Today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marks the final broadcast for the Formula 1 on NBC Sports team after five years and 98 Grands Prix.
Booth team of Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett took the opportunity to say thanks, then pay tribute to the most famous new podium celebration coined during this tenure – Daniel Ricciardo’s podium “shoey” – with a shoey of their own.
The final credits paid tribute to the entire crew, led by F1 coordinating producer Rich O’Connor, along with some of the best highlights over the last five years. That rundown is below.
NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton checked in just beforehand with his final report from the Yas Marina Circuit, which also provided a welcome opportunity for producer Jason Swales to appear on camera alongside.
On the grid itself, Buxton did his last grid walk, which is below.
Pre-race, Sam Posey’s final essay is called “The Best of The Best,” a look at the pair of four-time Formula 1 World Champions in Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. A collection of the best of Posey’s essays is linked here.
We’d be remiss to not thank a handful of others who also appeared on the F1 broadcasts in fill-in roles. Bob Varsha and Brian Till both filled in on occasion for Diffey alongside Hobbs and Matchett in the booth. James Allen and Townsend Bell both filled in for Buxton in the pits during 2016, as Buxton had lost his father – a nice piece from Will about the power of the F1 “family” is linked here.
And lastly, 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti joined the F1 on NBC team on a couple occasions, both in studio and at the live shows. Andretti bestowed some very high praise on the team in advance of the broadcast.