Tom Rubython has launched a Formula One magazine and is taking legal action after being refused accreditation to the first grand prix of the season in Australia.
He claims he is being victimised by Formula One organisers and branded their reasons for refusing him access “totally spurious”.
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Rubython has set up a new monthly, Business F1, following his surprise departure from Bernie Ecclestone’s F1 magazine in October. “It breaks new ground. The others are consumer orientated, this is totally business,” he told Press Gazette.
He claimed the reasons behind the ban were commercial because his launch was seen as a threat. “The reasons are totally spurious and if not challenged will set a very bad precedent. They said it was a new magazine, it didn’t have a high enough circulation and was of uncertain quality but with my reputation, I don’t think that is an issue. I have attended grands prix for the past four years. They see me as a threat to my old title.” Rubython said he had ploughed £200,000 into the launch, which will have a global distribution of 8,000. His team includes Caroline Reid, former F1 staff writer, and Marc Cutler from TV Sports Markets.
His action is being supported by the NUJ and he is being represented by David Price. NUJ spokesman Tim Gopsill said: “We’ve dealt with organisations like football clubs which have made a habit of refusing admission to people they don’t like. This is the first time we have known the issue come to the High Court. Tom Rubython must win, for all of us.”
By Ruth Addicott