F1 needs NASCAR approach to social media


There’s no doubt that while I’ve been in the Formula 1 paddock, I would have liked to share some pictures and video with our readers but that’s not allowed. The issue came up when social media maven Lewis Hamilton posted using Snapchat making fans wonder, “what’s the harm in Lewis sharing video or pics from the garage”?

When NASCAR driver Kurt Busch visited Baku during the race, he was also cautioned on the use of social media as the NASCAR series wanted him to post some great shots on their social media platform. Kurt said:

“I heard that Lewis was in trouble on Snapchat, because of the access he was giving fans,” the 2004 champion said.

“NASCAR heard I was coming to an F1 race and they wanted me to sign into their account and they want me to promote Formula 1 on the Snapchat NASCAR channel.

“So that’s the thing, that’s all controlled above us.

“In NASCAR, you want to show them but also show enough intrigue so that they will continue to view it at the track themselves.

“Of course you want to keep certain things private, but NASCAR wants as much new information so that the fans can see it.”

He’s right, there are a lot of sensitive things going on around a F1 garage and it could be that a driver may not intend to show some secret sauce but may not know that he’s doing it. There is the issue of video rights which are owned by Formula One Management (FOM) and that is an asset they are no keen to simply give away for free.

On the flip side of that argument, like NASCAR, there are those who feel that harmless sharing of the paddock activities draws more fans into the sport and cements those who are mildly interested. That could be true but I suspect that if there is sharing of pics and video from the paddock, it will be from those broadcasters who have paid for the rights to do so and perhaps F1 itself through their social media.

One has to imagine that sponsors would love to do live video and pictures from the paddock to amp up their hospitality and marketing outreach but something tells me that F1 will be the group who takes the lead on any digital media and streaming video to be shared from its race weekend.


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charlie white

“promote Formula-1 on the Snapchat NASCAR channel”-I bet those words sent a cold chill through Bernie’s spine. It might bring curious American race fans to the USGP race besides the Taylor Swift concert.

Fred Talmadge

I followed a NASCAR driver on Twitter and all I got were messages from his sponsor. Haas has a pretty good feed tho. Maybe that’s because CNC machines take more than tweet to sell.

Negative Camber

LOL…indeed, that’s not a cheap piece of gear. :)

Daniel Johnson

If you’re interested in some of the more modern usage of social media in nascar there was a recent NBC podcast with Landon Cassel and he was talking about some of the ways he interacts with sponsors and fans. For instance he ended up running home (13 miles I think?) after the Coke 600 and posting about it with the fitness app he was promoting. Also the Dale Jr Mayo and Banana sandwich fundraiser for kids lunches. It’s not just about paddock access, Also Nascar posts their races on youtube a week after the fact (so does Indycar btw). You… Read more »


F1 has a real mess to sort out with it’s business model, but it’s monumentally more complex than that of ACO/WEC or any other series, which really have had no business model (NASCAR excepted). I will say that the pay app for WEC supplied a lot of us with a flawless Le Mans live feed for 24 hours nonstop, and the realtime global engagement in blogs and IRC was pretty awesome. I paid zero attention to “social media” (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest) unless you consider blogs, reddit, and IRC to be in that category (I don’t).


By the way, Google and Twitter make money by monetizing their users. No thanks.