The Story Behind Lollipop, the World’s Most Beautiful Formula 1 Magazine

In episode one of “The Blueprint,” we talk to Joshua Paul, who brings readers inside the mysterious, secretive world of F1.

byJosh Condon|


Several years ago, Dave Speranza, then the creative director of Road & Track (where I was working at the time) walked over and placed a small, hefty magazine on my desk. On the cover in big, bold white type was the word, Lollipop, with "A Magazine for Grand Prix Enthusiasts" inside the second "O." 

"Look what he made!" Speranza said, smiling, and then watched over my shoulder as I thumbed through the book. Lollipop was started by photographer Joshua Paul, and can trace its origins to an assignment, almost on a whim, by Speranza to Paul for R&T. We ran a few images in that magazine, and that was the end of it—until Paul's creation showed up at the office several months later, the result of his following the series for several more races, and demonstrated the power of fresh thinking and a bold, creative approach.

Lollipop was full of striking images from Formula 1, but they didn't look like any racing images I had ever seen. Unlike the razor-sharp, race car-focused shots from traditional motorsports outlets, these were composed in a way that promoted feeling over clarity—emotion over information. They were visceral, almost abstracted: atmospheric behind-the-scenes shots of mechanics hauling equipment, stacks of tires, cars so blurred by motion they were nearly unrecognizable by team or sponsor. It captured perfectly, I thought, the feeling not of watching a race—who's winning at any given time, which car has set the fastest lap, the various strategies of this team versus that one—but of actually being at a race, which is often the experience of being inundated by stimuli in the absence of information. From the first page to the last, Lollipop felt like a backstage pass to the sprawling, thrilling spectacle of racing—specifically, the secretive, mysterious, 10,000-strong traveling circus that is Formula 1.

We're starting a new series for our YouTube page. It's called "The Blueprint," and it explores interesting stories about enthusiasts, and the interesting things they create. The story of Joshua Paul's adventurous and groundbreaking publication—now in its fifth issue—was one of the first topics we wanted to explore, and we're excited to preview it here first on The Drive. We hope you enjoy.

Follow Lollipop:

Twitter: @Lollipop_GP

You can buy the limited-edition issues of Lollipop, including back issues of the magazine, here.