.

  11. KateM (@katem) said on 11th January 2011, 11:53

    Well I’m not going to lie and say I will miss Legard but I don’t think he was quite as bad as everyone made out. I really do have my doubts about DC though, he’s not even good at his current role. Can anyone name something interesting he said/did in the last year? And it goes without saying that it will be an absolute joke if he doesn’t give up his Red Bull Official Cheerleader gig now.

    I wonder if there will be a new pundit to replace DC?

    • SennaNmbr1 (@) said on 11th January 2011, 12:10

      Lee McKenzie?

    • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 11th January 2011, 12:14

      Can anyone name something interesting he said/did in the last year?

      Wound Eddie Jordan up constantly!!

      (Hopefully he’ll still be doing that before heading to the commentary box…I wonder if he’ll be doing the gridwalks from now on so that Martin’s in the box already)

  12. Chris said on 11th January 2011, 12:15

    I thought commentators were supposed to be neutral. How does that sit with Coulthard being paid large amounts of cash by Red Bull? The bias was very evident throughout 2010.

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 11th January 2011, 13:16

      My thought exactly. Surely DC has had to sever all connections.
      Oh and Martin isn’t still DC’s manager, is he?

  13. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th January 2011, 12:31

    I’m not going to bother reading this thread. I already know what everyone will say. I’m also predicting that everyone will revile whoever replaces Legard, either because a) they’re no better than Legard, or b) they make Brundle look like Legard.

    I will, however, say this – Legard has an excellent voice for radio. Which is probably a good thing, because he makes the Renault drivers appear to be good looking. Maybe the Beeb should get that homeless guy with the baritone voice in for next year …

    • Ding Dong said on 11th January 2011, 12:38

      because he makes the Renault drivers appear to be good looking

      Well you shouldn’t be complaining,I thought you were a Petrov fanboy captain tightpants?

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th January 2011, 12:42

        I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • Ding Dong said on 11th January 2011, 12:46

          You know 100% well what I am talking about.All of Atlas & F1F knows that you love Petrov.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th January 2011, 12:51

            Nope. I’m afraid I don’t, actually. You must have me confused with someone else. I don’t deny being a Petrov fan, but Prisoner Monkeys is the only name I go by online. If I had multiple usernames … well, it would just get confusing. As you clearly have no love in you for this “Captain Tightpants” character, I’ll politely ask you to drop the subject.

        • Ned Flanders said on 11th January 2011, 12:55

          Haha, I distinctly remember you telling us that you go by the name of Captain Tightpants on the Autosports Forums. So you were either lying then or you’re lying now

          • Ding Dong said on 11th January 2011, 13:01

            You are correct Ned. I can prove for sure that PM is captain tightpants.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th January 2011, 13:06

            Ned, please. You are ding nobody any favours here. I have taken pains to keep what happens here spearate from what happens over there, and I do so for good reason, even if I haven’t been as vigilant as I might like. The Autosport forums are a toxic cesspit where people can only voice their opinions if they are in line with the prevailing forum opinion. If not, you’re fair game. It’s like Scientology. If you make so much as one mistake over there – like, say, forgetting which race was Jacques Villeneuve’s first victory – people will repeatedly bring it up six months after the fact to impinge upon your credibility. At the Autosport forums, you must hate Mosley and Petrov and worship Villeneuve and Heidfeld. Anything but that will leave you wide open to a collective of people who will do their best to make you feel unwlecome. I will not have things that happen over at those forums rear their ugly and unwanted heads on this blog and ruin it for Keith. Not if I can help it. Ding Dong, I would strongly suggest that you either forget about the connection between me and the Autosport forums, or go back to where you came from, because anything otherwise will risk jeopardising this entire blog, and that is a poor way to repay Keith for all his hard work.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th January 2011, 13:07

            I can prove for sure that PM is captain tightpants.

            Then extend me the same courtesy and tell me who you are. Because if you are who I suspect you are – FIGJAM – this will not end well.

        • KateM (@katem) said on 11th January 2011, 13:06

          I distinctly remember you and Captain Tightpants used to have the same avatar picture on both here and Atlas so if it isn’t you, then thats a massive coincidence. Especially seeing as you normally have practically the same views on everything…

    • Ding Dong said on 11th January 2011, 13:16

      Cool down bro! No offence meant and what has this got to do with me jeopardizing anything?

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th January 2011, 0:17

        Because I don’t get along with 90% of the Autosport forums. And given the way some members dig up things you said a year ago to attack you in a post you make on a regulat basis, I can’t see anything being brought from the Autosport forums ending well for the blog.

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