Formula 1 and Social Media Revisited

Earlier on in the 2009 season i wrote about the increasing use of social media in Formula 1. This issue has exploded since then with more and more people in increasingly important circles discussing the way the sport interacts with its fans in the age of the internet.

One such luminary is Luca di Montezemolo, boss of Ferrari, who has been amongst the people who have called for F1 to appeal more to the internet generation and adapt to the needs of fans who are chomping at the bit to get there hands on more and more info. This is something that has been done brilliantly in other industries, with the world of music offering a fantastic example of how to engage fans on a one to one basis, whether it is speaking to them on Twitter or asking them to make remixes or videos for their songs. This sort of attention to detail is something that Formula 1 has so far failed to offer, though there are glimpses on the horizon that we may be heading towards an ever more fan-friendly F1.

As i mentioned in the previous post, the number of F1 personalities using Twitter is ever increasing (Keith Collantine at F1 Fanatic has a great list if you’re interested) and this can only be beneficial for fans trying to get a more in depth view of the f1 paddock and all its goings on. Even World Champion Jenson Button is on there posting photos of his everyday activities, which is exactly what us fans want. The next step is getting them interacting, though whether we’ll ever get Jenson to take the time out to tell us some more about the glamourous photo he’s just posted is maybe a little optimistic. However, the trend of drivers and other F1 personalities giving an insight into their world certainly needs to continue to keep the ever more demanding f1 fan happy.

Of course, we need to remember that Twitter is just one element of the internet world as well, and i leaned toward the potential that has yet to be unleashed in F1 with YouTube in my previous post. There’s also Facebook which provides a lot of options for teams to bring interesting, insightful content to the info-hungry fan.¬† McLaren currently lead the way in employing someone (@TheFifthDriver) with the sole job of giving the fans a pathway into the team, and i’m sure that the fanbase of McLaren has become wider and stronger than ever before since this introduction. Who would you rather support, a team that gives you photos and daily insight into the activities of the team and drivers or a team who you only get to see when they murmer some PR spiel in a post race press conference?

It’s ironic that one of the most technologically advanced sports in the world has yet to find the best way to exploit one of the most significant technological developments of recent times. However, the fact that people of Montezemolo’s stature are discussing the issue is a good sign and one that suggests that being a fan of Formula 1 is only going to get better.

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5 Responses to “Formula 1 and Social Media Revisited”

  1. Thanks for the link!

    I agree – it’s easy for them to talk about embracing new technology but few of them are actually doing it – and it’s not like it’s very hard.

    Tony Fernandes is definitely one to watch for the future – he seems very clued up and has a Twitter account: http://twitter.com/tonyfernandes

  2. Hansi Friberg Says:

    Isn’t it strange that Luca di Montezemolo is telling people that F1 should target the “internet generation”, and his team is one of the only ones without an offical Twitter account?

  3. mfcx4tm2 Says:

    Luca does like to shout his mouth off Hansi that’s for sure!

    I think Ferrari are one of the teams likely to go longest without embracing it as their fanbase is so strong. Where some teams could win new fans over by embracing things like Twitter/YouTube etc and involving potential supporters more (see Mclaren), Ferrari will always have a strong body of fans to rely on whether they embrace new media or not.

    Hearing Luca’s rants on a daily basis from the horse’s mouth would be good fun though.

  4. […] Formula 1 and Social Media Revisited December 20094 comments […]

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