Johnny Herbert

Johnny Herbert

Expert Analyst

Biography

Harnessing the respected experience of a three-times GP winner with an infectiously-popular colourful and charismatic personality, Johnny has established himself as a leading member of the Sky Sports F1 team since forging a new motorsport career behind the microphone, impressing both as a regular expert pundit as well as an occasional co-commentator.

Johnny Herbert Links

Johnny Herbert may have been a late addition to the Sky Sports F1 line-up during the channel's debut season but it didn't take the former Benetton, Tyrrell, Lotus, Ligier, Sauber, Stewart and Jaguar driver long to establish himself as an integral part of the team.

His colourful and engaging character proving to be an instant hit with the viewing public and Johnny was confirmed as a full-time member of the team for a 2013 season in which he will continue in his role as expert pundit and regular studio guest on The F1 Show.

With over ten years of driving experience in the sport, the 48-year-old is fully qualified to talk about on track matters, whilst his charismatic personality still makes him one of the most popular figures in the paddock.

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Herbert began his motorsport career in 1974 when he took up kart racing aged ten, winning the British Junior title four years later and taking the British Senior 135cc title in 1979 and 1982.

At the end of the 1983 season, Herbert stepped up to Formula Ford, and won the prestigious FF Festival at Brands Hatch in 1985. He quickly graduated to FF2000, and Formula 3 the following season.

His raw pace was clear for all to see and Herbert was snapped up by the fledgling Jordan team for the 1987 British F3 Championship, which he duly won.

Herbert and Jordan graduated to F3000 the following year. But, after winning on his debut in Jerez, disaster struck at the seventh round of the Championship. The Englishman had qualified on pole at Brands Hatch but was the victim in a horrific accident and broke both his legs. Assessing his injuries, doctors told Herbert he would never walk again.

Such a prognosis wasn't going to stop Johnny, however, and less than a year later he made his Formula 1 debut in Brazil. Driving for Benetton, he finished fourth at the Brazilian GP in Rio de Janerio.

Yet despite this fantastic start, Herbert struggled with the injuries he had sustained the previous year and was dropped after failing to qualify for the Canadian GP.

Herbert used the rest of 1989 to regain full fitness, whilst occasionally competing in F3000 Japan to keep race sharp and returned to the F1 grid with Tyrrell late in the season.

Much of 1990 was spent on the sidelines, but he did contest the Le Mans 24 Hours with Mazda, and the final two rounds of that F1 season for Lotus.

Herbert started 1991 as test driver for both Tyrrell and Lotus and after replacing Julian Bailey at the former, shared the seat for the remainder of the season with Michael Bartels. The year also saw another landmark achievement as Herbert won the Le Mans 24 Hours, partnering Volker Weidler and Bertrand Gachot for Mazda.

1992 was the British driver's first full season since 1987 and he finished 15th in the standings for Team Lotus, with two points courtesy of a pair of sixth places. His campaign was hindered by unreliability and misfortune, though, which saw him classified as a finisher at just five of the 11 races.

Unreliability once again thwarted Herbert's progress in 1993, but he finished a creditable ninth in the Championship.

1994 was a transitional season as Herbert finished the season pointless, despite driving for three different teams. He continued with Team Lotus for the opening 13 rounds, before making a solitary appearance for Ligier at the European GP, prior to partnering Michael Schumacher at Benetton for the season's final two races.

That line-up continued into 1995 as Herbert took a memorable first grand prix victory in front of his home crowd at Silverstone. Further success followed with another victory at Monza, in addition to podiums in Spain and Japan as he finished a career best fourth in the standings, helping Benetton claim the Constructors' Championship.

1996 saw plenty of upheaval in the F1 paddock, with both Benetton drivers leaving the team. Herbert joined Swiss outfit Sauber, who were entering only their fourth season in F1. The British driver's experience alongside Heinz-Harold Frentzen helped the team establish themselves in the sport, despite a difficult season, in part caused by an underperforming engine.

Herbert led the team into a new-era in 1997 as they switched to a customer deal with Ferrari, whilst three drivers shared the second car. He put in numerous strong drives, including a podium finish in Hungary to finish tenth in the Drivers' Championship.

Johnny stayed with Sauber for a third season in 1998, but a sixth-place finish in Australia was the highlight of a tough year and Herbert moved to Stewart for what turned out to be team's final year.

1999, though, also proved to be the most successful in the team's history as Herbert handed Stewart their first - and only - victory at the European Grand Prix.

With Ford purchasing the team ahead of the 2000 season, Herbert stayed with the outfit, rebranded as Jaguar, and finished 17th in the Drivers' Championship before leaving Formula 1.

Herbert moved into sports car racing, helping develop the 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours winning Bentley Speed 8 and winning the Le Mans Series Championship in 2004 with Audi.

These days, however, Johnny is very much back in F1 - only this time behind the microphone rather than the wheel.

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