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A new dawn for F1 - and for F1 Racing

Martin Brundle declares himself an “eternal optimist” in our ‘F1 Summit’ season preview feature on page 50 of this issue. We like his style. Yes, the fear that brooding clouds might dull Formula 1’s bright, new dawn might well prove justified. But right now, in these sweet moments of anticipation for the unwritten season ahead, let’s take our cue from Martin and smile: the dark winter is behind us, and it’s time to go racing.

The new tech regs have delivered on the promise of a faster, better-looking racing car breed (in spite of those missed-a-trick infernal dorsals). Pirelli’s big new boots look the part, too, and, from what we’ve learnt so far, they tick the box in terms of what they’re intended to do – relative, at least, to the high-degrading rubbish that made a mockery of the term racing driver in recent years. Now, it appears, the boys can seriously go back to work.

The doubts? We can’t ignore them. “The starting point for these regulations had no mention of overtaking or closeness of racing,” says Pat Symonds in our ‘F1 Summit’ feature. ‘More speed’ was the oh-so-loose brief for these regs, so pile on the downforce and to hell with the consequences. Astounding. Did they really think this through?

There’s genuine hope that joined-up thinking might now lead F1 into the future.

Still, this is a bright, new dawn, remember – and you won’t have missed that the whole F1 world has tilted on its axis overnight. The definition of ‘liberty’ describes ‘the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s behaviour or political views’ – appropriate right now, in this post-Bernie world. There’s genuine hope that joined-up thinking might now lead F1 into the future, arguably for the first time in the world championship’s 67 years.

So much has changed since Abu Dhabi last November. Nico Rosberg? Who? And in this atmosphere of new beginnings, it seemed only right that your favourite grand prix magazine should enter into the spirit as well.

This issue is the start of a new era for F1 Racing. Now under the ownership of Motorsport Network, we’ve dug deep to upgrade to luxuriously thick new paper – a sign to you, our loyal readers, that the quest continues to reach new heights of quality and value, befitting a sport where excellence counts above all else. You’ll see bright, fresh design, too, and, in the best motor racing tradition, the first of a series of upgrades in new features.

Alongside my good friend Anthony Rowlinson, who kicks off proceedings as your personal guide to F1’s current affairs on page 20, I’m delighted to be part of a new chapter for F1 Racing. Embellished by the stunning photography of Lorenzo Bellanca, who also returns to the fold this month, this magazine will reach new heights in 2017. Eternal optimism? We’ll take that any day.

Damien Smith
European Editor-in-cheif

Inside the issue

This month's features include

Bull Fight
We talk to F1’s strongest driver pairing: Verstappen and Ricciardo

The long interview
F1 Racing talks to Lewis Hamilton about his past, present and future

Scarlet fever
The tifosi crowd Maranello, for a first glimpse of the Ferrari SF70H

A week in F1
2017 is go, and we’ve got all the news from the first F1 test

Sharpening Lance
We sit in on Williams rookie Lance Stroll’s rigorous training programme

Shining light
All change at McLaren as Stoffel Vandoorne takes up his race seat

F1 summit
Brundle, Windsor and Symonds discuss the season ahead

2017 at a glance
The top ten major changes as Formula 1 enters a new era


In the palm of his hands
A race driving masterclass from Renault’s Jolyon Palmer

2017 circuit guide
All the stats from all the tracks on this season’s Formula 1 calendar

Now that was a race
Peter Windsor remembers the 1965 British GP

Racer’s edge
Peter Windsor on Stirling Moss

This F1 life
Pat Symonds on F1’s new regulations

Power play
Dieter Rencken on Liberty Media

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