Nico Rosberg has stepped up to replace Niki Lauda as the expert F1 pundit on German free-to-air television RTL next year. It was also announced that, despite a period of uncertainty, RTL has retained the broadcast rights to formula one for the next three years. "This is really good news for RTL and especially our viewers," said RTL chief Frank Hoffmann.
With F1 legend Lauda stepping back as F1 pundit, he will be replaced by 2016 world champion and fellow former F1 driver Timo Glock. However, Rosberg's actual contract is not yet signed. But he told Bild newspaper: "We have agreed. My father was the predecessor of Niki's on RTL, so I am continuing a family tradition."
At the same time, there is shock in Italy as Speed Week reports that free-to-air broadcaster Rai has lost the F1 broadcast rights. The only Italian F1 broadcaster now is the pay channel Sky. F1 legend Alain Prost said: "In France we used to have 8 million fans watching TF1, but now there are not even 750,000 on digital television Canal Plus. But that's just how it goes when you move everything to pay TV," he added. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing