FBC’s Future: The end of the road or a new beginning?

Way back in 2005, I started Formula1blog.com. I was motivated to do so because I grew weary of trolls and veteran fans lording over new fans. Even though I’ve been watching and supporting the series most of my life, I never found it appealing to troll someone who hadn’t. Surely there could be a safe harbor for new and veteran fans to learn and share with each other?

As time went on, we grew and I would be disingenuous if I did not say there was a part of me, back in those nascent days of blogs, that wasn’t keen to see if perhaps we might find a way to get monetized and I could work on F1B full time. A fool’s notion but at that time it seemed anything might be possible. That never happened because I am horrible at shameless self-promotion and I have a day job that keeps me busy.

I’ve spent thousands and thousands of hours on F1B promoting the sport, covering it during the off-season and interviewing some of the sport’s biggest names. As an American, that sometimes felt like the sound of one hand clapping but we are out here, we are F1 fans and we are as invested as any around the world even though we have limited access to it. I wanted to help bring more access and more Americans to F1.

We learned long ago that you can’t bring F1 to America, you have to bring America to F1. We’ve worked tirelessly to do that through our website and podcasts over 13 years.

Over 600 episodes, 3.5 million downloads and millions of pageviews, we feel honored to have the community and following that we do. We’ve reached all corners of the earth and still enjoy a majority of our traffic from North America.


Back in 2014, the inevitable letter arrived from Formula One Management’s attorney in the form of a “cease and desist” letter. They were kind but firm and I understood their claim that the “F1” in our logo was a concern. You have to defend a trademark or lose claim to it. I appreciate that. I’m not a domain squatter.

I have to give all credit where it is due and to those ends, I will tell you that Formula Money’s Christian Sylt was a huge part of our doing a deal to remain Formula1blog.com. His connection to Mr. Ecclestone was critical and unlike many who were in a position to help, Chris actually offered to help and I won’t forget that. Chris has been nothing but a good friend to the site and to me personally. Lots has been said, but we wouldn’t be F1B without Chris’s efforts.

A few emails later and Mr. Ecclestone handled the situation impeccably. Mr. E was going through a German trial at the time and yet he found time to work out a simple solution that cost neither party any money and allowed us to continue with the domain and doing the work he knew was beneficial for his sport. We’ve worked wonderfully these past three years. He honored everything he said he would and he was a pleasure to work with as were his attorneys at the time.


I knew that Liberty Media were going to have a completely different view of our relationship given their comments about the way things were ran before their purchase of F1. Perhaps I was being too optimistic in thinking that because they were an American company and we were Americans doing our best to promote F1 in America, they may wish to discuss ways in which we could help them create more meaningful content and help drive their initiatives.

I thought they may like to tap in to our large community to gain traction with our audience. We had worked with NBC and Fox (SPEED) before and the fans seemed to appreciate our efforts of unpacking how F1 is brought to the US. We have worked with Shell and Ferrari and brought more insight and interesting content to the US fans than what was previously being done.

The letter came from Formula One’s litigation specialist and it was pleasant but cool. It merely said they are terminating our relationship and attached a document outlining the process of termination. It’s sad but it is a reality.


I have responded to their attorney introducing ourselves and offered to work closer together in the best interest of the sport. I’ve explained how we might do that and why it may make sense because “free” is always good.

I have no idea what their rationale for terminating the deal is but I am also realistic in knowing that they may be simply looking to sever any legacy deals attached to F1 and I understand that. I really do. If I bought F1, I wouldn’t want a bunch of orbital deals attached to my series like a parasite. I understand that, seriously I do.

What I am less clear about is why, perhaps, they weren’t keen to terminate this deal and have a discussion about what a new deal might look like. A deal on mutual terms, not Mr. E’s terms, and how we may be able to work with them to promote the sport. As an American company, surely and American website promoting their sport with thousands of listeners and readers would appeal? It seems not but at the time of writing this, I have not had a response to my response.

What Next?

In the end, I can’t set a course for Liberty Media. I have no idea what they want to do long term but we have to move on. It is with a heavy heart that I tell you we won’t be working with Formula One in our current relationship and it would seem Liberty Media wants no relationship at all with an American F1 podcast and website that has done so much for the sport they just purchased. It seems narrow-sighted but admittedly I am very biased on the matter and who knows? Perhaps they will respond positively. Hope for the best, plan for the worst, right? Oh well, onward and upward.

New Site, New Name, and a lot of work to do…Do I have the time and passion?

Imagine moving 13 years of content with unique URL’s for each post, picture and podcast and RSS feeds having to be moved and somehow changed with a new domain URL. Imagine all of our social media accounts, followers, podcast reviews on iTunes, Facebook page “likes”, Google analytics, Podcast analytics, YouTube analytics and comments, Google SEO and site rankings and more that I am not even thinking about yet. Imagine all of that having to be moved to a new domain and somehow try to retain all of our analytics and traffic.

You are starting to get the idea of how much work I have ahead of me over the holiday break. I will spend more time over these next two weeks on F1 than any of the folks at F1 management will, that’s for sure.

We already own a few domains: theparcferme.com, rollingspeed.com, grandprixreview.com, motorsportgrid.com. If we move, it will most likely be one of those that becomes home to F1B.


This recent move by F1 has given us reason for pause. We contemplated just stopping. No more podcasts, no more website, no more opinion, no more tweets, no more Patreon support, no more nothing. I took a weekend to think about it. To really consider all the things I have going on in my life, how much of it I have missed doing podcasts alone. It’s well over 2,000+ hours of podcasting. What life might be like with all of that time open and available.

Those of you out there that do podcasts, websites and social media with the frequency, amount and long-form format that we do, will know very well what I am speaking about—how much of your life it takes. How much a hobby can demand from you. Is any of it worth the sacrifice to my family and friends as well as to my own sanity?


After considering it, I am happy to tell you that we are re-loading our quiver and we are going to forge ahead. I am willing to take on all of the tasks to get this goliath moved over to a new domain. It will put us back at square one on analytics, search engine ranking, SEO, podcast metrics, reviews, comments and much, much more. After building this brand and gaining our footprint over 13 years, we will be back to square one and completely adrift.

It is a steep price to pay as every other F1 website, podcast and social media platform will be much easier to find, search for and more present than we are and perhaps that’s what I deserve for not making our site more successful. It is all my fault, not Paul, Grace, Dave, Tom or anyone who contributes to F1B. It is my fault for not promoting us better, dedicating the time it takes to be successful and all I can say is, I am sorry about that but I have a wife, two daughters and a day job and I did the best I could with the time I had.

I am, however, willing to do it all over again and in some part because I love the sport but the single biggest reason I am willing to do this is—YOU! We have built such a terrific community that to stop would be to seriously let down thousands and thousands of people. I feel bad enough about letting Paul, Grace, Dave, Tom, Tony, JP, Professor Doug and Andy down as well as Atticus and Huxley but I would be mortified if I let our F1B community down. I would feel terrible if I let YOU down.

I’m not interested in the people who dislike us or the people who feel we don’t measure up to other podcasts or we don’t tick their boxes. That’s perfectly fine, to each their own. I’m talking to you…yes, you! Not a group or herd or large biomass. I really mean you individually. I get your emails, your tweets, your comments. I get them all and I know that in some small way, what we do adds, even in the slightest of ways, to your enjoyment of the sport.

I know I speak for all of us here at F1B when I say thank you for making us what we’ve become and we would be grateful and honored if you would stick with us during the transition and even help us spread the word. We need your help in a very big way, my friends.

New focus

Barring a positive response from F1, we are marching forward and we will have a new domain, look and name. Let’s hope ESPN doesn’t mind me also borrowing their logo look for the new site…I’m kidding!

Which domain from the one’s listed above do you like the most. We think we know which one we are going with but here is where we turn the corner.

IMPORTANT: The only reason I am willing to do this all over again is you. And that, my friends, will become the complete focus of F1B Redux. You! We are going to slow down a bit on our packaging and attempt to monetize the site. With support from you via our Patreon account, we’re not really fretting about getting sponsors anymore. You are supporting us so as long as that continues, we will too. We are going to be completely symbiotic with our community. You support us, we create content. We create content, you support us.

We are going to engage our community in a much more aggressive and meaningful way. We are only here because of you so you are the focus of our content. We want to know your thoughts, opinions and ideas. We want your voice heard within our community. This will require all of us to hold each other to the Single Rule: Decorum & Civility.

We are taking a step back to the beginning. Back in 2005. I had a choice, make a website and try to sell it or build a community and then see if there may be interested folks. I chose the latter strategy, build it and they will come. Who knew that “They” would end up being a cease and desist letter from lawyers? However, we are still working the latter model and it doesn’t matter if “they” come because YOU are here!

I believe we have built such a terrific community together that nothing else matters—seems like that’s a Metallica song for some reason.

Having a Beer

In the end, we said way back in 2006 that what our podcast embodies is the concept of two friends having a beer and talking about the sport they love. We think that’s one of our most appealing qualities.

As such, a true friend would ask you what name you like? What logo do you like? What content do you like? What do you think about this feature or that? We have several ideas on how to make 2018 even better. Paul and I were banging around several concepts. However, if some of you have platforms, ideas and concepts or ways to host chats or video platforms or other ideas you feel the community would like, let us know.

The End Game

Ultimately, we’re going to use the situation to build a new name, look and focus exclusively on our community. If others come and join us, that’s terrific! If they don’t, that’s fine too.

As we are all in this together, we would be incredibly grateful for your help in letting us know any niggles or RSS feeds that aren’t working or other granular details you notice. We also would be honored if you would spread the word when we make our official re-branding launch. We would also really appreciate your patience with us as we transition.

We will have a mailbag for your emails on things you’d like to tell us—questions you’d like to ask and we’ll have new features meant to be more interactive. It sounds ridiculous to say but in the end, it is a community for you, by you. We couldn’t do it without you and in fact, we’re banking on that very thing.

Liberty Media

I’ve no idea what Liberty Media’s thinking is on this but to be honest, maybe it is all for the best. We’ve lived in the penumbra of that naming issue for 13 years and in 2014 we lost that domain. I sort of knew this was coming but felt they would engage, not move apart. Regardless, they have their reasons and while I think they are wrong, that’s just my opinion. It is extremely disappointing for sure but it’s their right and that’s perfectly fine. I’ve no intention in getting into a name-calling war of words with them. They have much more important things to worry about than this.

It is, as they say, what it is and we move on. In some way, we’ve had this albatross around our neck for too long and with your help, I think we can actually make F1B even bigger and better. I took a weekend to find the energy, passion and will to do it all over again knowing what it will cost me personally and I am all in…how about you? Are you ready to help your community rebuild and be part of creating something even better? Something specifically for you? We hope so…in fact, we’re counting on it.

Ok, that’s all for now, I have to run…I have a lot of work to do, folks. Speak soon.

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Thanks NC and et. al. I always look forward to new articles and the podcasts. You provide a great service especially during the off-season (aka the f1 fan’s winter of discontent). Keep up the great work and don’t hesitate to shout should you need a hand with the change. I’m 100% sure the F1BC community would assemble to help.

Negative Camber

May take you up on that. There’s a lot of work to do and I am sure I’ll screw something up. After all, Huxley and Atticus are poor helpers. ;)

Paul Gerrard

Yikes what a mess, thank you for being willing to continue, it must have been very tough to remain objective and positive through all of this. I salute you sir and can’t wait to see the new fresh look, like you mentioned, it might be just what you needed.

Negative Camber

Yeah, it’s hard not to be bitter but onward and upward.


On the surface, a crappy move by Liberty. My first thought was that they’re really trying hard to shoot themselves in the foot. If they’re trying to grow F1 in the US, why not work *with* the people who already have a base? On the other hand, I can also understand them wanting to control their brand and how it is being used. And it could be argued the same goes for you – when all the hard work is finished, you will once again be in control of your brand. So maybe something good can come from this, after… Read more »

Negative Camber

That’s really the short of it and you make a great point about mastering your own brand and destiny. Fair to assume that’s all Liberty is doing too.

As for the trolls, that’s the heart of it. Everywhere I look, the sites are just flame-throwing troll fests and that’s sad. So grateful for a community you all built here on mutual respect.

Dr. Bob

Concur with Andreas’ sentiment and 1st choice for domain name.



Grand Prix is trademarked. However “GP” seems ok.

I vote for FormulaJuanBlog.com.

Paul KieferJr

Well, if I had to make a choice, “RollingSpeed” would work….if they let you do that.


That figures… using it might be like going right from the frying pan to the fire, thus. Theparcferme gets my vote, then :-)

Fabio Tonelli

Sorry to hear about this, all I can say, is that yours is one of the best podcasts out there. I’ll follow you to whatever you wish to call the website. I’m sure that the community out there will help as much as they can.

Negative Camber

Thanks Fabio, we appreciate your support my friend.

Paul KieferJr

I’ll be damned if I let this site die. This is what got me reintroduced to F1 when it was announced that there was going to be a track in Austin. This site is too good to lose.

I’m starting a campaign to get Liberty back into the promotion game with your site and others like it as its promotion vehicle. If there are people willing to promote F1, then that ends up a big plus for Liberty and will make me question their motives for purchasing the sport if they screw this up.

Jim Brackeen

Thanks for all your perseverance Todd. You are the best part of my work week besides going home from work. I have a 38 mile commute each way through the farms and swamps of Florida and I don’t work with any fans either, so something besides music is a must. I’m glad you have decided to stick with it. I’ve tried other podcasts, but they don’t stack up. I will be more than glad to revise my Patreon account if necessary.
BTW, I’m partial to grandprixreview myself…

Richard Roberts

Todd, Paul, Grace, et. al.,y
I’m one of the many, many who quietly join in weekly for a beer and F1 chat. Have yet to make my Patreon contribution… well now that the confession is out, I can get to my point. You all have made a massive contribution on to we fans (I’ve followed F1 from 1967 on through thick and thin – sport and information!) and are the local for F1 discussions. The faithful listeners will rally ($$$) and F1B will be better than ever.


I was afraid this might happen with the new ownership. Lets hope they were just closing out the old agreements and on review will see the merits of this site (more on that below). I’ve been listening to the podcast for several years now and it makes my drive to work enjoyable! I only have 1 request, could you double the time of the podcast… you see, my office just changed locations and my drive is now double what it used to be. I get to Wednesday morning now and I have to listen to the radio…. it’s bumming me… Read more »


I should have mentioned I like theparcferme.com name. It would be unique. A close second is grandprixreview.com but that seems a little more generic. I don’t know how you can beat FBC though, that just rolls off the tongue!

I’d also like grandprixblog.com (GPB)


Ummm, but “review” is only half the story… Surely?

(Edit) Oops, sorry, replied to the wrong comment, should be for those suggesting the “review” option…


Alonso ’08!

just don’t censor live race posts in the forum… it never recovered from that stupid move.


Dear Todd,

I am so sorry to hear about your latest troubles.
In my opinion Liberty is cutting its nose to spite its face.

Keep fighting.

Best Wishes


PS Did you ever end up framing the signed 2001 Schumacher cap?


Let me first say that I had no idea that the guy writing the Negative Camber articles was the same guy doing the F1 blog podcasts. I really enjoy reading your articles even if I don’t agree with you all the time, and I really enjoy the podcast, they are pretty funny and the hour goes by quickly, which is always a good sign. Negative Camber is a pretty good name but there are probably others like me who have no idea it’s related to the F1 blog podcast, so you might want to do something about that. As for… Read more »

Negative Camber

Hi, I’m Todd. I like fast cars and pasta and a nice wine. I author for a website with the nom de plume, Negative Camber. I have had that since 2005. ;) I’d be scared if we always agreed. ;) And Fernando is not a the GOAT but he’s near the top for sure. ;)

Salvu Borg

NC, Your website is one of the best, because of two things: because it is one of the best managed, because you are one of the few to permit disagreeing with.
What ever the new name, I will be there.

Daniel Sebergsen

You know what? Here’s a message to Liberty Media…

No I’m not going to go all Vettel here but I am sorry for the way they go about their business. I have enjoyed so many hours with you guys since I stumbled across this podcast. I really hope you find a way to continue with the podcast.

Best regards for Daniel


Oh wow! This is horrible news – #shameonyou Liberty Media. I suppose decorum and civility applies to communications towards them also? I’m really having to bite my tongue…!!!

Per other messages, if there’s anything I can do to assist in the transition, please message me. (IT geek)

Thanks for all the awesome work and putting a smile on my face so many times. #steeringwheel

My vote is definitely for theparcferme.com – comfortable winner for me…


Good Grief Todd! Liberty Media don’t have bigger issues to deal with than getting territorial with fan sites? My fingers are crossed that L.M take the time to listen to the quality of the podcasts, see the quality of the website, the posts by the FBC community, and start talking with you about how they can support F1B as a positive example ‘new media’. I guess that is a very optimistic hope, and a ‘rebrand’ is on the cards. This comes at the end of a tumultuous year for you, so I can understand the dismay and introspection you’ve gone… Read more »

Negative Camber

Yeah, it’s a been a challenging year for sure. This wasn’t what I wanted to deal with and I will admit that as new Americans owners, it wasn’t something I thought I would be dealing with. Perhaps they will reach back out and have a desire to work together and if so, that would be great. We would be happy to help them just as we were with Mr. E. We love the sport so helping it, and sometimes being critical of it, is what we do. Iron sharpening iron.


Just thinking about the changes ahead for FBC, and the reticence of Atticus to research for you.
Time to replace Atticus with Aldus, and let Aldus and Huxley take FBC into its Brave New World! ;-)

Salvu Borg

The irony of it all, NC and all those around you/your team. Only thanks to your effort, determination and perseverance that this site got to where it is today. The irony of it all is it all happened under the bad guys owners of formula one commercial rights. Now the situation under the new good guy’s owners of the commercial rights is what it is. “IRONIC” sometimes it seems that it’s almost impossible to get the truth. Other times the truth is staring us in the face. If the desire, the determination and the same qualities of management is still… Read more »

Tom Firth

Todd, as said elsewhere you’ve let no one down. You’ve built a brilliant community which is an honour to contribute towards.

Thank you. I’m happy with whichever name you choose but do like TheParcFerme

Stuart Hall

Hi Todd, really gutting to hear that Liberty Media have taken these steps. Especially when they said that they want to open up the sport to new fans. How closing down websites/podcasts like yours achieves this I’ve no idea.
I look forward to your podcasts every week, I even enjoy your opening banter usually around what Grace is drinking. I will look forward to your new a revitalised site name and podcasts. Keep up the good work.
Thank you.

Negative Camber

Thx Stuart. I don’t know either and while I disagree, I do understand their wanting to retire all legacy deals. I want to have as much deference with them as possible here but even a cursory search would have revealed that perhaps we are a site worth engaging, not terminating.

Stuart Hall

You’re welcome. Do you think the door has firmly closed on them engaging you in further dialogue?

Tony Drake

Hi Todd, I’ve been a listener for like 7 or 8 years. I listened to 3 or 4 F1 shows, but yours was the one that lasted. In Australia, we used to have free to air showing of all races, for the last 3 years, expensive cable only ($60 per month for 2 races!!)… I did it for one year, but now I watch the 50% live, and source the others elsewhere. I have a family, and not much spare cash – I wish I could contribute, but I seem to have less spare cash then ever.. So, I was… Read more »

Negative Camber

Thanks for listening Tony, I really appreciate it. Your comments are very humbling and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support.


Not impressed with Liberty’s actions here, but not surprised TBH. I always liked Bernie myself, as your story reveals, thought he was someone upon whose word, if received, you’d be able to trust implicitly.

I like grandprixreview. A suggestion from myself, how about effwunblog? Could you get away with that (if you liked it)?

Hope you know about tools like Powershell and Grep if you’re going to be doing a find and replace through lots of text based files. Sorry if I’m teaching you to suck eggs there!

Negative Camber

Thanks for the tip. I have not used those before because I’ve never had to do this so that’s new to me. :)


Even easier you can use notepad++


Peter Goodchild

Hi Todd, I’ve been a listener for two years and love what you’re doing; haven’t missed a show since I started (although I also admit to listening to other F1 pods too- sorry!). I’m English and like the American take. I don’t understand why Liberty would wish to sideline this. You’re a great advert for F1 and it’s fans. If