Why F1 Fanatic is changing names

F1 Fanatic

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It is more than an understatement to say that when I set up F1 Fanatic 13 years ago I never expected it to become as successful as it has.

To begin with it was just an exercise. My plan was to put a few articles online and look for writing jobs in motorsport. Instead the site became my career – and one I love.

Then as now I’m motivated by a desire to understand and explain a sport which fascinates and thrills me. Today the site is more widely read then I ever imagined it might. There have been growing pains along the way, which have usually taken the form of upgrades to the server to handle the ever-growing volume of site traffic.

It has also become increasingly clear the site has outgrown its name and it’s time for a change. There are several factors at play, but some are more important than others.

As many of you will know from reading my replies over the years, I never intended for the site to be closely associated with its domain suffix. I chose “.co.uk” because it was affordable but it has given some the mistaken impression this is intended to be a ‘British website’. I want to write for all motor sport fans, so clearing up this confusion is long overdue.

‘F1 Fanatic’ has begun to feel like a restrictive title in another way. My motorsport interests have always been broader than just F1. But at times I’ve felt that because of its name, the coverage of non-F1 series on this site has been almost apologetic in tone.

That doesn’t reflect my own interests and, I’ve increasingly discovered, many of yours. The new name has partly been chosen to reflect a broadening of the site’s scope beyond F1 which began a while ago.

Of course I’ll be sad to say goodbye to the site’s original title. And I do appreciate, from reading your comments when I first announced this last month, some of you are not unreasonably concerned about the upcoming change. So I’d like to offer a few words of reassurance.

Formula One will remain our primary focus. That fact should be very clear in the upcoming weeks as the 2018 F1 season bursts into life with car launches and tests.

This year we will have coverage from the paddock throughout the entire F1 season. This is a first for the site and one which I’m extremely proud of at a time when independent publications are finding it harder than ever to afford the cost of attending races.

And the F1 Fanatic name will not disappear entirely. It will live on as the title of a new column which I’m looking forward to sharing with you.

The decision to make a break from a brand which I have developed over the past 13 years was not taken lightly. I hope those of you with misgivings about it nonetheless appreciate the reasons for it.

All that’s left now is to reveal the new name. You won’t have to wait long…

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 63 comments on “Why F1 Fanatic is changing names”

    1. All the best Keith! I for one will continue to show my support :)

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      12th February 2018, 22:11

      So F1Fanatic is the name of the F1 section of the new domain?

      RaceFans.net. Now that’s a good name.

      1. why not RaceFanatic.net …… at least there is ‘fanatic’, remind us of the original site, the histories

        1. Fans being short for fanatic…..

          1. I mean, the word ‘fanatic’ is a trademark of Keith….. there are f1technical.net, formule1.nl, netcarshow.com, racecar-engineering.com …..and f1fanatic is one among them which is easy to remember ….. english isnt my native language, so,when I hear the word ‘fanatic’, my mind stick to this site … i remember when Worldcarfans.com change to Motor1.com, it needs months to get used to …. i remember when Worldcarfans.com change to Motor1.com, it needs months to get used to, when they change everything, at that time I start to leave that site ……. I hope this site doesnt change much

            1. I understand that fanatic may be memorable but m connotation on fanatic is not positive, fans is more constrained. On the other hand the new name and image is bland, I was hoping for a more poetic name.

    3. This is quite exciting :)

      Congratulations on the continued success Keith!

    4. When domain name flies off the secret :)

      Good job, great news !!!!!

    5. Sounds great to me! I love this site so I wish you all the best and I really hope it is all working as you expect it to be.

    6. A rose by any other name…

      1. ………nice sentiment there. #:)

    7. I liked the old name, but no problems with the new one. Mostly, I’m just pleased to see a site that I’ve been visiting for so long doing well and moving forwards. And especially as it’s a site that’s stayed true to what it was originally founded as – a site made by a fan, for fans.

      So, all the best as Racefans, I’ll still be visiting multiple times a day. But… I’m so used to it that I’ll probably still be putting ‘F1F’ into Google in 2021, so could you keep the redirect alive? :D

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        12th February 2018, 23:22

        Yeah, like when new year passes and you continue to write 2017, the F key ain’t safe yet

    8. Keep up the good work, Keith!

    9. It’s very neat, congratulations Keith! You’ve certainly done a better job of rebranding than F1 did

    10. Any clues? A poll, Ferrari style to pick the new name?

      After past few weeks hopefully not The Society for Prevention of Exploiting Grid Girls. SPEG.

      1. Check your browser address bar ;)

    11. Sounds good! Biggest danger is loss of brand recognition. Better hold on to the old domain name for redirections at least well into the new season.

      My primary way to find F1Fa… Err, Racefans articles is through the RSS feed. Will that keep being up as-is, or should I subscribe to another feed?

    12. Racefans.Net I just don’t get.

      Urgh. Generic. No focus.

      Also the WordPress login page is unbranded on mobile.

      1. @falken Yeah feels kinda ‘bland’ to me too. No disrespect keith

        1. yeah, i’m in the same boat

    13. Will horse racing now be covered? (The I.M.C. is too small to read)

      For me racefans.net is too vague.

      1. racefanatic.net is better i think, at least we still have ‘fanatic’ here :)

    14. So you didn’t get a letter from the legal team at Liberty Media like Formula1Blog.com did? (now theparcferme.com)

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        12th February 2018, 23:40

        That was my initial thought too, so guessed ‘GPFanatic’ or perhaps adopt Dieter’s ‘RacingLines’ as part of the new acquisition, though that appears to be aftermarket bike parts, at least on the UK domain. Pity as it’s a very neat domain for racing journalism.
        Overall pretty happy with the change, keeping the staple blue and green and ‘independent’ in the title.
        Like gunusugeh above though I’ll lament the loss of ‘Fanatic’, as retaining it would have been good for brand continuity, though ‘fans’ does so to a lesser degree in fairness.
        Onward and upward!

    15. I’ll be honest, I’d rather keep it as it was, although we know the site has expanded vastly, the name was already legendary as the most easily recognisable, legitimately independent websites on F1 and other motorsports. However, I absolutely respect the decision and the reasoning behind it. It’s a name after all, the site won’t change. Actually, scratch that, the site will keep changing, for the better.

      Proud to have been an avid reader of F1 Fanatic for the last 9 years, and proud to keep reading RaceFans for many more.

    16. When I saw the headline I was thinking ‘NOOOO’, but as always when you explain it, it makes 100% sense.
      Reading and reacting on this site for over ten years, I saw how it grow and rightfully so!

      Keep up the great work!

    17. Sorry but the new name is a missed opportunity. Although I have to admit getting an interesting name in 2018 is difficult. RaceFans.net sounds like a site for mods dedicated to an open source simulator. Nah…

    18. It’s gonna be so weird to see the F1 Fanatic name disappear from the url bar, it’s been my homepage for almost 10 years now I think. But it’s absolutely amazing to see the site develop like this, I’m really excited for the changes in 2018! :)

    19. At least the choice was yours. Another F1 fan site I frequent in the USA was forced to change their name under threat of a legal action from Liberty Media. It will remain F1 Fanatics in my bookmarks but I’ll make the change in my password manager.

    20. I appreciate the reason for the name change. Why not call it MotorsportFans.net? It accomplishes two things.

      – Excludes certain racing like horse racing
      – Includes things other than races themselves such as qualifying, politics, and drama :)

    21. I read the articles without knowledge of where it originated from. I think making a name change might be more trouble than it’s worth.

    22. Been here from the start, found it by the old F1NGers news group! Had you on Bloxor, then Google Reader, now The Old Reader.
      I don’t like the new name, but I never liked the old one, so I see no problem there ;)

      BTW, while you’re at it, why don’t improve the comments section? It’s atrocious and very low-tech. How about disqus? At the very least a “subscribe to replies” wordpress plugin will do!

      Best regards Keith!

    23. Short and sweet name.

      Feel like I’ve been commenting on here for nearly a decade. The first place online I contributed to with comments.

      Good luck with the rebrand, Keith. I hope it’s a success for everyone – readers and writing staff!

    24. I enter this site as i was looking for ventilation systems designed according my ancestry. That’s what race fans mean right?

    25. Formula One will remain our primary focus.

      This is all I want to hear. All the best, Keith!

    26. All the best Keith, we’ll continue to support this site.

    27. All the best Keith …
      Been reading this website for over a decade,
      Always a fan n happy to support !

    28. I liked the old one but so long as the “feel” of the web page doesnt change I guess I will get used to it.

    29. “I chose “.co.uk” because it was affordable but it has given some the mistaken impression this is intended to be a ‘British website’. I want to write for all motor sport fans, so clearing up this confusion is long overdue.”

      Nonono, that only gave credibility to the site! UK is the home and capital of European motorsports if you ask me!

      “But at times I’ve felt that because of its name, the coverage of non-F1 series on this site has been almost apologetic in tone.”
      Agreed.

      Like stated already, @keithcollantine, the ‘fanatic’ element in the name is essential to the brand and social identity of this website. RaceFanatic.net is perfect. RaceFans feels like some fan forum about fans…

    30. As always a well written explanation of the change with a logical growth strategy. F1 Paddock representation will be a major plus point for continued success.
      Best wishes for the future.
      Now how do I change my favourites on this iPad????

    31. Well although I think I may have preferred it to stick to the previous name, considering how much this site is starting to have about other racing stuff, I don’t see an issue in the name change. But I do think something like racefanatic as @damon suggested sounds better However, I am really pleased the interface of the site has remained very similar. There have been 2 forums elsewhere (totally different topics) that ended up changing interface and I got so lost I now end up using them far less than I did. I even find the official F1 site very annoying since it had the interface change a year or two ago. I hope this site will remain like it is.

    32. @keithcollantine could you create an article showing some site statistics such as server traffic, unique visitors, where they are from etc… I’m sure many of us are data driven and would want to see this kind of info.

    33. As long as you don’t put a halo on it, don’t have Hermann Tilke do the web site redesign, and don’t switch to V-6 turbo-hybrid web servers thhen I’ll keep reading.

    34. Bold decision Keith. Looking at it from a business point of view- I totally understand where you are coming from. Sometimes firms fail/die because they fail to adapt to the ever shifting market forces. Nokia and Blackberry are prime examples of this. I salute you for spotting the challenges you faced and taking them head on- alot of business people tend to be risk averse. All the best going forward and I will continue to be an ardent reader of your site.

    35. “It is more than an understatement to say that when I set up F1 Fanatic 13 years ago”

      Gee, I feel old know… It seems I’ve not been going on this website for that long, but so many years have passed!

    36. Good stuff Keith..well done and keep up the great work.

      Funnily enough, Race Fans abbreviates to RF, which pretty much looks like the new F1 logo…which looks like an r and f in one!

    37. I’m just glad I won’t have to do the whole “dot co dot uk” shenanigans again while typing into my friends’ phones the name of my *Absolute favourite* Motorsport website ever.
      Loving the expansion and the brilliant work you are doing, @keithcollantine and I wish you all the very best and every success.
      Sidenote: Yes, like many others I too wonder why you didn’t go with ‘RaceFanatics’. Anyway, you must have thought it out, I can’t complain with the quality!

    38. An alright name. To be honest, f1fanatic sounds a bit juvenile these days.

    39. All sounds reasonable. Will this mess up the RSS feed?

    40. I’ve been with you for the last 7 years (lurking then a member). A name change is not going to make me leave. I just need to adjust my “f 1 f” muscle memory from entering that in the browser search for so many years!

    41. Great work with the site, Keith. It’s your brand and you can do what feels right for you. I agree with all your reasons and am looking forward to the future!

    42. Congrats on the new name, Keith. All of your success with the site is richly deserved, IMO. I’m consistently impressed with the high quality and integrity of the journalism, breadth of the coverage and the amount of work you personally do (ex. so many of the articles with your own byline – do you ever sleep ;-)? It’s clearly a labor of love and we all benefit from it.

    43. Happy for your success, Keith! Pretty cool when a dream comes true.

      Hope you might create a sentimental subdomain f1fanatics.racefans.net where the archives can live on in the style they were accustomed with Bernie and the Gridgirls.

    44. Great idea, broaden horizons! Way more IndyCar (best racing, biggest race on earth) please!

    45. Congrats, Keith!

      Thanks you for the last 13 years of information and discussion about Formula 1.
      Formula 1 is my main interest, but I also like to read some news about other Motorsport categories.

    46. I wish you the best Keith but this happened to a site I used to visit as well, gpupdate.net, they started to mix in other racing series to increase coverage which is fine but unlike you they did it subtly. Their solution was to have a direct link for only F1 articles. (https://www.gpupdate.net/en/series/1/formula-1/) Can you do something similar for us narrow minded folk?

    47. @keithcollantine Congratulations and well done on the progression

    48. @keithcollantine Congrats on your continued success. This is, after all, your domain, & you should do what ever is right for you. Having read your well considered reasons for a new name I’m cool with RaceFans, although I admit I also liked the RaceFanatic suggestion for nostalgic reasons. I have no doubt that the content will continue to be top quality & the ever growing community will continue to be thoroughly engaging. For me, & probably the majority of other members, that’s the most important thing. 👍

      1. David Hutcheson
        26th February 2018, 22:13

        “Race Fans.” Sounds great to me. Whatever the name the content will still grab my interest, as long as the quality of your writing remains as high as is currently on the site. Thanks for some great reading, I for one will still be here. Good luck Keith.

    49. Thanks for everything across the years, @keithcollantine! Your knowledge and commitment are the site’s real assets.

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