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Formula 1

Inside F1 2023's most hectic news day

4 min read

As The Race reflects on the 2023 motorsport season - one that featured a record-equalling Formula 1 schedule, no fewer than 39 MotoGP races, and no shortage of on- and off-track drama in IndyCar and Formula E - we’ve asked our writers to recount their standout motorsport memory or feeling from the past 12 months.

Are you ready to work for The Race? Our Live Hub editor Jack Cozens is ready to take you behind the scenes of the biggest story of the year, and how it felt to be working on a thrilling tale unravelling as Nyck de Vries was ousted at AlphaTauri. Notepads, at the ready...

It's 1.57pm on July 11. A quiet enough Tuesday - the post-British Grand Prix F1 test is in full swing and the day is, from The Race newsdesk's perspective, under control.

Then up pops a message in our shared online workspace: 'Murmurs that NDV (Nyck de Vries) has gone...'

More of these come through, citing De Telegraaf.

It's all hands to the pump. 'Team F1' - our colloquial term for our F1 journalists at The Race - chases Red Bull and AlphaTauri for confirmation or comment. In the meantime, the decision's taken to acknowledge De Telegraaf's report from The Race's Twitter (as it was then known) account.

This is done with a degree of 'IF' to our wording, but all the while we're waiting for our sources to corroborate the situation, there's a chance to bring our followers there up to speed if they've missed any developments in recent weeks - such as AlphaTauri suggesting De Vries was on borrowed time fewer than two weeks beforehand.

The picture becomes clearer, and it emerges that Daniel Ricciardo is due to make his F1 return and take the seat, so attention turns to how we can be proactive for when that news is made official.

A standard news story is a no-brainer in this case - this is a big change in a season devoid of storylines - and from the newsdesk's perspective (in this case I ended up taking it on) is easy enough to arrange, piecing together the various constituent parts.

Logical too for a story of this magnitude is a verdict in our traditional format; whether you love or loathe the concept, they are our way of housing bite-sized opinions and we know they generate reader interest.

Edd Straw's pitch for that - made before we even formally commission it - is the first one in and such a strong option that we decide it merits its own standalone column.

Our 2023 memories so far

Throw in two immediate pieces from Scott Mitchell-Malm, filed before the news is official, and intel from Sam Smith that De Vries might already have a Formula E seat for the following season in the offing as we look at his options, and we've got a very healthy content plan forming.

It's now 3.35pm. 'Scuderia AlphaTauri Welcomes Back Daniel Ricciardo' lands in the inbox. To quote football journalist Fabrizio Romano: Here we go!

Ultimately, we ended up with two bits of content published on the dot, three more within the next hour, and a verdict live by teatime - with a podcast and YouTube video (both are embedded below) to boot that evening as well.

Why's that my moment of the year? Well, from a professional perspective it was the immediate, illustratable example that came to mind when thinking of how we can give a bit of insight into our working practices at The Race, in this instance about how we react when we're not ahead of the curve in terms of being first to the story.

From a personal point of view, though, it's the day of work that I'm most proud of over the last 12 months - arguably since I joined full-time in April 2022.

It's hard to attach an emotion to it but when you come out the other side there's a buzz to being immersed in a live news situation such as this one that's like nothing else; it was a proper reminder of how rewarding a job - for all the hours it can involve - this is.

I got to cover another series, Formula E, and did so as part of a mega trip to Mexico, and I also got to return to the Macau Grand Prix for the first time since 2019 - so this year featured plenty of trackside highlights.

But it's being sat at my office desk on that July afternoon that I'm left reflecting on most fondly.

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