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When it comes to being an F1 commentator, very few do it as well as David Croft. The name is synonymous with his voice that narrates the occurrences of F1 has an energy that millions have come to love. However, as he heads to the Imola Grand Prix, there is sad news for Croft fans as they cannot hear his voice for the first time in 16 years during a race. Shocking, right?

As they say, ‘life is what happens when you are making other plans‘ and there has been a situation in Croft’s life that will need him to be absent from a few races this season. Now you must be wondering what this means for the Imola Grand Prix and the FOM already has the answer. Harry Benjamin!

Who is Harry Benjamin?

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If you try to get to know Harry Benjamin through his website, you might come across his stats. He towers over most people standing at 6 feet and 5 inches tall, and be sure not to get under his size 16 shoes. What started as a journey in acting turned into a prestigious F1 job in 2021 for Benjamin. However, acting did work out for him before F1 as he starred in the West End.

It was all Formula for him since 2021 as he joined the broadcasting team, becoming the main voice for F2, F3, and Porsche Supercup. When it comes to experience, he is not short on any, as he is currently working with BBC Radio 5 Live as the lead F1 commentator. But that’s not his only gig at the moment as Sky Sports F1 also wanted him for the coverage of the F1 Juniors.

With his experience of around 4 years, he finally gets a chance to be the key voice for F1 commentary, even though it’s only for 3 races this season.

Why is Harry Benjamin replacing veteran David Croft?

David Croft is not only a veteran but a legend in the F1 community as he has voiced every single race since 2012. He has been the voice for over 350 races and he will be breaking this streak to plan one of the most important life decisions he has made so far. Croft was recently interviewed by the Independent, and this is where he revealed why he will not be making it for 3 races this year.

53-year-old Croft explained his situation and told the Independent, “It’s more about keeping fresh for the whole season. I’m not getting any younger.” As you may have guessed, not missing a single race in one and a half decades is no easy task and after doing so much for the sport, he has decided to take 3 days to himself.

Opening up about his career, he said, “I’ve given up and sacrificed a lot for my career. I want to give a bit of time back to my family and not be on the other side of the world. I’m getting married this year as well, so I’ve got a wedding to organise!” So now we know that the reason we will not hear David Croft’s voice over three races this year it will be due to the affairs of the heart.

But on the flip side, the man with one of the best seats in F1 said, “But I also want to sit and watch a race at home. I want to enjoy it. Maybe I can learn something by not commentating on a race. I can spot a few things when I’m watching–I want to see what the viewer sees.”

Croft has been dedicated to the sport ever since his job with 5 Live from 2006 to 2011 as the only time he did not do commentary for BBC is due to the birth of his son. Now if that’s not dedication, who knows what is?

Which other races will Benjamin commentate?

Croft will miss two more races in the preparations for his wedding and Harry Benjamin will fill in during the Austrian and Azerbaijan Grands Prix. A wedding is not an easy thing to plan, especially when you are traveling with a circus that moves over 1000 km every other weekend.

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This means that right after Imola, when we head to the Monaco Grand Prix next weekend, we will have the familiar voice back on commentary alongside the co-host and panel of F1 pundits.

But who are the other commentators for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix? This year for the Imola race, Harry Benjamin will be the lead commentator at the event and Martin Brundle and Karun Chandhok will join him as co-commentators.

via Reuters

In the Pundit panel, former World Champion, Nico Rosberg and Rwandan racing driver, Naomi Schiff, will share their expert thoughts. As drivers take on the tracks of a circuit where the legend Ayrton Senna lost his life, we wish all the teams good luck and a safe race.

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Will you miss David Croft’s voice during the Imola Grand Prix, or is this something that you have never paid attention to? Let us know in the comments below.