To address the wider question about obtrusive ads...
We need to make money from the site somehow, and the "yield" on regular display advertising has been falling for some time. Advertisers just aren't paying as much to run a banner ad on a thousand or a million pages as they were five years ago.
Publishers have a few different ways of addressing this. One route is to move away from high quality content; to replace research, expertise and journalism with clickbait. I hope that this is something we never have to do. I'm proud to tell people that I work for Autosport and I'd probably start looking for another job if that ever stopped being the case.
Another option is charging readers directly for access to content and for a better experience on the site. We've been doing this with various levels of success for about two decades (before the merger both Atlas and Autosport had a subscription model). And my colleagues on the magazine like to remind me that we've actually been doing it since 1950. You can sign up to Autosport Plus at any time and this includes an ad-free environment across all parts of the site including the forums.
The final way is to run different ad formats rather than just the regular banners and square ads. We've done this already with various options such as instream video ads in our news stories and wraparound "fireplace" or "skin" ads on the homepage and we're constantly looking to find the right balance between the ad formats which make money and the ad formats which annoy our readers too much. The current sticky banners we're trying out on the forums aren't as intrusive as some alternatives, especially with a close button which means that you can get rid of it entirely until you've finished reading everything on your current page and posting.
The quality of the adverts themselves (ie. which companies and creatives are appearing) should get better over time in the sense of getting more relevant. As the various ad exchanges get to know what sort of people use Autosport and they get to know individual users (assuming you're not blocking trackers, going incognito or opting out of cookies), I'd expect to see fewer adverts for women's clothing shops and more adverts for cars and sports memorabilia.