Social media rules relaxed for first pre-season test

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Formula One teams and drivers have been given the okay to release video footage from their first four-day pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this week.

Previously, teams and drivers including Lewis Hamilton who put video footage on their social media channels including Twitter and Instagram received a stern warning from the sport's commercial rights holder.

That's because of contractual issues with various broadcasters around the world who have exclusive rights to Formula One in their territories.

But with Bernie Ecclestone no longer in charge, it seems that new owners Liberty Media Group have found a way around the problem, and that they have contacted teams to let them know it is now okay to upload short-format videos of this week's testing onto their social media channels.

Hamilton was one of the first to promise fans that he would be sharing content from Spain, saying on Twitter: "Hey guys. I'm about to get on the car. Through practice I'll be live on Instagram from the cockpit to give you something new, so tune in."

Renault Sports F1 has already posted a short video of its 2017 car leaving the garage at the start of Monday morning's first test. Teams have also been posting footage of practice pitstops and short interviews from the pit lane.

Currently, the permission to post material only applies to the first four-day pre-season test in Barcelona, but it's understood that the new owners will follow up with more long-lastest guidance on what teams can and can't do in terms of distributing content.

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