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F1 Racing (magazine) and F1 media in general...(merged)


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#901 BullHead

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 07:46

Nevertheless, aspiring motorsport journalists want to get in the paddocks, and some of Joe's words there should be taken on board.

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#902 Jejking

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 07:56

Most of them. The journos in the paddock are almost all compromised, beholden to the teams and Bernie and consequently toothless. By and large they are letting the fans down, as feathering their own beds means never asking the hard questions. Look at these press conferences - the quality of questions is just terrible.

I'm not sure why that toothlessness is, there are definitely questions left to be asked. Powerplay and surviving would be my best guess.

#903 tifosiMac

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:00

I used to buy F1 Racing but its a complete waste of money imo. I unsubscribed from autosport for the same reason and find anything worth reading online.

#904 ayali

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:04

Most of them. The journos in the paddock are almost all compromised, beholden to the teams and Bernie and consequently toothless. By and large they are letting the fans down, as feathering their own beds means never asking the hard questions. Look at these press conferences - the quality of questions is just terrible.

Come on it's a sport, a game, entertainment not international politics.
What "hard questions" do you think Joe the average F1 fan wants asked?

:cool:


#905 tifosiMac

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:09

Come on it's a sport, a game, entertainment not international politics.
What "hard questions" do you think Joe the average F1 fan wants asked?

:cool:

Yeah there's no politics in F1 duuuuuuuuh.

:cool:

#906 Gareth

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 09:04

There are plenty of people who go to the paddock and are still shit.

True. The idea that "in the paddock = good", "not in the paddock = bad" is untrue. But then I don't think Joe says that - he makes it clear he thinks plenty of people who aren't in the paddock do a very good job (just they are outnumbered by the people outside the paddock who don't).

I think his main point is one to agree with: pretend to be in the paddock when you're not = bad.

#907 goingthedistance

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 15:25

Come on it's a sport, a game, entertainment not international politics.
What "hard questions" do you think Joe the average F1 fan wants asked?

:cool:


Well of course, yes, it's just a sport (though as Tifosi indicates, probably the most political one on earth!). But I watch a lot of different sport. The level of insight provided by the F1 paddock journalists into what's really going on seems to me to be extremely limited compared to those other sports. The questions posed to the drivers in press interviews and the formal press conferences are testament to that. Often it's those on the periphery that provide real insight.

There are things that come out afterwards, in driver's biographies, in articles that appear years after the fact - things that the whole paddock is generally aware of but which never reach the public ear.

Perhaps I am wrong but the mainstream publications like Autosport seem to be very careful about what they publish, anything remotely controversial tends to be suppressed for fear of ruffling the wrong feathers. It's all very bland. :)

Interestingly the only mainstream source that doesn't hold back in the questions it asks is the official F1.com site. I guess Bernie's underlings have the least to fear from a cranky driver!

Edited by goingthedistance, 20 July 2012 - 15:27.


#908 ArnageWRC

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 16:35

I reckon the level of newspaper journalism is pretty poor. Certainly, as far as the Brits are concerned. Where did they start their careers? How many are actual Motorsport experts - how many have come from other sports?

#909 John Player

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 19:22

Who is Joe refering to?

#910 ayali

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 19:37

Well of course, yes, it's just a sport (though as Tifosi indicates, probably the most political one on earth!).

There's lots of politics in every sport when there's loads of money involved.
F1 is no different and certainly not "the most political"

But I watch a lot of different sport. The level of insight provided by the F1 paddock journalists into what's really going on seems to me to be extremely limited compared to those other sports. The questions posed to the drivers in press interviews and the formal press conferences are testament to that. Often it's those on the periphery that provide real insight.

There are things that come out afterwards, in driver's biographies, in articles that appear years after the fact - things that the whole paddock is generally aware of but which never reach the public ear.

Perhaps I am wrong but the mainstream publications like Autosport seem to be very careful about what they publish, anything remotely controversial tends to be suppressed for fear of ruffling the wrong feathers. It's all very bland. :)

Interestingly the only mainstream source that doesn't hold back in the questions it asks is the official F1.com site. I guess Bernie's underlings have the least to fear from a cranky driver!

I think Joe the average F1 fan doesn't give a sh!t about politics or "hard questions"
He just wants to see an interesting race and read a bit about the 24 drivers and 12 teams in the paper or online

Sure some of us here would like to see, hear and read more
But we're just a minority that's not on the F1 radar remotely

Still what "hard questions" do you think the average fan wants to have asked and answered?

:cool:

#911 ryan86

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 20:04

There's lots of politics in every sport when there's loads of money involved.
F1 is no different and certainly not "the most political"


I think Joe the average F1 fan doesn't give a sh!t about politics or "hard questions"
He just wants to see an interesting race and read a bit about the 24 drivers and 12 teams in the paper or online

Still what "hard questions" do you think the average fan wants to have asked and answered?

:cool:


There's been a similiar debate in Scotland regarding the situation Rangers. There was probably a number of issues here. First of, a large percentage of the population will be Rangers fans and so trying to sell the papers, they didn't want to get the public offside. Indeed when a Channel Four reporter tried to get to the bottom, he said he was threatened by a member of the Scottish football based

There has been Glasgow based journalists who have called it wrong at ever step. Fair enough, they are usually used to writing about why Celtic should sign Smith (or more like these days Smyczk), Rangers should player 4-4-2 or why Brown's days at Aberdeen were numbered, they've got it completely wrong at every step when it came to this story. Fair enough, liquidation isn't something that I expect them to be experts and then we get the celebrity pundits who know even less and whose columns have been reduced to waggle. Indeed, even the liquidation experts in Scotland seem unsure.



But with the corruption involved from a lot of sides here, that's when I want the journalists to be asking serious questions. But at the same time, the person with a love for the sport and that writes the race report probably isn't it.



#912 goingthedistance

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 20:12

There's lots of politics in every sport when there's loads of money involved.
F1 is no different and certainly not "the most political"


I think Joe the average F1 fan doesn't give a sh!t about politics or "hard questions"
He just wants to see an interesting race and read a bit about the 24 drivers and 12 teams in the paper or online

Sure some of us here would like to see, hear and read more
But we're just a minority that's not on the F1 radar remotely

Still what "hard questions" do you think the average fan wants to have asked and answered?

:cool:



To be honest it's not so much the "hard questions" I'm interested in (though that would be nice too!) as better insight into what's going on behind the scenes - be it what's going in within teams and between the teams, what's going between drivers and teams and between drivers themselves, and more deeper technical analysis of how the cars are changing.

The reason I raise it is that I often see someone like Mark Hughes drop a little tidbit of info here and there, sometimes quite juicy stuff, the one that comes immediately to mind is the direct quote attributed to Helmut Marko in Suzuka 2010 in this week's Autosport magazine.

There's also things like Bernie's current situation with the German authorities - I haven't seen many journos have the kahunas to ask him about that directly! Word is he still hasn't appeared in Germany this weekend. :lol:

#913 Anders Torp

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 09:30

Joe Saward has a few paragraphs today about F1 media and young journalists: http://joesaward.wor...-and-champagne/

Saward is an expert on moral and integrity.

Does he still work for Caterham, btw?


#914 Imperial

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 11:08

I find it interesting that the press conferences are only ever attended by tabloid journos, there's almost never any experts present. You never see the likes of Peter Windsor, Nigel Roebuck, Adam Cooper, Jon Noble (and a few more) in the FIA conferences or the impromptu pitlane set-ups. Yet these are the writers who get the gems, the interesting stories, quotes, interviews etc. They are obviously given one-to-one access and for good reason.

What it suggests to me is that there is quite a lack of respect for the minute-by-minute reporters and rightly so, because they tend to write a lot of rubbish anyway.

Something else that is very noticeable...we all know the names of the 'top' F1 websites and blogs, yet they are never seen or heard of at the press conferences etc. They don't run inteviews however, just quotes and news, so you'd kind of expect attendance at conferences to be a requirement. Where are they getting their quotes and news? These are the people Saward is referring to.

Edited by Imperial, 22 July 2012 - 11:14.


#915 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 12:04

From the FIA released transcription of the press conference?

#916 Imperial

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 13:15

Evidently.

Would be interesting to see an accreditation list and who on that list has different levels of access.

Edited by Imperial, 22 July 2012 - 13:16.


#917 Jackman

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 22:00

Levels of access to what?

#918 Imperial

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 05:51

I'm assuming some people get paddock-only access, some get pitlane also. Maybe you can only get into the FIA conferences if you have access granted.

#919 Jackman

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 06:55

The press conferences are held in the media centre: if you're there as a journalist, you have access.

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#920 Imperial

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 17:10

For subscribers, another journalist comments here about the average payout journalists receive and the increasing number of 'journalists' who don't attend races:

http://plus.autospor...-of-the-market/

It certainly adds an alternate perspective on why they aren't attending.




(Edited for a typo)

Edited by Imperial, 28 July 2012 - 17:10.


#921 maverick69

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 22:27

Probably the worst piece of F1 "journalism" I have ever come across:

http://www.planetspo...member/12-08-03

And to think that it comes from a major media group! :lol:

#922 ensign14

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 22:31

The comments are worth a look though.

#923 phil1993

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 06:55

I found it interesting to see what Joe wrote about F1 websites. I *could* be construed as writing for a site - see Signature - that he is referring to.

The problem is that to make it nowadays, the Internet is the most valuable commodity; an increasing amount of journalists are starting off via the blog/website method. We're trying to become increasingly professional. But to get to the paddock, you have to have the website in the first place. You can't start off in the paddock and then make the website. So it's a double edged sword.

We've had someone in the paddock in Bahrain, Britain and hopefully in Belgium as well. I can understand what Joe is saying, because there are an awful lot of sites out there. It's trying to distinguish yourself from the rest - which is what we are trying to do - and doing so on a shoestring budget. You can't just paint every site with the same negative brush.

#924 KateLM

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 00:31

I find it interesting that the press conferences are only ever attended by tabloid journos, there's almost never any experts present. You never see the likes of Peter Windsor, Nigel Roebuck, Adam Cooper, Jon Noble (and a few more) in the FIA conferences or the impromptu pitlane set-ups. Yet these are the writers who get the gems, the interesting stories, quotes, interviews etc. They are obviously given one-to-one access and for good reason.

What it suggests to me is that there is quite a lack of respect for the minute-by-minute reporters and rightly so, because they tend to write a lot of rubbish anyway.

Something else that is very noticeable...we all know the names of the 'top' F1 websites and blogs, yet they are never seen or heard of at the press conferences etc. They don't run inteviews however, just quotes and news, so you'd kind of expect attendance at conferences to be a requirement. Where are they getting their quotes and news? These are the people Saward is referring to.

I believe it was Saward himself who said in either a blogpost or a podcast that none of the "serious" journalists bothered to go to the press conferences as nothing you got there would be exclusive and therefore it was worthless. As elitist as he is, he has a point on that one.

Whilst there are an awful lot of bedroom bloggers who like to pretend at being a journalist without even attempting to put the work in, being in the paddock is not a hallmark of quality either. I read GP Week for the first time in months the other week and I've come across comics of better journalistic quality than that.

#925 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 00:46

So if serious journalists don't do group interviews, what are we left with?

www.autosport.com/gallery/photo.php/id/13300189/

#926 phil1993

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 06:25

I don't quite understand what point you're trying to make with that photo, Ross?

#927 TheNewStig

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:10

So if serious journalists don't do group interviews, what are we left with?

Pastor Maldonado? :confused:

#928 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:51

The idea that you shouldn't go to press conferences because everyone gets the same quotes. So everyone just goes to group interviews in their language :p

#929 phil1993

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:56

Ah I see. Yes, I guess the press conference is more of a formality. I think it's more useful on a Thursday when more pressing questions can be asked, without the intervention of a press officer perhaps.

I'm guessing Pastor was popular on that occasion because of his European race regarding Lewis. It's so changeable with each team, driver, session etc. I was the only one with Perez after qualifying. But I doubt that was the case in China, for example.

Also, teams schedule driver interviews at inconvenient times; so it's a decision between press conference or paddock interviews...

Edited by phil1993, 06 August 2012 - 10:57.


#930 Jackman

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 11:22

It depends what you're looking for: if you want to interview a driver from a top four team you're pretty much stuck with group interviews or press conferences, because their time is allocated pretty heavily over a race weekend, and the team's PR folks need to efficiently use the time they're given. One on ones are generally agreed in advance, and mostly for features (written or broadcast): there's not much chance of grabbing one of those guys on your own for a couple of "news" questions, other than in the paddock after a session, and you still run the risk of someone else sticking a microphone in on your "scoop".

Obviously with the drivers in the smaller teams, there's less interest so you have a better chance that the group interviews are under-attended. And if you want to talk to someone other than the drivers it's a lot easier.

#931 phil1993

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 11:27

It depends what you're looking for: if you want to interview a driver from a top four team you're pretty much stuck with group interviews or press conferences, because their time is allocated pretty heavily over a race weekend, and the team's PR folks need to efficiently use the time they're given. One on ones are generally agreed in advance, and mostly for features (written or broadcast): there's not much chance of grabbing one of those guys on your own for a couple of "news" questions, other than in the paddock after a session, and you still run the risk of someone else sticking a microphone in on your "scoop".

Obviously with the drivers in the smaller teams, there's less interest so you have a better chance that the group interviews are under-attended. And if you want to talk to someone other than the drivers it's a lot easier.


You've hit the nail on the head there. Kimi was being practically told where to go by his PA. TV > Written media > off somewhere else. To get one-to-one with a driver from the top four teams is usually reserved for the top publications. I did notice though that there tended to be more microphones (Well, Spoken media shall we say) than written media when it came to the two interview sessions.

I think there'd be very little "scoops" nowadays anyway. There's rarely any big 'wow' driver change shocks because they're increasingly "stuck" to one team - eg, McLaren/Mercedes link; Red Bull's junior system for example. And there's so many rumours around so nothing is ever that surprising. Maybe once a season you get something revolutionary come out, but it's rare.

Edited by phil1993, 06 August 2012 - 11:29.


#932 Jackman

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 11:34

Drivers never say anything interesting anyway - they've all been quite well trained by their PR folks. Anything interesting is going to come from team members, and that's mostly down to relationships - that's where the Sawards of the world have an advantage, because they've been there for so long and know everyone. There is probably more value in a 5 min chat with someone senior in a team who you know well, even if it's off the record, than there is in 50 driver interviews that all involve the dreaded phrase "go back and work even harder with the team".

#933 phil1993

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 11:50

Exactly. I'm just curious, Jackman - do you have history/experience in this industry?

#934 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 11:54

Thing is, for all that avoiding the pool interviews and building relationships, Saward's output is...

#935 Jackman

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 12:13

I've no idea, I don't really follow him. He does know his stuff, but in any industry with limited access and high outside interest, there is always a concern that access turns into silence.

Phil, yes.

#936 phil1993

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 12:54

May I enquire further (privately, if you wish.) If not, no problem.

#937 Jackman

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 13:17

Both sides, journalism and PR.

#938 phil1993

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 13:38

Sounds interesting. Who did you encounter? (Most prominently?)

#939 Jackman

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 14:40

Most people in the paddock, at some stage or another.

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#940 phil1993

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 14:42

Last question (I promise) - have any advice for someone like myself who is attempting to walk down a similar path?

#941 Jackman

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 19:04

I'm not sure there's a real answer to that, as everyone I know in the business has had a bit of luck getting in. But keep pushing: if you don't try, it really won't happen.

#942 phil1993

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 19:07

I guess you are right. I always try and think that distancing yourself from others is the best way but more importantly is having contacts and funding. Money doesn't grow on trees and while paddock passes are free, everything surrounding them is not.

#943 D.M.N.

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 17:08

You've hit the nail on the head there. Kimi was being practically told where to go by his PA. TV > Written media > off somewhere else. To get one-to-one with a driver from the top four teams is usually reserved for the top publications. I did notice though that there tended to be more microphones (Well, Spoken media shall we say) than written media when it came to the two interview sessions.

I think there'd be very little "scoops" nowadays anyway. There's rarely any big 'wow' driver change shocks because they're increasingly "stuck" to one team - eg, McLaren/Mercedes link; Red Bull's junior system for example. And there's so many rumours around so nothing is ever that surprising. Maybe once a season you get something revolutionary come out, but it's rare.

Just came across this comment, what about GP2 and GP3 drivers? I know F1 is the main attraction, and will obviously build the website hits more, but I would have thought starting off with GP3 getting interviews/snippets from guys down there who may not have a lot of attention on them and then moving upwards would be the way to go.

There was something I spotted from Peter Windsor's Twitter a week and a bit ago, where he said he was saddened by the lack of aspiring journalists at the WSR at Silverstone.

#944 dank

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 17:36

There was something I spotted from Peter Windsor's Twitter a week and a bit ago, where he said he was saddened by the lack of aspiring journalists at the WSR at Silverstone.


That's because obtaining media accreditation for an ACO-sanctioned event (FR3.5 was a support event for the Silverstone 6 Hour race) is more difficult than gaining one for a World Series by Renault weekend.

#945 phil1993

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 17:48

That's because obtaining media accreditation for an ACO-sanctioned event (FR3.5 was a support event for the Silverstone 6 Hour race) is more difficult than gaining one for a World Series by Renault weekend.


Correct. I did try for a few rounds of ACO and Le Mans. Their accreditation system was such a joke that they send me the letter saying it had been declined about four or five times.

@D.M.N - Yes, I have done a few GP2 interviews in the past. The issue is that, to be frank, people aren't really hugely interested.

I would have liked to go to FR3.5 at Silverstone, but you have to weigh things up in your mind. It would cost me money in petrol and a hotel room or campsite plot (assuming there was camping for FR3.5?) When you look at it, I'd rather save the money for an F1 event. In this world, you want to write stories with quality, but you have greater quality if you are in the paddock. You can see and know more and understand a lot more. Of course, it is a vicious circle. If you can go, you get a better reputation. It's why I disagreed with Joe Saward's comments about websites with stories written by people in their rooms. Some sites are like that, some aren't. The one I'm trying to help build up is firmly in the latter. But you need a budget first and be able to convince potential sponsors that you are firmly in that category. But this is business in a tough world, so you can't expect less! In some ways, getting the actual media pass is not too difficult. It's everything else to do with it.

One issue too is age. I found myself a little excluded because I'm a bit young, and I look younger than I am as well. But hey ho, it's the way the world works!

#946 PretentiousBread

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 21:27

Just wanted to share with you an open e-mail I sent to F1 Racing following their most recent '200th issue'. I was so happy with the massive improvements made since they hired this new editor Anthony Rowlinson that I wanted to give them my feedback:

Hi, just wanted to write to you as a subscriber for 4 years, that I'm thrilled with the direction F1 Racing has taken since Hans Seeberg has handed over the reins to Anthony Rowlinson. Already the impact is huge judging by the quality of your 200th issue. Although i've been a subscriber for a while, I've been apathetic about the magazine for a long time, often hovering over the cancel button for my direct debit. I hated the shotgun approach the magazine had taken, where it tried to cater for everyone, with the odd reasonably in depth feature for those who actually follow the sport closely, then token nostalgic offerings for the old timers, and 'opinions' (middle of the road ones from 'legends' like Murray Walker and Frank Williams and 'ooh controversial ones' provided by JV with a silly 'JV key') and pages of random, useless stats. It was like the magazine had pretentions of being essential reading, when it was actually lightweight and very forgettable.

The reshuffle that Rowlinson has instigated (sorry if he's getting the credit when it's due elsewhere, but I assumed it's his doing) has improved the magazine no end. It's obviously taken a more serious, grown up direction and has thankfully dispensed with much of its patronising tone. For instance, Pat Symonds now has two pages for his monthly column (this is like what I was referring to when I said about 'token' offerings, Pat Symonds only getting one page and giving it the patronising heading 'tech masterclass') and Murray Walker only has one at the back page, which is a much more natural way of doing things, good move! Or how Bruno Senna's run-of-the-mill race weekend preview ("the pasta in Italy is great, so is the weather!" etc. etc. ZZZZZZzzzzzzz) has sensibly been replaced with a technical type preview, with useful and interesting information about the track and race strategy, even including telemetry, (that's much more like it!) and Bruno has been given his own column where he can truly shine and give his own opinions in the Visor Down section. Even the news seems improved, that explanation of Hamilton's telemetry tweet was much more insightful than anything i'd expect to see in that section.

I was really impressed how you've retained Peter Windsor and hired Dieter Rencken, two heavyweight F1 journalists. Peter Windsor isn't to everyone's tastes, but at least he doesn't just spout clich├ęd drivel and is a sentient being with his own opinion. He is truly in love with the sport, that always shines through with him, so good job getting him back.

Overall i'm thrilled with this new direction the magazine has taken. I'll be looking forward to the new features that Rowlinson alluded to and should things continue in this vein there's no chance of me cancelling my subscription. Well done and keep doing what you're doing!


If like me, you were disillusioned with F1 Racing's recent level of quality, I recommend you pick up the latest issue, it's a big improvement :up:

#947 Zippel

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 23:45

Just wanted to share with you an open e-mail I sent to F1 Racing following their most recent '200th issue'. I was so happy with the massive improvements made since they hired this new editor Anthony Rowlinson that I wanted to give them my feedback:



If like me, you were disillusioned with F1 Racing's recent level of quality, I recommend you pick up the latest issue, it's a big improvement :up:


That's good to hear though wasn't much of a fan of Peter Windsor's work. I still won't buy it due to my interest peaking off a while ago.

Do they still do that nonsense with photos, where every one of them is some weird perspective shot eg. of an F1 car nose from behind bushes or half of someone's head, instead of the actual cars and people? I remember one issue years ago when they bragged about showing the best shots of that year and all it was was those sorts of photos, barely any of the cars present at all!

#948 ryan86

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 00:29

I'm a bit puzzled at the magazine being "limited edition". Surely all printed magazines are "limited edition" and with it being the 200th edition and trying to sell these big features involving the champions, I'd imagine that this edition is probably less limited than the last ones.

Edited by ryan86, 22 September 2012 - 00:30.


#949 Anders Torp

Anders Torp
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Posted 03 October 2012 - 17:52

If like me, you were disillusioned with F1 Racing's recent level of quality, I recommend you pick up the latest issue, it's a big improvement :up:

Thanks, I'll check it out. Don't care much for Windsor but Rencken is great.

#950 phil1993

phil1993
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Posted 03 October 2012 - 18:30

It's a massive improvement, but could we have Peter Windsor's race reviews as well, rather than Pat Symonds?