Ex-Sky Sports pundit facing exile after ‘paying price’ for Abu Dhabi controversy

Johnny Herbert has been axed by Sky Sports ahead of the 2023 season.

Going into the 2023 season, Sky Sports have altered their lineup for Formula 1, with Johnny Herbert and Paul di Resta being dropped by the broadcasting giants.

Herbert added a lot of experience to Sky Sports’ F1 coverage, having taken part in 160 Grand Prix during his time in F1, winning three races and standing on the podium a further seven times.

The 58-year-old has been with Sky Sports ever since they began their coverage of Formula 1 in 2012, becoming a fan favourite during his time on the TV screens.

It has been suggested by that the Brit paid the price for refusing to adopt Sky’s neutral stance on the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when Lewis Hamilton missed out on a record breaking eighth world championship to Max Verstappen.

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Herbert insisted that Hamilton was robbed by race director Michael Masi, sympathising with the Brit and criticising the FIA despite Sky Sport’s will to remain neutral on the matter.

It is now being reported by The Mirror that Herbert will not be on F1 fans’ screens at all for 2023, with both Channel 4 and the BBC deciding against signing the former F1 driver for the upcoming season.

The ex-Sky Sports pundit has claimed that he would like to explore other avenues in motorsport after his departure from the broadcasting giants but will still attend a number of races.

“I’ll be at Silverstone for sure, and the Monaco Grand Prix. I’m hoping to get to Le Mans as well this year, because that’s going to be a big event this time around,” he told motorsport content creator Last Lap Lucy.

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“I’m doing a bit of karting – not racing, just testing. My son-in-law wants me to race but I don’t really want to , but you’ll probably see me on a go-kart track near you. I’ve got various things going on.

“I’m enjoying things on the track and also life off the track as well.”

With Herbert not set to be on the TV or the radio covering F1 this season, fans hope that the adored pundit will return in the future to offer more fascinating and entertaining insight on the drama of F1.