After nine years away, famed writer returns with his celebrated ‘Fifth Column’.
November 17, 2016, Miami, FL. Motorsport Network, the Miami-headquartered publisher, today announced it has signed the eminent Formula 1 writer Nigel Roebuck to rejoin its recently-acquired Autosport
Roebuck, and his famous ‘Fifth Column’, will return to Autosport’s magazine pages and Autosport.com website in 2017.
Roebuck first covered Formula 1 in 1971 and, following a stint with Graham Hill’s Embassy-backed team, joined Autosport as Grand Prix Correspondent in September 1976. From 1980, his Fifth Column first ran between Grands Prix, becoming weekly from January 1989.
His 31-year Autosport career encompassed over 400 race reports from around the world, but he left Autosport at the end of 2007 to become Editor in Chief at Motor Sport magazine.
He decided to rejoin his ‘spiritual home’ following Motorsport Network’s acquisition of the former Haymarket Motorsport Division brands of Autosport, F1 Racing and Motorsport News.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Nigel is returning to Autosport,” said Motorsport Network’s Global Editor-in-Chief, Charles Bradley. “I grew up reading his race reports, but I’d first turn to his ‘Fifth Column’ – because I knew that’s exactly what the F1 drivers and team bosses did too. In a time when F1’s TV coverage was sparse, he brought the sport to life and could tell me the real story behind my heroes – it was insight like no other.
“What continues to amaze me today is how Nigel can write about Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen as effortlessly as Gilles Villeneuve or Ronnie Peterson; nobody can compare and contrast the generations quite like Nigel. After a great stint at Motor Sport magazine, I feel like he’s coming home, and I can’t think of a better signing to show how serious we are about investing in our recently-acquired Autosport title.”
“After working for Autosport for 31 years, as Grand Prix Editor, I am returning to it in 2017, full of enthusiasm and optimism,” said Nigel Roebuck. “The magazine’s ambitious new owners are clearly willing to invest in it, to a degree that impresses me – and what pleases me further is that they are people with a genuine love of our sport.
“For a magazine I started reading at the age of six, I see only good times ahead – and I'm delighted to bring Fifth Column back to its pages.”
“Going back to my roots”
Nigel recalls a conversation with F1 World Champion, and Le Mans 24 Hours and Indy 500 winner Graham Hill that stuck in his mind, and helped him make the decision to return to Autosport – just as Graham had done by returning to Lotus in 1967.
"Back in the mid-seventies, when I was quite new in the business, and working for Graham Hill's Formula 1 team, I asked him one day how it had felt, after driving for BRM for seven years, to go back to Lotus in 1967. Graham didn't hesitate. ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘it was like going home again.
"For a long time I drove Lotus sports cars, and when Colin Chapman went into Formula 1 in 1958 I was in the team, making my debut at Monaco. We went our separate ways in 1960, but when Colin later asked me to go back, as Jim Clark's team mate, I couldn't resist the offer – I always felt I belonged there...’
“In my own way, I know how Graham felt. My life, as a Formula 1 journalist, really got underway when I joined Autosport in 1976, and it greatly pleases me – after nine years away – now to be going back to my roots..."
Liam Clogger, Vice President of Communications, Motorsport Network
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Motorsport Network is a vertically integrated automotive & motorsport business headquartered in Miami, FL. The technology business manages a global broadcast network, live events, and multiple websites, social networks and e-commerce, gaming, analytics & editorial syndication platforms operating in 16 languages across 60 international markets. The business is founded on the principle of engaging audiences around automotive & motorsport content to provide clients with integrated solutions to connect with this global audience.
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