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


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#301 jondon

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 03:37

I gave up on F1 racing quite soon after it began its attempt at being the "Hello" magazine for F1 fans. To be honest I could not be less interested in articles about what driver x eats from day to day, nor what "surprisingly" interesting hobby (carpet weaving, bird watching etc...) each individual driver pursues.. Not to mention all the thinly disguised wristwatch or some other such unnecessary crap advertisements purporting to be serious articles about F1 and the drivers...
IE. "...so anyway, (insert driver`s name), besides your multiple years of struggling against all odds to become a Grand Prix driver, the fact that you managed to climb mount everest wearing a blindfold, and all the 24 hr. work you do for children`s charities relating to the eradication of verruca warts in the under fourteens worldwide, why exactly do you wear that expensive watch the size of a turnip?" etc.

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#302 bradleyl

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 09:18

hi jondon, it's interesting for me to read how people have very fixed, and sometimes unrepresentative, ideas of the magazine's content.

I don't think we've done any extended pieces on driver hobbies, and there certainly aren't any thinly-disguised adverts purporting to be serious articles.

Pick it up, give it a read, and see what you think; I don't believe it fits the caricature you've just written down.

#303 Craven Morehead

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 09:23

Bradley,

Props to you for coming on here and continuosly taking our bitchin' & moanin' with good spirit. You know you can never make all of us happy. We're a cranky lot. :D

Keep doin your best with the mag.

#304 Jimages

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 09:34

Without wishing to be offensive I don't enjoy either F1 Racing or Autosport nearly as much as I used to. Indeed I stopped buying F1 Racing a long time ago, mainly because I felt it was the same old same old every month.

I only buy Autosport now on the strength of the front cover, it has to have something to interest me and I'm sorry to say that more often than not it leaves me disappointed.

Motorsport is still a good magazine, but the trouble with F1 RAC, and Autosport is that it's news is old before it's even published and largely you're only paying for something you already read in a slightly different format for free on the Internet.

#305 bradleyl

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 09:38

Craven, I know that :) I'm just trying to take on some of the more unfounded impressions about the mag that are still floating around.

Jimages, you're absolutely right when it comes to news content - there's no way a monthly can compete with the internet. But that's why we don't try to. The heart of our magazine is its feature content (plus some generally quirky, left-field news), which is relatively atemporal - and gives something, in its treatment and presentation, that the internet never can.

I think that aspect of the magazine has changed over the past year, as we have stopped trying to pursue a very news-based agenda, and I'd suggest it addresses much of the 'criticism' you highlight.

#306 kar

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 08:23

As normally one to moan about the magazine, I picked up the Seb Vettel issue this month (while stuck at Stanstead).

I have to say one of my big complaints - the lack of free flowing and meaty prose, has been somewhat addressed. I rather like how the introduction to the story has all the artwork, then the proceeding pages something you can really get into.

It's not motorsport, but it's much better than the 'for nuts readers' efforts from the last time I picked up the magazine (Schumacher cover - the one where after I vowed never to buy the mag again).

#307 Jimages

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 09:00

I might give it a quick whirl then next time I see it on the stands. (I really hate it when people block the isles at WH Smiths, reading through practically an entire magazine only to put it back on the shelves).

#308 equality

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 09:10

Originally posted by bradleyl
pick up the mag this month



I dont think I will.

Current F1 doesnt appeal half as much as it did pre standard rules, forced V10 format, ban of qualifying engines, introduction of safety cars. The current qualifying system is boring as hell, fabricated nonsense wich i dont stay home for anymore. And its only getting worse. Its becoming another spec series and as far as i can remember in over 10 years as Autosport subscriber, i always ignored those.

And like ive said before, the internet has become a very good source for the info that i still want to see. Theres not much more you can add from a technical point of view or the speed that its brought with than offered by AFCA or ATM_Andy and numerous other posters on this board. Then there is the inherent jingoistic nature of F1 racing wich remains hard to ignore whilst reading. I feel more comfortable with Dutch, German or French F1 media in that respect.

I do wish you all the best, with plenty of Mclaren tinted articles and Hamilton stories. That will no doubt, attract a lot of (British) readers and some of wich can also be found and drafted on this board.;)

#309 dank

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 09:12

Would you like some ice with your glass of cynicism? :lol:

#310 bradleyl

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 10:04

Totally understand equality - just don't want the mag as it is now, beaten with old sticks that aren't relevant any more. No problem if the overall proposition doesn't appeal.

As for the jingoism, I'm not sure the charge sticks; I've had this conversation separately with somebody else, and done some page counts that back it up. Since last July, we've had three articles about Lewis - out of about 200. I'm not sure that's too excessive? As for McLaren-tinted articles, I'd reject that too; we've done a tour of the factory, a profile of Heikki and let our readers interview Ron since last July. It's hardly Racing Line, is it?

As I say, I totally respect your POV. It's just hard to understand what some of the criticisms are based on if you don't read the mag... :)

#311 Rob

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 10:18

Originally posted by bradleyl
Totally understand equality - just don't want the mag as it is now, beaten with old sticks that aren't relevant any more. No problem if the overall proposition doesn't appeal.


I'm glad that the magazine seems to be going forward in a positive direction. I used to buy it regularly but gave up. I may have to check it out again to see the improvements.

#312 hallo

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 10:19

Hey Bradley you guys really need to sort that Peter Windsor out because hes out of control with his personal bias and agenda's to the point I no longer buy the magazine after 10 years. He is clearly irrational with his love for Hamilton and hate for Alonso which make many of his articles a waste of time. In a 2007 article about Heikki he compared him as a future Alonso but not a Hamilton, something which is very disrespectful and simply unprofessional to say. And who can forget when he in mid 2007 he said Hamilton was already better than Senna and Prost? Thats just comical. If you want your magazine to have credibility you cant have muppets like that being the core of the magazine because he gets laughed at along with your publication. You guys really need to talk to him or preferably get rid of him.

#313 bradleyl

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 10:21

Hello hallo. It's tedious to repeat myself, but pick up the magazine and look at who's doing the balance of the writing. Once again, your criticism doesn't fit the bill. I'm not going to come on here and criticise Peter's opinions - he's entitled to them and they're often well-informed and enlightening, even if I don't agree with them all - but we have generally made the magazine less opinionated, more expository, in recent months. We're trying to find out more about the sport and share it with our readership, rather than ramming our take on things down their throats. Any current readers agree with that? Hope you agree if and when you get to have a read.

#314 Rob

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 10:22

Originally posted by hallo
Hey Bradley you guys really need to sort that Peter Windsor out because hes out of control with his personal bias and agenda's to the point I no longer buy the magazine after 10 years. He is clearly irrational with his love for Hamilton and hate for Alonso which make many of his articles a waste of time.


I didn't realise he was still there. He's a little bit too sensationalist for me.

#315 skid solo

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 15:35

Originally posted by equality

I do wish you all the best, with plenty of Mclaren tinted articles and Hamilton stories. That will no doubt, attract a lot of (British) readers and some of wich can also be found and drafted on this board.;)


I know this thread isn't about Autosport specifically but being a (British) reader I was most put out by Kimi Raikonnen being on the front cover last week. Even more shocking to see a balanced view of all the latest F1 designs so far launched, an article entitled whats eating Kimi giving us an insight into his troubles last year and the grand prix editors page with a photograph of a Toyota on it and an article on the latest diffuser debate!

The most shocking of all was I had to wait till page 35 to even see a Mclaren and there was only one tiny picture of Lewis Hamilton in the magazine and he had his helmet on!!

Thankfully being British, we have more than 1 F1 team to support and even more key personnel in (Foreign) teams to be interested in. :wave:

#316 potmotr

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 15:40

Appears the F1 Racing columnist being spoken of wants to start his own team.

Hopefully he'll shed some light on this in next month's mag.

#317 RodrigoL

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 15:58

Originally posted by skid solo


I know this thread isn't about Autosport specifically but being a (British) reader I was most put out by Kimi Raikonnen being on the front cover last week. Even more shocking to see a balanced view of all the latest F1 designs so far launched, an article entitled whats eating Kimi giving us an insight into his troubles last year and the grand prix editors page with a photograph of a Toyota on it and an article on the latest diffuser debate!

The most shocking of all was I had to wait till page 35 to even see a Mclaren and there was only one tiny picture of Lewis Hamilton in the magazine and he had his helmet on!!

Thankfully being British, we have more than 1 F1 team to support and even more key personnel in (Foreign) teams to be interested in. :wave:


I just looked at my last copy of Autosport, flipped to the subscription advertisement page - y'know the one where you can see the last 4 issues...
Guess what? Lewis was on EVERY single one of the covers...

PS - might this lack of Hamilton reporting be caused by his uncanny low media profile? Why isn't he doing anything for the fans, like Bernie wanted him to?

#318 bradleyl

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 16:03

Not true, Rodrigo. He may be on all the issues on the subs page but of the last five issues (before tomorrow's) he's been mentioned on the cover once, and it was his car that was featured.

#319 potmotr

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 16:04

Originally posted by RodrigoL


I just looked at my last copy of Autosport, flipped to the subscription advertisement page - y'know the one where you can see the last 4 issues...
Guess what? Lewis was on EVERY single one of the covers...


BradleyL was talking earlier about drivers who do/don't move magazines.

I'd guess that Lewis Hamilton moves more magazines than any other driver, particularly in the UK.

And Lewis wouldn't have any influence on whether or not he is on the cover of a magazine or not.

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#320 kar

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 16:27

We're trying to find out more about the sport and share it with our readership, rather than ramming our take on things down their throats. Any current readers agree with that?


I have to say in this respect (as well as the type of writing as I mentioned above) the magazine has definitely improved.

One of the things I both love and more often hate about Motorsport is when it gets its (predictable) soapbox. F1 Racing in that respect is playing it more straight down the line.

I can appreciate change takes time, and slowly, the magazine is getting there. On the Lewis front, I think that cover where it looked as if someone had photoshopped it (but hadn't) where I think all bar one of the front cover lines had 'Lewis' in it really pushed the 'F1ewis Racing' perception on to people.

The only real thing you could do to really get things moving is get an editor who actually is, genuinely, passionate about F1, rather than just a career journalist doing a stint at the Mag for his career.

#321 potmotr

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 16:31

Originally posted by kar

The only real thing you could do to really get things moving is get an editor who actually is, genuinely, passionate about F1, rather than just a career journalist doing a stint at the Mag for his career.


I agree with you on this point.

With the greatest of respect, I don't feel that Mr Seebring has a heap of passion, judging by the interviews I've seen thus far.

Bishop may have come across as a bit pompous and self absorbed, but I felt he loved his F1.

Then again, it could well be selling better than ever which makes his perceived passion (or lack of) irrelevant to the mag's publisher.

#322 bradleyl

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 16:32

Point taken re: the cover kar, but he'd just become world champion...

As for your perceptions about the editor, you're simply plain wrong on that one; but I don't suspect you're planning to change your mind. All I'd say is that I think you're making massive presumptions on the basis of scant evidence.

potmotr has it right: perhaps what you're talking about is perceived passion, because you have no way of evaluating the rest of it, unless you know Hans personally. I don't think everybody has to live, breathe, sleep and drink only F1 to be interested in, or passionate about, the sport. Indeed, many of the most interesting people I've encountered in F1 are interesting precisely because they have broader interests than F1 and only F1...

Plus, if you're talking about the improvement in the mag, I'd point out that it hasn't happened in spite of the editor - it's because of him, and the team we have working here.

#323 kar

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 17:32

Originally posted by bradleyl
Point taken re: the cover kar, but he'd just become world champion...

As for your perceptions about the editor, you're simply plain wrong on that one; but I don't suspect you're planning to change your mind. All I'd say is that I think you're making massive presumptions on the basis of scant evidence.

potmotr has it right: perhaps what you're talking about is perceived passion, because you have no way of evaluating the rest of it, unless you know Hans personally. I don't think everybody has to live, breathe, sleep and drink only F1 to be interested in, or passionate about, the sport. Indeed, many of the most interesting people I've encountered in F1 are interesting precisely because they have broader interests than F1 and only F1...


I base it on his interviews. They are the most soulsuckingly boring I've ever read, really. That's where my perception comes from. The observations he makes are dull, the questions he asks superficial and the whole tone lacking any kind of real fire.

Roebuck, for example. Can't stand what he writes more often than not. But by god you can't mistake his passion for the sport. It drips from every word he writes. He sucks you into his view of the sport, whether you share it or not, you're left feeling like you've been in a ring. Ed Gorman, another guy who I've taken a stick to, writes like he really loves the sport. Maybe he does, maybe it doesn't float his boat (sorry!) being a sailing guy, but it reads like it does. Good writers it's just obvious they love what they are talking about (Windsor, Allen, other examples. They may not be too popular, but my goodness you cannot mistake their enthusiasm for what they write about.)

With Hans, it just doesn't. Maybe he's just not a very good writer, but a good editor. It's not unheard of.

Plus, if you're talking about the improvement in the mag, I'd point out that it hasn't happened in spite of the editor - it's because of him, and the team we have working here.


This is definitely a fair comment, and maybe it's just that he's better at organising and leading than he is narrating about a sport that many of us here live and breath. The kind of people who still buy specialist magazines.

#324 postajegenye

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 18:19

Talking about covers, when was the last time Alonso was on the cover, alone ? I mean, he was on the front page together with Kimi and Lewis and so, but it's been a long time since the main feature was about Alonso - back in 2006, maybe? And generally, I think there are quite few stuff about him compared to other drivers of his level. And you can't say he would not attract attention, even if he's not fighting for the title!

Not that I lose sleep because of it and it's not a complaint, just an observation, I noticed it while reading the posts about the covers.

EDIT: I'm talking about F1 Racing

#325 skid solo

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 18:49

Autosport 2nd October 2008!

With headline; "Alonso's dream win" He did have his helmet on in the shot though

#326 postajegenye

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 19:35

Originally posted by skid solo
Autosport 2nd October 2008!

With headline; "Alonso's dream win" He did have his helmet on in the shot though


Oh I meant F1 Racing, sorry!

#327 skid solo

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 20:34

Sorry cant help on that one... Hopefully Bradelyl can fill you in

#328 Mat

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 05:25

I have read the last 2 issues and i think there is a definate improvement. Good work bradley, keep it up.

I really enjoyed the behind the scenes article with the stewards but you should have hit them with some harder questions! :p

#329 bradleyl

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:30

kar, we'll just have amicably agree to disagree, won't we?

As for Alonso, I completely take your point. The fact is that he sells very poorly as a solo cover star in the UK, probably the legacy of what happened in 2007 and the perceptions engendered by that soap opera. As for the fact that there is relatively little stuff with him, that's simply because he does relatively little stuff...

When I did PR for Renault, he would do open daily press calls at the track - but only gave Spanish media one, or maybe two, one-to-one sessions over the entire season. Those interviews he did give were generally 10 mins long - by way of comparison, I've sat and interviewed DC or Webber, for example, for over an hour in recent months.

Fernando simply doesn't like doing media stuff, and has the leverage to ensure he doesn't have to do it particularly often; so there will always be less from him in one-to-one situations (which we insist upon for our interviews) - on a par with, say, Kimi. But usually, when you do get a chance to talk to him, it's good stuff. Hope that brings a little more insight and understanding into some of the constraints we have to work under too.

re: the stewards, they had solid, sensible answers for all the questions you'd expect - the accusations of bias, favouring another driver, suggestions that ex-drivers should be stewards etc... They also explained, after the race, why they'd penalised Bourdais for the collision with Massa (failing to take due care when exiting the pits with another competitor approaching at high speed). What the experience reinforced, for me, was that sat outside that room, away from the feeds they have access to, it's very hard for us to make any reasonable, informed judgement. Equally, re: Spa, while I didn't agree with their decision, I do understand their argument that they were bound by precedent from Suzuka 2005 (which I also didn't agree with, incidentally, as it cost Alonso the race win that day!)

#330 ensign14

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 09:09

The precedent from Suzuka though was that Alonso DIDN'T have to give way to Klien a second time. They admitted they ballsed up by missing Alonso letting Klien past.

Besides which, Kimi DID get past Hamilton again and Hamilton had to re-pass. Are they saying Hamilton should have let him past a third time? Which was impossible after the Kimster binned it.

Although the stewards have surely in the past decided they are not bound by precedent. Hence the various stochastic penalties handed out over the years.

#331 bradleyl

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 09:23

No, the precedent from Suzuka was that Alonso passed Klien, ran over the chicane and let him back past, then overtook again. That pass was deemed to be illegal, so he ceded the place once more about two laps later.

While there was talk at the time of Charlie having admitted they'd got it wrong, I don't remember them officially confirming they'd ballsed up. And if they did, it would have been because Alonso had properly ceded the advantage - something Lewis was, rightly or wrongly, deemed not to have done.

I'm not trying to get into a debate about Spa; what's done is done, and we could argue until we're blue in the face without ever reaching a satisfactory conclusion. They made their decision, the competitors have to abide by it, job done.

Look at Liverpool-Chelsea last weekend: Lampard was sent off for a tackle, Chelsea lost the game as a result, and then the FA rescinded his red card as they agreed he shouldn't have been sent off. Even footballers manage to take these kinds of mistakes on the chin; perhaps it's time for F1 to learn to do the same?

#332 ensign14

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 09:58

Originally posted by bradleyl
No, the precedent from Suzuka was that Alonso passed Klien, ran over the chicane and let him back past, then overtook again. That pass was deemed to be illegal, so he ceded the place once more about two laps later.

It was because they missed Alonso letting him past and re-passing...so they assumed Alonso had retained the position.

Originally posted by bradleyl
While there was talk at the time of Charlie having admitted they'd got it wrong, I don't remember them officially confirming they'd ballsed up.

According to the contemporary reports there was an email to Renault apologizing, IIRC.

But the article was illuminating in that it demonstrated that the stewards didn't even understand their own precedent. Shows up just how seriously rule enforcement is taken. There should be permanent stewards totally independent of the FIA enforcing matters.

Originally posted by bradleyl
Look at Liverpool-Chelsea last weekend: Lampard was sent off for a tackle, Chelsea lost the game as a result, and then the FA rescinded his red card as they agreed he shouldn't have been sent off. Even footballers manage to take these kinds of mistakes on the chin; perhaps it's time for F1 to learn to do the same?

The problem is that in football many of these things are judgment calls and honest mistakes and based on laws whose interpretation is well-known. Given the way penalties have been handed (or not handed) out in the past, F1 has managed to cultivate an aura of suspicion. Especially when Max' mate gets "unofficially" involved in the stewarding...

And rescinding Lampard's red card did not affect the result. Because what could be done? They couldn't put him back on the pitch for the last 20 minutes. Whereas the penalty for Hamilton DID affect the result - McLaren were denied the chance to get him sufficiently far ahead for the penalty not to matter, having had provisional clearance from the FIA itself. That was one of the reasons for rescinding the Unser penalty at Indy '81, had he been penalized for his infraction he could have made it back with ease.

#333 bradleyl

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:23

Rescinding Lampard's result didn't affect the result, no. But the fact of the red card turned the game, without a shadow of a doubt.

I take your point about cultivating the aura of suspicion, that's true. However, some of it is also down to misreporting; Donnelly, by his own account, was appointed at the request of the F1 team principals, to sort out the stewarding process. And he plays no formal decision making role: he acts as chairman to the panel, and only puts questions to people being interviewed, should the stewards ask him to. Again, by his own account, Max has specifically requested not to be consulted or contacted during any stewarding decisions.

Taking that at face value, it's then a question of whether Donnelly is to be believed or not.

As for the notion that stewards should be independent of the FIA, I think that's a nonsense; how can you have people enforcing the rules independently of the governing body? Of course they should be affiliated to the people who run the championship; otherwise the FIA sanctions a series that it does not regulate, surely not a feasible state of affairs.

I'm in two minds as to the issue of permanent stewards. On the one hand, it may bring consistency; on the other, paid full-time officials are surely more liable to be swayed by the politics of the paddock than people who only come in for selected events?

To accept full-time, permanent stewards as a valid theory, then you'd also have to be confident that all FIA personnel who travel with F1, also remain neutral and impartial in spite of their constant interaction with team personnel... And if I put that to you about Charlie, Jo Bauer or others, would you agree?

#334 ensign14

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:32

Originally posted by bradleyl
As for the notion that stewards should be independent of the FIA, I think that's a nonsense; how can you have people enforcing the rules independently of the governing body? Of course they should be affiliated to the people who run the championship; otherwise the FIA sanctions a series that it does not regulate, surely not a feasible state of affairs.

Easy. It happens all the time in real life. After all, judges (barring the Lord Chancellor) form no part of the Government. That avoids the conflict where Parliament would essentially get a second chance of making the laws by stating "actually, what we MEANT to say was...".

By having the FIA appoint people to interpret FIA rules, you're getting dangerously close to the FIA getting ITS interpretation of the rules across, rather than a REASONABLE interpretation.

Originally posted by bradleyl
I'm in two minds as to the issue of permanent stewards. On the one hand, it may bring consistency; on the other, paid full-time officials are surely more liable to be swayed by the politics of the paddock than people who only come in for selected events?

To accept full-time, permanent stewards as a valid theory, then you'd also have to be confident that all FIA personnel who travel with F1, also remain neutral and impartial in spite of their constant interaction with team personnel... And if I put that to you about Charlie, Jo Bauer or others, would you agree?

You need the best people in to do the job, regardless of who they are or where they come from. The rotating position of whichever chap happens to be in the good books of whoever runs Belgian motorsport is hardly the best way to appoint a quasi-judiciary. People get trained for years and years to become judges or arbitrators, how come the FIA thinks it appropriate that this is not such valid experience as running a Bombay cinema?

#335 bradleyl

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:05

Point taken when it comes to the law, but we're talking about a sport here.

Under the system you propose, who would do the training of stewards and selecting? There is no separate judiciary, and the sport's authority is the FIA...

The government of a nation is a body elected by the people, for the people; it's not quite the same as a Federation of motor clubs sanctioning cars going round in circles fast, is it?

In terms of your point re: experience, every steward who sits on the panel has extensive stewarding experience in order to obtain the necessary superlicence (again, according to the FIA); the only exceptions are national stewards (which are compulsory) in places such as Singapore without a motorsport track record. In those situations, the steward in question shadows the permanent stewards at a prescribed number of events prior to officiating.

I take your point re: legal training, but again, we're not talking about the nuances of law - rather the enforcement of a set of relatively simple regulations, and they have the back-up of experts such as Charlie etc... who officiate at every race.

I struggle to see how an independent motorsport judiciary could be established, and run, independent of the FIA given the governing body's legal responsibility as the sanctioning body, and the stewards' responsibility for safety as well as regulating the event.

In NASCAR, the sanctioning body's view of the rules they write, is what goes; why shouldn't that be the case in F1? I think that to believe this necessary, one needs to believe there is an inherent bias in the FIA's decisions - and I don't buy that, personally. I think the FIA are, generally, reasonable in their interpretation of their own rules. Ultimately, it's their train set, and everybody signs up to that premise by entering the championship...

#336 ensign14

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:27

NASCAR is a very different kettle of fish; it is essentially a private company that puts out a championship that people can join if they want. The FIA is a quasi-governmental body backed up by public and private funding.

It would be very easy to set up independent arbitrators to deal with issues. At the Olympics the CAS sends people out to rule on things pretty much instantaneously (the taekwondo kept them busy) so that the whole shebang can keep going without untoward delay. It wouldn't be difficult to train people up; after all the key skill involved is interpreting rules in accordance with the appropriate jurisprudence. But why would the FIA want to do that? It would take Power from their hands. Imagine the Tyrrell affair with a neutral set of judges...

#337 bradleyl

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:40

OK, I didn't know that - sounds like an interesting question to put to them, I'll try to make sure I do at some point.

In terms of "it's not difficult to train people up", that's a slight change from the idea that they need years of experience, which you implied earlier when characterising stewards as Mumbai cinema owners...;) Are you saying they can do this without any racing background at all?

By Tyrrell affair, do you mean '84? I think it's fair to say that the FISA/FOCA issue rather clouded things back then, isn't it?

Take your point re: NASCAR as a private company, but it would only be viable if the competition was perceived as fair - or pretty much so. Equally, F1 competitors still submit themselves to FIA jurisdiction when entering the championship; nobody's forcing them to do so. If I made a decision to enter a championship, I'd be agreeing to abide by its rules - and the organiser's interpretation of them, where there was dispute. End of. F1 is a championship people can choose to enter if they want - the notion of something 'quasi-governmental' has no bearing on that whatsoever. And to my knowledge, there is no public funding that contributes towards F1... only to the national motor clubs, in their respective nations, to assist grass roots competition.

I've feeling that even with CAS stewards, if they made a decision fans (and TV commentators) disagreed with, there would still be an accusation that it was FIA-manipulated because the FIA asked the CAS to appoint soft people etc... I don't think the FIA could ever escape the accusations of bias, even if they were whiter than white; and they're fairly sanguine and realistic about it.

#338 Rob

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:45

Originally posted by bradleyl
I don't think the FIA could ever escape the accusations of bias, even if they were whiter than white; and they're fairly sanguine and realistic about it.


However, there have been a lot of crazy decisions as of late and the lack of openness is not doing the FIA any favours.

#339 ensign14

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:56

Originally posted by bradleyl
In terms of "it's not difficult to train people up", that's a slight change from the idea that they need years of experience, which you implied earlier when characterising stewards as Mumbai cinema owners...;) Are you saying they can do this without any racing background at all?

In theory, yes. After all, a judge might have to deal with a possibly forged painting on Monday, allegedly defective stamping machinery on Tuesday and a potentially iffy interest rate swap on Wednesday, without ever having worked for Tom Keating, Chubb or Barclays. To get arbitrators/judges up to speed with the world of motor racing would not be difficult. The real skill is the application of jurisprudence, which IS tricky, and not something you can teach to someone without experience very easily. Hence judges/arbitrators coming from the law, rather than the Odeon.

Originally posted by bradleyl
By Tyrrell affair, do you mean '84? I think it's fair to say that the FISA/FOCA issue rather clouded things back then, isn't it?

Yes - and the point was that FISA wanted to sling Tyrrell out so that they could shoehorn through a rule-change that only Tyrrell opposed. No way on earth a neutral set of arbitrators would have let them get away with that. You just need to see the bewildering changes in the charges brought to see how desperate FISA was.

Originally posted by bradleyl
If I made a decision to enter a championship, I'd be agreeing to abide by its rules - and the organiser's interpretation of them, where there was dispute. End of. F1 is a championship people can choose to enter if they want - the notion of something 'quasi-governmental' has no bearing on that whatsoever. And to my knowledge, there is no public funding that contributes towards F1... only to the national motor clubs, in their respective nations, to assist grass roots competition.

Indeed, although the quasi-governmental bit does have legal ramifications as it relates to appeals. NASCAR is pretty much unappealable because the contractual nature of participating in NASCAR is subtly different to that of participating in an FIA-sanctioned series. Nobody's yet had the cojones to take on the FIA in the CAS, possibly because they're all somewhat in it together; any company that can bear a $100m fine and continue to win the title is going to be a bit less willing to bite.

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#340 Jimages

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 12:35

Going back to the point about Alonso, I've done some photographic media work at some of the testing, and in my experience along with Raikkonen and formally Villeneuve, he is just about the most illusive man there.

They simply do not like doing pr stuff or having cameras shoved in their faces and Dictaphones under their noses, but if we take off our "fan perspective" specs for one moment then that's really not surprising.

For the successful guys with big reputations such as mentioned above the attention they receive goes up pretty much exponentially, as everybody wants a piece of them.

But they're only human, they are racing drivers because they love racing not because they want to be celebrities, they still need some time to themselves just like anyone else.

Whilst they are paid very handsomely indeed with nurmerous perks on the side, they do work very hard on the core of their job which is developing a racing car and racing it at the very top level. It's very important to appreciate that we (be you media or fan) do not own these guys.

You could argue (not without reason) that the fan is the customer, and so should be always put first. But that's not completely true. Yes obviously there would be far less manufacturers and sponsors involved if there wasn't a huge fan-base. But if you look at where motorsport came from, then you start to realise that F1 has never ever been about the fan, just like it has never ever been about overtaking, and certainly very few if anybody has ever became a driver because he wants to spend his days doing interviews, having his picture taken and signing autographs. Most of them don't want any of that, it's simply an evil of the occupation that has to be done to pay the bills.

So whilst in many ways a lack of pr work by these guys is not always in their best interests, maybe disappointing to many, it is very understandable. I'd doubt I'd want to do much if I were a racing driver.

#341 Buttoneer

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 12:45

Originally posted by Jimages
But if you look at where motorsport came from, then you start to realise that F1 has never ever been about the fan

I can't agree. Since the advent of sponsorship, television rights and Bernie, that's exactly what it has been about. The cars have been mobile billboards for years and people will only pay big money to advert on billboards which are seen. The team owners and drivers have become incredibly wealthy over the years.

Originally posted by Jimages
certainly very few if anybody has ever became a driver because he wants to spend his days doing interviews, having his picture taken and signing autographs.

Agreed, but they come with the territory. F1 is so wealthy because of that money brought in by sponsors, TV, and more recently the manufacturers etc. Without these, I imagine you could halve the stipend at least. Robert Kubica has said that he'd drive for free if it was a winning car. I reckon all drivers would. So, why does Ferrari and McLaren pay it's drivers? It must be for the other stuff...

Originally posted by Jimages
Most of them don't want any of that, it's simply an evil of the occupation that has to be done to pay the bills.

Yes they should do it and even try to smile occasionally!

#342 werks prototype

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 12:59

Regarding the often reported surly nature of Raikkonen, Alonso and Villeneuve, in interview it strikes me that maybe they are simply not very confident people in those situations. Such interviews often appear awkward, maybe this can not just be simply written off as they dont like the attention. Raikkonens apparent nervousness has been reported many times.

I think a fundamental lack of self confidence may be the underlying cause. Of course this doesnt impact in any way on their confidence in driving nor does it mean that they lack the prerequisite healthy ego enjoyed by the rest. I sometimes find it hard to watch these guys in interview.

#343 Slartibartfast

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 12:59

...he is just about the most illusive man there...

- Jimages

From a photographer, I take it that 'illusive' was a freudian slip?

#344 Jimages

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 13:39

Originally posted by Buttoneer

I can't agree. Since the advent of sponsorship, television rights and Bernie, that's exactly what it has been about. The cars have been mobile billboards for years and people will only pay big money to advert on billboards which are seen. The team owners and drivers have become incredibly wealthy over the years.


Then explain how the F1 fan isn't so much kept at arms length but more on the other side of a very long barge pole. Whilst in America things are generally more fan friendly.

If F1 is and has been all about the fan, then why are they still treated as though dirt on a shoe?

Oringinally post by werks prototypeRegarding the often reported surly nature of Raikkonen, Alonso and Villeneuve, in interview it strikes me that maybe they are simply not very confident people in those situations. Such interviews often appear awkward, maybe this can not just be simply written off as they dont like the attention. Raikkonens apparent nervousness has been reported many times.

I think a fundamental lack of self confidence may be the underlying cause. Of course this doesnt impact in any way on their confidence in driving nor does it mean that they lack the prerequisite healthy ego enjoyed by the rest. I sometimes find it hard to watch these guys in interview.


There's definitely a lot of truth in that. I remember introducing myself to Timo Glock back when he was having his initial try outs for the Jordan team, and it stuck me just how timid he seemed. Even Sir Jackie Stewart, was extremely quavery when I've met him.

For example I myself don't like speaking or appearing in front of too many people because I happen to have speech difficulty and am not particularly photogenic, it affects the self confidence somewhat, but I also know what I can do.

But also in the case of Alonso, Raikkonen & Villeneuve etc, they know what ever they say to the press, or indeed anyone is going to be under a lot of scrutiny. They know even if they're as careful as it's possible to be, people are going to misinterpret what they say, twist it, take it out of context and in some cases simply make up a whole load of s&@£ that they never even said.

It's like Mika Hakkinen is renowned for being very monotoned, and not very expressive in interviews. But that wasn't so much lack of confidence, but a good level of shrewdness. He's actually very clever. And I think that has a big bearing on things as well.

#345 Buttoneer

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 14:58

Originally posted by Jimages

Then explain how the F1 fan isn't so much kept at arms length but more on the other side of a very long barge pole. Whilst in America things are generally more fan friendly.

If F1 is and has been all about the fan, then why are they still treated as though dirt on a shoe?

Good question. An even better one is why the fan continues to put up with it rather than walk away.

There are many routes to market, and the main one, the one which the sponsors feel is important, is TV. The drivers only need to do the TV bits, really, and a few corporate bits to keep the sponsors (and their key customers too, probably) happy.

But that doesn't make it 'not' about the fans does it? The sponsors are there because people watch their adverts doing 65 laps. If people didn't watch those adverts or get passionate about them, F1 wouldn't be what it is.

#346 bradleyl

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:32

I don't know Kimi at all, but in Alonso's case, it's not lack of confidence - it's indifference. He thinks he's paid to drive the car, and that anything extraneous doesn't really matter all that much. He has no problem speaking out when he's got something to say, after all...

#347 Owen

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:33

Originally posted by bradleyl
I don't know Kimi at all, but in Alonso's case, it's not lack of confidence - it's indifference. He thinks he's paid to drive the car, and that anything extraneous doesn't really matter all that much. He has no problem speaking out when he's got something to say, after all...


No doubts there.

#348 Rubens Hakkamacher

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:40

I don't suppose there's a way of contracting a company to print the magazine in the states (to an equal standard) and distribute it faster/cheaper?

#349 rce

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:58

I doubt it's a lack of confidence on Kimi or Fernando - but more in the vein of what Jimages mentioned...and in the case of Kimi a wee bit of boredom/annoyance at the thought of another interview.

Originally posted by Rubens Hakkamacher
I don't suppose there's a way of contracting a company to print the magazine in the states (to an equal standard) and distribute it faster/cheaper?


What a great idea.

#350 bradleyl

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:58

Rubens, I'll try and find out how it's done, but I think it's probably through Haymarket USA on the west coast. I'm sure, though, that the way we do it is the most cost-efficient for the sales volume we shift in the States. But as I say, I'll try and find more info.