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Sky Sports has added a new talent to their F1 team for this season after axing pundits Johnny Herbert and Paul di Resta. Former McLaren and Aston Martin team member Bernie Collins will join the Sky Sports reporting team in the paddock, starting this weekend in Jeddah.
Collins bring with her a wealth of paddock experience after being performance engineer at McLaren before taking on a head of race strategy role with Aston Martin. Sky state that Collins will have an on and off-screen role, helping explain team strategies and engineering by using her expertise.
“I am really excited to begin this new chapter with the Sky Sports F1 team and want to thank them for the opportunity,” said Collins. “After many years on the pit wall I’m keen to embrace this new role within F1 from a viewer’s perspective and enhance their experience of racing.”
Collins left her role with Aston Martin midway through last season and received a loving farewell message on the radio from four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel. The German star said: “Thank you very much, Bernie. Thank you… I was only there for two years – one and a half – with you, but it’s been good fun and you’re a great person. Thank you, big kiss, all the best.”
Collins will join Martin Brundle, Nico Rosberg and Damon Hill at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix this weekend. Sky Sports director of F1, Billy McGinty, said that Collins will provide an ‘untapped’ insight into the paddock for racing fans.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to working with Bernie who will add a new dimension and untapped insight to our programming. We hope our viewers will learn a lot from Bernie on what goes on in the garage and on the pit wall at a race weekend.”
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The signing of Collins comes nearly two months after it was confirmed that pundits Herbert and Di Resta were being axed from Sky Sports’ coverage for 2023. The broadcaster confirmed their departures, which were said to be mutual decisions, and wished them well.
A Sky Sports spokesperson said at the time: “Johnny (Herbert) has been an integral part of our Formula 1 team since the very first season on Sky Sports in 2012. We will miss his humour and big personality and thank him for his energy and enthusiasm over the last 11 years. Everyone wishes him all the best for the future.”
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