For quite a few seasons, Martin Brundle has been commentating for English-language broadcasts of Formula 1. He started alongside Murray Walker, but has become the leading man in the commentary box since Murray’s retirement.
Brundle is an experienced racing driver. With 158 grand prix starts, a win at the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1990 and the World Sports Car Championship title in 1988, he has proven himself on the track. He is very familiar with how Formula 1 works, and knows what is going on among the teams, drivers and organisers. It is fortunate for us who watch Formula 1 that he is so easily able to translate his knowledge and experience into language the casual watcher of F1 can understand.
While Brundle has been a feature of F1 commentary since 1997, his co-commentators have changed a bit over the years. Murray Walker retired in 2001, to be replaced by James Allen, who featured until 2008. 2009 and 2010 saw Jonathan Legard join Brundle in the commentary box. After 2 seasons in which Legard did not seem particularly well-suited to Formula 1, he was replaced for 2011 by David Coulthard.
Coulthard is a fairly distinguished racing driver himself. He has recorded 13 F1 victories and 12 pole positions, and finished second to Michael Schumacher in the 2001 championship. He is well respected in the paddock and, judging by his 2011 commentary, extremely knowledgeable.
For 2012, there will no longer be BBC coverage of the whole season. Sky have taken up the mantle, with a dedicated HD Formula 1 channel, and have signed Brundle on to lead the commentary team. BBC will be showing only a portion of the season, but have held on to Coulthard. Unfortunately, that means the end of what was fast becoming a very successful commentary box combination.
Who will partner Brundle at Sky? Hopefully there will be an announcement fairly soon.