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(58,777 posts)
Tue Mar 5, 2024, 07:38 PM Mar 2024

A socialist writer skewered the Formula One scene. Then her article vanished.

A socialist writer skewered the Formula One scene. Then her article vanished.

Editors for Road & Track aren’t saying why they yanked Kate Wagner’s story from the website shortly after it published

By Will Sommer
March 5, 2024 at 4:53 p.m. EST

Driver Max Verstappen, left, and Oracle Red Bull Racing Team principal Christian Horner celebrate their victory at the Grand Prix of Bahrain on Saturday. (Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Writer Kate Wagner may have seemed like an odd choice to cover the luxury world of Formula One. … A socialist who’s painfully self-conscious about class differences, Wagner skewers expensive homes on her blog McMansion Hell and writes about architecture for the left-wing magazine the Nation. … Formula One races, meanwhile, have become pit stops on the jet-set circuit, where the cheapest general-admission tickets start around $500. Still, Road & Track magazine commissioned Wagner to cover a Formula One race in Austin last fall, sending her on a trip funded by British petrochemicals company INEOS.

Her resulting 5,000-word story has drawn praise since it was published Friday, largely because of the unlikely pairing of writer and subject. “Even better than what you’re imagining,” the conservative website the Bulwark gushed. Former CNN host Brian Stelter heralded it as “a joy to read.”

While Wagner wrote appreciatively about the sport’s aesthetics and superstar driver Lewis Hamilton’s “aura,” she also dissected the crowd of “tech bros” and “Ozempic-riddled influencers” that surrounds the sport. … “People clinked glasses of free champagne in outfits worth more than the market price of all the organs in my body,” she wrote.

Anyone who wants to read it, though, won’t be reading it on Road & Track’s website. Roughly an hour after it was published, “Behind F1’s Velvet Curtain” vanished without an explanation. … In its absence, admirers have resorted to sharing an archived version that seems to have gone viral in media circles — many noting, as did New Yorker food writer Helen Rosner, that it had been “mysteriously removed.”


By Will Sommer
Will Sommer is a media reporter for the Style section. He's the author of "Trust the Plan: The Rise of QAnon and the Conspiracy That Unhinged America," a book covering the QAnon movement. Twitter https://twitter.com/willsommer
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A socialist writer skewered the Formula One scene. Then her article vanished. (Original Post) mahatmakanejeeves Mar 2024 OP
It took her four months to write it? House of Roberts Mar 2024 #1
I'm not sure where that number came from Old Crank Mar 2024 #3
Fun article. Old Crank Mar 2024 #2
I didn't read it, so I'm just speculating, Mr.Bill Mar 2024 #4

Old Crank

(3,993 posts)
3. I'm not sure where that number came from
Fri Mar 8, 2024, 06:41 PM
Mar 2024

but for print media, and this was published online, there is quite a lead time before articles get included in the magazine. Perhaps she was told to have the article done in 4 months.


(24,467 posts)
4. I didn't read it, so I'm just speculating,
Sat Mar 9, 2024, 02:08 AM
Mar 2024

but is it possible that there was some sort of legal problem with the article? Someone threatening a lawsuit or something?

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