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David Croft to miss first F1 races as Sky commentator

Sky Formula 1 commentator David Croft is to miss his first races this year since joining the broadcaster in 2012, when he steps back from three grands prix.

David Croft

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Ahead of a record-breaking 24 race calendar, which includes four double-headers and two triple-headers, Croft has taken the decision to stand down from the Emilia-Romagna, Austrian and Azerbaijan Grands Prix.

Croft has also missed this year's pre-season test in Bahrain, having previously been a part of the commentary team in recent years since F1 started to live broadcasted the event.

He will be replaced by BBC Radio 5 Live commentator Harry Benjamin, who led Sky’s coverage on F1 Juniors last year.

Croft has been the lead commentator on Sky since it took over the UK television rights from the BBC in 2012. He has been a permanent fixture at the races and has not missed a grand prix since.

Having originally arrived in F1 as commentator for BBC Radio 5 Live in 2006, when he succeeded Maurice Hamilton, he only missed one race prior to his move to Sky when he skipped the 2007 European Grand Prix due to the birth of his son.

David Croft, Sky TV

David Croft, Sky TV

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Speaking to The Independent about his decision to stand down from a trio of races, Croft said: “It’s more about keeping fresh for the whole season. I’m not getting any younger.

“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!

“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.”

Sky will again have its full on-screen team throughout the 2024 season, which includes Anthony Davidson, Bernie Collins, Damon Hill, Danica Patrick, Craig Slater, Jenson Button, Karun Chandhok, Martin Brundle, Naomi Schiff, Natalie Pinkham, Nico Rosberg, Rachel Brookes, Simon Lazenby and Ted Kravitz.

Former F1 strategist Collins, who became a hit with fans last year for her insight over grand prix weekends, will have a bigger presence throughout 2024 as she will attend 10 race weekends.

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