Ecclestone to bring glamour back to F1

Grand Prix boss Bernie Ecclestone has given his Formula 1 magazine an injection of glamour in a bid to secure market leadership this year.

The investment coincides with a complete overhaul under new editor Matt Franey.

Franey has introduced fashion photographer Mark Okoh to shoot the magazine’s front cover and plans to expand F1’s coverage of fashion, travel, music and celebrities, including a spread on the type of shoes to be seen wearing in the pit lane.

The title has been given extra pages, new type-faces and the cover features a new banner “The Official Formula 1 Magazine”.

“My brief from Ecclestone is to reflect the sport. There will be more lifestyle stuff and it will be far more glamorous,” he told Press Gazette.

“One of the great advantages of being the official magazine is that I have the inside line on who is going to all the races, whether it’s Kylie, Bill Clinton or Robert de Niro, I should know in advance and that gives me a good steer.

“Contrary to popular rumour, there is not a bottomless pit of money. The magazine has a clear intention and that is to be the market leader and in doing so, make it a commercially viable venture.”

The title will post its first ABC in August.

Franey said the magazine would take a less controversial stance than it did under its previous editor Tom Rubython.

“It is very easy to think all the gossip and innuendo in the paddock is of interest to the millions who tune in and watch the race if you’re involved in Formula One, but I am not convinced people beyond the very close confines of the Formula One paddock are particularly interested.

“While Tom may have defended his right to unearth controversial stories, there are thousands of good stories out there that don’t involve controversy. We’ll report strong news stories, but there will be a distinct difference between Tom Rubython’s F1 and mine.”

Franey said he planned to expand the team once the relaunch was under way and he was hoping to sign some top names from Formula One at the forthcoming Grand Prix in Australia.

By Ruth Addicott

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