In EA Sport’s F1 22 game, your beloved race engineer Jeff has been replaced by freshly voiced Marc, having been your idiosyncratic companion for over six years.
The change is a marked one, using mostly the same lines but with a fresh approach, a different voice and some new expressions. It’s one element that makes the mildly facelifted career modes re-invigorated thanks to your new engineer’s more ebullient nature.
But who is he and what’s his background? Here’s everything you need to know about F1 22’s race engineer.
Who voices F1 22’s race engineer, Marc?
Marc ‘Elvis’ Priestley voices F1 22’s race engineer Marc. He will welcome you to the game upon your first on-track session within the My Team managerial mode or Driver Career and then be your guide throughout.
Who is Marc ‘Elvis’ Priestley?
Marc ‘Elvis’ Priestley is an automotive and motorsport presenter.
He formerly worked as a Formula 1 mechanic at McLaren for 10 years before venturing into the media landscape, starting out by posting an F1 mechanic’s viewpoint on his blog, before working for BBC 5 Live as a pitlane reporter, writing a book entitled ‘The Mechanic’, co-hosting Discovery’s Wheeler Dealers with Mike Brewer and now being the voice of your race engineer in the F1 22 video game.
McLaren F1 tenure and The Mechanic book
Marc Priestley started out on the McLaren F1 test team in 1999 after working as a mechanic in British Formula 3 and Italian Formula 3000.
He then progressed through to the race team, with his first race weekend being the Australian Grand Prix in 2002, tasked with replacing the front nose cone if required.
Over the years, he then became the Number Two mechanic for Kimi Räikkönen and then in 2007 the Number One Mechanic on the team’s T-Car.
Due to rules in 2008 banning spare cars, his role evolved into a liaison between both sides of the garage after its tortuous split during 2007 when Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso drove for the Woking-based squad.
In 2009, after getting tired of the travel, he worked back at base communicating with the mechanics at race events before focussing on his WordPress blog and entering a media career.
His book, The Mechanic, was published in 2017 and retells his F1 career, delivering a unique perspective on the life of a travelling, championship-chasing, team member. It mixes lad culture hijinks during a time when extravagant tobacco money was free-flowing within the sport, with the high-stress nature of trying to clinch silverware.
For an F1 fan through the 00s, his tales of the fractious Alonso-Hamilton rivalry are essential reading.
After a BBC producer read his online articles, Priestley was then thrust onto the BBC 5 Live radio station at the British Grand Prix, tasked with interviewing F1 Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone. He still contributes to 5Live’s F1 coverage and is also the host of the Pitlane Life Lessons podcast.
He’s also delivered punditry for Sky Sports F1, TalkSPORT radio, ESPN Star Sports TV and has been part of Formula E broadcasts.
In 2020, it was announced that he would be replacing Ant Anstead on the show Wheeler Dealers, with Series 17 airing in 2021.
What’s happened to the F1 game’s Jeff?
Jeff is on an undetermined hiatus. Voiced by Adam Rhys Dee, he first appeared as your race engineer in F1 2015 and last appeared in F1 2021.
The same voice actor also voiced F1 2010’s race engineer Rob.
How did Marc Priestly become part of F1 22?
“It came about because last year, during the launch period for the launch of F1 2021, I did a stream with Marc,” explained F1 22 Senior Creative Director Lee Mather on a recent episode of the Traxion.GG Podcast.
“Rather than having to go through the long-winded process of finding people, interviewing and getting showreels, we called Marc up he was like, ‘yeah, [I’m] very interested’. He popped over to the Southam studio, we all went in and he did a test read for us… It was perfect.”
He’s not the only new voice talent in the game
Joining Marc are several new voices that will provide pre and post-session analysis within F1 22. Channel 4’s Alex Jacques joins as an option, so you can switch between him and Sky’s David Croft.
Natalie Pinkham will also be part of the roster alongside the existing Anthony Davidson. In you are playing in French, Jacques Villeneuve and Jean-Éric Vergne will be your commentators and in German, Sascha Roos.
Image Source: Motorsport Images