In 1988 Joe Saward 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 he did and the places he went in his 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. The blog is run by a professional motorsport journalist with 30 years of experience, the majority of which has been spent reporting on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Joe is not a stay-at-home commentator, attending all the races since the middle of 1988.
He is accredited as an FIA Formula 1 Permanent Passholder.
Joe’s opinions are not based on the fact that he is British. He has lived in France for 20 years, is married to a French lady, and is accredited by a Japanese publication.
Joe works for publications all over the world. He occasionally writes material for promotional publications and from time to time acts as a consultant for companies involved in F1 – if asked to do so. The commentary, analysis and opinions expressed are not affected by these arrangements. If Joe considers there to be a conflict of interest he will stop such an activity.
In the interests of full disclosure, Joe is a non-executive director of Caterham Cars Group Ltd. This is an advisory role in the company that oversees the road car business. Joe is not in any way involved in the operations or management of the F1 team. His involvement in the road car business will not influence his F1 reporting in any way.
Industry consulting does not affect Joe’s views as a journalist, except perhaps to give him greater insight into the organisations or people involved. If you would like professional advice from Joe, please leave a comment, with suitable contact details.
For the avoidance of all doubt, the word blog derives from the expression “web log”, which is a website maintained by an individual with regular entries on any subject the writer cares to discuss. It is not designed to be an objective news website. Thus one should expect there to be subjective opinions expressed. There are inevitably going to be people who consider that some of the posts are biased for or against a particular team and/or driver.
People are welcome to comment, but they should always remember that this is a privilege, not a right. Any posts that include unpleasant and abusive language will not be published. Joe has no problems with passionate comments and sensible debate, but remember that you are part of a diverse community and it is necessary to be respectful of others. Some of those posting are from the F1 community, and know what they are talking about.
One can be critical of statements, but try to avoid personal attacks; try to talk about the motorsport world, and skip obscenities, political rhetoric, and anything that might give offence. If you ignore these rules you will be banned. And your future posts will go straight into spam.
It is always best to include a proper email address with your comments as Joe can then contact you if there are things that need to be discussed outside the public domain.
Joe’s 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. Joe 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.
Joe considers elected officials to be 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.
Joe’s blog will be used to promote products and events that Joe has 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 Joe questions and at the same time to meet other Formula 1 fans.