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 28 years of experience, the majority of which has been spent in Formula 1.
Joe is not a stay-at-home commentator. He attends all the World Championship Grands Prix, and has done for 23 years. He is accredited as an FIA Formula 1 Permanent Passholder. 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. Joe’s opinions are not based on the fact that he is British. He has lived in France for 20 years and is accredited by a Japanese publication.
As a freelance reporter he pays his own expenses. He works for publications all over the world. He occasionally writes material for promotional publications and from time to time acts as a consultant if asked to do so. This does not affect his views as a journalist, except perhaps giving him greater insight into the organisations or people involved.
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.
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 Any posts that include unpleasant and abusive language will not be published.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. One can be critical of statements, but try to avoid remarks about people; try to talk about the motorsport world, and skip obscenities, political rhetoric, and anything that might give offence. 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 for younger generations 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 should 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.
The blog will also 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.