By Andrew Frankel, Editor

You will not be able to read this without noticing that we have redesigned the front end of the magazine. The reason for this is we wanted the news to reflect better the tone of the rest of the magazine. We thought, too, you might enjoy a more personal slant on the issues which matter most. It also provides us with an opportunity to take a well-aimed swipe at anyone who needlessly seeks to spoil our enjoyment of the sport. I hardly need to ask you to let me know what you think; you have never let me down in the past.

You will, I know, join me in welcoming Simon Taylor to the magazine. Though best known as one of last season's ITV Formula One commentating team, Simon has a truly remarkable knowledge of, and love for, Grand Prix racing of all eras. A journalist by trade, it would be hard to think of anyone better placed to put the modern sport in its proper perspective. Nor would it be easy to think of a person more committed to Motor Sport. Not content with merely a lifelong reader, it was Simon, in his day job as chairman of Haymarket Magazines, who bought Motor Sport at the end of 1996, thus enabling the rest of us to create the magazine you read today. Each month he will report on what's right and wrong with Grand Prix racing and what the drivers, owners and managers of today stand to learn from history.

This month a staff member of considerable longer standing will be celebrating his birthday. It's on February 22nd. While I am not usually inclined to devote space in the leading article of the magazine to such events, I think you'll agree when that member of staff is Bill Boddy and the birthday his 85th, an exception is called for. I have no idea whether WB will thank me for broadcasting this information across the planet but I could not let the great day pass without mention. Not only has Bill been contributing to Motor Sport man and boy for 70 years, but to this day he writes more for the magazine than anyone else. Long may it continue.

The ban news is that, as of next month, the cover price of Motor Sport is going up by 20p to £2.95 to bring the title in line with the competition. I'll spare you the usual publishing platitudes and, instead, tell you something of value. If you like what we do but wish to pay less, not more, for it, I would point you to page 22 where, in exchange for a year's subscription, Motor Sport will be delivered to your door for just £2.33 per issue.

My sincere thanks to all of you who sent in cheques for the THRUSTSSC team. You raised over £2000 and while I know Richard Noble wishes to thank personally as many of you as he can, I'm taking this chance to recognise your contribution, particularly as I might prick the conscience of those who nearly wrote the cheque last time around. You still can. Just make it out to 'SSC Programme Ltd', post it to us and we'll do the rest.