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#1 dizlexik

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 20:52

Hello! :wave:

I hope this is right section to raise my issue, I'm not frequent poster here. I would like to know why was this story removed from autosport.com? Was the source (Geoff McGrath?) quoted in article not credible or what? It's not that you can claim that it never existed. It was quite interesting article.

Credit to @F1Kate for screenshot of that story.

Edited by dizlexik, 31 January 2012 - 20:54.


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#2 adavidm

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 22:20

Hello! :wave:

I hope this is right section to raise my issue, I'm not frequent poster here. I would like to know why was this story removed from autosport.com? Was the source (Geoff McGrath?) quoted in article not credible or what? It's not that you can claim that it never existed. It was quite interesting article.

Credit to @F1Kate for screenshot of that story.


I agree, I think AutoSport have behaved very strangely here. The fact that the MP4/27 thread has been locked several times for 'cleanup' suggests that AS staff are well aware that their readership is concerned at events but they have not seen fit to explain themselves which is troubling.

adavidm

#3 Gilles4Ever

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:21

Just to clear something up, the admins and moderators of the forum are not employed by Autosport and have nothing to do with any aspect of Autosport outside the forum.

#4 adavidm

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:46

Just to clear something up, the admins and moderators of the forum are not employed by Autosport and have nothing to do with any aspect of Autosport outside the forum.


Understood, and i know that the moderator's job is a thankless one. Since the Autosport brand is associated with the forums, however, it would have been helpful to receive an official clarification, if only to stop the threads clogging up with conspiracy theories and nonsense.

#5 dizlexik

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:13

Just to clear something up, the admins and moderators of the forum are not employed by Autosport and have nothing to do with any aspect of Autosport outside the forum.

I don't understand why do you say that. I don't know who is supposed to answer my question, but this section is about autosport.com website? Isn't it?

Forum for technical support, feedback and questions about the autosport.com website. Suggestions and constructive criticisms are welcome as well.



#6 Gilles4Ever

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:53

I was merely pointing out that any disruption of the forum wrt. closing and cleaning up threads would have nothing to do with Autosport staff but would be the admins or mods dealing with problem posts that needed to be edited or removed.

This is the correct forum for your questions regarding the article.



#7 dizlexik

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 14:23

Thank you Gilles4Ever.

#8 primer

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 14:29

Have some posts discussing this particular story also been deleted?

#9 stairpotato

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 14:35

Have some posts discussing this particular story also been deleted?


I understand that they were, because they were in the "wrong place"

.....this is the "right place" to discuss it.......

.....where it's likely that less people will notice it, and it can be conveniently forgotten about.

#10 primer

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 15:06

Again, unsure which forum is "right place" and which posts will get deleted, so I'm replying here, too:

Indeed. But are you telling me that you do not believe that the other teams do it too?


When has another team forced / 'convinced' Autosport to remove an article after publication?

Before publication, yes, all teams try to present material that is best for their image. PR and selective truths. Maybe even lies. A lot of the off-the-record comments do not find their way to the articles, we understand and accept this.

But extending control to content after publication is a new one, and you seem very motivated to trivialize this. I don't think you or any of the mods are paid to do the thankless janitorial work for the community, so please do not disgrace yourself by becoming such sycophants for Autosport.

#11 babbel

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 15:16

I think this is as good as it's going to get: Tweet from Jonathan Noble

#12 P123

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 17:39

I think this is as good as it's going to get: Tweet from Jonathan Noble


Very strange. Perhaps the author of the delted article, Andrew Purcell, could shed some light on it, although I haven't been able to find any other articles penned by him in the Archive section of the site...

#13 panzani

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 18:17

Just to clear something up, the admins and moderators of the forum are not employed by Autosport and have nothing to do with any aspect of Autosport outside the forum.

And are chosen by whom? O, wait, autosport staff! Perhaps? Am I wrong? Does other site owner chose them, Fehahi4Ever? :confused:

#14 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 18:20

No the BB is pretty neutral, the main moderators are from the bira/Atlas F1 era and the 'new guys' are a continuation of the Reign of Pascal.

#15 ForeverF1

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 18:23

And are chosen by whom? O, wait, autosport staff! Perhaps? Am I wrong? Does other site owner chose them, Fehahi4Ever? :confused:


No, you are completely off the mark here. :lol:

#16 dizlexik

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 18:34

Very strange. Perhaps the author of the delted article, Andrew Purcell, could shed some light on it, although I haven't been able to find any other articles penned by him in the Archive section of the site...

I think that author never existed. It's quite interesting. On other forums (pf1) someone (540i) collected Autosport journalist Pablo Elizalde (@EliGP) tweets (some are in Spanish) about that and EliGP suggested that the only resource for many sites is Ctrl+c and Autosport. Those sites that copied that story didn't remove it and are mad about it. There was no hacking involved.

It seems that it was intended to catch and maybe embarrass sites that copy/paste Autosport articles without even checking them. :rotfl:

Edited by dizlexik, 01 February 2012 - 18:41.


#17 Risil

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 18:45

I like this theory. :lol:

#18 stairpotato

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 21:51

This implies a level of planning/thinking that I'm not convinced Autosport are capable of.

Sadly, using Occam's Razor I think the likeliest explanation is a failure of Autosport journalistic/editorial standards, which seem to have been progressively slipping. Today they even claimed that Plato/Chevrolet won the BTCC in 2011...

Edit:

And it's still there http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/97258 third paragraph.

Edited by stairpotato, 01 February 2012 - 21:55.


#19 Eli

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 22:46

I think that author never existed. It's quite interesting. On other forums (pf1) someone (540i) collected Autosport journalist Pablo Elizalde (@EliGP) tweets (some are in Spanish) about that and EliGP suggested that the only resource for many sites is Ctrl+c and Autosport. Those sites that copied that story didn't remove it and are mad about it. There was no hacking involved.

It seems that it was intended to catch and maybe embarrass sites that copy/paste Autosport articles without even checking them. :rotfl:


I like that theory too, and would definitely love to try it often... But no, that's not the case. And my tweet was in English, by the way.

As far as I know, you should go with what babbel said.

But the gratuitous digs that have nothing to do with this subject - like that from Mr. Potato here - are always welcome, of course. Pretty sure next I will be criticised for not recycling.

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#20 dizlexik

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 01:14

I like that theory too, and would definitely love to try it often... But no, that's not the case. And my tweet was in English, by the way.

As far as I know, you should go with what babbel said.

But the gratuitous digs that have nothing to do with this subject - like that from Mr. Potato here - are always welcome, of course. Pretty sure next I will be criticised for not recycling.

I'm glad you liked it.

I was referring to more than one tweet, but indeed the most important were in English. Thanks for explanation anyway. It means that I still know nothing :cat:

#21 stairpotato

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:07

But the gratuitous digs that have nothing to do with this subject - like that from Mr. Potato here - are always welcome, of course. Pretty sure next I will be criticised for not recycling.


On reflection, a little harsh? Yes. Gratuitous? No.

If the missing news story wasn't designed to catch out the ctrl+c brigade (not that I thought that was likely) there are only two plausible explanations that I can fathon:

1 - The story was incorrect and should never have been posted online
2 - The story was correct but Autosport pulled it after pressure from McLaren

Frankly I'm not really bothered which of these it was - but it would have been really nice if someone at Autosport had recognised that if you want to be seen as an authoritative resource then the occasional mea culpa doesn't do any harm. Do you really want your readers questioning whether or not what they are reading is true, and accurately sourced, and (this is the critical bit) whether they need to go back through previous stories to see if they've been pulled to work out whether or not they should believe it?



#22 Racer Joe

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:34

But the gratuitous digs that have nothing to do with this subject - like that from Mr. Potato here - are always welcome, of course. Pretty sure next I will be criticised for not recycling.


An altogether immature and rather petulant response I would say.

You may or may not choose to respond to criticisms but in this case there is genuine grounds for concern about journalistic/editorial standards. Even if there isn't that response is hardly above those making gratuitous and unmerited digs and hence just a case of the kettle calling the pot black.

Edited by Racer Joe, 02 February 2012 - 04:36.


#23 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 06:58

I like that theory too, and would definitely love to try it often... But no, that's not the case. And my tweet was in English, by the way.

As far as I know, you should go with what babbel said.

But the gratuitous digs that have nothing to do with this subject - like that from Mr. Potato here - are always welcome, of course. Pretty sure next I will be criticised for not recycling.


I think the point this thread is trying to make, is that a story was posted on the front page, read by many and now it is as if it never happened. I am certain that there are many different standards as to how a media handle published material, but my understanding would be that were a story pulled then some sort of disclaimer, explanation, enlightenment would be posted / printed as well.

This thread is sort of looking for.

"...was deleted as it turned out the be 'the explanation'..."

And frankly the only truly gratuitous dig I see here, is your post.

:cool:


#24 Eli

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 07:21

This thread is sort of looking for.

"...was deleted as it turned out the be 'the explanation'..."


Yes, I understand that. Then it gets out of hand and people start criticising anything else because of this. That's how it goes all the time here.

#25 Desdirodeabike

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:56

Yes, I understand that. Then it gets out of hand and people start criticising anything else because of this. That's how it goes all the time here.

Its true. It would only spark a new fire. Autosport is in a catch 22 situation with this. Best for them to leave it be.

For me its pretty obvious what happened due to the content of the article. McLaren wanted it pulled. That lines up with Nobles tweet. Im sure McGrath said those things. And with good intentions. But it came across a bit too pro-Vettel and made the McLaren drivers seem inferior to him. That is bad PR and could also possibly sidetrack the attention of the big launch of the -27. Autosport then naturally obliged to the McLaren request as they still want to keep their good relations with Woking and keep the info flowing in the future as well.

Thats my take anyway.

#26 Jackman

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:13

But the gratuitous digs that have nothing to do with this subject - like that from Mr. Potato here - are always welcome, of course. Pretty sure next I will be criticised for not recycling.

You don't recycle?!!? You motorsport types will destroy the world!!

#27 as65p

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:14

Its true. It would only spark a new fire. Autosport is in a catch 22 situation with this. Best for them to leave it be.

For me its pretty obvious what happened due to the content of the article. McLaren wanted it pulled. That lines up with Nobles tweet. Im sure McGrath said those things. And with good intentions. But it came across a bit too pro-Vettel and made the McLaren drivers seem inferior to him. That is bad PR and could also possibly sidetrack the attention of the big launch of the -27. Autosport then naturally obliged to the McLaren request as they still want to keep their good relations with Woking and keep the info flowing in the future as well.

Thats my take anyway.


Pretty much what I think too. The idea that they just wanted to see who copies their stuff with a fake story is hilarious, they used real names for that? :p If it were true I were McGrath, I'd sue their ass!

Also if they were hacked, or if the author had made the story up, it would have been easy to say so. From Autosports side that all would only classify as small mistakes, nothing to be ashamed of. Which brings up to the most likely reason for the silence, quite likely a truthful explanation would be somewhat shameful, in any case (by the editors judgement) more than silence.

#28 ali.unal

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:31

James Allen:

"There have been no denials about this quote – unlike a recent quote from a McLaren Applied Technologies boss which appeared to heap praise on Sebastian Vettel over the McLaren duo, which was denied by the team."

http://www.jamesalle...ter-from-sutil/

Anyone saw/read this official denial?

Edited by ali.unal, 02 February 2012 - 09:32.


#29 Lazy

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:40

Pretty much what I think too. The idea that they just wanted to see who copies their stuff with a fake story is hilarious, they used real names for that? :p If it were true I were McGrath, I'd sue their ass!

Also if they were hacked, or if the author had made the story up, it would have been easy to say so. From Autosports side that all would only classify as small mistakes, nothing to be ashamed of. Which brings up to the most likely reason for the silence, quite likely a truthful explanation would be somewhat shameful, in any case (by the editors judgement) more than silence.


The story was so obviously bullshit though and from a non existent reporter (google him) your explanation is no less likely than theirs. Vettel 1/2 a sec faster than Hamilton? Consistently in a slower car? Come on, just because you would like it to be true.

#30 as65p

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:43

James Allen:

"There have been no denials about this quote – unlike a recent quote from a McLaren Applied Technologies boss which appeared to heap praise on Sebastian Vettel over the McLaren duo, which was denied by the team."

http://www.jamesalle...ter-from-sutil/

Anyone saw/read this official denial?


If there was an official denial, it would be out there by definition, wouldn't it? For some strange reason McLaren and also Autosport to a degree seem to think it best to sit this out in silence, or deal with it inside their closed circles. Of course all that will do is fan the conspiracy theories.

#31 as65p

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:44

The story was so obviously bullshit though and from a non existent reporter (google him) your explanation is no less likely than theirs. Vettel 1/2 a sec faster than Hamilton? Consistently in a slower car? Come on, just because you would like it to be true.


What is "their" explanation? I wish there was one.

#32 Lazy

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:47

What is "their" explanation? I wish there was one.


Pretty much what I think too. The idea that they just wanted to see who copies their stuff with a fake story is hilarious, they used real names for that? :p If it were true I were McGrath, I'd sue their ass!

Also if they were hacked, or if the author had made the story up, it would have been easy to say so. From Autosports side that all would only classify as small mistakes, nothing to be ashamed of. Which brings up to the most likely reason for the silence, quite likely a truthful explanation would be somewhat shameful, in any case (by the editors judgement) more than silence.



#33 as65p

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:52

Im honoured you seem to believe my speculations classify as official statements from McLaren, Autosport or both. :lol:

Not so, I'm afraid.

#34 ali.unal

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:57

If there was an official denial, it would be out there by definition, wouldn't it? For some strange reason McLaren and also Autosport to a degree seem to think it best to sit this out in silence, or deal with it inside their closed circles. Of course all that will do is fan the conspiracy theories.

That made me think that this strory is true. Otherwise, McLaren would have been very quick to deny this as they had done a few days ago with a quicker-than-quick denial about speculation on PURE engines. The way McLaren and Autosport handled this incident creates more confusion and covering up. That's the last thing you may want to do in a heavily digitilized and connected world. That is poor PR.

#35 as65p

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:03

That made me think that this strory is true. Otherwise, McLaren would have been very quick to deny this as they had done a few days ago with a quicker-than-quick denial about speculation on PURE engines. The way McLaren and Autosport handled this incident creates more confusion and covering up. That's the last thing you may want to do in a heavily digitilized and connected world. That is poor PR.


Exactly.

Also it should be separated if a) the story / interview happened at all and was reflected truthfully by the article and b) how people judge the words of McGrath from that interview. That are independent issues. Obviously if the answer is "No" to a), b) becomes completely irrelevant.

#36 Gfhuus

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:23

Its true. It would only spark a new fire. Autosport is in a catch 22 situation with this. Best for them to leave it be.


Well maybe the fire would be sparked because somebody actually deserves the criticism. Article was published and then pulled without explanation. Sweeping the thing under a rug and then claiming its the best solution because customers will be annoyed anyway is simply unprofessional. It's only because of their own decisions that they are in the catch 22 situation anyway.

#37 Vitesse2

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:24

If there was an official denial ...

"I never believe anything until it has been officially denied." (Otto von Bismarck) See also Jim Hacker's First Law of Politics :cat:

#38 TheBunk

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:38

At least the other teams know bad pr-articles can be pulled after publication now. If only Ferrari knew that when Roebuck slaughtered Todt/Schumacher week in and week out, or Mercedes last year.

#39 as65p

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 13:28

"I never believe anything until it has been officially denied." (Otto von Bismarck) See also Jim Hacker's First Law of Politics :cat:


He-he, our trusty Reichskanzler. Very clever chap, quite the opposite of his emperor.

Shame he didn't advise how to handle silence over an issue...  ;)

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#40 ali.unal

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 13:36

"I never believe anything until it has been officially denied." (Otto von Bismarck) See also Jim Hacker's First Law of Politics :cat:

Some quote. :lol:

#41 Slartibartfast

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 15:32

That made me think that this strory is true. Otherwise, McLaren would have been very quick to deny this as they had done a few days ago with a quicker-than-quick denial about speculation on PURE engines. The way McLaren and Autosport handled this incident creates more confusion and covering up. That's the last thing you may want to do in a heavily digitilized and connected world. That is poor PR.

On the PURE issue, McLaren were denying "rumours", not direct quotes from their own staff. The McLaren denial may even have been a response to a question from a journalist rather than an unprompted press release. As for "quicker-than-quick", the Autosport article says

The Woking-based team has been the subject of rumours for months that it could opt to change engine partners when Formula 1 switches to V6-turbo power-units from 2014.

Although the team said last November that it was fully focused on ensuring future success with Mercedes-Benz, amid rumours linking it with Honda at the time, that has not stopped a number of reports in recent days suggesting that Pure is now being considered.

Autosport's pulled article, on the other hand, had direct quotes from a McLaren member of staff (a senior one, at that). If the article is true, or at least the quotes are genuine, then Autosport are on firm ground and have little to worry about by publishing. If the article is untrue, or the quotes are fake, then Autosport are on very dodgy ground, and simply publishing a correction may be inadequate.

I can think of several possibilities:

1. The article was materially false, either by accident or design.
2. The article was written using embargoed material and was published too early.
3. The article used quotes and/or an interview that hadn't been authorised or supervised by McLaren's PR and pressure was applied by them to have it removed.
4. McLaren realised with hindsight that the article did not make good PR and they pressured Autosport into removing it.

To me, the fourth option is the least likely, and the third is not a lot better.

Too many people know about the article, despite the brevity of it's existence, for Autosport to pretend it never happened. I think they would be wise to publish some form of explanation. Secrecy and journalism make unhappy bedfellows.

#42 bourbon

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 15:35

Its true. It would only spark a new fire. Autosport is in a catch 22 situation with this. Best for them to leave it be.

For me its pretty obvious what happened due to the content of the article. McLaren wanted it pulled. That lines up with Nobles tweet. Im sure McGrath said those things. And with good intentions. But it came across a bit too pro-Vettel and made the McLaren drivers seem inferior to him. That is bad PR and could also possibly sidetrack the attention of the big launch of the -27. Autosport then naturally obliged to the McLaren request as they still want to keep their good relations with Woking and keep the info flowing in the future as well.

Thats my take anyway.


Yes this is how I see it as well. Unlike some, I couldn't care less what it might infer about the Macca drivers or how it might look for Autosport. What I thought was, finally we got a sensible statement from McLaren, because quite frankly. last season they sounded childish and inane with all that 'magic button' nonsense. It is obvious that Vettel is quite the stellar qualifier and it is actually refreshing to hear someone from Macca not being disingenuous about it.

Edited by bourbon, 03 February 2012 - 22:30.


#43 Risil

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 16:00

I can think of several possibilities:

1. The article was materially false, either by accident or design.
2. The article was written using embargoed material and was published too early.
3. The article used quotes and/or an interview that hadn't been authorised or supervised by McLaren's PR and pressure was applied by them to have it removed.
4. McLaren realised with hindsight that the article did not make good PR and they pressured Autosport into removing it.

To me, the fourth option is the least likely, and the third is not a lot better.

Too many people know about the article, despite the brevity of it's existence, for Autosport to pretend it never happened. I think they would be wise to publish some form of explanation. Secrecy and journalism make unhappy bedfellows.


:up: :up:

3 doesn't seem too unlikely though. Given that the source of the quotes came from an area of Mclaren separate to the racing operation, and sound like they might've been off-the-record offcuts from a journalist who has written about Mclaren before from a non-sporting perspective, I can imagine this one might've slipped through as a new-car-launch scoop.

I remember Autosport running a very full and contrite apology and explanation over the "Mclaren-banned-for-two-years" story in 2007. This is a substantially different case, but for me the way Bira went back and explained how it had got out and admitted that it was a Schumacher-esque mistake under extreme pressure made up for it. Probably increased my respect for the website.

#44 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 22:40

Where would Matt Bishop likely sit in this quagmire being McLarens pr/press guy? Id guess he'd be the person telling autosport to remove it but being a former ASer would he have provided 'Marc Purcell' the info in the first place?

#45 TheBunk

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 00:14

I can think of several possibilities:

1. The article was materially false, either by accident or design.
2. The article was written using embargoed material and was published too early.

Too many people know about the article, despite the brevity of it's existence, for Autosport to pretend it never happened. I think they would be wise to publish some form of explanation. Secrecy and journalism make unhappy bedfellows.


With your other alternatives dismissed, this would lean towards you thinking Autosport having made a mistake? How do you rhyme that with Nobles tweet it was pulled on request and no further comment?

This, on top of the other surfacing news rumours that protests are indeed underway for the cars unveiled until now, it seems that McGrath wasnt very wide off the mark.


Yes this is how I see it as well. Unlike some, I couldn't care less what it might infer about the Macca drivers or how it might look for Autosport. What I thought was, finally we got a sensible statement from McLaren, because quite frankly. last season they sounded childish and inane with all that 'magic button' nonsense. It is obvious that Vettel is quite the stellar qualifier and it is actually refreshing to hear someone from Macca not being disingenuous about it.


Yup, I totally agree. I dont think it was a vote of no confidence in the Mclaren drivers per se either, just that the entire team sometimes couldnt get the best out of the car on the moments it mattered the most. Besides, how many times have other teams/drivers not said how fantastic the Mclaren duo is? If this was the reason they requested to pull it, I find it very childish indeed, done in a drive from a superiority complex.

But, again, if both parties stay silent, well never know. At least its good we are allowed to talk about it on the Autosport Forums.

#46 TheBunk

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 00:18

Where would Matt Bishop likely sit in this quagmire being McLarens pr/press guy? Id guess he'd be the person telling autosport to remove it but being a former ASer would he have provided 'Marc Purcell' the info in the first place?


Ah, Matt Bishop. Him writing about how he had lunch with Ron Dennis Seems so long ago.

I think a day before the launch he was probably very busy and perhaps didnt notice it in time. I also dont think he works alone there? Perhaps it just slipped.

#47 Racer Joe

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 05:00

Ah, Matt Bishop. Him writing about how he had lunch with Ron Dennis Seems so long ago.

I think a day before the launch he was probably very busy and perhaps didnt notice it in time. I also dont think he works alone there? Perhaps it just slipped.


I wouldn't expect a Head of Communications and Public Relations to be scanning online content produced by another organisation him/herself. Surely they have minions do all that stuff?

#48 ali.unal

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 07:06

I can think of several possibilities:

1. The article was materially false, either by accident or design.
2. The article was written using embargoed material and was published too early.
3. The article used quotes and/or an interview that hadn't been authorised or supervised by McLaren's PR and pressure was applied by them to have it removed.
4. McLaren realised with hindsight that the article did not make good PR and they pressured Autosport into removing it.

To me, the fourth option is the least likely, and the third is not a lot better.

But we have a direct message from one of the Autosport corresponders in the name of Noble that someone had asked to remove it.

So, third and fourth options, as you put them, are the most likely ones now that we know there was a request (I'm pretty sure it came from McLaren).

#49 stairpotato

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 08:55

But we have a direct message from one of the Autosport corresponders in the name of Noble that someone had asked to remove it.

So, third and fourth options, as you put them, are the most likely ones now that we know there was a request (I'm pretty sure it came from McLaren).


Actually it could have been requested to be removed because it was materially wrong... so that leaves other options open.

In any event - it's clear we're not going to get any kind of meaningful response from Autosport on this - and that they're not that interested in responding to what this incident says about current journalistic/editorial standards either.

#50 Gilles4Ever

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:02

Actually it could have been requested to be removed because it was materially wrong... so that leaves other options open.

In any event - it's clear we're not going to get any kind of meaningful response from Autosport on this - and that they're not that interested in responding to what this incident says about current journalistic/editorial standards either.

Surely if it were materially wrong or the story was in any way false Autosport would not only have been requested to remove the article but also publish an apology and explanation?
As there has been no apology or clarification in any way I think it is safe to say there was nothing materially wrong with the article and the only reason it was removed is that it caused embarresment to someone.