UK free-to-air public broadcaster Channel 4 has announced that Alex Jacques will be their lead race commentator in 2021, taking over from Ben Edwards.
Edwards was previously lead F1 commentator for Eurosport (from 1995) and the BBC (from 2011). He had been part of Channel 4's coverage of the sport since it took over from the BBC in 2016, but announced last week that he was stepping down from the role at the end of the season.
"Commentating on F1 for the last nine years has been a real privilege, but it’s time for me to step back from the front line of such an intense world and take a wider perspective on motorsport and life," he explained.
His successor Alex Jacques is already well-known to viewers of F1. This season he has been providing race commentary for F1TV, as well as for the Formula 2 and Formula 3 support series and for the pre-season F1 Esports competition.
Jacques said that he was "delighted" to be joining Channel 4 which will see him working alongside former F1 driver David Coulthard.
“As an avid Formula 1 fan since the age of nine, I know how much the broadcast means for everyone's weekend," he said in a statement released by the broadcaster and production company Whisper.
"It will be hugely exciting to share races with so many fans and join a team which commands such respect in F1 and TV circles alike. I can't wait to get started in 2021.”
John Curtis, C4F1's programme editor, said that there had never been any doubt about who they wanted to take over from Edwards.
"Once we knew Ben was stepping down, Alex was our first choice," he said. "He is an outstanding talent and his knowledge is exceptional.
“Lead commentary is such an important role for the production and I have no doubt that Alex will deliver for both our current fans, as well as new ones.
"His passion and enthusiasm for the sport shines through on air and will work well with David's excellent analysis and opinion.
"It's great to be able to confirm that he's joining the C4F1 team for the potentially record-breaking 2021 season.”
Jacques began his sports broadcasting career with BBC Radio Suffolk. He later covered sports events for BBC radio stations and agencies while working for The Times newspaper.
In 2015 he took over from Will Buxton as the world-feed commentator for GP2 and GP3, and moved up to F1TV in 2018. Last year he provided commentary for BBC Radio 5 Live's coverage of the 2019 British Grand Prix.