Flinging plaudits the way of ‘rival’ Formula 1 websites and their scribes is probably not the done thing, but over the past year I have been impressed with one man’s reporting on our sport and that bloke is Dieter Rencken of RaceFans fame.
For the record, although we have South African roots and have been involved in motorsport forever, I have never met Dieter or spoken, or written to him. We must have missed each other in the F1 paddock by a handful of years…
My only connection to him is reading his reports over the years – more so this year since he joined the RaceFans team who have provided him with a strong platform to deliver his reports on a regular basis.
We all have our go-to writers on various F1 related sites, for me, Dieter has stood out as the most tenacious and dogged journo in the paddock this year – asking the questions that should be asked.
Admittedly his style of writing can be laborious. He is more ‘scientific papers’ than ‘artsy prose’ but the subjects he tackles are real issues – not the mainstream fluff – and he has the tenacity of a Rottweiler, a trait essential of every good journalist.
More often than not Dieter sits in on the various FIA hosted press conferences at grand prix weekends, but seldom (if ever!) is he absent from the Friday press conference, during grand prix weekends, which normally features senior management and/or team bosses.
During these sessions, Dieter rises to the occasion and fires the uncomfortable questions that should be asked but most fear to do so in case their free paddock lunches are revoked. He goes for the jugular with scant regard for the shoes he treads on.
Real deal stuff which is rare among English language journos – or numerous shills – covering our sport these days.
In one of his reports, he admits: “A senior Liberty Media figure recently suggested to me I was the most ‘negative man in F1’ on account of some critical (of F1) features we had published.”
For me that’s the biggest feather in Dieter’s cap, the fact that his obvious passion for the sport makes him dig deeper than most of his colleagues is what makes his reports essential reading.
He delivers on a regular basis for RaceFans which in my book (like my site;-) is essential reading for serious F1 fans who are suspicious and/or tired of the Motorsport Network Mafia which is increasingly a PR portal rather than a news source.
So Dieter, keep up the good work Boet!
Here is Dieter’s end of the year ‘essential-reads’ on who spends what in Formula 1: