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Formula 1 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix 2024

Sky Sports F1 to make major change for Emilia Romagna GP

A key member of the Sky Sports F1 team will be missing their first race for the broadcaster.

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Sky Sports F1 lead commentator David Croft will not be present during this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola - the first race he will have missed since 2007.

Croft is set to miss three races during the 2024 season, with the Emilia Romagna, Austrian and Azerbaijan Grands Prix set to be the races he will be replaced as lead commentator by Harry Benjamin - a commentator with experience on BBC Radio 5 Live and also Formula 2. 

Since Sky obtained broadcast rights in the UK for 2012, Croft has not missed a race, including throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but is electing to rest given the expanse of the calendar. 

The last race he missed was the 2007 European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring for the birth of his son, with the late Murray Walker deputising. 

Croft's decision to stand down for three races comes as Sky's other cast of presenters, pundits and commentators have also started to rotate over the previous few seasons.

Regular co-commentator Martin Brundle is not on-site for a handful of races per year, with the likes of Jenson Button, Karun Chandhok and Anthony Davidson filling in as Croft's partner with main presenting duties also being shared by Simon Lazenby and Natalie Pinkham. 

In a bid to also become more environmentally friendly, the channel also opted to send a small team to the races in Australia, Japan and China, with the main show being hosted by Lazenby and Pinkham at Sky's studios near London.

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