The wildly popular publication is a must have for journalists.
25 Years ago, at that Grand Prix, two French spectators were present as guests of French petroleum giant Elf. They had come by private jet from Le Bourget airport, north of Paris. It was the first time they had met.
Only they can speak with certainty about their own relationship. But in professional terms, theirs was a marriage made in media heaven.
François-Michel Grégoire had been closely involved on the sponsorship front with the AGS F1 team as well as with Lotus and Williams. His partner was already well versed in the intricacies of publishing and graphic design in the service of corporate identity.
They shared a passion for mechanised sport: why not turn their hobby into their work?
The first challenge: earning the trust of the unique and sometimes closed world of Formula 1. If you are not a ‘paddock’ insider you can find yourself well and truly on the outside. Grégoire’s F1 links helped in that regard, as did a carefully planned and industriously carried out plan of attack.
Their presence soon became a joint and familiar one on the motor racing circuits of the world; they were into ‘networking’ long before it became a buzzword.
Their plan: to create a new and unique tool that would be released at the very beginning of the F1 season for the ever-increasing number of media following motor sport, whose sphere of influence is not just Europe but the entire world.
Their brainchild, Who Works in Formula 1, this year celebrates its 25th year of publication. Such longevity alone would make the book stand out in a motor racing universe where even superstars come and go with astonishing rapidity, if you will pardon the pun.
The key to its success? A new approach, bringing together all of the information a hard-working journalist could possibly need to get started on the trail of the next big story, to get at the personality behind the next interview, to get to the people who make the high-speed world of Grand Prix racing go round.
The second challenge: finding out, compiling, organising the many thousands of pieces of information required, then editing and arranging them into a format that would be easy to use both in an intellectual and a physical sense.
It may have grown over the years, but the unique resource that is Who Works in Formula 1 is still just the right size to slip into a computer case or work-bag. For many it is the first thing they look for after their passport.
The F1 volume was soon followed by others in specialist areas such as the World Rally Championship, CART/IndyCar racing and NASCAR. Grégoire and mate have since rationalised those multiple volumes into the sister publication Who Works in Motorsport, introduced in 2005 with similar success.
So much success, in fact, that both books are now collectors’ items as well as tools for working journalists, prized for their unique format and especially for the access they provide to a world that would otherwise remain a secret to its most enthusiastic followers.
That enthusiasm is summed up in the high return rate of Who Works buyers and supporters. The Guides now sell in over 70 countries and TAG Heuer, Mumm, Total and names like these have backed Who Works for over 20 years.
The internet has only enhanced the appeal of the Who Works formula, the network of relationships so carefully constructed by the authors translating into a successful exploitation of the ‘global village’ that is the worldwide web.
The Who Works in F1 - 2014, 25th anniversary edition will be available mid March and 2014 being a year of major change for Formula One, Who Works in Formula One with help you to find your way and contact the right person or company with the most up to date information available.
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