All things must pass…

It had been a lovely evening in Mokpo. No, really. A fabulous meal was followed by a few shandies in a club, celebrating a good friend’s birthday.

Bed had arrived possibly a touch later than it should have, and as I put my head down I thought I’d just check twitter to see what was going on in the world. And then it hit home.

We, on the SPEED F1 broadcast team, have known for some time that there was a possibility of us losing the rights or of there being a pretty big shift in the way F1 was going to be broadcast in America. But the news hit hard, and fast.

I guess we never know how we’ll take bad news, even when we know there’s a chance it will arrive. There’s always that range of emotions: the seven stages I believe they call it. The same as when you break up with someone you love.

And that’s what this feels like. Because I truly love working at SPEED. I love the guys I work with and that I work for. They are all terrific people and they have become terrific friends.

Bob Varsha is one of the finest commentators I’ve ever heard. He is such a professional, so knowledgeable and so damn good at his job. And if I have hair half as good as his when I’m his age I’ll be a thankful man.

Hobbo, what can I say? Like your crazy grandfather, he’s always got a story, always got an opinion and always delivers it with such panache. I smile every time he opens his mouth to talk.

Stiffey, what a hero. His enthusiasm is infectious. We may only do a few races together a year, but my word they’re always fun.

And Steve. To be honest, given Steve’s technical background I was always fearful that he would think I was a bit of a soft option after Peter. Steve for me was like the cool kid at school that you always wanted to like you. But I have built such a solid relationship with him, and I can’t tell you how proud I am every time I chip in with something and Steve responds with words such as “Will’s absolutely right…”

There are so many people behind the scenes that you folks don’t get to hear from or see. But each of them make the show what it is. Without the guys behind the scenes, pulling the strings and kicking our asses, there would be no show. Kirch, Goldie, Sean the statman, Cynthia, Dan, D-wayne, Kevin… just so, so many people.

Frank Wilson has been the lifeblood of Formula 1 on SPEED. Pretty much everything you see and hear is as a result of his passion and his soul. If Formula 1 has a future in the United States, Frank will hold a huge chunk of the responsibility for that. He’s a wonderful man and a great guy to work for.

I’ll never forget my job interview at SPEED. It involved dinner with Frank and Dan Shutte, who was instrumental in getting me over to the States. Seriously, without Shutte I would never have got a call from SPEED. The next day we all went in to see Rick Miner who was running the station at the time. Rick took one look at me and said, “Well these guys didn’t call me to say you were an asshole, so I guess you got the job.” At that point, I knew I was going to love my time at SPEED.

The last three years have gone by so quickly. And I am gutted they are coming to an end. But I am so appreciative of having been a part of the most incredible team of people.

SPEED took a chance on me, and I really hope they, and the folks at home, are happy with what they got. I had very little TV experience, and compared to Peter Windsor who I was replacing, very little F1 experience. I’ve been in this game for ten years now, but still, that’s a drop in the ocean compared to some in this paddock.

So SPEED took a huge gamble. And I am thankful everyday for their faith, for their support and for three amazing years. I have genuinely never enjoyed myself nor enjoyed the sport as much as I have since joining SPEED, and moving on at the end of the year will be a real wrench.

But change in life happens, and often it leads on to bigger and better things.

What will I be doing next year? I honestly don’t know. Although I’ve known for a while that this day was coming, part of me never wanted to believe that it would. And that’s why it hurts, and that’s why walking into the paddock this morning absolutely choked me up.

Whatever the future holds, be it in this paddock or elsewhere, I want to thank SPEED for an amazing three years. And I want to thank the fans for tuning in.

We’ve got five races left, and you know we’re going to enjoy every single lap of what is fast becoming a legendary season.

Thank you all for your kind words and support.

Thank you, SPEED, for the memories.

Now here’s to the future…

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76 thoughts on “All things must pass…

  1. I can’t tell you how gutted I am by this, and the knowledge that Speed will be gone sometime next year. You’ve done a great job, and I hope you and the entire team end up together someplace.

  2. It was great fun watching every week. Good interaction with people. I thought you were far better then others that have done the job. Plus the bloopers. Good luck hopefully they just import the team to the NBC deal.

  3. Speed hit a home run on that chance. You have left a positive mark on the American F1 community, and we are the better for it.

  4. Will, I know we’ll be seeing you around the open wheel racing scene for many years to come. You have everything going for you. This may open up a door that you didn’t even know existed. Your enthusiasm experience, and professionalism will take you very far. See you in Austin.

  5. If you’re not on US TV broadcasting after this year, it’ll be our loss. At least there’s Twitter & other options that will let us keep following you for all of your incredible passion and wit. Well done, mate.

  6. Gonna really miss the team Will. You have become a great add to the team. I have been listening to Bob and David do F1 since the early 90s…even before their time at SPEED. I feel like I am losing 4 great friends that I could listen to during practice, quals and the race.

  7. It has been fantastic to hear your thoughts and opinions at every race. Your enthusiasm for the sport is infectious and you light up the screen with your personality! I sincerely hope you get a job fast, because any broadcasting station should be begging you to work for them. Good luck, Will and thanks for all your work!

  8. The SPEED broadcast, whether in the wee early hours of the morning or middle of afternoon, wasn’t watching a race. It was enjoying the camaraderie of friends, passionately discussing an event. From the opening stanza of Sam Posey, the intense introduction by Hobbs, Matchett & Varsha’s “turn up the volume, hear come the lights”, your fun grid walk, like a kid in a candy store. All will sorely missed. It was an honor and fun to be with YOU and the team, as the race unfolded on the TV. Yes this is a ramble, but the fans are just as upset, and will be most supportive of you, and the team in the future. These next races, pull out all the stops, I know you and the team will. Be well, and I cannot wait to see where you land next. I am sure it will be, as you say, MEGA.

    • Very sad to hear the news that Speed is losing F1 and we are losing a great line up.

      You were a great addition to the team Will. Always insightful and your exhuberence for the sport is infectious. Watching the races you would soon forget that Varsha, Hobbs and Matchett were in a studio in Charlotte with their energy and enthusiasm making it seem they were
      trackside.

      I’m a life long F1 fan from England and the impact ITV had on F1′s coverage is still felt today – adverts not withstanding. I moved to the States during the 2008 season and had to watch Lewis’ and Jenson’s championship victories online.

      I got cable just in time for the 2010 championship and have enjoyed Speed’s coverage immensely. Especially your views pit side, Will.

      F1 is on the ascendancy in the US with two races next year and the unpredictable races of recent seasons. You all at Speed have contributed to that.

      I hope this will be similar to ITV getting F1 back in the mid 90s in England when Murray moved over from the BBC. Hope to see you and the rest of the team on NBC in 2013.

      Good luck!

  9. Long time F1 Fan from America – really enjoyed Peter Windsor to a great degree; first introduced to you when you replaced him. Have enjoyed your work even more than PDW (no disrespect to him intended); your enthusiasm for the sport is telling – and always makes the grid walk mega. No issue believing you’ll be quickly picked up – real talent doesn’t sit idle for long!

  10. Will, You not only filled big shoes when you took over, you sasquatched them. Your passion for F1 shows through in every broadcast. I wish you and the rest of the crew the very best. F1 here in the states is a niche sport at best, and quite honestly, I feel lucky to have had live coverage at all. I’ll continue to follow your work and that of everyone else on the crew. Enjoy your next challenge!

    PS. I know you enjoyed Sonoma… Make your way to Mid-Ohio sometime!

  11. Thank you so much, Will, for the incredible work you’ve done over the years. Following your exploits on Twitter is never dull and makes my passion for the sport burn even hotter than ever. Since I first started following F1 (when my father, a lifelong fan since the ’50s woke me up early on a Sunday for the 2004 Monaco GP) Varsha, Hobbs and Matchett have been the voices of the sport for me. Even though you’ve only been there three years, it seems like you’ve always fit into that picture for as long as I can remember. Your enthusiasm on Twitter and on your grid walks helped endear some of my friends to Formula 1, and it made me aspire to follow in your footsteps someday (although I’m not sure how between med school and living in America).

    Your talent will not go unnoticed, sir. I promise you that. People will recognize what SPEED may lose, and your future will only lead to better and brighter things. Ideally I’d love to have you back on the grid, but at the same time you would be fantastic in IndyCar—in which case I owe you a beer when you visit the Iowa Speedway in my hometown. Either way, there are still five races to go this year, so make them awesome. And know that when you DO, I’ll be watching from back here in America.

    Cheers, Will.

  12. Being a girl, I can freely and openly say I cried while reading your latest blog entry. OK, it did take me 3 times reading it as it is hard to read when your eyes are blurred with water. You, Bob, David, and Steve have been my introduction to F1 for the past 2.5 years. My British fiance’ has been an F1 fan for many years. I scoffed at auto racing at first with the typical American mentality of: if it’s not baseball, football, or basketball it’s not worth watching. Not that I watch any of those but you get the drift. When I actually sat down and watched, I became entranced with the technicality of it, the skill, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Speed coverage and reporting. Enjoyed it so much that I continued to watch and follow you & the guys on Twitter (I am the one who sent you a link for amazon.com when you discovered the onesie. Ferrari Red.). I enjoy the knowledge you all imparted but also the humanity and levity that you brought to each show.

    I am not sure how I will handle new presenters covering my now beloved F1. I truly will miss all of you and the way you had a hand in bringing auto racing into my life. I would love to see you move to Indy as I watch that as well. Knowing your abilities, you would be a true asset to the Indy franchise and to the drivers.

    Chin up, Will Buxton. You are far from done. In fact, your journey is just beginning with great things to come ahead. You are destined to continue on and to keep entertaining and enlightening the public with your wit, talent, and passion for the sport.

    XOXO

    Keep Calm and Save Will Buxton

  13. I still can’t believe it, but I’m going through a very similar transition and know how it feels. However, you must know what an impact you had on us US F1 fans. I started following the sport about the same time you were coming in to Speed and I can’t tell you how much fun it was to watch you just enjoying it as much as we do. To me it seemed like the coolest job walking around the paddock! Best wishes to you in your future endeavors. Something better will come from this for you because you absolutely 200% deserve it! We better see you on NBC in 2013!

  14. I must admit I was sad to see Peter go and it took me awhile, but now I am a total fan of yours. I am so sad to see you all go as I so look forward to seeing and hearing you all at each race. I dread what lies at head at NBC sports. I hope to see you here in Austin next month at your bash.

  15. A bit gutted about the news Will but I will look forward to and cherish the remaining race weekends with you guys. I didn’t get into F1 until 2003 and Bob, David, Steve, and Peter got me hooked.

    One of the more impressive moments I remember is how the Speed crew – techs and Steve in particular – were able to quickly inform the audience that it was a heave spring from Reubens car that struck Massa in the head in 2009. They figured this out while being in a studio and, I believe, before most of the other broadcasts had.

    As for you, thanks for bringing some much welcomed joy and youthful enthusiasm to the grid walks and interviews. You genuinely look to be having fun with all you do in the F1 and many of us Twitter stalkers of yours dream of the prospect of “having Will Buxton’s job someday”.

    Gird thyself for Austin my friend and prepare to be assaulted by hundreds of us saying thanks!
    Sincerely,
    Richard

  16. Something tells me I’ll think about this many years from now and have a chuckle seeing how much you’ve achieved since this day. Your passion and commitment is clear and I suspect you’ll be in the F1 paddock for many many years

  17. “For David Hobbs, Steve Matchett, and Will Buxton, I am Bob Varsha, join us…” Ohhh how i am going to miss that line! The Storylines, the nickname calling of the drivers, the occational jokes that leads to chuckles and your accent, Mr. Buxton, im gonna miss them a lot too. Seriously, you guys not being together in an F1 broadcast is like Clarkson, Hammond, May and The Stig leaving Top Gear! You guys are irreplacable! I really do wish NBC pick you guys as commentators for next year as i can never imagine a group that is better than you guys. You named this article “All things must go”, but im sorry, i dont think this is the appropriate time to end such an amazing program

  18. So bummed – we always enjoy the genuine appreciation your team has for each other, the sport, and even the fans! All the best & we ‘re hopeful that we will have the opportunity to see your work in the future.

  19. Thanks Will. Thank you to you, Bob, David, Steve and the whole crew for making our F1 weekends so special. Your knowledge, insight, enthusiasm, and willingness to interact with us all via social media, has made all your fans feel like we were part of the show, instead of watching from the distance as Bernie would have us do. I certainly hope the new network is going to scoop up the whole crew. But if not, I have no doubt we’ll be hearing from you and your next endeavors very soon. Best of luck. Cheers!

  20. Will, to me you have been the energy of the team. The insite you give us and the passion you have comes through every time your on air. You on the grid pre race is a must watch just cause you always seem to catch one guy off guard with a question from left field. It will be a sad day on the final race but till then be sure to keep it up and enjoy the hell out of austin. Only wish i could be there to party with you guys. Cheers!

  21. NBC will most likely keep the team together. Hobbs and Varsha were doing this at ESPN. If you don’t end up at NBC, you’ll end up at SKY….Sad to see Speed lose F1, sadder to see Speed go away.

  22. Will, you have added so much to the F1 broadcasts on Speed. Your enthusiasm is absolutely fantastic. I will miss you, Bob, Hobbo and Steve. You have a bright future ahead of you and you all will be sorely missed.

  23. We’re gutted too; and hope whomever is running the show has the brains to look you guys up.
    Changes in my life recently too so if you find yourself in Indy come the end of May my wife and I can be your guide if you need one. All the best Jim @dmidwestredneck

  24. Will,
    I think you and the whole SPEED team have done a fantastic job. Not only have you brought the excitement of F1 to US audiences, you’ve shared your passion and, at the same time, educated us in the ways and history of this great sport. I’m sure we’ll see you again.
    Thank you!

  25. If NBC don’t pick up as many from the old F1 team as they absolutely can they are nuts and if they are nuts ohh boy will the voices of F1 in US be missed. Thanks for being with us Will hope you stick around if nothing else on twitter and on your blog here.. Cheers.

  26. Will, you are the shit. For real, I always love your insight and what you put into the broadcast. You are one of my favorite people that I follow on twitter. Really, the news today ripped my heart out of my chest. I’m thinking NBC will pick you up, I mean why not? But better things probably lie in wait for you back home in the UK. Love you dude! Hold your head high son!

  27. I was devastated when I heard the news today. My hope is that NBC will pick up the F1 crew from SPEED – you guys just do such an amazing job. This must have been much more than NBC outbidding SPEED though, because we all know that all of the extra F1 stuff we get to enjoy now (FP2, Debrief, Chalk Talk) are likely all gone, with the races being pre-recorded and then aired at a later time. I had read that Fox was going to gut the SPEED channel and unfortunately this is likely just the start.

    I’m really hoping I get to see you guys all back together on NBC. It’s just a world class crew that has been assembled.

  28. Just wanted to say how much I appreciate the work you’ve done in the past three years. I was so excited to know that Bob, Steve, David and yourself would be in Austin this year but this news totally killed that. I’ll admit that after reading your post above I actually got a little misty eyed. Silly but true. Formula 1 is such a special thing because of the people that work in the sport and around it and to everyone that helped bring F1 to SPEED, thank you.

  29. As a Canadian I started watching F1 in the BBC Murray Walker days. When SPEED came along I was soon won over by the brilliant team. When you came along, it just got better.

    I love the enthusiasm and knowledge you bring. I have learned much from you, especially about the up-and-comers in GP2 etc. I wish nothing more than for the current SPEED team to transfer to NBC, failing that, I know you will not sit idle. You are far too great a talent. I’m a massive fan of IndyCar as well, where you would also fit in well, just saying. Regardless, best of wishes, you will make Pickle proud and I look forward to following you wherever you land…I know it will be on your feet.

  30. Will – Like many, I was introduced to your work when you replaced Peter Windsor. You guys are all dynamite together and I absolutely hate the thought of watching F1 without all the beautifully meshed character, fun, and knowledge you guys bring to the coverage. Your knowledge delivered with almost an hip-hop cadence, Steve’s high-speed-camera eyes and tech insight, Bob’s warm, clean delivery, Mr. David Hobbs’ Hobbs-iness, and Leigh’s infectious enthusiasm for all things motorsport, all will be sorely missed. Don’t let anybody make you a low offer.

    If any future owner of U.S. F1 programming has an ounce of sense, they’d just port you guys over as a unit. I can’t think of anybody I’d rather let into my living room on race weekends.

  31. Mate, if NBC can’t see that your not an arsehole and decide not to hire you (and keep the SPEED team together), get yourself to SKY…. There’s a British audience that is waiting for you to replace what is there already…..

  32. Although this is a team effort, you are quickly becoming a very very well known figure on the racing scene. Even the Swedish commentators mentions “and there’s Will Buxton interviewing XXX” as there is some footage of you. Uncertainty is a horrible thing, but as this is the equivalent of a transfer season one must look ahead. I think, as many here in the comments, that the ball is very much in your court. Sky or NBC – either one will employ you in a few months time.

  33. Oh, hell no! Every time the networks have broadcast F1 races in the US, it’s been a COMPLETE disaster. It will not matter, who the commentators or other crew are, it will suck. There is no question about it.

    This is not good :(

    I think I will be watching F1 by BitTorrenting the BBC broadcasts after the race.

  34. weather by chance or by design, Speed have assembled the best commentary team for any sport here. I’m gonna miss you guys every race weekend.

  35. Will, does this affect your position as commentator on the GP2 and GP3 world feed?

    Best of luck for the future anyway. I would love if your next plans include IndyCar. NBC has big shoes to fill with Bob Jenkins’ retirement.

  36. As a UK f1 fan, I don’t get the opportunity to watch you on Speed (but when I was in Boston last year and watched on speed I was very impressed, as any other channel showing f1 in the US didn’t really know what they were on about!). I do enjoy a rather good game of spot Will on the grid walk on the UK shows :) and the fun you brought to the GP2 with your commentary will be sorely missed if you leave f1 altogether. Onwards and upwards as they say, keep your chin up sweetie, something good will be just around the corner x

    • Thanks, man. Getting to know you over the last 3 seasons has been great fun. As a follower of Formula 1 for about 50 years, I found your reporting and blog to be top shelf, hugely informative and insightful, hell you even turned me on to Deadmau5 (” I Remember” ) thru a tweet and I;m 62. Keep reporting, blogging, and tweeting. It helps me keep abreast. Thanks, good luck, and KEEP DANCING!

  37. Will-I-Am! No worries, mate.. You four guys are the absolute BEST broadcasting team in the race biz… And many young and younger sports broadcasting guys could learn a TON (a USA ton, I mean) from reviewing your F 1 broadcasts to study how it’s done. I have told Varsha many times how smooth and fluid you guys are… No F1 pit work matches the quality of product you guys produce each race!!! You have a GREAT future in broadcast journalism, Will… And although this has been a shock, know that all things happen for a reason, and your next gig will be better than this one!

  38. Will… you turned out to be the pitlane reporter I’d wanted for years and hopefully NBC will be wise enough to snatch you up while you’re fresh on the market. My only fear is that they would try to control the content of your twitter feed… i just love that honesty and snark.

  39. We watched FP2 on the DVR and Ar checked your twitter page after. We don’t know what the future holds for F1 in North America right now, we will see what happens with NBC I guess, but I do know one thing, you will certainly land on your feet somewhere, somhow connected to F1, whether it be with NBC or SKY, with the enthusiam you bring to F1, GP2 and those never to forget grid walks, the great chats we marshals have had with you the last 2 years at Hurleys in Montreal will surely be missed Will, if in fact you don’t make it back to Canada next year, let’s make Austin a real send off. I hope we flaggers get a chance to have a good chat in Texas in November, before we have to get to bed for O dark the next day. Hope to see you soon.

  40. If NBC has any brains, they will hire all of you guys, and at a nice increase in salary because there are none better than Varsha, Hobbs, Matchett & Buxton – and all those behind the scenes who put it together all these years.

  41. Will, not only are you great at your job, you’re a class act. You will have no problems finding your next gig, and hopefully for those of us watching in the States, that gig will be with the new broadcaster of choice.
    F1 coverage in the US has never been better than now, so I will truly miss the Speed broadcast.

  42. Will, not gutted in the least. You did a great job so now its onward and upward something new is coming, I smell opportunity… As for F1 in America, look forward to it where ever it pops up.
    That’s my fav George Harrison song, I think of it more then I should admit, sang through it while it played, for the 100th time.

  43. Will, although you have been the youngest member of the SPEED F1 broadcast team, you have been the energy & fire that has continued to make Formula 1 racing on American TV so worthwhile to watch. I do not relish what may happen to F1 watching without you, Bob, David & Steve next year.

    As they say, when one window closes, another door will open. Although the transition to a new challenge in your professional life will be tough, I am sure you will succeed even further!

    In the meantime, we South/Central Texas F1 race fans are highly anticipative of your MASSIVE party (caps were originally Tweeted by you), at the upcoming Austin F1 USGP.

    I have linked linked your blog post at the top of my Facebook page & on the San Antonio F1 Club blog: http://www.racingready.com/sanantoniof1club/2012/10/13/korean-gp-may-dust-up-the-f1-driverteam-standings/

    Continue to enjoy life as you so well know how to do! Thank you!!!

  44. You lived the dream and I expect you will not have to wake up just yet. IF NBC do get the contract they are going to need a lot of people with knowledge if they are not going to F*&% it up. Look how SKY had to raid the BBC and then again ITV did the same all those years ago. Good luck next year, but we still have an amazing championship to see finish so i’m sure Speed will do it/us proud.

  45. I’ve been a fan of F1 since i saw Grand Prix at age 7 and was hooked. I remember watching ABC’s Wide World of Sports in the 60′s and 70′s hoping for at least a segment on Monaco, Nurburgring or any race for that matter. If you wanted to know who won you’d pray that the local newspaper would have some little blurb about the race. I really enjoy the crew at Speed, but I’m sick of the network itself. It’s turned into reality car shows and nothing but NASCAR….except for the F1 races. I hope NBC has the brains to hire the 4 of you to cover F1 for them. At least NBC will be showing open wheel racing like F1 & IndyCar. Good luck in the future Will, I’ve enjoyed your grid walks and interviews.,

  46. Will, I sincerely hope that NBC will have the brains to NOT ONLY import the Speed F1 crew, but to give you guys opportunity to do even more coverage of a sport I have grown to love in the past few years, due in no small part to the chemistry and high quality of all of you at Speed F1. I have to say, if NBC comes out with a mediocre crew and mediocre coverage, I don’t think I will have the same passion for the sport ever again. Even though I have DVR, I would still get up in the middle of the night for the Pacific Rim races BECAUSE of you, Bob, David, and Steve. You guys are comfort food for an F1 fan’s ears. Here’s hoping to seeing you all in 2013 somehow, some way!!!

  47. Will you’ve been a class act since joining SPEED and I wish you the very best. Your F1 articles and commentary are one of the hidden gems in the sport and I really hope to be seeing you reporting from the paddock for many years to come. The new American broadcasting partner, BBC or Sky would be silly to pass at the chance of bringing you onto one of their teams. Best of luck in 2013 and that goes for all of SPEED’s F1 crew!

  48. Sad to hear of SPEED losing F1… I can’t see anyone coming in and doing the top notch job they did. Bob, David, Steve and Will are a great team and my F1 broadcasts will be forever changed without them… Cheers to you all!!

  49. NBC Must pick up the Speed team. But let me say something encouraging. NBC’s coverage of the Tour De France this year *and* of the London Games has been an order of magnitude better than what used to go on. There is somebody somewhere at NBC who understands very well that expert commentary for particular sports is absolutely necessary, and whomever that person is, they had better be a part of this deal, because without expert commentary, F1 is just cars running around.

    I’m going to pitch out a wild guess and say that Sam Flood is the man to watch and that he’s the guy who put together Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen and the rest of that crew together for the 2012 Tour de France. (And I like Liam McHugh too). If he is who I think he is, he will not just throw Bob Costas to handle the business…

  50. Will – we look forward to every weekend you and the SPEED team cover F1 for us. Your energy and enthusiasm for the sport are contagious. We are going to miss all of you more than you could imagine. You should get these posts in the hands of NBC Sports… they need to know how much F1 fans in America love you, Bob, David and Steve. Please, NBC, hire these guys. You give us something to look forward to every weekend, Will. If you’re ever in NYC, look us up, we’ll give you the insider’s tour!

  51. Will….I totally enjoyed your animated pre-race grid intervirws, and post race wrap-ups
    Wish you the best, and hope to see you again on another station whoever might cover F1 here in the states..

  52. Will ~ when Peter Windsor left the Speed F1 team I hoped for the best to replace him with a smart, witty and knowable replacement. You my friend have been just that and a breath of fresh air on the Speed F1 broadcast team. You will know doubt land squarely on your feet in the F1 paddock and I only hope it’s in front of us viewers in America. Well done mate!
    I have been watching F1 with Bob, David and Steve since for the very beginning and the broadcast has gotten better each season, it will be like losing friends unless you are all united at NBC. My only hope is that NBC doesn’t follow their Olympic coverage roots and make it just a fluff piece of highlights. I would rather pay for SKY to be broadcast in the US.
    George Ruiz

  53. Will, I was devastated to read this. The last three years have been an absolute treat. I am one of the rough and tumble Americans that you have brought to the blissful world of speed and petrol that is F1. I have so enjoyed you and the team at SPEED. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours, and for you to know that your a truly special guy. Looking forward to seeing you in the last few races.

  54. Fot what it’s worth Will, I think you’ve done a great job at filling in Windsor’s big shoes. Right from the start you came across as knowledgeable and likable, when you give your opinions on an incident it generally seems to be right on the money.

    I hope NBC hires the entire broadcast team and takes all you guys to the actual races not just you.

    Good luck

  55. I live in Indianapolis and have followed F1 since the late 1960s. I remember the days when F1 TV coverage here was non-existent, then sporadic, then tape delayed – “due to time constraints, we now skip ahead”, seeing other different sports mixed in, never mind actual live coverage. Earlier this year I was thinking that the coverage has finally gotten to the point where it just couldn’t get any better. To get up early and hear Varsha, Hobbs, Matchett and Buxton on my TV – well, after all these years, excellent F1 coverage has finally arrived. And there is the F1 debrief with the Paddock Pass feature. Sigh…

  56. It is a pity to see the SPEED F1 team disbanded. It has been a great satisfaction to join you guys on race day and be educated on the minutia of F! racing.
    Thanks to you and all the team.
    If NBC wants to hit the ground running, they will keep you for the new season.
    All the best

  57. Will, I would have to say that like you, and a lot of U.S. F1 fans, I’m in a bit of shock. I’ve been watching Varsha covering F1 since the late 80′s, on ESPN2, and I got a satellite dish in the 90′s just so I could get Speedvision for F1, and then Speed for as long as I can remember. I don’t follow football, basketball, baseball, or any of the other infomercial-US sports – I’m a Formula One fan – I get my information through Joe Saward and David Tremayne – and you, as part of the Speed team. I read all of Steve’s books before he was even on TV – he gave fans an honest inside look at F1, and has helped us understand in his books, tweets, and TV commentary.

    Its not easy being an F1 fan in the U.S., and I’m worried about how NBC will handle their chance to cover it for us. I cringed every time Fox added some cheesy NASCAR-inspired introduction to the F1 races that were shown on Fox. F1 fans are sophisticated devotees of the most technologically advanced and competitive sport in the world. We don’t want it shown to us as a “picture-in-picture” broadcast like NBC Sports covers Indycar. We don’t want NASCAR with DRS and KERS – we want F1 – shown to us with passion, knowledge, experience and authenticity. That describes you Will, as well as Bob, David, Steve, Sam – and all the guys behind the scenes. Be very proud of what you have been part of. We will miss it dearly. You have many friends in the paddock, and you will land on your feet – and if we are lucky, it will be as part of the NBC team.

    One last thought – any chance that the Speed team can do a final ‘goodbye’ like ITV did in Brazil in 2008? It would be a great way to say goodbye and celebrate the good times. Thanks Will.

  58. Will your energy, enthusiasm, humor and knowledge along with Bob, David and Steve will be sorely missed!! I mean seriously is there anything funnier than Hobbs trying to do a Vettle German accent or a Ross Brawn impersonation? Beyond the expertise needed to cover a sport as complicated as F1 you guys brought humor to a sport that quiet frankly needs more of it to make it more human to us all. Always looked forward to the Buxton the “behind the scene out takes” on Debrief. Having met you in Montreal this year at the tweet up I can tell music is you muse but motor racing is your food. You feed off it! It comes across in your grid walk around and your behind the camera comments. Don’t loose that love of the sport. Always remember what it is like for the rest of us. Although we understand we will never get to meet our F1 idols we get to live vicariously thorough you as you get to asks the questions for us! F1 has always been far more than merely another form of motor racing to me and I can see that you have that same enthusiasm as well. Best of luck in your future endeavors and I hope to see you on NBC’s coverage.

  59. Hay will I just writing to say how much I will miss you guys from speed hopefully NBC will have the good sence to bring you all over it would be a shame to brake up such a great team I always look forward to my race weekends although my wife hates f1. So best of luck in the future Dave

    • Hey Will,

      Now that you’ve been confirmed as part of the new NBC F1 broadcast team (congrats!), do you know if NBC will have a ‘debrief’ type show?

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