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Hazel Southwell

Motorsport Journalist

Location icon United Kingdom

I'm a motorsport journalist from a non-traditional background (I came into motorsport writing from music, after being a lifelong fan) - I write about the technical with passion and the emotional in detail.

I travel internationally to Formula E and am available for feature and news commission. I also write about entertainment, politics in CIS and the Balkans, eSports, mental health and music.

I have done work on and behind the camera and can audio and video edit. I love appearing on podcasts and am happy to do radio.

This is just a tiny selection of the pieces I've written, please get in touch if you would like more detail.



Just how far can you push a battery?

It weighs 440 pounds, it endures temperatures up to 140 degrees, and it's been on a four-year stint that amounts to the same distance as going around the earth and then some. Not my luggage, despite what you might assume, but the absolute unit at the back of the first generation of Formula E race cars.

Why Daniel Ricciardo Broke Free of Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo is the current king of the Red Bull junior alumni. He's not a series champion since coming onto the program like Sébastien Buemi or Jean-Eric Vergne, and he isn't a controversial rising star like Max Verstappen or a talented hopeful like Pierre Gasly.



Now I have your attention I would like to talk about sand. The pleasure of asking PRs if I can talk to their drivers about dirt this weekend aside, getting filthy is a real problem in Formula E. Using a street circuit is a tricky business anywhere.

What makes a Formula E driver? | DriveTribe

What makes a driver excel in Formula E? It's not immediately obvious - some extremely talented single-seater drivers struggle, some hybrid prototype drivers immediately excel but then so do some combustion-only GT drivers. With 20 seats on the Formula E grid, there are a vast number of drivers trying to get their bums into them.


This might sound basic but - aside from the fact events do have to factually occur to be added to history, usually - it's a pretty impressive achievement. Speaking in a press conference on Friday, Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag and series co-creator FIA president Jean Todt confirmed that they'd been trying to to arrange a race in Rome since the very inception of Formula E.


Last year there was a theme to talking about Formula E; "oh man, Sebastien's going to win." By this point in the calendar he seemed unstoppable, from pole or not, with the idea of anyone else getting a top-step look-in only available if he was penalised or so jetlagged it has to be considered impressive that he still managed 13th even in his actual sleep.


I've spent most of this week jet lagged in various ways, between Mexico and the UK and also because I keep waking myself up in a towering rage at things people have said on the internet. This week's water cooler discussion is particularly maddening, as people I'd otherwise respect seem to have gone all Fake News on us.

Abt keeps home pole position after investigation · RaceFans

Berlin qualifying saw Daniel Abt take a dominant pole position - two tenths clear of his team mate's best time. But the home racer faced a nervous wait to learn if he would keep it following a regulatory infringement.

Abt leads Audi to one-two in Berlin · RaceFans

Audi has become the second Formula E team in the history of the championship to score a one-two finish. Daniel Abt earned a perfect result for him and his team at home in the Berlin Eprix, leading team mate runs Lucas di Grassi to the chequered flag from pole position.

Women will drive in Saudi Arabia's Formula E event - Agag · RaceFans

Women will be allowed to take part in Formula E's inaugural event in Saudi Arabia this year, even if there are none among the drivers competing in the country's first race. Last year Saudi King Salman announced women will be allowed to hold drivers' licences, ending the country's decades-long ban on them driving.

Bird conquers Rome Eprix and closes on Vergne in title fight · RaceFans

Sam Bird emerged as the new threat to Jean-Eric Vergne for the Formula E championship after winning the championship's first race in Rome, while pole sitter Felix Rosenqvist hit trouble. After a dramatic qualifying that saw two cars out of contention in the pit lane, the Rome Eprix continued to deliver action with two cars damaged at turn one and the meatball flag out on lap two.

Markelov triumphs again in Monaco as points leaders struggle - RaceFans

Artem Markelov returned to the scene of his first victory in the F1 support series with a "masterclass" second win in Monaco, as Sean Gelael and Roberto Merhi turned in category-best finishes to complete the podium. The F2 feature race started at a balmy 21C, further gremlins appearing with the new car as Santino Ferrucci stalled on the grid.

Rosenqvist rules Rome in gladiatorial qualifying · RaceFans

At the inaugural Rome ePrix, qualifying was always going to be unpredictable. A track that's never been run before, with mixed surfaces, is the kind of thing Formula E action thrives on; add in dramatic elevation changes, including into and out of the unusual pit lane and anything could happen.

Vergne rises above Paris controversies for home win · RaceFans

Jean-Eric Vergne won his home Eprix in Paris, after an exceptional lap to take pole and flawlessly executed race, leading all but one lap and keeping out of controversy that dogged the fight behind him. Formula E's Paris race has proved a blessing and a curse to its home racer, who took a podium in its inaugural year and crashed with broken steering last season.


Motorsport101 | Why Riyadh is the tipping point of Formula E's future

(Header image, courtesy of Formula E) Formula E is a progressive series, for motorsport. In a sporting world where questioning the importance of oil is anathema and climate change denial de rigeur there is something unquestionably punk about directly confronting that. Championing electric vehicles when the

Why Toyota can't be allowed to walk to WEC wins - Hazel Southwell - Medium

Look, terminology is confusing. No place moreso than WEC, the racing series with more competitor classes than D&D* and a follower requirement no less nerdy. But for this super season, in particular, there's a lot going on. Not familiar with the World Endurance Championship and just reading this because everyone keeps bleating on about?

Devil in the details: the Formula E pit lane - Hazel Southwell - Medium

Formula E's pit lane is a sort of endless fascination - and frustration - of the series. And with timed pit stops putting the pressure on drivers and teams to get the car swap procedure note-perfect, there's nothing being left to chance. In Formula 1 - in fact, most motorsport - the pit lane is pretty straightforward.

Why no one's safe in a series where the driver makes a difference

Or: when will there finally be justice for Robin Frijns? Formula E started Season 4 with five rookies confirmed to the grid, as well as a guesting Kamui Kobayashi at Hong Kong. Neel Jani, Tom Blomqvist, Luca Filippi, Andre Lotterer and Edoardo Mortara had all been part of lineups, confirmed or otherwise, at the Valencia testing.

Mental health awareness week isn't for me (or, err, is it)

I'm already acutely aware that I am batshit fucking mental and that limited resources and treatment options exist for this, the problem is that unless you have experience of it, it's amazingly difficult to convince anyone it's real. And if you're experiencing it yourself, it's amazingly difficult to convince yourself you deserve support.

Formula E homologation: why Di Grassi is in such penalty woe

Motorsport: when you think of it you think about the breathtaking daring of the drivers, the speed of the race, the glamour of the machinery, the epicly convoluted grid and time penalty system barely any of us understand. Let me (attempt to) help.

It's particularly bad when he does it - Hazel Southwell - Medium

This week everyone I know, even the non-motorsport-fans, started talking about Lewis Hamilton. It was not lit. I am a motorsport journalist and therefore, fairly used to having conversations about whether Lewis Hamilton is being a thundering arsehole this week.

Travelling at night alone - Hazel Southwell - Medium

I travel a lot. I have to, as a motorsport journalist and beyond that simply because I can. Or maybe need to. It's not something I'm especially keen to romanticise - the budget of a freelancer does not see me doing it in luxury and although I'm good at it, I don't necessarily think it's particularly good for me.

F1's self-esteem crisis - Hazel Southwell - Medium

I imagine I'll get some charmers trundling into my twitter mentions about this explaining that, you idiot, of course what's important is what the cars look like and the noises they make and we can't possibly feel at all dignified about the sport until that's sorted.

Actually good - Hazel Southwell - Medium

Ever since I first started excitedly squeaking about Formula E on Twitter there has been a depressing pattern of people in my mentions going "but did you know that it is, in fact, bad?" Hmm, no, I didn't know that.


F1 goes pop! 6 unexpected times music met motorsport

With the second round of Formula 1's 2018 championship taking place this weekend, there's a chance to reflect on the times music and machine have melded as smoothly as oil in a well-tuned V12. Or, er, suffered some transmission issues.

soft compound

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Cancel the hype trains, we have career delays

Yes, Lando Norris took pole on his maiden F2 race. Yes, his battle with Nyck de Vries for a chance at Alonso's seat is massive. Yes, Russell and Aitken are highly competitive, strongly backed. Yes, Prema vs Carlin might be the narrative of the F2 year.

s o f t ° c o m p o u n d
Why it's worth getting up watch GP3 tomorrow morning

Ok so you might be sold on F2, the opportunity to scream about Marklov's overtaking we have all always wanted but odds are you are not watching the true weans down in GP3. Which is a shame as they are all just as spicy and keen to find out if you can go into Turn...

Gasly 'not here to make it more painful' for Kvyat

Having taken his seat at Toro Rosso for potentially the rest of this season, Pierre Gasly does not think contacting Daniil Kvyat would help his 'tough situation'.Gasly was called up to Toro Rosso in replace of Kvyat for the Malaysia Grand Prix after a run of poor results which culminated in the Russian driver crashing out of the Singapore race.Gasly, who is half a point off of the Super Formula championship lead in Japan, says he appreciates Kvyat is at a difficult point in his F1 career but...

Hartley 'trying not to overthink' WEC title win, shock F1 chance

Brendon Hartley is trying not to overthink his recent rise and success after making his Formula 1 debut and winning his second FIA World Endurance Championship title in the last three weeks, as he continues to balance commitments in both series.Entering his sixth racing weekend in a row in Brazil with Toro Rosso, Porsche LMP1 driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to make his surprise F1 debut at the United States Grand Prix, but was back in sports car action last weekend in Shanghai as...

Palmer: First points of the year 'a long time coming'

Jolyon Palmer was delighted to record his best Formula 1 result of sixth in Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix, coming almost a year after his last points finish. The result came at the end of a tough weekend for Palmer, who was confirmed to be replaced at Renault in 2018 on Friday, later revealing he found out via reading an article online.

Massa waves farewell to F1 with final Williams triumph

For the second time Felipe Massa has completed his final race in Formula 1 but this time it will stick as he thanks fans and the sport for his time there. Massa retired at the end of the 2016 season having reached the decision with Williams mid-season only to pull off a dramatic U-turn following Nico Rosberg's shock retirement.

Haas celebrates double points success in Japanese GP

With both Haas cars finishing the Japanese Grand Prix in the points it marked only the second time in the team's Formula 1 history that is has scored double points which Gunther Steiner credits to driver happiness, with Romain Grosjean praising set-up changes including the brakes.Kevin Magnussen led home team-mate Grosjean in eighth and ninth place respectively to notch up Haas's second double points results, the first coming in this season's Monaco Grand Prix, which has seen the American...

Hamilton laments lack of overtaking chances in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton has been forced to settle for second place behind Mercedes team-mate Valterri Bottas in the final race of the 2017 Formula 1 season and blamed the lack of overtaking opportunities at the Yas Marina circuit.

As it happened: F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Live text commentary on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the Yas Marina circuit, the final round of the 2017 Formula 1 world championship. CLICK HERE FOR LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY...

Raikkonen chasing setup tweaks after tough Interlagos Friday

Kimi Raikkonen remains relaxed despite struggling to get to grips with Ferrari's car setup during Friday's Formula 1 practice running at Interlagos, having trailed Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas through both sessions ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Vettel hails confidence in Ferrari race pace from P2 on grid at COTA

After a difficult start to the United States Grand Prix weekend including a full chassis replacement on his car, Formula 1 title contender Sebastian Vettel has expressed his confidence in Ferrari's race pace as he looks to revive his fading championship hopes.
"The purpose of electric racing is to offer hope" -

What is Electric GT up to? It's a question a lot of people are asking - not least our own Hazel Southwell, who threw her lot in and joined the Founder scheme. But starting a new racing series is difficult - and there was nothing guaranteed.
Electric GT's fraught future gets a step closer -

Electric GT has had a difficult start in life - which is the way that any motorsport series begins, the industry being what it is. But today they've finally announced FIA sign off on the sporting regulations for their international championship, the Electric Production Car Series. For full discl
Penalty-heavy Saturday race gives Bird grid drop -

Yesterday's inaugural Season 4 race featured plenty of penalties - including a pit lane drive-through for winner Sam Bird, which nonetheless saw him keep the lead. Now further penalised, he will start from at least the lower half of the grid, no matter where he qualifies today. Bird was penalised
Design and desire; Pininfarina start FE's era of cool -

Pininfarina might not be a brand you can instantly place - but you know their cars, their aesthetic and what Nick Heidfeld described as a feeling like the same passion he has for art or food, an experience so beautiful it's almost hedonistic in its execution.
Season 4 shakes up grid completely -

Season 4 of Formula E has started with two almost bafflingly unfamiliar qualifying grids - former champions pushed to the back of the grid and youngsters and rookies coming to the fore.
Drivers left in the dark by radio blackout -

Drivers at the Hong Kong ePrix have said they totally lost contact with their teams during the race, as buildings blocked radio signal for most of the circuit, leaving them recalculating regeneration and energy usage on their own.
No room for error in Formula E -

Formula E is a tough championship - that's been clear all along. Completing practice, qualifying and race in just one day is challenging enough but Season 4's opening qualifying session has shown just how dearly any mistake costs teams and drivers. Mitch Evans, who scored the majority of points f
Ask the drivers: Why is FE testing so hard? -

Formula E testing this year move from the series' original home base, Donington Park, to Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. From chicanery to sunshine, the circuit has ended up being one of the main topics of discussion at testing - we asked the drivers how, if it was even possible, FE could fix the testing dilemma.

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