Shame on F1.com and triple shame on their irresponsible reporter Lawrence Barretto for lobbying what appears to be an agenda of their own or making a mistake that could negatively impact a Formula 1 driver’s career. Eitherway, both are entirely inexcusable.
That kind of mistake would normally get a journalist fired or suspended or censured in most reputable news organisations which F1.com is supposedly, and should thus be ethically as clean as a whistle.
However, an ‘F1 media ethics committee’ (if there were such a thing, maybe the FIA?) would do us all a great service checking if a can of worms does not lurk behind it or the only other alternative, admitting the sheer ignorance of the reporter and the editorial team who tasked him with the assignment.
We are not talking about a little meaningless website here. We are talking about the official F1 website, owned by Formula One Group, owned by Liberty Media with CEO Stefano Domenicali at the helm for the commercial rights owner. In other words: their mouthpiece,
Logically the first driver a race team considers is: The Reserve Driver. In this instance at Mercedes Mick Schumacher, is the Team’s F1 reserve driver.
While it can be argued he is or is not suitable, Barretto (and his editors, proofreaders etc) are obligated to put his name on the list. They do not. Instead, they appear to push an agenda to suit their own narrative. Totally ignoring Mick Schumacher.
I can put a very solid case (which I will in another Outside Line) that Toto Wolff might consider for Mick to partner Russell. But that is for another time.
This piece is about the mainstream F1 media controlling the narrative to suit their own agenda. Ignoring Schumacher is a dereliction of duty by the mouthpiece of our sport. Barretto has his own agenda, is very ignorant of the current F1 driver landscape or made a mistake that his entire editorial team missed. Including whoever the Editor of the site is.
On assigning Barretto, the Editor would have been obliged to say something along the lines of: Who will the driver be to replace Lewis at Merc? Who is their reserve?
That is exactly what our Editor Jad Mallak said in our NewsDesk Unplugged YouTube video (below) when we discussed this very subject of who would get the Mercedes seat and when the Hamilton to Ferrari F1 Story of the Century broke.
Sky F1 did NOT break the “Hamilton to Mercedes” news of the century
This piece on how British media control the narrative has been on the back burner for a while. Because Sky F1 are the dominant narrators of our sport in this era, and for many years the British agenda has been palpable for us real neutrals. Pushing their angle from teams to drivers to everything. They think they ‘own’ the narrative.
But they can never do that as long as independent F1 news sites like ours, and several others (but not too many call) them out for their transgressions, this one is the least subtle of all time by their crew!
For the record and importantly, Sky F1 did NOT break the “Hamilton to Mercedes” blockbuster, it was actually picked up by them from Italian media who first reported the “Ferrari sign Hamilton” news. Note the difference, for the Brits it’s about Hamilton going to Ferrari, for the rest it’s Ferrari opening the door to Lewis.
Thus his replacement in the hottest seat now available on the F1 grid from 2025 aka Mercedes, no matter if they are winning or not, needs to be filled, so F1.com with Barretto firing the gun to sound their own driver plan for George Russell’s seat.
Omitting Mick Schumacher from that report is so glaring that our colleagues at F1-Insider called Barretto out for his lobbying instead of reporting.
Mercedes F1 Team increasingly wrapped in a Union Jack in recent years
Under the headline on F1-Insider: Hamilton successor: Schumacher not on Mercedes’ list at all? Frederik Hackbarth wrote: “Ironically, the official Formula 1 website even published a list of potential candidates for Hamilton’s successor on Friday, on which the name Schumacher was searched in vain. There is no doubt that after painful years at Haas there can be divided opinions about Mick Schumacher’s talent, but not even mentioning the official third driver of a team borders on cheeky.
“As much as German Formula 1 fans may find author Lawrence Barretto’s ignorance offensive, it only shows a narrow-minded British perspective on the few German works team left, which is represented by its team headquarters in Brackley and Brixworth, the entry point of Ineos -Founder and recently Manchester United co-owner Jim Ratcliffe, and not least with the British driver duo Hamilton/Russell, has been increasingly wrapped in the Union Jack in recent years.”
Bravo Frederik! For calling how we all see it and we echo you! Thank you for pointing it out and shining a torch on why mainstream media, even in F1, pushes and manipulates its own agenda regardless of logic and blatantly sinister.
Barretto and the entire F1.com team: Hang your head in shame! Or apologise for an inexplicable mistake that hangs a big question mark over the Editorial leadership of F1’s most important website. The obligation for neutrality is to not show any bias, ever.