I renewed my subscription to F1 Racing at the start of the year but soon after I started to wonder if I’d made the wrong decision.
Since its rival Motorsport left the Haymarket stable, started covering contemporary F1 again, and poached two of the stars from Haymarket’s weekly Autosport (Damien Smith and Nigel Roebuck), I’ve found at least as much in it I want to read as in F1 Racing.
F1 Racing is going through a period of transition having lost Matt Bishop, editor of the magazine for many years, who’s now doing PR for McLaren. Its glory days of the late ’90s, when it famously broke the story about McLaren’s trick braking system, now seem very long ago.
But I was starting to tire of F1 Racing long before Bishop left. When Michael Schumacher was dominating the sport in the early 2000s I got fed up with Peter Windsor’s sermons on how wonderful everything Schumacher did was, and why those who dared to suggest F1 should perhaps be entertaining as well as interesting were somehow not real fans of the sport.
Now I feel Windsor has put Lewis Hamilton on the pedestal vacated by Schumacher, and he seems to have it in for Fernando Alonso. I know others found Bishop’s haranguing of Ralf Schumacher distasteful.
My vague feelings of disliked crystallised when I read the season preview issue which included a two-page horoscopes spread. Please…
Meanwhile Motorsport is ticking all the right boxes for me. It’s got a heavy, quality feel, and lengthy articles you can really get your teeth into, by writers of the calibre of Roebuck (who I interviewed recently), Simon Taylor, Joe Saward, Simon Taylor and Gordon Kirby – to name just a few.
Their website is first-rate as well – it’s one of few magazines I can think of that have an effective online presence.
My only concern about jumping ship from one to the other is that Motorsport obviously does not have as much about F1 in it as I’d like. But then I think when did I last get anything out of F1 Racing that I didn’t read somewhere else first?
I’m sticking with my F1 Racing subscription for the time being – at the very least I want to give new editor Hans Seeberg a fair chance (even if, as Doctorvee points out, he’s come from one of those ‘porn for cowards’ weekly lads’ mags). But I bet I’ll find an excuse to pick up Motorsport most months.
Perhaps Motorsport’s getting better and F1 Racing’s getting worse. Or perhaps my tastes in magazines have changed. Do you buy either magazine regularly? What do you think of them?