Teams 'need to embrace' social media in F1


Team bosses admit they're still working out the best way of handling social media promotion for Formula 1.

The sport is believed to have lost ground to other sports because of its reluctance to embrace digital platforms under Bernie Ecclestone. Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton has enthusiastically welcomed new owners Liberty's relaxation in rules about sharing content from the pit lane.

However, Ferrari had been criticised for going 'radio silent' in the run-up to the Australian Grand Prix. Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene rejected that criticism.

"[Before the weekend] we had Sebastian who was talking and we were using social media and posting something related to Kimi," he pointed out.

"Instead of having two drivers on Thursday and talking and doing a copy and paste of one versus the other with the same questions, we made sure that Sebastian was talking in one way and Kimi in the other.

"We cover all the communication platform, making happy also Generation Z," he added. "Liberty said that in this business at the moment the digital platforms are used at only 1 per cent of the potential. The good thing is to find the right balance."

Red Bull's Christian Horner has been enthusiastic about the opportunities offered by social media platforms.

"I think the changes that have been put in place this year have been positive," he said. "Relaxing the rules regarding the digital platforms, allowing non-circuit content.

"It gives the ability for fans and followers to get a little bit beneath the covers and closer to seeing the personalities of the drivers.

"At the end of the day, Formula 1 is a media business. We have to engage with the media. It’s important that we give access to the drivers, access to the fans - or how else are we going to promote the sport?"

"We have to cover three different generations," pointed out Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. "We have to cover the long-time followers: so-called middle ages, the Millennials and Generation Z. You kind of need to play the full span.

"We did a Facebook Live launch [of the new Mercedes] and we had almost a million views in 24 hours, and it was successful.

"We have to embrace all that, not forget any audiences within these groups but target all of them and Liberty’s approach has been right so far, in opening up."

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