Following yesterday’s announcement, I’ve had some lovely messages from you guys and quite a few messages asking what my plans are with regard to the gigs I’ve had over the past few seasons. So I thought I’d just write a quick piece to fill you all in on my plans for the year ahead.
Working for SPEED is a tremendous honour and its a job I can’t wait to sink my teeth into. The guys over in the States have been very understanding about the fact I’m about to become a father, and they’ve given me the first few races off to be with my wife and new baby. As such, I’m due to make my debut on SPEED in Shanghai.
I want to make sure that I give 100% to my new role, and as such I have handed in my notice at GPWeek. I have had the most amazing two years at GPWeek and have taken enormous pride in watching it grow from a concept to a popular and well-read weekly magazine receiving 10 million page hits at its peak in 2009. I want to thank Keith, Chris and all the guys at the magazine for the best couple of seasons and to wish them well for the future, and I hope I’ll still be able to write bits and bobs for them over the season.
I will, however, continue in my role as commentator for FOM on the world feed of the GP2 Asia and GP2 Main Series in 2010. It’s a job which combines well with my new role at SPEED, and I can’t wait to see how the F1 feeder series plays out in 2010 in what will be its sixth season of competition. Should be a thriller!
I’ll be continuing with my blog, and updating it as often as I can… I know it’s not as regularly updated as some of the others, but quite frankly I don’t think you need my opinion on every miniscule happening in this sport. I’ll just give you my views on the stuff that interests me and the stuff I’ve delved into to try and find the real story.
Combined with that, I’m still a freelance journo so I hope to pick up bits and bobs throughout the year, such as the two features in the March issue of F1 Racing mag on Massa and Senna which I hope you all enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Thanks to you all for your continued support, and to all of you in the States who are avid SPEED viewers, don’t hesitate to let me know what you love about this sport and what you want to see from me in paddock and I will do my best to search it out for you and bring you the side of the sport that you want to see.
Overall, I’m really looking forward to the year… as this lovely Q&A conducted by SPEED will hopefully explain…
SPEED: Joining a well-established broadcast team, what do you hope to bring to the table to establish chemistry with Bob Varsha, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett?
Buxton: First up, I’ve got to admit that I’m just massively excited about the whole thing. It’s a huge honor to be joining the SPEED team, and in particular to be doing so at the start of what could be an incredible era in the history of Formula 1. I’ve been a fan of this sport my whole life and have been lucky enough to work within it for the better part of the past decade. I’d like to think that the passion and enthusiasm I have for F1 has come across in what I’ve done in the past and that those traits will define what I bring to the SPEED team both this year and into the future. Working with Bob, David, Steve and all the guys behind the scenes at SPEED is the sort of opportunity you just don’t get every day. And with F1 back in North America at Montreal, a lot of talk about the return of a US Grand Prix and so many young talented American drivers coming through the ranks, it’s a really great time to be joining SPEED.
SPEED: As the literal “eyes and ears” on the ground at each event for SPEED, what type of storylines attract your attention?
Buxton: F1 is a bit of a soap opera at times. As a journalist it’s what makes the sport such a joy to report on. There’s always something going on in the background, and I won’t shy away from doing my best to get to the heart of every issue. That said, I don’t think that my job at SPEED is simply to report the news. Far from it. As one of the lucky few who can actually get into the F1 paddock, I think that probably my biggest responsibility is to open it all up to the American fans: to invite them in, sit them down, introduce them to a few people and show them what’s going on. It’s the fans that make this sport, so my job is to give them the access they deserve.
SPEED: Are you doing anything specific to prepare for this new role?
Buxton: I am very aware of the size of the shoes I’m stepping into, but it’s a challenge I can’t wait to take on. I’ve watched Peter at work for many years, and over the past few months have gone back over much of what he produced at SPEED. But I’m not Peter, and I think the only way that I can approach this epic opportunity is to just be myself and bring SPEED’s viewers the side of the sport that I see and that I love. When you look at the majority of driver line-ups on the grid, it’s clear that there’s a new generation sweeping through Formula 1. There’s a vibrancy brought about by a set of people I’ve worked with both in junior formulas and in F1 for many years and with whom I believe I share much in common. It’s a new sport, with a bunch of young drivers who aren’t afraid to speak their minds and tell it like it is. We’re due for an insane season and the start of an incredible new era of competition. I’m really looking forward to being a part of it all on SPEED.