'F1 Racing' magazine has been steadily going down the toilet...

Readers of this website will recall that I have been a long-time supporter of the monthly F1 Racing magazine. For many years, it was the flagbearer of F1-focused magazines, competing shoulder-to-shoulder with the AUTOSPORT weekly for the depth and quality of F1 coverage it offered.

Sadly for F1 Racing, it hasn’t enjoyed that mantle for several years.

I’ve bought every copy of F1 Racing since its Australian launch edition in late 1997. The collection numbers over 184 editions, spanning two complete shelves on the bookcases in my office.

The early editions cost $6.95 a pop with around 130 pages of the best magazine coverage money could buy. The content was on the money and up-to-date, and each installment’s arrival in the letterbox was always anticipated in my household.

Costs have since risen to $9.50 per edition, but the content has been dramatically trimmed. The 2012 editions are now less than 100 pages, packed with advertisements for other Haymarket magazine publications.

Worse still, the articles in the Australian editions are now months out of date, and chopped beyond description. Advertised content is often missing, and the featured articles promised in other regions’ editions don’t even make the Australian version.

But what is unforgiveable are the shocking errors that litter every month’s edition. Many articles have some very basic factual and typographical errors, and the photo editing and captioning has gone out of the window.

Given the standard and experience of the journalists who contribute to F1 Racing, this is a sad indictment on them, but a worse reflection on the magazine’s production and editing team who are ultimately responsible for putting this sorry mess together, month-in and month-out.

As a comparison, I bought a Singapore version of the October 2012 edition and compared it to the one I bought in Australia. You may recall it was the famous 200th ‘Champions Edition’, which had contributions from each of the men who’d won the World Championship since the launch of F1 Racing in the UK in 1996.

Tipping the scaled at almost 150 pages, the Singapore version had a beautiful tri-fold poster of all of these champions, along with four additional articles that the 100-page Australian version was lacking. The Oz edition didn’t include the poster at all: instead it printed the poster as a double-sided cover, of no use to any F1 fan. It was a disgrace.

  F1 Racing, October 2012 edition
Australian fans have been getting short-changed for years

But the recent arrival of a new F1-focused monthly magazine, GP International has now brought about a new standard of coverage that F1 fans around the world rightly deserve.

Costing $11.00 per imported title, its November launch edition was well over the 100-page mark and featured some of the best, up-to-date and thoroughly well-written articles I’ve had the privilege of reading in a motorsport magazine.

GP International magazine
GP International will be the new saviour for the F1 fan

The contributors are among the best of my peers -  David Tremayne, Adam Cooper, Tony Dodgins, Will Buxton and Alan Henry – and their finely-written stories are supported with the beautiful photography of Peter J Fox.

This is how a motorsport magazine should work and look.

This is the motorsport magazine you must buy.

Better yet, you can subscribe to the one worldwide edition and receive either a hard-copy magazine each month, or download the online version straight to your iPad for half the price.

So if you want to again appreciate proper F1 journalism at its peak in a monthly magazine, then pick up a copy of GP International and give it your support.

Perhaps this competition with force F1 Racing to lift its standards, but it will be hard-pressed to win back the droves of readers who – unlike me – stopped buying its overpriced copy many years ago…

DISCLAIMER: This is an entirely independent editorial piece written on RichardsF1.com. We do not enjoy any commercial relationship with any of the motorsport magazine publishers in existence.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.