Tag Archives: Social Media

Formula One: Hamilton talks to the fans

A relaxed Lewis Hamilton took part in a Facebook Live event hosted by Mercedes AMG Petronas sponsor Epson earlier today. During the session Lewis took live questions from followers across social media.

Sharing insights on his favourite circuit, Macau and the Nordscheife, details on how a mistake in qualifying in Brazil 2015 cost him pole, and how he values having an input in the team look, it could be suggested the session was of higher quality than interviews conducted by professional elements of the media of late.

With the FIA calling Lewis Hamilton to the Thursday drivers press conference for the second race in succession it will be interesting to see if the media can extract a similar level of engagement.

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Formula One: Writing yourself out of a job

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The British written press within Formula One have worked themselves up into somewhat of an unnecessary frenzy at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend, and have left many followers of the sport asking if they have become surplus to requirements.  Following the drivers press conference on Thursday in which Lewis Hamilton spent a proportion of the session engaging with his followers on Snapchat, members of the British media took to social media to challenge the behaviour of the driver. This questioning of respect shown to them from Lewis latterly became the centre piece for many journalist’s preview for the race weekend.

Following the negative response from elements of the media Lewis Hamilton responded over social media explaining he did not intend to cause offence and that he was simply looking to refresh an element of the Grand Prix weekend.

This explanation drew further criticism from journalists who suggested the purpose of the session was not to entertain fans but to give print media the chance to pose questions to drivers.  They went on to suggest Lewis’ behaviour was a deliberate attempt to avoid challenging questions around his ability to challenge for the 2016 World Championship.

It is fair to say there may have been an element of this in Lewis’ actions, but this suggestion was met with public observation that the quality of questions asked within these sessions is so poor, they rarely generate headline news either way. Journalists then went to explain, again through social media, that the reason for poor/ no questions being asked in these sessions was because they are televised and by the time they had opportunity to document anything from the session the news would already be available through other outlets.

This justification calls into question not only the format of driver press conferences but the rationale for print media attending race events in person at all. Journalists suggesting driver briefing sessions are of no value to them because others get the news out before they can suggest their delivery method is outdated. They, along with their publishers should be looking inwardly at ways in which to present content in formats that reflect consumption models, rather than criticizing something that is out of their control.

British Newspapers coverage of a Formula One weekend typically will take the form of a race report with driver quotes. If Journalists are no longer prepared to ask questions to drivers because other outlets will publish the responses, they, and their employers would be better placed producing race reports based on TV coverage. Investigative journalism within motorsport has long been the reserve of online only outlets such as Motorsport.com.

The actions of select members of the British print media have prompted a response from Lewis which will further reduce their access and further call into question their value in being in the paddock.

With the announcement that the Motorsport Network have taken control of Autosport and Haymarket Motorsport interests, many motorsport journalists will be feeling anxious around future employment security, biting the hand that feeds you may have been the worst possible response.

Formula One: VIDEO Rosberg – Massively Frustrated

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Heading home a mere 2 hours after the conclusion of the Canadian Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg talks through a frustrating race which saw him come home in 5th place. With team mate Lewis Hamilton winning the race, Nico’s championship lead has now been reduced to only 9 points.

Rosberg talks through what he felt was an aggressive move from Lewis at the start into turn one, which forced Nico to possibly work stress the W07 in order to maximise results for the day. This lead to issues with braking, excessive tyre wear and running extremely low on fuel in the closing stages of the event. In conclusion a massively frustrating race.

Nico will now have two days at home before ahead out to Baku for the inaugural Grand Prix of Europe.

Formula E: Indian ePrix fan designs revealed

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The Mahindra Formula E team earlier this year set their fans a challenge to submit design concepts for a possible Indian ePrix in Delhi.  The response far exceeded both the team and series expectations.

Naomi Panter, PR & Communications manager for the team took these concepts to the Formula E Headquarters to review feasibility of the designs with Formula E Sporting Manager Benoît Dupont.

Check out this film to see how they got on:

To see more on the project and to see if your design was one of the submissions reviewed click here.

Formula E continue to deliver novel and unique ways to engage with and involve fans in how the series develops. Hopefully these kind of projects will make other series sit up a take notice. Who knows, Mahindra may have just stumbled upon the next Hermann Tilke!

Stay tuned for more details on a possible Indian ePrix …

You can follow the Mahindra Formula e team here

Formula One: The Business of F1

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As a keen and vocal fan of Formula One I often find myself being asked why? What could be interesting about watching a bunch of cars going round in circles on a Sunday afternoon?

For years I have argued that the sport is much more than the action we see on track, and that my true fascination with the sport is far more to do with the business of the sport. Followers of this site will know one of the highlights of a race weekend for me is spotting new sponsors with teams then working to find out the story behind them.

Whilst news of this nature is something easy to grasp and communicate, I have come to realise that a logo on a car or a new person joining a team is only the beginning of a story, and what really intrigues me about Formula One is personality.  I’m fascinated and inspired by stories of people who have found success in the sport that I love.

This fascination is probably why I found the UBS profile of Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, so intriguing.  I knew snippets of how Toto came to be involved in the sport, but never really had an appreciation for his background or philosophy.

 

To hear about of his humble beginning’s, his pragmatic foray into motorsport as a driver, his success during the first .com era, and how his initial move into F1 came through Frank Williams desire to pay of the mortgage on his house gave me an entirely new perspective of Toto.  More compelling is the explanation of his partnership with Mercedes Benz and the AMG Petronas Team. Rather than simply joining the team in a management capacity, Toto invested into the team believing that through having ‘skin in the game’ the will to succeed will be further heightened.

Toto goes on to explain his perspective on a modern day Formula One team, commenting that the days of a single individual overseeing every aspect of a team are a thing of the past. Success is seen through working as a team, recognising the need of having the right people around you, the need to communicate, and the need to learn new things every day.

The seemingly endless saga around who should lead the Formula One of the future often circles back to the need for a ‘dictator’ style of leadership. This is not something I have ever bought into, the approach does not work in business, why should it work in Formula One? The future of Formula One to me requires a balanced level headed individual capable of recognising the need for support from others. Perhaps in this film from UBS, Toto is positioning himself for that role?

So the next time someone asks me what it is about Formula One that I like so much, I will point them in the direction of this film and the personality it portrays.

To follow Merecedes AMG Petronas on social media click here

To follow UBS F1 on social media click here.

Formula One: Rosberg Humanising F1

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Fresh of the back of his 4th win of the year at the Russian Grand Prix Nico Rosberg took to social media to share the experience of his return flight to Monaco.

Sharing a rare glimpse into the life of an F1 driver away from the circuit Nico was joined on the flight by fellow Monaco residents Felipe Massa, Jenson Button, Max Verstappen, Esteban Gutiérrez, Nico Hulkenberg, Jean Eric Vergne, Alex Wurz, & David Coulthard.

In addition to a cost and environmentally conscious mindset, the film highlights a growing comradery amongst certain drivers on the grid. Whilst such relationships are unlikely to impact a drivers approach when they are racing against each other on track, but as the season progresses and individual prospects are diminished consciously or subconsciously drivers may make life that little bit easier for friends.

Perhaps in a bid to further bring F1 to the fans the GPDA should consider running competitions for a fan to join these flights…

You can follow Nico Rosberg’s personal season diary through his You Tube Channel here

 

Formula One: Your name on an F1 Car #LetsRaceTogetherContest

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Ok,  so I’m a couple of weeks late to this but I just came across the season long competition Renault Sport F1 are running to win the opportunity to have your name on the team’s car for a race weekend.

To enter, you have to be a follow the team on Twitter and send a message of support to the team using the hashtag 

Basketball player Tony Parker helped launch the competition at the Chinese Grand Prix:

You can follow the Renault Sport F1 Team on Twitter here

Very impressive fan engagement activity from the team!

Formula One: The Drivers Dinner #WindBagsUnited

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Nico Rosberg has posted images of a drivers get together ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.  Nico has taken the opportunity to respond in public to Bernie Ecclestone’s recent remark around the relevance of drivers unifying to voice their concerns around the development of Formula One through an open letter from the GPDA.

It is unlikely the public will hear too much detail around the events preceding and following this photo beyond the continued demonstration that the drivers are working on as a unified front. At least on some topics.

To be a fly on the wall in that restaurant…

 

Formula One: Sauber refresh online presence

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Sauber F1 Team kicks off with its new website and fully automated web platform.

With the re-launch of sauberf1team.com, the Swiss team is going in a new direction in terms of engagement, offering its visitors a modern and responsive digital experience.

The new homepage is specifically designed to pull the visitor into the world of the Sauber F1 Team with a single call to action and a focus on the latest information and stories. The clear layout and menu structure makes it easy for visitors to quickly find what they are looking for. Visitors using pcs are able to enjoy a sophisticated interactive menu, while the navigation for mobile users is streamlined and optimised for the respective devices. The new digital experience integrates articles, a blog, social media integration and, photos as well as videos.

Visitors may now dive into the team’s rich racing history and race car heritage, interactively experiencing everything from Peter Sauber’s first tuning attempts to the more recent Formula One era.

More and versatile content will be developed and released throughout the year. Besides offering a new shopping experience to fans, the new website design also allows a more visible, yet individual representation of the team partners.

Formula One: Ricciardo to revel in radio clampdown

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Follow the debacle of the revised qualifying format yesterday attention now turns to the impact of the FIA clamp down on radio communications between driver and team during on track action. In a bid to restore an emphasis on driver decision making as oppose to drivers simply following instructions, under the new regulations radio communication could be reduced to little more than pit confirmation and safety car period warnings.

In preparation for the change teams used pre-season testing to experiment with multi-colour pit boards, and increased ‘critical’ messaging through the steering wheel.

Having spent seasons optimising pit to car communication teams are now left with what could in essence become nothing more than unnecessary ballast in the car. Formula One broadcasters such as SKY SPORTS F1 and Channel 4 (UK) would do well to explore team partnerships to allow in race driver interviews, as seen in FIA Formula E and WTCC for a number of seasons.

Daniel Ricciardo may elect to use this new found air time to hone his hobby of in car karaoke! With Red Bull Racing known throughout the paddock as the party team, the only team to play dance music through the garage, they may look to further this approach a pipe music directly into Ricciardo’s car for our entertainment.  Such a development would certainly add to the ‘show’!

Check out Daniel Ricciardo’s karaoke moment prior to qualifying here and through his Instagram page

Vibes 🙃

A video posted by Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) on Mar 18, 2016 at 6:40pm PDT

 

If you enjoyed that, check out Daniel’s top 5 moments here.