Editor's Letter

Author

Joe Dunn

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

I am not a betting man, unless you count my annual fiver each way on the Grand National at Aintree (a better  course, in my opinion, when cars still competed on the far side of the rails), but I was tempted to dip a hand in my pocket last month ahead of the first grand prix of the season.

The Motor Sport office decided to create a sweepstake on which teams would be fastest after qualifying and – based on the reports we had read from testing in Barcelona and, of course, our inside knowledge and racing instinct. As editor it seemed unprofessional not to join in, so I dusted off my wallet and handed over the £2 entry fee.

We scribbled down our predictions. I won’t bore you with the intricacies, but I will reveal that everyone apart from our art editor, Damon Cogman, had Ferrari on pole. In reality, of course, Mercedes locked out the front row with Lewis Hamilton setting a record lap and team-mate Valtteri Bottas ultimately winning the race.

You can read a lot into this. That the Motor Sport team doesn’t know what it is on about. That we should all have paid more attention to testing. That you should never write off the Germans. But I prefer to ascribe it to our inner fan hoping against hope for  a bit of competition.

Just like last year we are all keen to see a competitive Ferrari challenge the Mercedes juggernaut – and it is amazing how logic and experience can crumple in the face of a dose of fervent hope. When we asked Damon why he opted for Mercedes, he said he was amazed that he was the only one to have done so.

It is a desire for competition that is fuelling the current round of talks between Liberty Media, the owner of F1, and the teams. The process started almost a year ago prior to the Bahrain GP,  when Liberty outlined new rules for 2021. These included guidelines on simplified engines in order to attract new entrants, a pivot towards placing a greater emphasis on driver skill as opposed to engineering technology and a simplified regulatory process. All fairly broad-brush aims.

The controversy – and the issue that will define the current round of negotiations – perhaps unsurprisingly revolved around money. In order to increase competition between teams, Liberty has committed to introducing a cost cap while maintaining F1’s position as the pinnacle of motor sport with state-of-the-art technology. The full details of how that will be achieved were being thrashed out in a meeting of the F1 Strategy Group as this magazine went to press. However, it seems likely that the budget cap will go ahead with a glide path of steadily reducing costs over the next four years, until in 2023 we reach a cap of about $135m.

Will this increase the competition on track and reduce the feeling that it is teams with the biggest budgets rather than biggest brains that win the day? That remains to be seen.

Perhaps by 2023, however, on-track competition will make office sweepstakes less of a one-way bet.

Perhaps our predictions would have been better had we paid more attention to the Motor Sport F1 Preview evening that was held early in March. More than 160 readers bagged tickets to hear our panel of experts comprising Damon Hill, Karun Chandhok and Mark Hughes, a trio hosted by the inimitable Simon Arron.

The event was held at London’s Institution of Engineering and Technology, which proved to be a fitting venue. And Mark in particular proved almost uncannily accurate with his line on the Mercedes drivers and the prospect of Bottas stepping up this season: “When everything is going well he is super quick. And when the car is a little unbalanced and Lewis is striving to get everything out of it, you quite often find Valtteri ahead.”   

But amid their insightful analysis, predictions and technical knowledge, the panel revealed themselves to be genuinely delighted to be among Motor Sport’s knowledgeable readers. Karun displayed an encyclopaedic level of knowledge about the sport (at one point acting as prompt for Damon about his performance in the 1993 Spanish GP, which the latter had forgotten). Damon meanwhile revealed a lethal line in self-deprecating wit.

The evening – as well as our recent track day at Goodwood – is part of our goal to offer our readers an increasing number of opportunities to meet the Motor Sport team.

We will, over the coming months, be organising more talks and events that will hopefully appeal to people with a passion for racing and informed discussion.

More than anything, we hope that giving readers an opportunity to become more involved with the magazine will help us ensure that our top-quality content continues to inform, surprise and delight you. Keep an eye out for details and we look forward to seeing you soon.


Joe Dunn, editor
Follow Joe on Twitter @joedunn90

You may also like

Related products