Formula 1: Sky Sports changes broadcast in Silverstone

Last Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring was only the second time in 13 seasons since Sky Sports acquired the broadcast rights to Formula 1 race weekends that David Croft was absent from a Grand Prix.

Both times have happened this season, as Crofty's schedule included three planned absences during the record-breaking 24-race calendar. He also missed the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the Imola circuit in May.

Since being taken over by Sky Sports in 2012, Crofty has covered 249 Formula 1 Grand Prix races up until his first retirement. In his entire 27-year career as a sports reporter, he had missed only one race weekend before this year – that was at the Nürburgring in 2007, when he missed the European Grand Prix due to the birth of his son.

Harry Benjamin, who fronted Sky Sports' F1 Kids coverage last year, represented Croft at both the Emilia Romagna and Austrian Grand Prix, the latter of which also featured a sprint race.

Despite following in such big shoes, Benjamin did another commendable job last week and many fans can't wait for the popular regular commentator to return to the announcer's booth.

At the start of the British Grand Prix next Sunday, which will be held over 52 laps and will take place on the 18-corner, 5.892-kilometer Silverstone Circuit, fans can once again look forward to the legendary saying of the long-time editor-in-chief of Sky Sports: “Lights out and let's go!”

Croft's other planned absence on the 2024 calendar is for the 17th race weekend of the season at the Baku City Circuit, with Benjamin expected to return at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix before Croft takes over again for the remaining seven races of the year.

But now, and for the next four race weekends after this one, Crofty is back.

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The British Grand Prix will be broadcast live from the Silverstone Circuit on ESPN2 this Sunday, July 7, starting at 9:55 a.m. ET. Start a Try FuboTV for free now if you haven't already, and don't miss it!