According to my website host, and also twitter, UnracedF1 exists for ten years! Well UnracedF1 already existed in March for ten years. This might say how much I care about the number. Though, it is still worth to stand still by the this moment. There aren’t much websites, it seems, that stay online for that amount time without any form of sponsorship. In the end, UnracedF1 is just a hobby, a hobby that went a bit out of hand. So here is some history how it once started ten years ago.
Well, it was not ten years ago when I just simply registered the website. The idea dates back to 2009. At that time I was looking into the teams that announced their interested and never appeared on the grid. At that time I was amazed by effort of DAMS in 1995 with Jan Lammers, and the Dome project.
During that time I started to look on the internet for more projects that somehow never appeared on the grid, only appear on the track as a test hack, or simply failed to start with. I started to contribute every now and then for the well known list from Forix. Their list have some restrictions, though it still is a great list. For myself, I started to setup a simple excel file where I put my findings for the unraced in a list. With a little info with it.
At that time, this must have been in 2010, I registered the website dutchgrandprixdrivers.nl as I had also the idea to dedicate a website for the Dutch drivers that, in anyway, were linked with the Formula one. While this plan faded away as quickly as I registered the plan for what is now known as unracedf1 were still in my mind, getting a bit of a shape.
Around that time I started a forum topic on F1rejects.com, now GPrejects.com, about my plans to start a website, which would be more a database for the Formula One attempts that never made it for whatever reason. One of the topics was the name for the website. I had a few names for the website, UnracedF1 was one of them. Around that time, my father became very ill due to cancer, which he did beat 3 times previously, to give some information they told us in June 2006 he only had a few months to live. He passed away in 2012.
After he passed away, the idea to launch UnracedF1 accelerated quickly. There was a lot of time now due to the need was gone to take care of him, and I started to get a little archive with magazines. So in March 2013 I decided to register unracedf1.com in the meantime me and a friend of mine were brainstorming for the website. We were working no a website based on PHP and there was a little preview available. However, the project more or less became stuck due to time issues and other projects that happened.
Around 2014 I became a editor for the Dutch gaming website inthegame.nl which used WordPress as their base. Figuring out with the correct plug-ins it was really easy to write article with just a shell I decided it was time to install WordPress. Finally the website started to get a shape. Around November / December in 2015 the first articles appeared on the website. The website had a very basic design with just the articles on the website. Far from what it is today. Luckily the Wayback Machine saved it, so enjoy it here!
From there on the website and it’s followers base grew to what it is today. With around 200 visitors every day to the website. An active community on twitter, and after ten years I’m still doing it all myself. I believe that Unracedf1 is one of the few independence websites dedicated to the Formula One. It helps a lot that there is no pressure from sponsors that want you to publish an certain amount of articles every month. Another great aspect from the website, my own archive grew a lot. With over 2500 magazines, 20.000 documents and a lot of warm contacts with people that used to work in the Formula One. Or were involved with one of the Unraced projects.
Ten years of UnracedF1, is ten years of researching and writing. A hobby that became more or less my second job after all those years. A job i get my rest and joy from. To be fair, even if only 10 people read an article I’m happy with it.
What about the next ten years? I will keep on publishing articles to the website. However as you have all seen, it became more and more a website with historical facts, stories most have forgotten though of course also about the Unraced projects. On the planning is a complete website at the end of the year or at the begin of 2024. There are some more ideas to add to the website. However, you will figure that out yourself.
I’m glad that i can share the knowledge i have with you via my website. I’m even more glad with you, as you all form the community. A community that seems to keep on growing everyday. Thank you!