Okay, so it’s not from the vaults, it’s from my attic.
I just happened to mention in passing to “me” from Sidepodcast on Identica the short-lived F1 magazine GPX. He asked me to upload it so that he could see what it was like, so I took photos of the two issues of GPX I own and uploaded them to Sidepodcast’s Dropio. I hope the people at Haymarket don’t mind too much. But this is over ten years old and it obviously didn’t make them much money at the time, so…
Issue #4 was the final issue of GPX. Obviously Haymarket had high hopes for it, and I even remember seeing posters in the window of a WH Smith advertising it. The magazine totally tanked though.
Originally designed to be a “laddish” magazine, issue #4 shows some signs of desperation with features designed to appeal more to females, including the “Top 20 sexy F1 drivers of all time” and a “hunky” poster of Mika Salo. Stuart C from F1 Racing has a bit more on GPX over at Sidepodcast here and here.
In retrospect, GPX wasn’t a quality magazine. It did have some good gags in it though. I like ‘Brainstorming with the Prost team‘ and the joke about spelling out ‘Schumacher’ with beer cans made me chuckle at the time.
While I was rummaging for those issues of GPX, I found some other interesting old F1 magazines and various other bits and pieces. Most of these almost certainly came free with F1 Racing. Click below to see what I found.
Apologies for the poor quality of my photography here
This one isn’t very old, but remember F1 Racing Green? It came free with issues of F1 Racing. Billed in its first issue as a “quarterly supplement”, it was quietly dropped after issue 2 and I have to confess I had completely forgotten about it. (I read very little of it anyway.)
Here is one I had totally forgotten. See if you can work out what it is supposed to be just by looking at the cover. Believe it or not, it’s “the epic story of Ford’s 100 years in motorsport”. So why are there no Ford logos anywhere to be seen? Odd.
Toyota — One Aim: midfield mediocrity.
Remember when Marc Gené was a Williams test driver? Apart from boring Williams stuff, this magazine features an article about F1 television coverage. Bernie’s in it talking about Bernievision: “Once the public understands it, they will buy it.” It ceased broadcasting the following year.
There is also a bit about James Allen headed, ‘The new Murray?’ One thing I didn’t know was that in James Allen’s first job as a PR agent he looked after Martin Brundle! I never knew that.
Here is an issue of McLaren’s magazine, Racing Line, from 2001. David Coulthard and Alexander Wurz both look very young here! The magazine is mostly quite boring, but contains an interesting feature about Coulthard’s and Häkkinen’s fantasy circuits. There is also a small article about Lewis Hamilton! It advertises his success in Formula A and his move up to Formula Super A in karting.
Here is Jaguar Racing from Jaguar’s entry into F1 in 2000. This is more of the same sort of yawnerific stuff you get in these corporate mags, although there is an interesting article about the decisions that went into designing the livery. The letters page is a bit strange though, as it is filled with letters from famous F1 figures only. “The launch of the Jaguar Racing mag is the talk of F1”. Riiight.
The baby version of Jaguar, Stewart, also had a celebratory supplement in F1 Racing. Like the Jaguar mag, this contains an article about the design of the livery.
White? Not quite
…[T]he particular shade of ‘soft white’ (cut with a little ochre) was mixed to reduce glare on camera… Incidentally, choosing white also means the weight of the SF-1’s livery is among the lowest on the grid!
Another interesting fact contained in this magazine is that the Stewart Grand Prix logo is actually based on the profile of the SF-1’s nose!
Ferrari’s Inside Track magazine. I’ve got about half a dozen of these, given away by F1 Racing over the years. Does this still exist?
Aah, 350 Goodyear Grand Prix wins. Ford, this is how you do it!
Here is an actual F1 magazine that you could buy in the shops, F1 News. The slogan says, “Puts the fun back in Formula One”, although my recollection was that it was a slightly dull magazine. I didn’t like it as much as F1 Racing, but I definitely appreciated it for its more regular publication.
There were a few good features. The race results page was more detailed than anything else I ever saw at the time, complete with warm-up times, fastest lap classification, pit stop summary and a full lap chart! F1 Racing has never given results this in-depth. There was also a lap-by-lap description of the race along with a short paragraph for each driver summarising his race. A pretty good idea as often some drivers can never get mentioned in a race report.
Another feature was ‘Bob’s burning question’, where Bob Constanduros asked 8-or-so people a certain question. At the end of the season, Mr Constanduros cruelly chose to ask pants manufacturer (and pants racing driver) Ricardo Rosset, “What is your greatest memory of 1998?” The maligned Brazilian driver’s answer? “There wasn’t a lot to celebrate professionally.” I almost felt sorry for him there.
It looks like F1 News was produced on a relatively modest budget. But it had contributions from a few quality writers including Bob Constanduros and Joe Saward. I’ve no idea what happened to F1 News in the end — I stopped buying it in late 1998. But I don’t think it would have survived in the internet age anyway. It definitely has the same kind of feel of Pitpass and Grandprix.com.
Finally, here is the oldest magazine in the collection — an ‘end of season special’ Grand Prix 96 magazine, “The official BBC sports magazine”.
Here is an indication of just how old this magazine is: “Williams wiped the floor with the lot of them to equal Ferrari’s record of eight constructors’ championships.” Blimey, a time when Williams were as successful as Ferrari.
There is also an interesting article with Jonathan Palmer’s top 10 of the season. The editorial spits, “And yes, he really does rate Mika Hakkinen — who drivers for JP’s old team, McLaren — a better driver than Damon Hill.” I guess 1996 was a different time…
And a short interview with Martin Brundle:
“What will you be doing in 1997?”
“Driving a Formula 1 car.”