When I did the site redesign last week I added a list of F1Fanatic’s most popular posts in the menu on the right. Unfortunately it does not cover all the articles published from 2005-7 because not all of the data is available.
However I have been able to compile a list of the ten most popular articles of all time using Google Analytics. It includes two stories the official press seemed to go out of their way to ignore. Here they are…
10 – F1 driver line-up changes for 2008
16th June 2007
I wrote a series of articles speculating about the 2008 driver line-up and this was by far the most popular.
9 – New video of Robert Kubica’s Canada crash
12th June 2007
Robert Kubica’s crash in the Canadian Grand Prix last year was interesting not just because he survived a crash of enormous ferocity – but because it made it clear to F1 fans how hard its commercial owners FOM are trying to stop video of F1 appearing online.
First the official videos of Kubica’s crash were taken down. Then the amateur footage shot by people in the crowds was also taken down. Which, in light of what happened later in the season, was especially ironic.
8 – 2007 Renault R27 spy photos
13th January 2007
Last year two-times champions Renault did a private test at Silverstone with their R27 but a few early photographs made it onto the internet. Little did we know we were looking at what would be one of the most disappointing cars of the year.
7 – Video: Hamilton faces investigation over Vettel crash
4th October 2007
FOM probably felt it couldn’t stand the embarrassment of taking down the amateur video of the Mark Webber/Sebastian Vettel/Lewis Hamilton crash at Fuji. It attracted international attention by casting new light on an accident poorly covered by FOM’s cameras. With 69 comments it was one of the biggest discussions on the site last year.
6 – Ferrari’s subtle Marlboro branding (and F1 car) revealed
14th January 2007
Even more people were interested in the official shots of last year’s Ferrari.
5 – Proposed Singapore F1 street track layout
2nd April 2007
There is massive interest in the Singapore night race so I’m not surprised this article is so far up the list.
4 – 100 Greatest F1 Videos part I
18th June 2006
Each of the ten parts of the 100 Greatest F1 Videos series ranks highly – the post contains links to the other videos. Interestingly although many F1 videos get taken down from the likes of Youtube, all the top ten F1 videos were still there last time I checked.
3 – Ferrari and McLaren secrets leaked in FIA document
20th September 2007
This article was responsible for the single busiest day on F1Fanatic. The details of the second Ferrari-McLaren spy case hearing were interesting enough – but then it emerged the FIA had failed to censor the documents properly and let all kinds of damaging information out, including technical details of the Ferraris, and salaries at McLaren. Various technology websites also picked up on the story.
But it received little to no mainstream media coverage. I sent The Times’s Ed Gorman an email about it at the time and he replied agreeing it was “unbelievable”, but I’ve never seen it mentioned in his paper or any of the other major British newspapers. I found the story very interesting and clearly you all did too, so why did the press ignore it? I can’t imagine either Ferrari or McLaren were very happy about it.
2 – 2008 F1 calendar may have 20 races
17th June 2007
Speculation over this year’s calendar, including the controversial axing of the United States Grand Prix.
1 – Ross Brawn slates ITV-F1 coverage
2nd May 2007
Like the story at number three, this is popular because it concerns a story that rarely gets any coverage in mainstream media – the dissatisfaction that many British F1 fans have with the quality of coverage of the sport.
Presumably very little gets said about it because official journalists get to watch the race at the track, not on TV. Haymarket, who produce many of the top motor sport magazines including Autosport, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, also have the contract to do ITV’s F1 website.
For all the time fans spend debating how racing might be improved in F1, and what might be done to make the show better, far more could be done if FOM and ITV addressed the massive shortcomings in their broadcasting. That means high-definition coverage, no adverts, better and more varied camera angles. In short, watch NASCAR and learn how it’s done.