Where to next for our sport?

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Current page

181

Current page

182

Current page

183

Current page

184

Current page

185

Current page

186

Current page

187

Current page

188

Current page

189

Current page

190

Current page

191

Current page

192

Current page

193

Current page

194

Current page

195

Current page

196

We reflect upon the end of another season of Grand Prix racing, and the crowning of a new British World Champion, in this, our 1001st issue. But as usual we’re not content with looking back. Motor sport is facing up to an uncomfortable reality, and in the context of a disturbing global recession, change on an unprecedented scale looks sure to be the result.

Racing, of course, always develops and Formula 1 has a wealth of talented young superstars to keep the flame burning. Happily, we can safely predict Lewis Hamilton isn’t about to dominate Grand Prix racing in a Schumacher style. There’s too much competition for that. And the racing might – just might – be better than we’ve seen for years. As I write, the new generation of F1 cars are hitting the track for the first time in anger (below), featuring ‘cleaner’ aerodynamics and the return of slick tyres. They ain’t pretty (then again, they haven’t been for at least 15 years), but if the right balance of mechanical grip over aero downforce has been achieved, overtaking might no longer be restricted to the brave do-or-die moves Hamilton has specialised in during his first, incredible 35 GPs. Here’s hoping.

Off-track, the GP teams have publicly questioned the management of F1 – at last. They want a bigger share of revenues after discovering just how much interest is being paid by CVC Capital to service the billions of debt it heaped on the sport when it bought F1 two years ago… Read that back to yourself. Something’s wrong there, surely.

Meanwhile, the FIA is hustling the teams to agree on ways to slash costs. It’s usually tiresome when the governing body ‘nannys’ car manufacturers over how much they spend, but given the perilous state we’re all in, one cannot deny action is needed. F1’s excesses have echoes of the last days of Rome, and it is far from impervious to the fast-approaching recession. But standard engines? We’ll end up with IRL Grand Prix racing at this rate. Perhaps the FIA wants to drive out the big manufacturers once and for all…

Television remains central to F1, and not just as a means of making money. For the British public, the BBC is back, so it’s goodbye to those pesky ad breaks. But will the Beeb be allowed to make the most of its deal? The potential to deliver more across the mediums of television, web and radio are massive. As ITV discovered, a certain Mr Ecclestone stands in the way. The basic circuit feed is light years behind NASCAR, but that was all ITV had to work with. And the same will be the case for the BBC unless Ecclestone opens the way for innovation. But will he do so or will he continue to be obstructive to TV companies? At times his control seems to throttle the sport he has built. And he rules F1 without even owning it any more!

These are vital times for motor racing. Hold tight for a rocky ride.

As Richard Noble says in this issue, motor racing is governed by formulas to control speed. Such restrictions have no place in the quest for the Land Speed Record. Technical brilliance is the only control required for brute force over the measured mile. That the aim of the BloodhoundSSC project is to encourage the next generation of engineers as much as blitzing an almost unthinkable 1000mph ensures the primal chase for speed still has a place in this ever more restrictive world. We’ll be tracking the Bloodhound on your behalf, all the way to the record.

Damien Smith, Editor