Scottish driver joins motoring programme
Coulthard joins new Top Gear line-up
The line-up for the revamped BBC Top Gear series has been revealed and it includes former Scottish racing driver David Coulthard.
Also joining Chris Evans are online motoring journalist Chris Harris – first tipped by Daily Business immediately after Jeremy Clarkson was fired – and German racing driver Sabine Schmitz.
The BBC did not renew Clarkson’s contract following an incident with a producer of the show in March. His co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May decided not to renew their own contracts and the trio have signed up with Amazon Prime to present a new programme.
Coulthard drove for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull in a 14-year career until his retirement in 2008. He was runner up in the World Drivers’ Championship in 2001. He is currently a BBC commentator and pundit for its Formula One coverage which is being cut short in a cost saving exercise.
Schmitz is a racing driver for Porshe and BMW. In 2004 Schmitz appeared on Top Gear, racing ex-presenter Jeremy Clarkson around German racing track Nurburgring. Schmitz has also spent time presenting on German TV show ‘D Motor’, a show following a similar set up to that of Top Gear involving driving challenges.
Harris is a motoring journalist who has worked as a reviewer, writer, and editor for many car magazines, including Evo and Autocar. He runs a YouTube channel ‘Chris Harris On Cars’ which has 321,000 subscribers.
His popularity with the motoring fraternity extends to a maverick style which some will compare to Clarkson.
He has courted controversy including a temporary ban from writing reviews on Ferraris after publishing an article describing the brand as ‘profoundly irritating’. He was also banned from reviewing Lamborghinis after calling the future of the company as ‘bleak’ and writing an article titled ‘Lamborghinis are the perfect car for people who can’t drive’.
He also made a career in racing, winning his first race in 2000 at the Formula Power Audi.
Eddie Jordan has described as ‘utterly devastating’ the BBC’s decision to allow Channel 4 to take Formula One rights from next season.
BBC’s shared broadcasting deal with Sky Sports was due to expire in 2018, but the corporation has cut the deal short as part of a move to reduce its £35m sports budget.