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Whisper retains Channel 4 F1 deal until 2026

TV production company Whisper has retained its deal to generate Formula 1 coverage for the UK’s Channel 4 until 2026 after winning a “very tough” tender process.

Channel 4 presenters David Coulthard, Mark Webber and Steve Jones

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

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It was originally announced in July that Channel 4’s free-to-air contract, which ran to the end of the season, had been extended for another three years.

Channel 4’s works in parallel with that of Sky, as it does in other sports such as cricket, but it has its own production team and talent.

Despite being the incumbent since 2016 Whisper had to go through a tender process alongside potential replacements before retaining the deal.

As well as race highlights Channel 4 will continue to show the British GP and its practice and qualifying sessions, with its programmes fronted by Whisper co-founder David Coulthard and Steve Jones.

The broadcaster says that this season C4F1 “will be relaunched, with new features and additional talent being connected to the show.”

Whisper is also addressing sustainability, and it’s claimed that this year will see a 50% reduction in its F1 carbon footprint compared with 2022.

Expanding on its plans Channel 4 added that “late-night highlight shows will be presented from an innovative, immersive studio location in the UK, while European races will be presented from the F1 paddock.

Steve Jones, Channel 4 Presenter, David Coulthard

Photo by: James Sutton / Motorsport Images

Steve Jones, Channel 4 Presenter, David Coulthard

“There will be an on-site presence for all races, as we will partner with other international broadcasters.”

Channel 4 head of sport Pete Andrews confirmed that Whisper had faced strong competition.

“Whisper’s production of our F1 content has been fantastic,” he said. “They are always striving to improve and deliver the best possible coverage for our audiences, and that really came through in a very tough tender process.

“Their ambition for this year’s coverage is really exciting, and I’m really looking forward to working with Whisper’s outstanding on and off-screen talent.”

Whisper CEO Sunil Patel added: “Whisper’s founders met while producing F1 for the BBC and we have an absolute passion for motorsport and for delivering sport as entertainment.

“This project brings all those aspects together, a show that delivers the best action and entertainment from F1, with storytelling at its heart. All under the creative and editorial leadership of Tim Hampel and Kirstie Bennett from our Manchester office.

“It’s brilliant also to continue to work with Channel 4 on F1. They are a pioneering partner who give us freedom to develop and evolve.

“Together we’re committed to reducing emissions while delivering the highest levels of creativity and entertainment for F1 fans in the UK.”

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