UNITED KINGDOM: In a recent revelation, former Sky F1 pundit Johnny Herbert sheds light on the cautious approach required when expressing opinions during live broadcasts to avoid upsetting F1 teams.
After being released by Sky F1 at the end of the 2022 season, Herbert has started to discuss the intricate relationship between the F1 media and the teams.
The sensitivity of this relationship came to the forefront during the 2022 campaign when World Champion Max Verstappen and the Red Bull team boycotted Sky F1 at the Mexican Grand Prix.
This boycott came in response to what Red Bull perceived as disrespectful comments about Verstappen’s controversial 2021 title win in Abu Dhabi.
Herbert acknowledges the potential consequences of overstepping the mark, stating that teams can withhold their cooperation if they feel offended by comments made by pundits or broadcasters.
Reflecting on his own experience, Herbert explains that he was always free to express what he wanted, but if everybody said something that upset a team, they would get upset.
The former race winner believes that some caution is necessary but also emphasises the importance of candid opinions, particularly when controversial topics arise during the F1 season.
Herbert states that when it’s down to a team, he believes that one should be able to be as outspoken as one wants to be in certain situations.
He recalls his own outspokenness during his racing career and believes that avoiding controversial discussions to protect personal relationships within teams undermines the integrity of the sport.
Herbert, who continues his F1 punditry work and co-hosts the ‘Lift the Lid’ podcast with Billy Monger, believes that expressing opinions should focus on fans’ perspectives and the overall sport rather than protecting personal relationships.
He asserts that the expression of opinions shouldn’t be about relationships. Instead, it should be about what the pundits see and hear from fans.
This revelation from Johnny Herbert reminds broadcasters and pundits in Formula 1 that balancing honesty and sensitivity is crucial when sharing opinions during live broadcasts.
As the sport evolves, finding the right approach to navigate the delicate relationship between F1 media and teams becomes increasingly essential to maintaining open dialogue and preserving the sport’s integrity.