By Tim Smith
Remember that time, long ago when the motoring press in this country was interesting? Remember when journalists got into trouble and advertising was pulled because of cutting stories? Remember when the magazine covers used to make bold statements, when they didn’t all look the same?
No? Don’t worry it was ages ago. You can all be happy that *most* of the motoring press is safely written by ex-public school boys who all know each other and have cosy relationships with those who represent the ‘brands’. Hell, you can even rest easy that most of the copy is being written by people who’ve never read anything other than the Telegraph or Car magazine.
Sadly, it seems to me, there are a few exceptions to this general rule. Sometimes, though, just sometimes, I’m surprised by something and Motor Sport magazine have done just that.
Just look at this cover:
Now, it is somewhat of a cliche to use a Che Guevara look to describe a revolution, but it still hits hard. You see this image and you think about totalitarianism. You think about the good fight. *This* is a cover.
So let’s move onto the story itself. I’m gonna lift some points from the press release, but they do go someway to help explain what I’m saying here.
Mark Hughes, Grand Prix editor at Motor Sport is calling for an all out revolution. We’re not just talking about a regs changes here, we’re talking,
- ‘Restructuring of the sport’s finances to give F1 teams more return combined with the Introduction of a budget cap. This would make F1 teams less beholden to demands from commercial partners thus removing the need for technical sterilisation of the sport and pay drivers
- Opening out the technical regulations to allow for greater competitive volatility
- A reduced 15-round F1 calendar with grands prix only staged in countries with strong F1 fan base
- Reducing fees charged to circuit promoters staging grands prix, thus reducing ticket prices
- The re-introduction of a tyre war to generate more unpredictability
- The end of codified driver penalties to encourage real racing
- The removal of all pits-to-driver communications
- Banning team PRs from circuits to encourage freedom of speech and personalities to flourish
- Capped costs feeder formulae with chassis engineering freedom’
Wow. Can you imagine all of that actually happening? This is balls out journalism. This is why I *used* to get excited when the new issue of Car would come into the local newsagent. You know, back in the 80’s and early 90’s.
Here’s another bold statement,
‘The sport should be owned by the participants, not a third party that essentially rapes it’.
Correct, my good man. Not something that will win you any friends, either. But then, journalism, I mean proper journalism, not recycled PR (one reason I’m specific about labeling my posts as such), is not always going to be popular with that lot, up there.
Mark Hughes, I salute you.