Sky Sports F1 lead commentator David Croft is missing from commentary duties for first practice at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, but where is he today? Who has taken his place and will he be back for the rest of the weekend?
Since Sky Sports gained F1 broadcast rights ahead of the 2012 season, David Croft has become a well-known voice to F1 fans around the globe.
The broadcaster, who hails from Stevenage – the same place as Lewis Hamilton – joined the Sky team as lead commentator with Martin Brundle as side-kick in the box.
The pair’s call of grands prix is also the same one used in the official F1 highlights videos put on social media and YouTube.
But with Croft missing from first practice commentary duties ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, some were left wondering where he is today.
Let’s take a look.
David Croft missing from F1 commentary duties
Between the 2012 Australian Grand Prix and 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Croft commentated on every single session of F1 for Sky.
However, for 2021, Sky elected to shuffle its pack a little.
Croft no longer calls first practice on grand prix weekends, handing the microphone over.
It explains David Croft’s absence on Sky’s coverage today.
He has been replaced by Sky presenters Natalie Pinkham and Rachel Brooks at different grands prix.
For Saudi Arabia in Jeddah, Pinkham is alongside Paul di Resta and Anthony Davidson in calling the session.
Croft is on site at F1’s newest street circuit, and will take his place again for the remainder of the weekend from second practice later on Friday.
When is the race?
The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has slightly different timings than can be normally expected for races in the middle-east.
Qualifying is due to start at 5pm on Saturday, 3rd December.
However, the 50-lap race will begin at 5:30pm on Sunday.
It is a departure from F1’s usual start time of the top of the hour or 10 minutes past, as was previously the case.
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