David Coulthard joins Channel 4's Formula One line-up

11 Jan 2016 12:24

David Coulthard, Britain's 13-time grand prix winner, has joined Channel Four as part of its Formula One broadcasting team.

Channel Four will lead the sport's terrestrial television coverage for the next three years after the BBC surrendered its broadcasting rights in December.

And Coulthard, who joined the BBC in 2009 after he called time on his 15-year racing career, has been unveiled as the first member of the network's presenting team.

Channel Four has also announced it has awarded its F1 contract to Whisper Films - a production company which was established by Coulthard, BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey and the BBC's former F1 producer Sunil Patel in 2010.

Mark Wilkin, the experienced editor of BBC's Formula One coverage, will also make the move to Channel Four.

"This is an exciting time for the sport and an exciting time for Whisper Films," Coulthard said.

"The F1 world has been incredibly impressed with what Whisper has delivered over the last five years and Channel Four's decision is testament to that.

"I'm looking forward to being part of an exciting new era for Formula One, with Whisper Films and our proven level of creativity and innovation very much at the heart of that."

Ed Havard, Channel Four's head of TV events and sport added: "Whisper Films outlined an extremely impressive and exciting vision for their F1 coverage, with outstanding on and off screen talent as an integral part of their pitch.

"We are delighted that David Coulthard will be at the heart of Channel Four's coverage and look forward to announcing the full presenting team in the coming weeks."

The BBC regained the exclusive broadcasting rights to Formula One in 2009 before agreeing a seven-year deal to share them with Sky Sports in 2012. But after announcing a £35million cut to its sport budget the corporation pulled out of its contract with three years still to run.

Channel Four will take over from the BBC with immediate effect and will show 10 races live - without commercial breaks - and screen extensive highlights of the remaining 11 races scheduled for this season.