Wortham-based Ben Edwards in pole position as BEEB’s new commentator
THE new voice of Formula One on the BBC revealed he will be starting his “dream job” when the 2012 season is given the green light in Australia, in March.
Wortham-based Ben Edwards, who has also lived in Diss, is replacing Martin Brundle as lead commentator for the terrestrial channel’s coverage of the new season and will sit alongside 13-time Grand Prix winner and co-commentator, David Coulthard.
Brundle’s defection to Sky who - as part of an agreement with the BBC - will show every session from every Grand Prix live, paved the way for Edwards who will commentate live on half of the season’s races with his new employers showing extended highlights of the rest.
“It is a dream job to work for the BBC and to be top of their list is something that I have been working towards for many years,” said Edwards, a ex-racing driver himself and former winner of the now-defunct Formula First series.
“A lot of Formula One is about politics and I am very lucky to be able to keep abreast of all the intrigue that surrounds the sport as it s my love, my passion.
“I grew up listening to (former commentator) Murray Walker who is an absolute icon and I have been lucky enough to meet him over the years, and he has always been kind and supportive to me in what I have done.”
Edwards will join a team featuring the BBC’s Formula One presenter Jake Humphrey and former Formula One driver and 13-time Grand Prix winner, David Coulthard.
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“It is going to be very exciting to be working with such a great team and people such as David (Coulthard) who is an excellent co-commentator and who can look at a race from a different perspective,” said Edwards.
“Then you have the likes of Eddie Jordan who can look at the races from an owner’s point of view, Gary Anderson who will provide superb in-depth technical knowledge and Jake Humphrey who does an outstanding job presenting the BBC’s coverage.”
Last year’s title was won by the 2010 winner Sebastian Vettel who will be attempting to become only the third driver in history to score a hat-trick of titles.
However, he will face strong competition from Fernando Alonso and Ferrari while Lewis Hamilton will be looking to hit back after a controversial year which saw him receive grid penalties for aggressive driving.
Edwards is tipping Hamilton for a better season but believes the campaign as a whole has the potential to be far more open.
“My feeling is that more teams and more drivers will be involved on the podium this season,” said Edwards.
“Red Bull will be strong while McLaren will be very fast and I can them both winning races.
“Then there is Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher, in his third season back in Formula One, and the question of whether or not he can make it back on to the podium for the first time
“It is too early to call a winner because we have not seen the cars in testing yet but if I had to choose a name, I would go for Lewis Hamilton, who is coming back after a really difficult year. I am looking Lewis making a better challenge this year.”