Hamilton: F1 is in ‘Stone Age’

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Compared to the NFL and football (soccer), Formula 1 is in the stone age according to Lewis Hamilton. That’s understandable from a young-ish man who is a prolific user of social media platforms and a key component for the Millennial generation involvement in F1.

The article I read at Autosport reminded me of the joke about someone’s daughter looking for summer work and willing to consider any part-time CEO jobs. Lewis was asked about F1’s current project of designing a street course in Miami and he doesn’t quite understand why the sport doesn’t consult drivers on such major decisions. Asked if he thought that might change, he said:

“Nope. It hasn’t ever been the case up until now, so I don’t anticipate it being the case in the future.

“But I do believe in Chase [Carey, F1 CEO] and his team wanting to bring change.

“Really, Formula 1 has been in the Stone Age compared to NFL and soccer and all big other sports and we’re trying to catch up, but it’s a long process.

“It’s a big job for Chase – he has only come in a couple of years ago, before that social media wasn’t allowed in. Bernie [Ecclestone, former F1 CEO] said it was not important.

“Now something as big as social media is huge and a really powerful platform, and now that’s allowed if people want to use it.”

As F1 moves toward more emojis and 20-something Twitter voices, it attempts to engage a new crowd and one that Lewis Hamilton may be very appealing for. Consulting Lewis on how tracks should be built is something a little different.

Also, the continuing comparison between NFL and F1 is becoming a current refrain and while there may be lessons learned from American football, I think there are more “what not to do’s” that “what to do’s”. I also feel like F1 might do well to ask its global audience if an NFL-styled racing series is what they would watch and support.

How do you feel about the current move to social media, the kinds of content they tweet and post, the website and content there, the desire to be more like the NFL? Is that a positive thing for F1?

If I’m honest, my initial feeling on it is that all the prolific tweeting and posting in social media cheapens the sport and removes its allure as a premier series. It now seems like it’s trying to compete with NASCAR, Indycar and the late-model modified series here locally at the Tri-City Speedway dirt oval. That isn’t the sandbox F1 should be positioned in or playing in in my humble opinion.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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Fast Freddy

When I first got on Twitter I followed some sports guys including racers. I didn’t get the behind the scenes post I was hoping for, but posts of their vacations, and meetings. Worse was NASCAR which was just an endless display of sponsered ads. All I follow now is Haas, which is mostly leftover from when I watched F1 on spanish language tv.

Mike

Agree with much here, want to re-frame other things. I feel the same way, CURRENT social media platforms seem to only flatten and cheapen any story. I also believe Lewis is right, in that F1 has been in the ‘stone age’. I say that because growing up, when even TV coverage for F1 was non-existent in Indiana during the late-70’s except for Monaco, I only knew about what was happening via my newspaper version of Autoweek. We have the most technologically advanced sport on the planet, and it follows in line with the same media delivery platforms that promote the… Read more »

Daniel B Johnson

I disagree, if you look at the way other sports use to engage with fans and would be fans not to mention being able to interact and talk about what you just saw it’s an amazing thing. NBA twitter is a real thing. So is your Twitter feed any Sunday in the fall if you’re watching the NFL. This isn’t just about presence or emojis. Indycar probably has the best feed to like on facebook. The live stream old races and every practice. It’s great because if I forget there’s a race this week it’s organically showing up in my… Read more »

Steve Baker

If you are afraid of social media removing the allure of its premier status, you should join me at the parade, I hear the Emporer has some new clothes.

Brian Lama

I see no problem with social media being used in F1 and I’m 55 years old. The problem I see with F1 is the racing. Last week’s podcast couldn’t even come up with a “pass of the week”! I don’t believe I have watched a whole race this year. After the first 5 laps, I fast forward with my eyes on the running order looking for a change. Great cars, great spectacle, great technology and boring racing.