The words of Martin Brundle at the Autosport Awards in December last year, when asked by Steve Rider about the prospect of not working with DC in 2012.
Half way through the 2011 season came the news that we UK F1 fans have been dreading for years – the rights to the TV coverage of our sport had been sold to Sky. I can’t think of anyone – fans, journalists, advertisers even(?), who thought that this was good news.
A few months down the line and I’m now a paid-up Sky customer, for the simple reason of F1. There must be many others like me; but probably an equal number who absolutely refuse to pay the subscription and will be sticking with the BBC’s more limited coverage.
The BBC have revolutionised F1 coverage in the last few years, and I’m sure when the season starts will continue to produce quality coverage. I can definitely see me tuning into Jake, EJ and DC in the pre-race build ups; then switching over to Sky for the commentary – Martin Brundle and David Croft should be, in my mind, the perfect duo.
Brundle needs to get back to his “expert” role. Listening to his work as lead commentator for the BBC last year wasn’t always easy – for years he’d been the calm side-kick of Murray Walker, James Allen and Jonathan Legard. Whilst they went bananas with excitement, it was Martin who complemented the crazyness with his understated dry wit. In 2012, alongside David Croft, who has been excellent in his work with Anthony Davidson over the past few years, this aspect of Brundle’s delivery should hopefully return.
So what will the Sky coverage bring? Will we be thrown back to the days of ITVF1 in 1997 and the novice Jim Rosenthal? Will we be surprised by their slickness? They have a lot to live up to. The bar set by Jake Humphrey and friends is exceedingly high.