Formula E is seeking a commentator to lead their full-time coverage after parting ways with Jack Nicholls, Motorsport Broadcasting has learned.
Nicholls, who has been part of Formula E since its inaugural race in 2014, will not comment on the remaining seven rounds of the 2022-23 season.
Ben Edwards, an experienced motorsports commentator, will fill the vacant commentary position for the remainder of the season, starting with the Jakarta race weekend on Saturday June 3 and Sunday June 4.
The electric series confirmed the news in a statement issued on their websitefollowing a request for comment by Motorsport Broadcasting.
An unexpected change
Changes in broadcast staff during a motor racing season are rare, especially for high-profile roles, so Formula E’s decision comes as a surprise to fans of the series.
Formula E kicked off in September 2014 with the Beijing E-Prix won by Lucas di Grassi, although the dramatic accident of Nico Prost and Nick Heidfeld on the last lap made headlines.
Nicholls was there from the start, and his iconic “And we go green!” the calls at the start of each E-Prix quickly became synonymous with Formula E broadcasting.
Four-time IndyCar Champion Dario Franchitti joined Nicholls and the two quickly formed a successful commentary partnership with Nicki Shields providing additional analysis from the pit lane.
The role was Nicholls’ breakthrough into the spotlight leading to his involvement with the BBC 5 Live Formula 1 squad.
While Martin Haven filled in for Nicholls on several occasions, Nicholls remained Formula E’s main commentator, commenting on the highs and lows of the series.
Franchitti’s decision to reduce his involvement in Formula E in the off-season affected the lineup of commentators, resulting in a rotating line-up that included Karun Chandhok and Oliver Askew working alongside Nicholls.
Nicholls has been off-road since the Cape Town E-Prix in February with commentary on the last three race weekends produced from London. Formula E has not disclosed the reason for Nicholls’ departure, however it is unrelated to a recent change in senior management within the organization.
Edwards joins the Formula E presentation team for the remainder of the season following his career in Formula 1, where he commented on F1’s over-the-top platform last season.
Previously, Edwards has worked with Channel 4 on F1 coverage, as well as ITV, Sky Sports and Eurosport, spanning a career spanning four decades.
“I’m very excited to be back behind the mic in Formula E as the track action this season is a commentator’s dream,” said Edwards.
“The Championship is more competitive than ever and I can bring it to life for viewers around the world. I am thrilled to be joining the team and announcing the action in Jakarta.”
Other changes to the team on the air of Formula E
Nicholls’ departure from Formula E is one of three changes to Jakarta as Nicki Shields and Vernon Kay are also absent.
For Kay, he is no longer part of the full-time Formula E aired team as he focuses on his new role in BBC Radio 2.
These changes mean that for the first time in Jakarta, none of the original “Formula E trio” (Nicholls, Franchitti or Shields) will be present during the television broadcast of the series.
Pit lane reporter Radzi Jakianganya brings coverage from Jakarta with Saunders Carmichael-Brown stepping into the role of Chiniananganyi in the pit lane. Nelson Piquet Jr., Oliver Askew and Kelvin van der Linde will also provide stock analysis.
Karun Chandhok works with Edwards in the commentary booth over the weekend in Jakarta, marking rounds 10 and 11 of the current season.
Jakarta was a hit with fans in the country last year, attracting over 13 million viewersand the organizers of the series will hope for a similar response this time.
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