An award-winning team of broadcasters will convey the excitement of the FIA Formula One World Championship to American viewers in 2018 as ESPN, Sky Sports and Formula 1 join forces to bring Sky Sports' presentation of the championship to the U.S.
Television audiences in the U.S. will be able to enjoy the Sky Sports coverage as ESPN and ABC air all 21 races in the championship under a multi-year linear and digital partnership between ESPN and Formula 1. Announced in October, the agreement brings Formula 1 back to its original U.S. television home as the first Formula 1 race ever aired in the U.S. was on ABC in 1962.
Sky is a leading entertainment company in Europe, serving 22.5 million customers across five countries -- UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy.
"We are excited to work with the Sky Sports team," said Kate Jackson, ESPN coordinating producer, motorsports. "Their coverage of F1 is second to none and we look forward to bringing their expertise and authenticity to our audiences."
Scott Young, Head of Formula 1 at Sky Sports, added "We are delighted to be working with ESPN and ABC, and with this partnership extend Sky Sports F1's award-winning coverage overseas. Each season we look to find new ways to improve the broadcast and entertain our viewers and this year will be no different."
Sky Sports' comprehensive coverage will include commentary and analysis from a lineup of former world champions and current F1 drivers including:
Martin Brundle - regarded by many as the Voice of Formula 1. A star in F1 and sports cars; became a broadcaster in 1997.
Damon Hill - Formula 1 World Champion in 1996, son of former World Champion Graham Hill.
Johnny Herbert - raced 11 years in F1, three-time grand prix winner.
Paul di Resta - veteran of 58 F1 races, Williams reserve driver last year and competed at the Hungarian GP.
Anthony Davidson - Mercedes No. 1 Sim (simulator) driver and works with engineers to test the design and performance of the cars.
The Sky team also includes expert presenters Simon Lazenby, Ted Kravitz, David Croft, Rachel Brookes and Natalie Pinkham. The agreement for ESPN to air the Sky Sports coverage was arranged by Formula 1, with the approval of ESPN and Sky.
ESPN and Sky Sports production personnel will work together on the U.S. presentation, with Sky Sports producing special segments that will appear on various ESPN platforms to supplement the television coverage.
Sky's F1 coverage includes storytelling innovations such as Sky's exclusive "Sky Pad," a large, interactive touchscreen TV used by pundits and guests to dissect highlights and information; race control and pit wall views, and some of the most advanced on-screen information available to race fans. Sky was awarded "Best TV Broadcaster for Outstanding Coverage" by F1 in 2012 and 2013.
Beginning with the season-opening Formula 1 2018 Rolex Australian Grand Prix on March 25, and ending with the Nov. 25 Formula 1 2018 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, all of the races will air live in the United States on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. All in more than 125 hours of Formula 1 programming, including all practice sessions, qualifying and races, will air live and in replay across ESPN platforms in 2018.
More details regarding ESPN's Formula 1 content plans will be announced in the coming weeks.