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Inside Line: Ten years ago this F1 website journey began

Formula 1 celebrated the start of the 2019 Formula 1 season on 17 March at the Australian Grand Prix, another lesser known milestone was the fact that on the same Sunday this website turned ten years old!

On 15 March 2009 I registered YallaF1.com and two days later the blog went live.

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At the time Formula 1 had captured the imagination of the Middle East, and as a sideline to my job at Dubai Autodrome – as a hobby – YallaF1.com was born.

First was to establish the site in English and then with a partner create an Arabic version, but the well-laid plans came to nought because although there are two Grands Prix in the region motorsport the footprint for an English niche site is tiny and the Arabic department never got on board.

It soon became evident that the main traffic came from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, India and South Africa. Thus a name change was required and GrandPrix247.com was born. Like Brawn GP morphed into Mercedes a year later, in early 2011 YallaF1.com became GrandPrix247.com and just got better, like the Silver Arrows;-)

As I write, the post count since the name transformation is 22,032, which averages out at around eight posts per day attracting a crazy 120-million page views during the past eight years.

There are many people to thank for this journey, they know who they are and are the kind who do not require public recognition to realise their input and to them, I am eternally grateful – they know who they are.

Upper-most, of course, are the loyal readers who have supported this site unconditionally, maybe because it is a tad maverick yet independent. The following inspires responsibility to keep delivering.

While Motorsport Network colonises the current racing media landscape with their scorched earth policy of gobbling up motorsport websites in key language markets as they try to monopolise the industry, tempting naive readers away to their press release portal which they disguise as a news organisation.

This site will remain on the alternative fringes and respect the likes of RaceFans for their F1 content and intrepid journos while recommending John Dagys Media for the 365.com collection of independent Sportscar and Formula E websites.

In the end, the Colonisers will fall or disintegrate or both and the independents will mushroom once again as these things tend to go in cycles… ask Haymarket.

Moving forward, Ben Stevens will continue to provide his witty observations on a regular basis, we also welcome MsportXtra as a contributor with The Extra Lap, and of course, the door is always open for readers and other to write for the site.

This week we will release the first full version of the GrandPrix247 App for iOs, Android and Amazon. For a nominal fee equivalent to US $9.99 per year you get all the news without any advertising banners or popups.

It’s a no-frills App with all the news and photos, plus the ability to comment. It has been in Beta for about six months as we tweaked it to where it is now as Version 1 ready to be downloaded. Feel free to contribute to the cause here:

The App uses a separate platform to deliver the content to the website version which is optimised for browsing on PC/Mac Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge.

The evolution of WordPress to its current state allows us to be funky in the design of webpages and thus future feature reports, interviews etc will be presented without a sidebar so as to maximise the use of photos and give a unique look to these ‘special’ posts.

Formula 1 will always be the primary focus of this site, but we will have a steady flow of reports from Indycar, Formula E, WEC, Formula 2 and other series that make headlines while keeping tabs on the likes of Fernando Alonso and former F1 drivers who dabble elsewhere these days.

While 2009 may have been when this F1 internet journey began, in truth when I received a 1973 edition of Autocourse as Christmas gift that year that the whole photographer/media was born and this has been in the ‘oven’ ever since.

In closing, you may ask: the flowers as the main picture? My in-laws sent me these in recognition of the ten years of this project which they witnessed first hand. Made my day!

Enjoy the next ten years, tell your mates that this is the best “F1 pub” on the block and while you are at it remember that appreciation is merely a click away!

Big Question: What new or more would you like to see on this website going forward?