Reality bites in Formula 1


They’re saying we haven’t seen a financial crisis like this since 1929. Good news is thin on the ground, and it’s hardly surprising that life is getting tough in motor racing circles, too – even for the biggest makes and marques.

Motor Sport likes to be a distraction from reality most of the time, taking its readers into a world where either lap times or good times (and if possible both) are all that matter. But for the March issue, on sale now, we knew the economic meltdown was something we couldn’t and shouldn’t ignore. We have to face up to reality, too.

Joe Saward’s analysis of the state of Grand Prix racing as we head into 2009, plus excellent columns from Gordon Kirby and Andrew Frankel on the pain being felt in US racing and the road car industry as a whole, deliver a definitive account of the challenges facing the sport and business. The magazine also offers a damning verdict on the leadership of the sport, which appears to have been left with little to fall back on as the crisis has developed.

On a happier note, you’ll be pleased to hear that we haven’t forgotten to provide those welcome distractions along with all the heavy stuff! I guarantee Simon Taylor’s lunch with David Piper will bring a smile to your face, as will Eddie Cheever’s revenge on old mate Derek Warwick. You might remember Warwick’s brutally honest account of his relationship with Cheever in our team-mates feature last year. Well, Cheever read it and demanded to have his say!

Our cover features a couple of gorgeous Porsche 911s, from the past and the present, as British racer Sam Hancock traces the lineage from the RSR to a modern GT3 Cup car. You’ll see the cars close up on our stand, if you make the trip to the Autosport International show at the NEC from January 8-11.

Other highlights in the issue include Adam Sweeting’s fascinating piece on the challenge facing the BBC as it takes over the British broadcasting rights to F1 from ITV; an interview and insight into five-time World Rally Champion and Race of Champions winner Sebastien Loeb, the man who has a claim on the title of greatest all-rounder of the modern age; and a revealing interview with 1950s racer Leslie Marr, who is better known for his work as an artist than for his artistry behind the wheel.

Happy new year to you all, and here’s to a 2009 that will deliver better times than it currently promises…

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