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#1 CatharticF1

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:13

I've been a subscriber of the web site since the days of Atlas, but I don't think I'll renew next time. I've gradually found I spend less time here and find less reason to.

Here's why:

* News items are freely available
* My ad blocker will hide the ads whether I'm a subscriber or not
* The features are not strong enough, I barely read any
* The Weekly Magazine was wonderful. But that level of quality and insight is gone
* My subscription (expensive as it is) doesn't get the Digital Edition and adding it leaps into a price bracket which doesn't feel like good value to me

Or .. am I missing something? Other sites seem to have improved, Autosport has gone backwards and raised its prices.


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#2 JForce

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:36

I have been considering this as well, for similar reasons.

The news is free, but more than that, it's no longer full of any real insight, and it seems be missing a lot, whereas it used to be "the source". An example: The circuits grouping together to challenge the FIA, FOM, Teams etc, in terms of coming regulations. This was a big deal - not pure speculation, this was confirmed via press conference with Ron Walker for instance, and yet Autosport had NOTHING. There was a mention of it in one of Dieter's articles, but that was it.

The threat of all current F1 race venues walking away from F1 warranted not a single mention by Autosport? Really?

We then come to the "features" - there are aspects I like, but I don't feel like any of them tell me anything I don't already know, with the glaring exception of Dieter Rencken - he's the only one actually providing any analysis, as opposed to simply stating what was observed.

Whilst I like the other writers, in as much as I know them from their articles, it seems as if their articles follow a similar format - follow McLaren, tell us what it was like there during the race, and that's it. There's little substance to it.

What I gather from this is that the real insight is saved for the magazine, with the website "features" padded with articles on NASCAR, WRC, or even touring cars. Whilst I accept the variety, it's just another area where I feel that the service has fallen from the Atlas days. I don't think it's a rose-coloured glasses thing either - if I had the time I would love to do some comparisons between the old issues and the current ones, and I am convinced I'd find less quantity, let along quality (which is of course subjective).

I don't have any answers as to how you address this - and you may be happy to be in this position, but I'm not, and I'm not sure whether I'll bother continuing as a subscriber.

#3 Risil

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 13:48

Indeed. My subscription is solely based on how much I rate Dieter Rencken's articles, and obviously habit.

I appreciate Autosport's (free) online news service, but DR aside there's no interesting writing on Formula One in this site anymore. A comparison with the Atlas archives -- or even the earlier days of the Autosport merger -- seems to confirm this. Maybe there's nothing interesting going on in Formula One these days. Maybe it's because an independent "Autosport.com" organ is no longer viable.

To be honest if you compare the features on the site with the free analysis in places like Motomatters.com or Joe Saward's Grand Prix Blog, they don't hold up well at all.

#4 condor

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 18:25

I used to be a subscriber in the Atlas days, but it was only as a token gesture to keep the Atlas forums alive.

#5 Mary Popsins

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 05:38

To be honest if you compare the features on the site with the free analysis in places like Motomatters.com or Joe Saward's Grand Prix Blog, they don't hold up well at all.


If you wanted to advertize you could have at least mentioned the good ones.

Best for Autosport would be to review their content and make people happy. I used to have the sub but I can't afford it for the moment - and I liked it as it helped me save on the paper mag, plus it's always easier to read on line.

#6 slideways

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 08:25

I was reading the latest Mark Hughes article on "Webber Strikes Back" or whatever and I abruptly came to the realisation that everything I loved about this subscription website is dead.

Mark Hughes is such a complete hack and he has his fingers all over everything now.

I like Edd Straw but he doesn't seem to write much content for the website and focuses on the magazine, which has also suffered considerable loss in quality lately.

All of the better technical and regular feature writers are either gone or just mailing them in now.

Are any other long term subscribers who are reading this happy with the writers, the quality of articles and the way the website has gone?

Rest in Peace AtlasF1.

#7 tweiss

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 13:25

Been a member for a long time...When Bira left...the site went down hill and continues to slide. Ditto RIP AtlasF1!!!

I will be seriously reconsidering my subscription next year.

#8 vtpachyderm

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 17:26

Been a member for a while as well, and tend to share the same sentiments. I feel it's gotten way too british-centric, which is ok considering it is autosport, but I get more information from the forums, and more entertainment from @EliGP on twitter. I think I only renewed this year in light of all the tech reg changes and the rally articles, but they have been pretty poor IMH(umble)O.

#9 kar

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:02

I stopped my subscription at the start of 2010 and I haven't missed it really.

Well, I do miss Dieter's articles. I don't know how much he gets paid per piece, but whatever it is, it's worth it.

#10 bobellsmore

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 10:06

I was a regular reader of the AtlasF1 site and a subscriber from the time it went to subscriptions -- after complaining bitterly to them about the lack of notice about the move :evil:

Although I didn't much like the takeover by Autosport, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, as a very long time subscriber to Autosport the magazine, I get Autosport.com chucked in as part of the magazine subscription.

It's not right to talk about the website being "padded" with articles on NASCAR, WRC, touring cars and so on. It's not AtlasF1 anymore -- Autosport tries to cover every form of International motor racing as well as all the club racing available in the UK and Autosport.com follows that.

I'm not convinced that a subscription to Autosport.com alone is worthwhile but a subscription to the magazine with Autosport.com chucked in for free has satisfied me for many years. The only complaints I have are that the F1 News pages are clogged up with really boring PR handouts from just about every Tom, Dick & Harry and -- more seriously -- "The complete 2011 <nation> GP review" does not tell me what the Starting Grid looks like. For instance, I know the Qualifying results for Germany but at least two people got demoted so why not show the actual Starting Grid in a so-called "complete" review?

#11 Alfisti

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 16:08

I think for some people the new product works better for them and it's a lot of product for a reasonable price. For myself though, I loved the in depth "Journal" from the old Atlas F1, it was supreme writing. We also had stunning interviews like the one with the head of Michelin a few years back. i sense this is no longer happening.

#12 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 19:34

In fairness, that Dupasquier interview was super-special so we probably shouldn't judge Autosport.com or even previous AtlasF1s against it. And I think there's a little nostalgia around it because it was in one of the final AtlasF1 issues.

#13 bigfoz

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 09:26

Likewise, an AtlasF1 reader, who became a subscriber, who moved to Autosport and now thinks the latest subscription fees are completely out of whack with what I'm getting. Won't be renewing unless there is a marked improvement between now and May.

I used to be an Autosport mag subscriber, but that became too much money to justify for the amount of reading pleasure I was getting. Mind you I've had the same magazine experiences in my other hobbies, though those interests (Cycling / Triathlon / Moto GP WSB) seem well served with good quality free websites.

#14 EVO2

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 00:55

I first joined Atlas in 2001 and have paid my fixed $50 pa ever since.

I do feel that we now get very little for our subscription compared with the free content which, as others have said can be kept advert free by an ad blocker.

What has prompted me to write is the email I just received about the content of this week's Autosport magazine.

I see that there is an article by Mark Hughes on the technical changes to F1 from 2014.
Knowing the subject I am sure that it would be of very great interest to me.

It's surely is the kind of article that should be available to .com subscribers but will it ? Probably not.

Increasingly I have been turning to another (free) F1 site which is already excellent, deals with subject in depth and seems to be improving month by month.
The quality of debate is also much higher there as well.

I have to say to the editors of Autosport.com that, if the quality and quantity of the paid-for content on Autosport.com is not raised significantly by the time my subscription is due next June, I will not be renewing.

There seems to be a surprising amount of dissatisfaction being expressed in this thread so some comment from the on-line editor should be forthcoming.
If not, I will be writing to Haymarket.

You could start by bringing Bira back to edit the F1 content.........................




#15 Mary Popsins

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 05:06

I first joined Atlas in 2001 and have paid my fixed $50 pa ever since.

I do feel that we now get very little for our subscription compared with the free content which, as others have said can be kept advert free by an ad blocker.

What has prompted me to write is the email I just received about the content of this week's Autosport magazine.

I see that there is an article by Mark Hughes on the technical changes to F1 from 2014.
Knowing the subject I am sure that it would be of very great interest to me.

It's surely is the kind of article that should be available to .com subscribers but will it ? Probably not.

Increasingly I have been turning to another (free) F1 site which is already excellent, deals with subject in depth and seems to be improving month by month.
The quality of debate is also much higher there as well.

I have to say to the editors of Autosport.com that, if the quality and quantity of the paid-for content on Autosport.com is not raised significantly by the time my subscription is due next June, I will not be renewing.

There seems to be a surprising amount of dissatisfaction being expressed in this thread so some comment from the on-line editor should be forthcoming.
If not, I will be writing to Haymarket.

You could start by bringing Bira back to edit the F1 content.........................


Autosport is not a F1 site.

#16 Hacklerf

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 13:20

I think im going to cancel mine as well, the features are just boring apart from the odd one, also it seems that everyone just seems like Hamilton fan boys and Schumacher bashers.

#17 EVO2

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 19:17

Autosport is not a F1 site.

I agree, Mary. But having only joined in 2009 you will probably not appreciate the situation in respect to ex-Atlas F1 members.
Also, I don't know whether you are a subscriber.

In 2005 Autosport bought Atlas F1. As it's name suggested, Atlas was exclusively a F1 site, certainly the best on the web at that time.
It was run by enthusiasts for the real F1 junkie rather than catering for the loutish fan. It had some of the best writers in the business and was brilliantly edited by Biranit Goren.

Just look at the names of the writers at http://www.atlasf1.com/about.html and you will see what I mean.

Existing Atlas F1 subscribers were offered a lifetime guaranteed subscription at a fixed $50 per year to stay with Autosport.com
We therefore have a right to expect that the site has at least as much quality F1 content as Atlas carried.

It doesn't, and what's there is almost all freely available to everyone.
At present Autosport.com provides little more than a news service, albeit one that is extensively copied, not least by the BBC F1 website !

By contrast, you only have to see what James Allen does on his site to see what is possible with a free F1 site. He has sponsorship, of course, but then Autosport.com has advertising.


In the case of ex-Atlas F1 subscribers, we get precious little exclusive F1 content for our $50. If Autosport wants to throw in other exclusive content, that's up to them but as a minimum I want to see $50 worth of exclusive F1 content.


Things could be about to get better : I am very pleased to say that, as a result of my post, I have had an email from Andrew van de Burgt, the new editor-in-chief of Autosport.

Andrew has told me that

"One of the main priorities in my new role is to improve the quality of the paid-for content online.

Therefore I'd be really interested to know what you'd like to see more of, what you feel there is too much of, and what you feel constitutes good value for money.

I look forward to your reply".


This is a very welcome development and I would hope Andrew offers to extend this invitation to all subscribers.

I've written back to him suggesting he does so. Perhaps via an email to all subscribers ?






#18 slideways

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 10:11

I think the lack in quality of the F1 articles during this break is disappointing also. In the two weeks since the last GP, We have:

How McLaren could have kept Vettel in sight <- A classic Noble, written on a paper napkin, opinion piece. Check this out:

In fact, if you look at the maximum number of points that could have been scored by a Red Bull driver this year – based on what was really achieved by the men in the RB7 cockpit at each race – Vettel could only have improved himself by three points on account of finishing behind Webber in Germany. That's an impressive 98.7 per cent hit rate.

Alonso too has got pretty high up, having amassed 92.3 per cent of what was possible from Ferrari. His collision with Hamilton in Malaysia, finishing behind Massa in China and his retirement in Canada are the only days when he did not achieve the full potential of the car. If those days had not happened then, based on what his team-mate did that day, he could be sitting on 157 points – still a whopping 77 points behind Vettel.

Erm no? Just no. How does he even get paid for scribbling down something like this?

A good deal for F1, but what about the fans? <- Yet another (very short) article on something that only affects British subscribers. I'm not British but I still pay you money, getting a bit sick of the topic now.
How Pirelli has made F1 spectacular again <- OK piece. In that it had a lot of words. And actually had quotes from someone else in it. Again nothing revelatory or that a hardcore F1 fan (ie. your subscriber base) hasn't already read this season.
Magazine: Vettel's driving analysed <- I already subscribe to the magazine.

Atlas/Autosport used to be able to provide it's readers with content that couldn't be found elsewhere for free. Now, whilst there is a gap between races you should be putting out original content that is interesting to the kind of hardcore F1 fan that pays your subscriptions. Instead we are all off reading competitor websites for free, as even the journal / subscriber material you are putting out is sub par to free websites content. Eg:

James Allen
Keith Collantine
Craig Scarborough
Joe Saward
BBC F1
Formula1.com
Hell, even ESPN, an American network has better F1 coverage than Autosport at the moment.


#19 Felix

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 16:12

Slideways:
Atlas/Autosport used to be able to provide it's readers with content that couldn't be found elsewhere for free. Now, whilst there is a gap between races you should be putting out original content that is interesting to the kind of hardcore F1 fan that pays your subscriptions. Instead we are all off reading competitor websites for free, as even the journal / subscriber material you are putting out is sub par to free websites content. Eg:


Your list of 'star sites':
James Allen - nothing since 16 August, and 13 articles since the start of the break, of which three are straight PR blurbs. (In any event has arguably missed more races this year than he attended, not that his site tells you that)
Keith Collantine - 11 posts in a week, most of which are based on news broken by Autosport (never been seen at a grand prix)
Craig Scarborough - 4 articles since the start of the break, one of which was based on a Renault release (never been seen at a race since leaving Autosport)
Joe Saward - 1 article since the break, nothing since 1 August (On leave)
BBC F1 - No unique content since Hungary; cut and paste stuff until 12 August, mostly from Autosport (Who knows)
Formula1.com - 8 pieces since the start of the break, half of which are based on releases
Hell, even ESPN, an American network has better F1 coverage than Autosport at the moment. - 20 in a week, all of which were either nicked elsewhere (they at least credit the source) or based on PR bumff
[/quote] (never been seen at a race)

By contrast Autosport has published unique material virtually every day, plus published 55 F1 news reports, a lot of which is based on material from Hungary, which the likes of F1 Fanatic, James Allen and Scarbs did not even attend. Put differently, Autosport published more stuff during this period than ALL THE OTHERS LISTED ABOVE COMBINED despite many Autosport contributors being on leave due to being full-time F1 reporters, while those listed by yourself qualify for very few if any paddock passes. So, where is your beef?

The difference is that Autosport still provides its readers with unique content, but it remains unique only until somebody unashamedly steals it without crediting Autosport.

Edited by Felix, 17 August 2011 - 16:13.


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#20 Jackman

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 16:29

Just out of interest, as you seem to have the stats to hand, how many of those news reports were based on press releases?

#21 Felix

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 17:08

Just out of interest, as you seem to have the stats to hand, how many of those news reports were based on press releases?


I don't have stats to hand, I simply counted the items on each site. Took about 5 mins total, being 3 mins for Autosport and 2 mins for all the rest :) .

Feel free to do the comparisons if its that important to you, but I think you'll find the %age is substantially lower here.

#22 Jackman

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 17:38

Sorry, I just assumed that as you were pulling out all these statistics that you'd done research on all the websites, rather than just the other ones. My apologies.

#23 slideways

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 07:44

Slideways:
Atlas/Autosport used to be able to provide it's readers with content that couldn't be found elsewhere for free. Now, whilst there is a gap between races you should be putting out original content that is interesting to the kind of hardcore F1 fan that pays your subscriptions. Instead we are all off reading competitor websites for free, as even the journal / subscriber material you are putting out is sub par to free websites content. Eg:


Your list of 'star sites':
James Allen - nothing since 16 August, and 13 articles since the start of the break, of which three are straight PR blurbs. (In any event has arguably missed more races this year than he attended, not that his site tells you that)
Keith Collantine - 11 posts in a week, most of which are based on news broken by Autosport (never been seen at a grand prix)
Craig Scarborough - 4 articles since the start of the break, one of which was based on a Renault release (never been seen at a race since leaving Autosport)
Joe Saward - 1 article since the break, nothing since 1 August (On leave)
BBC F1 - No unique content since Hungary; cut and paste stuff until 12 August, mostly from Autosport (Who knows)
Formula1.com - 8 pieces since the start of the break, half of which are based on releases
Hell, even ESPN, an American network has better F1 coverage than Autosport at the moment. - 20 in a week, all of which were either nicked elsewhere (they at least credit the source) or based on PR bumff
(never been seen at a race)

By contrast Autosport has published unique material virtually every day, plus published 55 F1 news reports, a lot of which is based on material from Hungary, which the likes of F1 Fanatic, James Allen and Scarbs did not even attend. Put differently, Autosport published more stuff during this period than ALL THE OTHERS LISTED ABOVE COMBINED despite many Autosport contributors being on leave due to being full-time F1 reporters, while those listed by yourself qualify for very few if any paddock passes. So, where is your beef?

The difference is that Autosport still provides its readers with unique content, but it remains unique only until somebody unashamedly steals it without crediting Autosport.


The news reports are free, so that is automatically 55 items which do not count in my tally. I am also not interested in 'stuff'. Just the F1 orientated material I am paying for, aka journal articles.

Autosports top dog journos like Jon Noble spit out article after article like this: http://plus.autospor...evived-renault/

I am paying for that article and it is absolute rubbish of the highest order. In fact his articles prove just how little holding a pit pass has to do with delivering quality.

#24 slideways

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:08

A few things that I would like to see as a subscriber:

*More content in general.
*An authoritative writer dedicated to subscriber content, rather than bits and pieces from the magazine or fill in writers.
*High quality extensive articles on relevant F1 news, or paddock style info.
*More research and information, less hurriedly written opinion.
*We should never have to pay for an opinion piece unless it is from a driver or F1 big name.
*More interviews and exclusive, interesting, one on ones, not just the standard cut and pasted telephone conference Q&As we have become used to.
*Technical articles - relevant technical explanations of whatever the latest big topic is. There is a large technical gap on the website at the moment. Gary Anderson despite his CV simply isn't as good as Scarbs, who was able to make the reader visualise a topic.
*Innovative journalism. By this I mean that every article Autosport puts out is on a familiar topic and in a familiar format.

#25 kar

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:23

A few things that I would like to see as a subscriber:

*More content in general.
*An authoritative writer dedicated to subscriber content, rather than bits and pieces from the magazine or fill in writers.
*High quality extensive articles on relevant F1 news, or paddock style info.
*More research and information, less hurriedly written opinion.
*We should never have to pay for an opinion piece unless it is from a driver or F1 big name.
*More interviews and exclusive, interesting, one on ones, not just the standard cut and pasted telephone conference Q&As we have become used to.
*Technical articles - relevant technical explanations of whatever the latest big topic is. There is a large technical gap on the website at the moment. Gary Anderson despite his CV simply isn't as good as Scarbs, who was able to make the reader visualise a topic.
*Innovative journalism. By this I mean that every article Autosport puts out is on a familiar topic and in a familiar format.


It's hard to quantify these things clearly. But the return of Scarbs, and more detailed, in-depth content by dedicated writers would be a great start and would have me reconsidering subscribing.

There's *more* content these days than there was when I first subscribed, but it feels like more content of less substance.

Edited by kar, 02 September 2011 - 10:23.


#26 GurraJG

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 15:20

Most of the stuff on the site I'd be willing to pay for, but not what they're asking for at the moment. The occasional interesting feature, the newsletter... Yeah, I'd pay for it, but not £5.50 a month! 2-3 quid maybe, but not much more.

#27 scarbs

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 16:47

Your list of 'star sites':
Craig Scarborough - 4 articles since the start of the break, one of which was based on a Renault release (never been seen at a race since leaving Autosport)


Felix,
If you want to use my name as justification for something, please have your facts straight.

It's true, I don't produce articles at a great rate, but thats the nature of my current hobbyist approach to writing. Not to mention the August break is also my annual vacation.

The Renault article was not based on a press release, but a direct response from Renault to my questions, which it seems no one else was asking at the time. Their press release on the subject was released after I first reported on it.

During my time with Atlas\Autosport, they never ever accredited for any GP. I have attended several GPs both during and after that time, but accredited through other publications. So I have been seen at GPs since.


Scarbs...

#28 Felix

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 17:40

Felix,
If you want to use my name as justification for something, please have your facts straight.

It's true, I don't produce articles at a great rate, but thats the nature of my current hobbyist approach to writing. Not to mention the August break is also my annual vacation.

The Renault article was not based on a press release, but a direct response from Renault to my questions, which it seems no one else was asking at the time. Their press release on the subject was released after I first reported on it.

During my time with Atlas\Autosport, they never ever accredited for any GP. I have attended several GPs both during and after that time, but accredited through other publications. So I have been seen at GPs since.


Scarbs...



Scarbs, that is the whole issue: Slideways was complaining that Autosport had published little between races, saying 'Now whilst there is a gap between races you should be putting out original content that is interesting to the kind of hardcore F1 fan that pays your subscriptions' then goes on to say 'Instead we are all off reading competitor websites for free'. My point was that Autosport had published unique material during the break - despite its staffers and columnists also taking leave which they can't at other times due to the season. So thanks for proving my point - you did not publish because you were on vacation. By contrast, slideways was using your website to prove something that was clearly incorrect - and I simply pointed out the facts.

On another note, would you care to share how many grands prix you have attended since leaving this site given your current hobbysit approach?

As regards your 'scoop' on the Renault issue, I doubt no one else was asking the question at the time ... but if you got your questions in before the release was issued, well done, but that is to be expected from a technical writer, and I am happy to stand corrected on this one point - particularly as no less than seven sites were cited by Slideways and only one has made a single critical comment - almost a month later - backing my primary assertion in the process.

Edited by Felix, 06 September 2011 - 09:01.


#29 MJRoberts67

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 23:15

For me it is all about Dieter Rencken's excellent articles, without them I wouldn't continue my subscription at all.

I'd love to see some more articles on the lower Formula's like F3 and F2 because to be honest I will probably be attending more of these races given F1's addiction to money, which will probably kill it off in the next 5 - 10 years.

Edited by MJRoberts67, 01 November 2011 - 23:15.


#30 slideways

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 02:09

I have taken issue with the recent Kubica/Ferrari story by Noble. Similar to last year when he used both the print magazine and the website to create the Webber to Ferrari rumour after he read the James Allen piece, now he's seen Joe Sawards recent Kubica/Ferrari ponderings and again created a rumour piece for Autosport out of it!

Really bad form and makes me wonder why, after already reading exactly the same 'story' for free on Sawards website, I should be paying for a rewritten version by Noble. There was no research, fact finding, interviews, quotes or anything. Just a couple of random archive pictures and a large dose of plagiarism. :down: