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Wattie setting out his Sky stall?

NEWS STORY
26/09/2011

Is John Watson, who stood in for Anthony Davidson at the BBC over the course of the Singapore GP weekend, looking to join Sky Sport's F1 team in 2012?

During Sky's previous foray into F1 in 2002, Watson was part of the commentary team along with the excellent Ben Edwards. While Peter Windsor prowled the pitlane, back in the studio Damon Hill and Perry (The Stig) McCarthy shared pundit duties with Matt Lorenzo holding the whole thing together. Despite being a bit 'blokey' it was a good team.

Sadly, due to the poor take up by punters, mainly due to the high cost of the subscription - initially £12 a race - and the fact that the races and qualifying were available for free on ITV, Sky Sports dropped F1 after just one season.

Now, with Sky having won back F1, courtesy of the BBC, pundits, presenters and just about everyone else is tripping over themselves in a bid to get what many see as one of the best gigs in TV sport.

Reaction to Watson on Twitter at the weekend was mixed, the F1 veteran who finished third in the 1982 world championship appearing to have a 'Marmite effect' on fans... they either liked him or hated him.

Certainly, the Ulsterman has lost none of his spark since 2002, happy to give praise where it was due but equally happy to lay down the law.

Thankfully there were none of the cringeworthy puns he used to make us suffer in 2002 - "he's been on the grass (run off) more than Bob Marley" - instead there was lots of sensible straight talking. Having rubbished Jenson Button's call for the Singapore race to be shortened due to possible fatigue, Watson laid into the rule-makers, admonishing them for introducing a new enbine formula at a time the world is going through a major recession.

Unlike Eddie Jordan, who increasingly appears to be controversial for the sake of it, and eager to be seen as a character, Watson's from the hip criticism appears genuine, it comes out of a serious love of the sport as opposed to self promotion.

The Martin Brundle/David Coulthard partnership continues to work well , as do other members of the BBC team, not least Ted Kravitz. However, hopefully when Sky Sport gets around to considering its team Wattie will be given due consideration if only for the 'grumpy old man' element that still watches the sport.

As for his comment, in the wake of the loose kerb saga, that perhaps someone in the paddock could spare some of their rug (wig) glue in order to fix the errant slabs, we cannot begin to think who he might have been referring to. Can you?

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