Why David Croft Won’t Be Covering Free Practice 1 in 2021 F1 Season

Published 04/16/2021, 5:04 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – November 1, 2020 Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen in action during the race Pool via Reuters/Luca Bruno


For the 2021 F1 season, the Sky Sports Formula One crew have undergone a reshuffle. So it culminated in F1 pundit David Croft losing his slot in FP1. Instead, Rachel Brookes or Natalie Pinkham are going to take over the lead on Fridays. When she spoke about the change, Brookes admitted that this is new territory for her. As a result, she may require a lot more prep than anything else.

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She said, “If you can imagine talking for an hour with nothing scripted for you, that is what it’s like. I have to react to what is going on our screens, which is provided by F1 and called the World Feed. I have one or two pundits alongside me who I bring into the conversation, and we try to make it as interesting and informative as possible.”

Brookes also mentioned that there are often a lot of driver interviews on Saturday. However, she added that the channel also has some pre-recorded links from the qualifying show. Additionally, she has her hands full on Sundays, with track parade interviews, pre-records and more post-session driver interviews. Furthermore, Brookes also presents the F2 and F3 sessions, including post-race interviews.

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Who else is joining Brookes in the F1 Friday coverage?

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Since Bahrain, Brookes has been working alongside Natalie Pinkham on Fridays. According to Pinkham, they are treating it ‘like a conversation and ask the questions of the experts’. She noted that there is a lot of emphasis on the simulator, and it has helped drivers in the buildup to the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Williams’ Nicholas Latifi in action during the race Pool via Reuters/Davide Gennari

For now, everyone in the F1 community is looking forward to the next race of the season. This weekend, the paddock heads to the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari for the Emilia Romagna GP. Lewis Hamilton enters the weekend as the Bahrain winner and the last person to win at Imola, so he has the advantage.

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Dhruv George

11764 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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