Autosport Awards 2012 – Winners

Sunday 2nd December is the 2012 Autosport Awards ceremony. The event was held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London.

Photo (c) Amy Wozencroft

Live Commentary is available:

List of Winners:

British Club Driver of the Year Award: Scott Malvern

National Driver of the Year Award: Gordon Shedden

1st Pioneering and Innovation Award: FIA medical team, acknowledging the remarkable work of Professor Sid Watkins

2nd Pioneering and Innovation Award: Nissan DeltaWing

1st John Bolster Award for Technical Excellence:  Peter Sauber

2nd John Bolster Award for Technical Excellence:  Bob Dance

Rally Car of the Year: Citroen DS3 WRC

Rookie of the Year Award: Matheo Tuscher

British Competition Driver: Jenson Button

Racing Car of the Year: Red Bull RB8

International Racing Driver: Sebastian Vettel (for the 3rd consecutive year)

Comments and Feedback:

Most motorsport fans assumed that the event would be available as a live stream online but were bitterly disappointed to find out that it wasnt the case this year. Some suggested it had something to do with Autosport’s recent announcement of a quote for non-subscribers. However, sponsors missed a trick by not insisting on live feed. Despite the unfortunate music choices during the un-censored live streamed event last year, sponsors’ logos were very visible during the awards.

There was also some consternation about Button being awarded the British Competition Driver of the Year. It must be noted that the nomination form was printed in an edition of Autosport with Button on the cover and the driver is known to host dinners for british journalists every year at the last race. Some also pointed out that Hamilton might have lost out since he recently announced his move from a British team McLaren to German team, Mercedes.

 ‏@EwanMarshall : Eh? So Hamilton has one of his best ever seasons yet loses the British Competition Driver award to Button?

 ‏@TalkingaboutF1 : Jenson voted British Competition Driver of 2012 ahead of Lewis. I don’t get that.

What did you think of the winners? Do you agree? Did you vote, if not, why not? Did you know much about the awards and the nomination/voting process? Is it reflective of most F1 fans opinions?


Motorsport Business Forum – Austin, 2012

To mark its return, KHP and its long-standing partner, the MotorSport Business Forum (MSBF), supported by payment solutions experts Rêv Worldwide, hosted the inaugural Texas Business Symposium in Austin, Texas on behalf of Red McCombs and Bobby Epstein, co-founders and investors of the Circuit of The Americas.
The full list of speakers  –  made up of Team Heads, Stakeholders, Series officials, Sponsors and Commercial Directors – were as follows:
  • Red McCombs, Founder of McCombs Partners and co-founder of Circuit of The Americas (Welcome Address)
  • Nick Fry – CEO Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team (Keynote Address)
  • Paul Hembery – Head of Pirelli Motorsport
  • Roy Sosa – Founder, Chairman and CEO of  Rêv Worldwide
  • Geoff McGrath – Managing Director of McLaren Applied Technologies
  • Mehul Kapadia, Vice President of Commercial Alliances and Sponsorships and Tata Communications.
  • Graeme Lowdon – President & Sporting Director at Marussia F1 Team
  • Pablo de Villota – Formula 1 Sponsorship Manager at Banco Santander
  • Bobby Epstein  Co-founder and Chairman at Circuit of The Americas

Here are excerpts from @rachelclarkef1’s notes and @MSBForum’s tweets from the event

Nick Fry: “Typically, teams spend $200m a year because there are so many people and because of the rate of development of technology. We start designing in July, design and develop till Christmas, then start manufacturing, ready to go at the end of January, test for a couple of months, start racing in Australia in March, race through to November in 20 locations.  For major corporations who want to advertise globally, there is nothing like it [F1]. Not dissimilar to Olympics or World Cup. It is a significant marketing opportunity”.

“This leads to different opportunities all around the world. We are good at going into emerging economies early on and getting a high level of interest early. We have been adding new venues regularly. That number will continue to grow, substituting European events. Russia and Mexico show huge demand for races, amplifying the marketing benefit”

“As an example, Airtel (India) decided to sponsor one race for Mercedes. They did an advert, got 2.5million views of the video in 2 days. Another unique aspect is technology. The people who watch are interested in the technology behind the car. Tech is important and what we need to do is to combine it with entertainment. Technology spins off to other areas, not just automotive. There are about 45,000 people who work in associated areas; all highly paid, signficant tech jobs”.

“The spin-offs are into defence, space, aerospace. The technology on cars, the composites, the electronics, the engine, the telemetry,  energy recovery etc is being used in lots of other areas of business. For example, train industry and fly-wheels, buses using hybrid tech. In our own case, the energy recovery system is going into the SLS Mercedes car. Next version is purely electric, all technology developed with help of F1 team. These are examples of direct spin-offs”.

Challenges: Like most sports, one of the main problems is with costs. Money is difficult to raise. Teams at the back and middle of the grid are struggling. We need to bring down costs. The benefits of winning are huge, so people spend vast amounts of money to be successful, to get more TV and publicity. And the FIA is trying with things like DRS, which allow overtaking; this keeps the excitement with more passing (and keeps viewers engaged).

Photo from MSBForum (c) @MSBForum


Austin GP Experience

Local F1 fan @McChiken116_TS was at the inaugural Austin Grand Prix and this was his experience of the event.

Trip: We live in Texas, so my family just drove up from Houston, and this was the big family vacation. On arrival, the locals were the friendly Texans and friendly F1 fans I had expected. It was a tad colder than I thought it might be.

Weather: The swing in temperatures meant that you had to be prepared to bundle up in the morning, and shed layers as the day went on. And I noticed on the last two days they kinda gave up on trying to stop people bringing water into the complex.

Food: The array of food available at the track reminded me of how diverse Austin is, and I thought it was great they got local food trucks involved.

Transport to and From Track: The Shuttle service was excellent and we never had to wait in the morning. The only wait we had was after the race on Sunday.

Viewing Buddies: The mix of people around me and my family was very surprising. All sorts of people from everywhere in the world. It was great. We tried to get a few Fanvisions but they were always sold out when we tried, so we sat next to a big screen. We stayed after a while to eat, and mingle with the fellow fans. (And of course I had to bask in a McLaren Victory)

I have to say Jenson Button had a fantastic drive. As did Massa. Also, I can’t help but like the Marussias and Caterhams.

Tweeting from Track: As weird as this sounds, if I wanted to use the internet, it meant going into a portapotty due to those having great signals. On friday, the internet was fine though, but the last two days the AT&T system kinda freaked out under the load.

This was my first GP in 12 years, so I have to say I enjoyed it much more this time since last time I was too young to enjoy it. I loved the noise and the atmosphere, and if you can see one race (That isn’t Monaco) this is the race to go to.

Unique Significant Achievements

Guest blog by @naijaSolar.

November 8th  2012, Barack Obama, the first mixed-race President of the United States of America was re-elected.

November 18th 2012, Lewis Hamilton, the first mixed-race Formula 1 champion won the United States Grand Prix.

While both accomplishments are not comparable but there are a few coincidences/similarities common to both men.

2008: Lewis won his first World Driver Championship in the same year Barack was elected as USA president for the first time, both men “breaking into” a position that had previously only been occupied by caucasian men.

Ethnicity: Both men are of mixed-race parentage: white caucasian mothers and black African/Caribbean fathers who separated while their children were at a young age. Both are only children, although they have step-siblings.

Impact in rookie year: Just as Lewis rattled F1 and his team-mate in his first year in the sport, Barack was an unknown senator before he became the Democratic Party’s nominee in 2008. With their respective stratospheric rise to fame and success, came the Hollywood friends and endorsements.

However the successive years were less forgiving. Lewis’s 2009 MP4-24 was not competitive at the start of the year and he has not in contention for the WDC for several years. 2011 was a particular bad year for Lewis, even by his own admission. He was involved in several accidents and failed to score more points than his team-mate; in a way this is analogous to the Democratic Party’s heavy losses in the 2010 elections.

Resurgence: 2012 has been a major turn-around compared to 2011 for Lewis – his driving, mature and controlled. His demeanour has remained relaxed even after deciding to leave the team that nurtured him from a very young age. Despite not being the running for the 2012 World Driver Championship, he has fought for every point and only other drivers and reliability issues have scuppered his attempts.

2013 onwards: All eyes on Lewis and Barack in the next few years: both face new challenges, trying to prove themselves to their critics – more than ever before. However, everyone’s expectations of them are lower; for Lewis – joining a new team which finished 5th in the World Constructors Championship and won only once in 2012. He is not expecting to win and his first year will be to about building new relationships and trying to build a new team around him. For the President, his 2008 slogan of HOPE has been replaced with a more tempered FORWARD during the 2012 campaign. And this is what America and the world will be expecting of him; moving them forward is important, how quickly is less so.

Other articles by @naijasolar: Italian GP Experience and FOTA Fan Forum – Barcelona

Read all about it

The F1 world eagerly awaits announcement of news which will set of the Driver-Market Chain-Reaction. Well, it will be more of a small re-shuffle, than a chain-reaction as most drivers out of contract at the end of 2012 only have 2 or 3 options of seats to fill.

This announcement was rumoured to be made on Wednesday 26th September. At time of publishing this blog, no such announcement had been made.

The past few months has seen a frenzy of rumours, claims, counter-claims, denials, conjecture…. by journalists all vying  for the scoop of the year. Some F1 fans say they are getting annoyed by the rumours and just want a final confirmation of which team these drivers will be driving for in 2013. Unsurprisingly, the most talked-about of these drivers is Lewis Hamilton and from conversations with other F1 fans via Twitter, we all agree that his contract has been the most talked about and written about, that we all can recall.

Just to “prove” this point, I have performed very complex surveys* to establish how many articles were written about drivers in the year they signed their most recent contract i.e. end of their season with penultimate team.

1) Jenson Button moved from Brawn to McLaren in 2009.

Date Range: 1 Jan 2009 – 31 Dec 2009

Search Results: 228,000

2) Fernando Alonso moved from Renault to Ferrari in 2010.

Date Range: 1 Jan 2010 – 31 Dec 2010

Search Results: 693,000

3) Lewis Hamilton rumoured to move from McLaren to Mercedes OR stay at McLaren in 2012.

Date Range: 1 Jan 2012 – 26 Sept 2012

Search Results: 39,200,000^

What does this tell us? Actually, not a lot we did not know already. (1) Hamilton is a well-known figure in F1 and further afield. (2) Blogs/Social Media use is increasing annually so there are more articles posted on the internet, (3) old articles are deleted or archived so might not show up on internet searches for the other drivers. But one can still appreciate that the volume of traffic Hamilton is generating at the moment is immense.

By comparison with other talked-about personalities or occurences over the same date range i.e. 1 Jan 2012 – 26 Sept 2012:

Kristen Stewart, Search Results: 95,700,000

Mars Curiosity, Search Results: 63,400,000

Fernando Alonso, Search Results: 12,300,000

That said, all F1 fans want is confirmation of Hamilton’s new contract or at least, no more unfounded rumours by journalists.

* = Google Internet Search

^ = Google’s Birthday is 27th September hence the new icon in the top left of screen-grab, just to prove it is a very recent search

Italian GP Experience

Guest Blog from a follower (@naijaSolar) who was at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend.

I have been to F1 races before but I had never been to the Italian Grand Prix, despite having friends in and visiting Milan and Monza. So after running out of reasons not to go, I decided to book tickets for the race and combine it visiting my friends. Milan in the lead up to the Italian Grand Prix didnt look very different – apart from the front of the Ferrari Store near Corso Vittorio Emmanuele and the Duomo. This area had been transformed into a mini-race track with several events for passers-by. I am not a “tifoso” but any F1 fan would be crazy not to visit the shop which epitomises Formula 1 passion globally.

To maintain a balanced, unbiased perspective, I also visited the McLaren showroom on Corso Sempione. Unfortunately, it is a showroom – accessible only by appointment – perhaps this was why not a lot of people were aware of its presence.

On my way back from the McLaren Showroom, I walked past a small bookshop on Corso Venezia. Turns out it is an automobile bookshop – one of the oldest in Italy. The owner spoke English and told me about the extensive array of books that he had.

Something caught my eye in the shop: I spotted a large red book with a pair of gloves on it. These, the proprietor explained, were to protect the book from customer smudges and stains. It was an iconic Ferrari book which had to be made to order, the most expensive version (Ferrari Opus Diamante Edition) costing up to a quarter of a million dollars! Sadly I didnt have that kind of change on me.


On Thursday, I went to the track to collect my pre-booked tickets. As I was staying at a friend’s apartment on the outskirts of Milan, the entire trip to the Autodromo lasted about 2hours and involved the Metro to Sesto, a bus to Monza town centre and then another bus to the Autodromo di Monza. On arrival, it took just 5 minutes to process my ID and furnish me with the tickets. Then I had the rest of the afternoon to look around the track.

I discovered the entrance to the F1 paddock and the crowd gathered outside it implied that it might be a good spot for autograph-hunting. And sure enough, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez, Kamui Kobayashi walked by – none of whom stopped for autographs. However about half an hour later, a black Mercedes pulled up to the gates and Lewis Hamilton emerged from the car. I almost could not believe it was him! He stopped and signed autographs, flags, shirts, hats and shook hands with some of the people there. Everyone cheered for him and it was good to see him take time to acknowledge the fans’ support.

Lewis arrives at Autodromo di Monza, Italian GP

As part of the 3-day ticket package, fans were allowed onto the pit between 4pm and 6.30pm on Thursday. Unsurprisingly, the first garage most fans flocked to was the Ferrari garage and there were chants of “ALONSO, ALONSO”. There was even a random chant of “Grosjean is sheeeeeet” in a thick Italian accent, no doubt a tifoso still annoyed about the 1st-lap incident that took out Alonso at the Spa Grand Prix.

I saw Vettel and his minders as he went to conduct an interview, also saw Christian Horner, Jenson Button, Nico Hulkenberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Timo Glock and FIA Deputy Race Director, Herbie Blash.

Thursday Night was spent at Vogue’s Fashion Night Out in Milan – a glamour-themed late shopping night in Milan. Parties at Pirelli, Vivienne Westwood, Missoni, Pinko and many other shops along Corso Venezia kept us entertained till the early hours of the morning.

Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, VFNO, Milan


Parabolica 21D was our home on Friday and Saturday, which provided a good view of the Monza track; with the big screen directly in front of us and bilingual commentary, we didn’t miss much of the session. The only thing that I wasnt prepared for was the unbearable heat!

Something else I was looking forward to was Santander‘s regular competition on race weekends: an initiative to get more females interested in Formula 1, by selecting the first 5 people to tweet them within a certain period. I was lucky enough to have been on Twitter when the “competition opened” and promptly sent a tweet for a chance at this money-cant-buy experience. I was elated to receive a message saying I had been selected for the Paddock tour, all I had to do was been at the paddock entrance at 9am on race day.


I arrived an hour early on Sunday and myself and other competition winners met the Santander representative who gave us guest passes for the paddock and escorted us through the turnstiles leading into the Monza paddock. We met Ferrari’s sponsorship manager, Marco who had been enrolled as our guide for the day. He showed us the Ferrari technical motorhome and their hospitality area.

Later on, we went into the McLaren motorhome and spoke briefly with Sam Inskip (Sponsorship Manager at McLaren), after which we were introduced to a senior director of Santander. Finally we had a quick look inside HRT’s motorhome and as we exited the paddock, politely interrupted Pirelli’s Paul Hembery‘s conversation for a photograph.

It was such a great opportunity and I cannot thank Santander enough for making my first trip to Monza an unforgettable experience. This was made even better by the phenomenal drive and win by Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez. The fans at Parabolica cheered for most drivers – even when Button’s car ground to a halt right in front of our stands. However, the same cannot be said of the fans who crowded under the podium after the race and booed Lewis Hamilton. This was the only negative on a glorious race weekend.

If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing – well, perhaps I’d get covered grandstand tickets or better yet, not return the Santander Guest passes!

Special thanks to @SantanderGP, @PaulHembery, @InsideFerrari and @theFifthDriver. More photos can be found on my Twitter profile @naijaSolar.

Spa GP Experience

One of my followers on Twitter – Steve Mason’s recent birthday present was a trip to the Spa Grand Prix and he agreed to share his experience with fellow F1 fans. Here is a blog about his trip.

(c) @duskyBlogF1


Was this your first GP or first trip to Spa?

This was my first trip to Spa but I have been to Silverstone many times including this year & also Monza in 2010. My other-half @MissGemmaClare booked [the trip] as a surprise, however, budget was not just about GP;  it included a mini break too. We based ourselves in Brussels for 4 nights at The Atlanta, a great hotel.

We booked in April so the GP tickets could have been cheaper. Whole thing, excluding airport transfers, were organised by Grandstand Motorsports Our first time using them, I would definitely use them again.

Getting from track to hotel: Ease and Cost
In terms of ease, this is where I would say basing yourself in Brussels doesn’t work, look for an alternative. This however, is the dichotomy of Spa. 2 hour transfer times meant early starts & late finishes for us, whilst missing some of the support races. However, I’m not a ‘camper’ & there are limited hotels nearby but if you book now maybe there is a chance; La Source Hotel already fully booked for 2013! If you are in a Group renting a house seemed popular with other fans. Parking seemed easy with plenty of sites with fixed prices all weekend at €10 per day.
On another note I don’t know why Silverstone gets such a hard time for traffic, Spa is way way worse, Bernie needs to have a word 😉
How was the weather?
The local temp was nice & warm too on the Thursday, Saturday & Sunday. As for Friday practice that was cold and very wet.  Sunday was a hot day but in the covered grandstand but it was about 5 degrees cooler. We saw a lot of people who’d have done well to have packed some sun tan lotion!
Did you watch Qualifying and the race? 
Hell yeah! Also went for Friday practice, my £2.99 poncho a massively valuable investment before leaving the UK. Our view from La Source Gold 8 was excellent as you could see a great deal of the track with the added bonus of some of the pit lane & pit exit plus a Giant Screen. (So good was his view, he got this great photo of the first-lap carnage which resulted in Grosjean’s 1-race ban)

Spa Carnage (c) Steve Mason

How was the atmosphere/mood around you?
A real mix of nationalities from English, Dutch, Belgium, French, Italian and American fans. Atmosphere was great, some good banter and very knowledgable crowd.
We were sat opposite the big screen at La Source but also tried Fanvision for the first time – mightily impressed. At the circuit it was €45 per day, online delivered to our house €65 for the entire weekend!  Top tip, I got an earphone splitter so my partner and I could share a set; worked a treat. Having BBC5Live or SkyF1 commentary meant you always knew what was going on throughout the weekend & Will Buxton for GP2/3 races was excellent. FanVision bridges the gap of watching at a circuit & wholly knowing what’s going on. I found it particularly useful for Quali so you knew who was in the drop zone etc
Could you “pour”/get onto the track after the race?
Yes, it was great, access was easy. After a few minutes of fans being on the track, you’d never have known there had been a crash – the crowd devoured and collected carbon fibre souvenirs……spotless!
We went onto the track, listened to the new post race podium interviews (big fan of that) but had to leave to get our coach transfer. We flew from Manchester with Brussels Airways so plenty of options but we had didn’t fly home until Monday tea time, giving us the day Brussels.
Did you encounter any marshalls and were they helpful?
In terms of track marshalls no contact, however, stand stewards were all very helpful. However, English was not widely understood but a bit of schoolboy French was enough to get by.

Marshalls, Fernando, Lewis and Romain (c) Steve Mason

Food/availability and variety?
Brussels is a foodies heaven but at the track the range was very basic with only burgers or sausages plus obviously frites & mayonnaise. Prices remained same all 3 days, burgers €6, frites €5 + €1 for mayo or sauce, coke can €3.50 & Cafe €3.
We picnicked each day & there was no restriction on what you could take in to the track.
No free water but no restrictions on food or drink into the circuit.

Would you recommend this event to others?

The trip to Spa is part of my ambition to visit all the REAL F1 circuits on the Calendar. Would I recommend it, in a word……YES! Truly immense experience, fantastic & I have no doubt at some point soon I will return. Where next is now my only quandary.
Thanks to Steve for giving us an insight to his first trip to Spa. Follow his on Twitter @theSteveMason.

Welcome back, Formula 1

Similarly to last F1 off-season, I’ve collated tid-bits and news items from the F1 world during the break – one for every day since those cars were packed up in Brazil to when their new reincarnations roar to live in Australia on Friday (110 days). So to refresh your memory…


  1. Caterham (previously known as Team Lotus) launched their car in an innovative way by publishing a photo in F1 Racing magazine. It has a stepped down nose (nicknamed “platypus”) as their interpretation of lower nose-rule change
  2. McLaren launch the MP4-27 on 1st February online, and it has a smooth nose
  3. Ferrari’s launch (F2012) is on 3rd February. Heavy snow fall scuppered plans to drive around Maranello
  4. Force India also unveil the VJM05 on 3rd February
  5. Lotus F1 team revealed the E20 online on Sunday 5th Feb – same step-down nose as all others (apart from McLaren)
  6. Sauber release their C31 new car on Monday 6th February
  7. RedBull also launched the RB8 on Monday 6th February
  8. …. and so does Toro Rosso
  9. Tuesday 7th was Williams’ launch date
  10. Mercedes reveal another stepped nose car at the second test in Barcelona
  11. HRT is reported to have passed the FIA Crash test in the final week of February 2012
  12. Marussia failed the last of 18 tests and means it will not participate in the final test in Barcelona – therefore goes to AustralianGP untested…..
  13. …..They eventually passed on March 6th 2012
  14. Marussia unveil their car at Silverstone on Monday 5th March and its nose is similar to McLaren – with whom they have a technical partnership
  15. HRT have a filming day at Montmelo on Monday 5th March
  16. Pirelli’s test car is the 2010 Renault


  1. McLaren retains its driver line up of Lewis Hamilton (UK)  and Jenson Button (UK)
  2. RedBull also keeps their 2010 line up i.e. Mark Webber (Australia) and Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
  3. Michael Schmacher has another go to show that his comeback is not a mistake with Mercedes GP 2010 team mate Nico Rosberg
  4. Force India kick Adrian Sutil (Germany) out and replace him with German reserve driver, Nico Hulkenberg  whilst retaining Paul Di Resta (UK)
  5. Williams keep Pastor Maldonaldo (Venezuelan) and his partner is Bruno Senna (Brazil)
  6. Toro Rosso go for a completely new line-up with a promotion for last year’s reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) and Jean-Eric Vergne (France)
  7. Lotus follow in Toro Rosso’s steps and announce all new line up….well, almost all new – both drivers are “second-chancers” Kimi Raikkonen (Finnish) after a 2-year-hiatus and Romain Grosjean (France) after his first stint in F1 in 2009.
  8. Sauber keep Kobayashi (Japan) and Sergio Pérez (Mexico)
  9. Marussia Virgin keeps Timo Glock (Germany), loses Jerome D’Ambrosio (Belgium) and newbie Charles Pic (French) joins the team
  10. HRT sign ex-McLaren reserve driver Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) and he is partnered by Narain Karthikeyan (India)- last driver to be announced, and it came after news of Sutil’s conviction.
  11. Lotus retain ‘veteran’ Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) and Jarno Trulli (Italy) until Feb 17th (see #43)
  12. Ferrari return with Felipe Massa (Brazil) and Fernando Alonso (Spain)


My Guide to F1 on Twitter

On the 21st of January, a young talented race driver @dinoZamparelli joined Twitter for the first time and he is currently trying to find his feet on the microblogging site.  This got me thinking about how the experience would be for a newcomer.

I joined Twitter a while back solely to get updates on F1. It is a fantastic platform which most F1 teams and drivers now use for direct communication with their fans, on most occasions circumventing the Press altogether. Also, it is a great tool for fellow fans to stave off the withdrawal symptoms from lack of F1 during the off-season.

But with “The Good” must come “The Bad and The Ugly” face of Twitter: i.e. death hoaxes, fake accounts impersonating drivers or teams, blackmail attempts, exclusive false announcements and counter-denials etc. So I’ve come up with 10 Dos & Don’ts of F1 on Twitter

10. The following drivers are NOT on Twitter: DON’T follow any account that claims to be: Schumacher, Vettel or  Räikkönen.

9. DON’T confuse “F1Fakes” with impersonators: the former are usually comical parody accounts like @charlie_whiting, @fakeCharlesPic, and the latter are deceitful people tricking F1 fans into following them.

8. DO announce that you are new to Twitter and that you are looking for fellow F1 fans to interact with. Most F1 fans are happy to suggest or recommend followers or “followees”. Also, participate in #FF (Follow Friday) or #F1Follow: a chance to let others know who you follow and would like to recommend. It is also helpful to explain why people should follow them within the tweet.

7. There are several on-going and some sporadic competitions on Twitter by the likes of @cosworth, @Marussia_F1Team. DO reTweet (RT) interesting competitions or articles; even if you don’t win, you might get a Thank You from the organiser and the winner.

6. DO follow these Twitter accounts: @ScarbsF1 (for everything Technical in F1), @f1Enigma & @F1nomics (for breaking news on driver contracts & F1 marketing), @SaltireF1 (for F1 Engine-Use Statistics and Driver Penalties), @wtf1_co_uk (for the funny side of F1)

5. DON’T be afraid to tweet team-bosses like @tonyfernandes (Caterham), @paulhembery (Pirelli) – they may not reply immediately but they eventually do. Great fan interaction.

4. DON’T be offended if someone on your Timeline does not like a F1 Driver you support; most fans can be objective and criticise a particular driving style or incident without getting personal.

3. DO join in on #F1Chat, Monday 9pm GMT run by @f1chat & @formula1Blog AND tune in to #theFlyingLap hosted by @peterDWindsor every Wednesday 7pm GMT.

2. DON’T hesitate to block Spammers offering “more followers”, sex, iPads. But I wouldn’t advise newbies to “Protect your Tweets” unless it’s a privacy issue.

and finally….

1. DO join us for #duskyF1Quiz on Monday 23rd 8pm for a chance to win a prize!

Hope these tips make following F1 on Twitter less daunting and more enjoyable for newbies. Feel free to suggest any other tips I might have omitted in the Comments.

Updated: 27th Jan 2013

Lewis in India

Lewis Hamilton was to India on Tuesday after the Singapore Grand Prix for a Vodafone India promotional event. Given the great turn out (40,000 spectators) it would have been a great distraction from his ‘tussle’ with a Brazilian on Sunday.
Lewis Hamilton in India

From Bengaluru, photo by @thefifthDriver

Video of an interview with Indian TV
Fan video (apologies for poor quality)