A cautionary tale about believing anonymous 'news'

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    Pitlanetalk, a Twitter user who claimed to provide “the latest news on driver market, financial, political and technical aspects of Formula One” and whose stories regularly featured on Reddit and other aggregators, has closed its account. Pitlanetalk had previously claimed several stories which never materialised, such as Flavio Briatore replacing Stefano Domenicali at Ferrari, and three weeks ago when it said Fernando Alonso would announce his Ferrari departure “tomorrow”, which obviously never happened.

    They made their way to the comments here sometimes too. Now, I’m not making a point of this to gloat or anything. I don’t have any idea who was behind the account. And that’s the point. Claiming to have inside information while hiding behind anonymity is an easy fib to tell. Pitlanetalk’s quiet disappearance is a cautionary tale for anyone who was duped by it.

    A quote from a television programme I saw a while ago springs to mind:

    Unless you’re Deep Throat or in the witness protection programme, anonymity is cowardice.
    Will McAvoy, ‘Newsnight’


    A bit of speculation is fun, but I don’t take anything as fact until the word comes directly from the sources – teams, drivers, etc.

    Given the gap that exists between most races (I love back-to-back weekends, like we have with COTA and Interlagos) it’s easy for the mind to wander to these imaginative scenarios to get our F1 fix.

    Keith, if you ever see any other questionable sources, it’d be nice if you make it clear here as well so that we have some idea of who is reputable and who may not be.

    Iestyn Davies

    While I imagine this guy never got anything right, to be fair, in that speculation, he only got the role of the ‘next big thing’ wrong, as Marko chose Kvyat over Vergne, who many would have picked as the ‘safe choice’, while Verstappen could then have gone up against a now known quantity in Kvyat, who would then have to learn how to lead the junior team. Instead, it’s plainly clear who leads both teams, and who is matching up on pace with an eye for the future.


    And in F1 even getting it from the horses mouth is no guarantee that exactly the opposite wont happen.


    With 11 (now 9) teams, there is only a finite amount of news that will ever come from so few outlets. And with publications/websites entirely dedicated to news from F1, it’s pretty inevitable every slight movement and half-baked rumour will be published in spite of there being no substance to it.

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