F12009: Who I Will Be Reading This Year

F12009: Who I Will Be Reading This Year

The online world of Formula One has grown considerably in the past couple of years, with new sites springing up all the time. Inevitably, some are better than others and I thought I would take a quick look at the sites I will be reading during the 2009 season. Some focus primarily on one element of the sport, while others take a broader view and include all aspects. Some are humorous, others are strictly serious. Some have been around for what seems like forever, while others are considered the new kids on the block.

Grandprix.com (RSS) – Grandprix.com broke a few important stories over the winter and with its no-nonsense approach, my respect for Joe Saward and his team has grown. The site is a wealth of information behind the frontpage of current events, and while some articles are blunt and to the point, the facts contained are always spot on and reliable.

It’s also worth pointing out that Joe Saward has a more personal site as well. Joe’s Grand Prix Blog (RSS) contains some more background to the thoughts of the man, his experience of following Formula One around the world and is a little more opinionated than the mainstream Grandprix.com.

La Canta Magnifico – La Canta who now? Alianora is regular commenter around the F1-blogosphere, and her knowledge of the rule book would leave even Max Mosley open-mouthed and in shock. Alia’s site really is the only way to keep up with the engine and gearbox usage during the season and is an indispensable service.

F1 Insight (RSS) – Clive Allen’s insights make for excellent reading. Not only a great writer, Clive has followed Formula One for many more years than I have, and the knowledge contained within his head is simply immense. Clive doesn’t post 24/7/365, but that just means that when a post does go up, it has been carefully nurtured and published with passion.

Sidepodcast (RSS) – I’m occasionally on their shows, doing impressions of Jeremy Clarkson (poorly) or stalling for time while I think of something knowledgeable-sounding to say. But on a slightly more serious note though, Sidepodcast have become the masters of managing a huge community of F1 followers, and the conversation held at Sidepodcast is both informal and insightful. More of a podcast than a blog (although the written posts are very good), I can listen to Sidepodcast while I’m doing other things as well. Like, hum, writing this post!

James Allen On F1 (RSS) – James Allen has shown us an interesting view of Formula One since starting a blog. Like with Joe Saward’s blog, comments are open on Allen’s site and already the author has quite a following. James’s articles take the reader into the sport, and the experience of Allen comes through. Still on the inside of the sport, James will speak when others may seem hesitant.

Sniff Petrol (RSS) – In a sport as serious as Formula One, where few people actually laugh in public, it is always refreshing to take a light-hearted view of motor racing. Sniff Petrol covers all bases. I just wish I could get my fix on a more regular basis.

vee8 (RSS) – All the best stories of the day summed up in a short link dump. If you’re busy and don’t have time to go hunting around for the day’s events via a slew of different sites, vee8 is the place for you.

Autosport (RSS) – As much as the site design annoys the living daylights out of me, Autosport continue to break the big stories and get important quotes from those all-important people.

The Red Bullog (RSS) – Dank’s blog is centred around the Red Bull Racing team. While I don’t often read sites that solely concern themselves with just one team or driver, the quality of writing on The Red Bullog is great. Dank also covers some stories that fail see any light on the more mainstream sites as well, making it a useful resource for everything Red Bull.

BBC Motorsport (RSS) – I’m yet to make a firm decision on the newly revamped BBC Motorsport site, but I will be reading for the first few races of the year at minimum. I never really read the site in the past, perhaps mostly due to the lackadaisical approach to the promptness of posting. Already this has improved though and undoubtedly the site (and/or iPlayer) will become useful for the live feed. Although I must add, the URL isn’t exactly memorable…

NY Times F1 (RSS) – Brad Spurgeon is a longtime Formula One fan and writes for the New York Times F1 Blog. Up until very recently, the site was hosted at IHT, and all the time I have read Brad his writing has been insightful and interesting. Brad takes time to explain things very clearly, so I would recommend NYT F1 to any new fan.

For writing articles for BlogF1, Reuters (RSS) are important as they are a no-nonsense news agency that report the facts and little else. Although there perhaps isn’t much to the site, what you do get is accurate information. I’ll also undoubtedly read more blogs than listed just to gather feeling and insight into the views of events as they happen.

So that just leaves me to ask: Who will you be reading during the 2009 season?


  • To make things a little easier to remember, http://www.bbc.co.uk/f1 also seems to take you to their F1 pages – a lot easier to remember!!

    As you say, I rarely read much on their site before but am hopeful that this year they may manage to turn that round so they are indespensible.

  • Thanks for the mention Dank. Although I would say that Fl Badger is definitely worth keeping an eye on…there’s no maybe about it!

    (I would say that since I write for it)

    Oh and for the record, it’s not just an ‘irreverent’ take on F1…it’s a serious f1 site that doesn’t take itself too seriously…with the occasional irreverent feature. There’s more in the pipeline too

    …plug over

  • Ollie arises after hitting the sack at 6.30 this morning to a deluge of comments… πŸ™‚

    @me: Good call on Renault’s site – the only team to really push the fan interaction thing.

    @Keith: I read your posts on historical/personal events. But less so for the news-type posts. For example, I loved the recent Five Things That Made Me An F1 Fan post. In fact, I really loved that post. But recently F1F has leaned more towards news than content like I’ve just mentioned.

    If you look at the other private blogs I listed, they all have an original feature that appeals to me. I’ve lost that with F1F, but it doesn’t mean it is bad, just less-appealing to one person. Although I have noted the news-type posts have recently reduced and the analytical/personal content of old is back in force.

    I may not read as much, but I am still subscribed and keep an eye on what is happening. I don’t wish to offend (although I think I may inadvertantly have) especially as BlogF1 lacks any defining quality (other than the commenters) that I myself can see, so like I should be talking. πŸ™‚

    @KF YORK & Alia: I chose not to post La Canta Magnifica’s feed because as a user of it myself, I find it unreliable. I didn’t want to to pass this in to any new readers, who may get annoyed by it and have an opposite reaction to Alia’s site than I intended. I’ll double-check the feeds you’ve given me later today and see if they are different and/or work better. If so, I’ll happily amend the post.

    @Dank: Of course, I found F1 Badger earlier this year – it was a good find. (And when I say ‘find’, I think Adam commented on this site and I clicked through.)

    @Craig: Jim’ll fix it for yer. πŸ˜€ And thanks for the tip. When I was writing this post, I obviously just copied the URL over, and for such a mainstream site, I was shocked at the URL. That one is much easier to remember though.

    @Clive: No problem, Clive. And hehehe. πŸ™‚

    @Adam: More in the pipeline, sounds interesting…

  • Just remembered a couple other sites:

    Brits On Pole (RSS): Obviously centered around the British drivers in various formulae and the UK’s general participation in motor sports.

    Pitlane Fanatic (RSS): A relatively new, but popular forum site. But don’t be mislead by the word ‘forum’, as Pitlane Fanatic contains longer articles as well, ranging from testing threads to historical pieces that take you back to a time long gone. Pitlane Fanatic also hold a devilishly hard quiz every Wednesday at 8.30pm.

    And I’m now subscribed to Alia’s site three times over. πŸ™‚ Will check to see which one works best and update accordingly.

  • just thought of another one. brad’s IHT blog.

    Yeah, like Joe Saward, I have a fair amount of respect for Brad. In fact he commented a couple of years ago a rather personal observation of Zanardi at the Italian Grand Prix post accident.

    I didn’t include the IHT F1 blog because I was aware of IHT moving over to the NY Times, and figured he’d be moving as well. Brad says the move should be happening on or by Wednesday, at which point I’ll amend with link and feed addresses.

  • Though he seems to have dived under the radar in the past few months?

    Ed went MIA last winter as well. I’m sure he’ll be back in time for Australia.

    Although I slightly disagreed with some of Gorman’s posts last year. Some of Ed’s 2008 posts went something like “Bob posted this in the comments to my previous post: ‘blah’. Now discuss”. Which just seemed cheap to me. Not cheap as in money-cheap, but cheap in the sense that there was little effort from the blogger himself to add to the post.

    Not all of Ed’s articles were like that and often Gorman would add insight that we as viewers don’t always get to see or hear. The post about Lewis Hamilton’s overalls being washed (in a French farmhouse, I vaguely remember) sticks out in my mind. But sometimes, given the authority of The Times, it appeared to be cheapened by his style. Just my opinion though, The Times has a good following of fans after all.

  • I don’t wish to offend

    And no offence taken – appreciate your thoughts.

    Frankly, I’ve been up to my neck with technical problems for the past four months, which now finally seem to be resolved (though I’m not taking anything for granted yet) and am able to spend more time writing. Glad you enjoyed the “Five things that made me an F1 fan”. Aren’t there a lot of Mansell fans around?

    Also very happy to get Alia’s new RSS feed as well I’d been having problems with it (not half as bad as Williams’ though!)

  • And no offence taken – appreciate your thoughts.

    Cool. You plug me enough with your own link posts (I’ve had about 200 visitors today from F1F alone! Ta!) and given the way the this evening went with other conversations and comments, I’ve already decided to include F1F in a post tomorrow. More on that tomorrow though. And when I say tomorrow, I mean 5 minutes and 8 hours at minimum. πŸ™‚

    As an aside, and without wanting to start a debate, I notice GMM articles have apparently ceased (as opposed to reduced as I stated earlier). Is this the case, or have I missed something? It means nothing to me for reasons mentioned elsewhere, but was just curious as my feed for F1Fanatic suddenly became ‘100% Keith’ again a couple of weeks ago.

    Also very happy to get Alia’s new RSS feed as well I’d been having problems with it

    Me too. It doesn’t seem to update for an age, then all of a sudden I get Alia’s welcome post as a recent update. I’m still waiting to check my variety of feeds for the good lady, but it’s nice to hear your updated feed works. Alianora is not a blogger you want to miss.

    I’ve been up to my neck with technical problems for the past four months

    I haven’t been as regular visitor recently as I was, but for what it’s worth, each time I have clicked through from Google Reader, your site has loaded fairly promptly and without issue. From my view, it would appear you are over your issues. Of course, this is the off season. BlogF1 fell over at the Brazilian Grand Prix chequered flag last year, I’d hate to think what you get at moments like that! πŸ˜€

  • My top two choices are my two favorites- Blog F1 and F1 Fanatic. Both sites were of tremendous help as I have learned my way around F1 in the past year and a half, and I would in no way be at my current level of knowledge on F1 if it were not for both sites and their very dedicated and friendly publishers. Hats off to both you guys- you deserve it!!

    I have also made a commitment to check in more frequently on both F1 Insight and F1 Wolf. Clive has had some good insight on the USGPE project and I have enjoyed his opinions on the topic, althogh I believe we did disagree a bit about the merits of employing Danica Patrick πŸ˜‰

    Here in America, I enjoy some of the content on SPEED’s website- they obviously pick up on any U.S.-related F1 news, and some of their opinion pieces are top quality. On ESPN.com, I enjoy Dan Knutson’s writings- he did a great 2007 season review that brought up the oddities and fun facts surrounding each race in the season.

  • Concerning the feed links that have been posted, KF YORK has posted the default RSS feed provided by my blog software (and that doesn’t appear to work properly for everyone any more). Hence why the one I posted was different.

  • Hey Alianora, thanks for the other feeds. Unfortunately none of them seem to work for me in Google Reader. So instead I shall just have visit your site every_single_day. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Gman, and I’m pleased you found some gems, Robin.

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