In 1988 I started writing a column called “Globetrotter” in Autosport. At the time it was unusual in that it was basically a personal column about the things I did and the places I went in my life as a Formula 1 reporter. It was designed to take the readers into the inner sanctum of the sport – inside the gates – and let them know what it was like to be in Sao Paulo, or Adelaide, or wherever. This blog follows in that tradition.
Joe Saward’s Grand Prix Blog is not a traditional news source. The aim is to amuse and inform about the complex world of Formula 1 motor racing. Some do not understand what the word “blog” means. It is not a traditional new source but rather a personal website in which I record my opinions about the world of F1, or anything else I care to include. I am happy to allow people to air their opinions in comments as long as this is done in a respectful fashion. You must remember that you are, in effect, a guest in my house so being abusive and rude about me or others is not acceptable and such comments will be deleted and the author stopped from making further comments. A good rule of thumb when writing a comment is to question whether you would say such a thing to someone’s face…
I would appreciate if people do not post links as I am not an advertising service for other websites.
Many F1 websites are run by people who know nothing about the sport from the inside. They pretend to have inside information and would like to be involved, but in reality know little more than their readers. I am a professional motorsport journalist with 30 years of experience, the majority of which has been spent reporting on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. I have attended every Grand Prix since the middle of 1988 and I am fully accredited as an FIA Formula 1 Permanent Passholder.
My opinions are not based on the fact that I am British. I am relatively unusual in that I have lived in France for more than 20 years and I am married to a Frenchwoman. I am accredited to a Japanese publication and I work for publications all over the world. I occasionally write material for promotional publications and from time to time act as a consultant for companies involved in F1 – if I am asked to do so. The commentary, analysis and opinions expressed are not affected by these arrangements. If I consider there to be a conflict of interest I will stop any such activity. In the interests of full disclosure, I am a non-executive director of Caterham Cars Group Ltd. This is an advisory role in the company that oversees the road car business and I am not in any way involved in the operations or management of the F1 team. Industry consulting does not affect my views as a journalist, except perhaps to give me greater insight into the organisations or people involved. If you would like professional advice, please leave a comment, with suitable contact details.
My posts will not involve any discussion on religion. Politics may be touched upon when there are discussions about government funding of the sport or where races are held, but will otherwise be avoided. I will also refrain from reporting on the private lives of the F1 racing stars, unless it has a direct effect on their on-track performance. We are all entitled to privacy. Formula 1 drivers are not public servants, but – whether they like it or not – they are role models and thus inappropriate behaviour may be reported, particularly if it involves hypocrisy. If, for example, a driver is arrested on a drink-driving charge and has taken part in anti-drinking campaigns, this is a matter of public interest and will be reported.
I consider that all elected officials are public servants, even if they are members of an organisation such as the international automobile federation (FIA). If an individual claims to represent millions of motorists when they are trying to influence governments with their campaigns, they have a responsibility to behave in a manner that is appropriate to that position. When a public servant leaves home, they automatically don the hat of public office. What this office requires is that the public servant puts aside personal values and beliefs and attempts to act according to values and beliefs expected from someone in that position.
My blog will be used to promote products and events that I have created for F1 fans, notably the GP+ e-magazine, the Business of Motorsport e-newsletter and the “Audience with Joe” events which allow fans to ask questions and at the same time to meet other Formula 1 fans.