The 28-year-old was born in Belgium but grew up in South Africa and is a former racer herself, having competed in various categories since starting her career in single-seaters at the age of 16.
After finishing 16th in the inaugural W Series campaign in 2019, she turned her hand to broadcasting but didn’t expect to land a role as an F1 pundit.
“I was very surprised to have a call from Sky,” she said on the Kidd in a Sweet Shop podcast.
“Weirdly, I didn’t ever think that they would consider me as a pundit because of the fact that I obviously, had never driven an F1 car.
“But I was so delighted when they suggested it because I was like, ‘This is going to fill the void in my life of not being a driver anymore’.
“And I can still speak from the point of experience because whether it’s an F1 car, an F3 car or a KTM GT4 or Ferrari Challenge car, whatever it is, I’ve driven so many different cars and racing is, at the end of the day, racing, and drivers are drivers.
“Yes, the pressure is higher and yes, the equipment is quicker and more technologically advanced, but it’s the same thing. If we’re realistic, there aren’t many women or many drivers who have careers in motorsport which are secure, with a steady income.
“I thought it was a wise decision because I have to think about my future. I’ve been fighting for my racing career for 16 years and it’s still a struggle. Did I really want to continue struggling at my age? This was a good opportunity.”
Schiff will not be joined on the Sky Sports F1 panel this year by Johnny Herbert or Paul di Resta, both of whom have not had their contracts renewed.
Sky Sports F1 team for 2023
- Rachel Brookes
- Martin Brundle
- Jenson Button
- Karun Chandhok
- David Croft
- Anthony Davidson
- Damon Hill
- Ted Kravitz
- Simon Lazenby
- Danica Patrick
- Natalie Pinkham
- Nico Rosberg
- Naomi Schiff