Johnny Herbert and Paul di Resta will not be part of the Sky Sports coverage for the 2023 Formula 1 season, after Herbert sparked speculation on social media with a vague Instagram post.
He uploaded a photo with the caption “going to miss the team”, with telling replies from his Sky colleagues.
“Johnny, love you forever ever,” said Natalie Pinkham.
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Rachel Brookes declared it “won’t be the same” without Herbert.
Sky Sports confirmed that the three-time race winner, who finished fourth in the 1995 World Drivers’ Championship with Benetton alongside Michael Schumacher, would not be part of the presenting line up this year.
“Johnny has been an integral part of our Formula One team since the very first season on Sky Sports in 2012,” said a spokesperson for Sky.
“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.”
It is understood that neither Herbert nor Di Resta, who started 59 races for Force India and Williams across almost a decade in Formula One, will be replaced.
“I’m not with Sky this year, unfortunately, but there are other things I’ll be getting involved with,” said Herbert in an interview.
“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.”
Herbert also won the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans driving the iconic Mazda 787B, the first victory by a Japanese team.
Di Resta’s departure also does not have an official reason, but he has a busy racing schedule.
He is due to take part in the World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans series, which clash at various points with Formula One race weekends.
The Sky Sports F1 presenting team is currently confirmed to include: Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Naomi Schiff, Martin Brundle, Damon Hill, Karun Chandhok, Anthony Davidson, Natalie Pinkham, Ted Kravitz, Danica Patrick, Simon Lazenby, David Croft and Rachel Brookes.