Archive for formula 1

Formula 1 and Social Media Revisited

Posted in F1, Social Media, sport with tags , , , , on 20/12/2009 by mfcx4tm2

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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F1 on the BBC

Posted in F1, sport with tags , on 12/07/2009 by mfcx4tm2

BBC Team

The news that Formula 1 was coming back to the BBC was greeted with happiness all round. Whilst ITV had done a good job and certainlyimproved the coverage hugely over its time as broadcaster, there is something special about the sport returning to the beeb, its rightful home in my opinion.

In the lead up to the start of the season there was widespread speculation around what the coverage would entail, who the presenting line up would be and whether the beloved Chain would return. When we finally got to Australia and all these details were unveiled we weren’t disappointed. The coverage across all platforms has been excellent from the BBC, with great TV coverage supported by excellent interactive options and various online content. We even saw the return of The Chain as we’d dreamed.

The BBC managed to get nearly every detail right, bringing the key faces over from ITV and adding high quality new blood  to the mix. Jake Humphrey has been a sensation as anchorman and the material he provides for the website is top class as well. Supporting him David Coulthard has also proved a revelation, providing humour to go with the excellent insight we all expected. Even Eddie Jordan has found his feet over time and now adds something to the party, even if it is just being the butt of DC’s jokes. I wasn’t even a big fan of Ted Kravitz on ITV but he’s grown me over the season. Then there’s Martin Brundle who continues to prove why he’s won awards for his broadcasting.

So who haven’t we mentioned? Unfortunately there’s one key ingredient missing and it’s a pretty major one. Jonathan Legard has floundered since his promotion from radio to tv commentary. There’s something intensely annoying about his voice, an immediate drawback for a commentator, but he somehow manages to make this worse with the complete drivel that falls out of his mouth.   He gives the impression that this is the first time he’s watched Formula 1 and isn’t interested in learning anything about it, he just says what he sees on the screen. But he even manages to get this wrong as he comments on things he’s looking at out the window instead of what we can see at home.

Filling Murray Walker’s boots was always going to be a very difficult job. James Allen had a lot of critics in his time, but you can’t argue that he didn’t know and love the sport, even if he couldn’t convey that passion as well as we might have liked. But put him next to Legard and he looks like the commentating messiah. You can even tell from Brundle’s comments that he can’t stand him, though he does his best to stay calm while JL talks over his insightful and interesting points.  

Having watched a lot of the practice session coverage online i’ve heard David Croft prove himself time and time again to be a talented speaker with a great knowledge of the sport. Why he hasn’t been drafted in yet to replace Legard is beyond me, though i assume the BBC don’t want to lose face by acknowledging that they’ve made a mistake so soon. However, from a fans point of view i would respect the BBC a lot more if they saw the error of their ways quickly and promoted Croft. We need to rescue him from radio commentary soon before he gets ruined in the way Legard clearly has been. There have been numerous times this season when i’ve contemplated changing commentaries to Croft and Davidson but i can’t bring myself to sacrifice Brundle. I’d much prefer it if i could have the best of both worlds and see the back of this bumbling buffoon. You’ve done a great job BBC, don’t ruin it by persevering with one bad egg.

Guest post at EnterF1.com

Posted in F1 with tags , , , on 14/05/2009 by mfcx4tm2

I recently wrote a guest post for EnterF1.com on Ferrari’s threat to leave F1. Check out the pearls of wisdom at http://www.enterf1.com/f1/ferrari-to-prance-into-the-distance.asp