Johnny Herbert has revealed that a phone call in December ensured that he would not form part of Sky F1’s line-up for the 2023 season.
Herbert, a three-time F1 race winner, was a regular feature of Sky F1’s coverage from 2012 to 2022, but he was one of two people not to return to the broadcasting team for the 2023 campaign. The other ex-F1 driver to leave was Paul di Resta.
Sky F1 officially confirmed Herbert’s departure after the 58-year-old said his goodbyes to the rest of the team on social media back in January.
And, nearly three months on, Herbert has now revealed that his exit did come as a shock to him.
“I didn’t decide to step away,” Herbert told Mirror Sport.
“I thought everything was going ahead. And then I got a call in December, I think it was, when I was told things were changing.
“It wasn’t explained why or what was changing. There was a mention of social media stuff and that was about it, really. I don’t really know.
“I was always aware, at Sky they do these subscriber checks where you’re given points out of 10, and I’ve always known I was always quite popular on that side. It’s a shame, but I’m over it. Moving on.”
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Life after Sky F1
Even though he is no longer part for Sky F1’s coverage, Johnny Herbert is still involved in the world of F1 media. He co-hosts his own F1 podcast – Lift The Lid – alongside Billy Monger and is still giving his assessment on all things F1 via the British press.
In a recent interview with the London Evening Standard, he has spoken about the ongoing rumours linking Lewis Hamilton with a shock move to Ferrari.
“I suppose it’s down to what happens at Mercedes,” Herbert told Standard Sport.
“Can they turn it around? If that doesn’t work and Lewis still has the fire in his belly and thinks this is not the place for him where does he go?
“Would he go to Ferrari? Does he want to go there as he feels that’s where he gets a championship?
“Would he feel he could take his energy and people from Mercedes there like Michael Schumacher did and actually change and steer it in a positive way? The problem with that is time.”
Hamilton, though, continues to make it abundantly clear that he sees himself staying as part of the Mercedes family for life – but that won’t stop the rumour mill churning.