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.
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 ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ 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 ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ one of the biggest names in British motorsport and a skilled race analyst.
We want to tap into their combined on-track expertise ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ 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 ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ helping to re-establish BBC Sport as the nation’s F1 broadcaster. We wish him all the very best for the future.
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.
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.
Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty images