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Johnny Herbert breaks silence on brutal Sky Sports axing

Johnny Herbert has admitted he was pushed out of Sky Sports F1 and doesn’t know why he was axed. Herbert was a key part of the broadcaster’s Formula One coverage but his contract was not renewed ahead of the latest campaign.

The former F1 star explained that a December phone call with show bosses sealed his fate but admits he was now “moving on” as he begins life in a new project.

He told the Mirror: “I didn’t decide to step away – 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.”

The ex-Jaguar driver now presents his own podcast alongside former British F4 driver Billy Monger. The pair’s Lift the Lid show is uploaded to streaming services after each Grand Prix and features analysis mixed with fan questions.

Herbert announced the show last month and has already clocked up 13 shows. Advertising on social media, Monger wrote: “BUZZING to share with you my new podcast @liftthelidpod alongside the LEGEND @johnnyherbertf1, chatting all things @f1 around the new season.”

Herbert accepted a move to rival broadcaster Channel 4 “hasn’t come into play”. He added: “There are a lot of other opportunities but, in terms of seeing me on a TV screen, there’s probably nothing planned on that front.”

Herbert revealed he would be walking away from the channel in January as he posted a touching tribute on Instagram. Uploading a press picture of him alongside the rest of the show’s analysts, he wrote: “Going to miss this team.”

Fellow pundit Naomi Schiff responded with a heartwarming message, commenting: “We’re gonna miss you the most Johnny. Had so much fun with you. What a kind soul!”

Ahead of the 2023 season, Sky Sports F1 also parted ways with former British F1 driver Paul di Resta.

They have not directly replaced Di Resta or Herbert’s role with a revolving cycle of pundits used at different events. However, they have secured the services of former Aston Martin strategist Bernie Collins, who made her on-air debut in Saudi Arabia.

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