Hamilton urges F1 to drop social media restrictions

2017 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton has called on Formula One to drop its restrictions on how the sport can be promoted via social media.

The Mercedes driver has fallen foul of Formula One Management’s restrictions on what kind of content can be posted on social media. However the arrival of Liberty Media as F1’s new owners could lead to those rules being eased.

Pictures: Mercedes reveal 2017 F1 car
Hamilton said during the launch of the new Mercedes today he is keen to see this happen.

“If you look at football, social media is so much greater, they utilise it so much better,” he said. “And in the NBA, NFL.”

“In Formula One every time, for example, I would have posted a picture or a video I would have got a warning from the FIA or a notice telling me to take it down. So I think hopefully this year they’re going to change that rule and allow social media for all of us.”

“Because social media obviously is an incredible platform for the world to communicate. And for the sport to be able to grow it’s a super-easy free tool for us to be able to use to share with other people.”

Hamilton has the largest social media audience of any active Formula One driver. His Twitter account alone has 4.1 million followers. He streamed part of today’s Mercedes launch via his Instagram profile.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Hamilton urges F1 to drop social media restrictions”

  1. Absolutely! It’s only really because old Bernie couldn’t profit or monetise social media accounts of the teams and drivers on platforms like instagram and snapchat.

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      23rd February 2017, 15:19

      You’re exactly right there. @dpanch_89

    2. The sad thing is that Bernie would actually have earned more money if he had lifted these restrictions to social media and video sharing platforms, but he didn’t seem to realize it (or perhaps just didn’t care). But with vieweing figures in decline, anything that would attract a new audience to F1 would generate more revenue to him and others, so it baffles me that FOM would be asking for the removal of video after video on Youtube, specially of videos that are not available elsewhere. For instance, remove all clips of Ayrton Senna from Youtube and you end up with a generation that a) will very likely not even recognize who he was or what he did and b) cut one of the possible routes for someone to get interested in the sport.

      1. Bernie had the philosophy of paying up frond etc. Social media gave no payment so he could see the benefit, he was a salesman not a marketing man and social media is marketing. You don’t expect money from social media themselves but you take advantage the popularity they can give you.

  2. It didn’t stop him from using Snapchat during a press conference last season…

  3. He’s not wrong.

    How many times have I seen YouTube videos of F1 appear as being removed. It’s a shame because it only promotes the sport on what are the most popular websites in the world

    1. Exactly social media does so much to make other sports way more popular but then there’s F1, the FIA like try to remove all traces off of Youtube etc from the current season even the shortest of clips that do not even remotely effect tv coverage. Hopefully with Bernie out of the way with his dinosaur views on media coverage things will start to really improve.

      1. Sorry, but, your very wrong… some clips do get removed, but, far from all of them. During the season, if I miss something I want to try and catch again, I have mostly been able to find it on YouTube using a simple search, most of these have remained active for a number of days afterwards too…

        It’s not just the FOM who have the right to remove the videos, it’s also the TV production who have the rights for commentary and such.

        Bernie Ecclestone was a dinosaur and didn’t want to make F1 open to the younger market, he said himself that teenagers can’t afford Rolex’s, but, by the same token, there have been drivers making and posting social media items for a few years. Hamilton himself famously tweeted the alleged telemetry data of buttons car and was using snap chat in a press conference last year as just 2 high profile instances. After the Spain incident, Rosberg did a Facebook live stream video giving his side of the events of what happened. YouTube contains hundreds of F1 clips covering a good number of years (including clips throughout 2016 that were available during the season).

        1. What he’s saying is that, unless officially sanctioned, all F1 videos on YouTube are there illegally.

          This is correct.

          If so desired, FOM could remove the lot and there’d be nothing you, or any of us, could do about it.

          1. Not all f1 videos. F1 footage from before FOM is actually not legally their property.
            If you load a video from a 1960’s GP they have no right to take it down.

  4. Personally, for me as a fan of F1, social media like snapchat, facebook, and twitter are not at all important. What is important is the lack of an official F1 site that allows fans access to it’s heritage in a meaningful way. How about a site devoted to pre-21st century full race broadcasts? They would receive plenty of eyeball time from me. The comments sections could even be limited to discussions of the specific race being shown and season it happened in. Heck, I might even PAY for something like that..

    1. Me too, if someone could just dig all the F1 archives from the past, and make them available to the public, the sport would grow as a whole and add value to the business. Heritage counts a lot for any brand, and Formula 1 will greatly benefit on its heritage to grow in the future. We only need accessibility to all of this.

    2. I agree. That would be much more interesting, and I very much hope that one of the things that Liberty realises is that there is a market for releasing older content, whatever way they choose to go about it. Indeed, I see no good reason that they couldn’t provide such a site -and- sell DVDs of past seasons — I know there are some people who would greatly prefer to access such content online, and others (such as myself) who would greatly prefer DVDs.

    3. Sir, you are so right.

    4. +1. I think that the impact and potential of social media has been overrated in F1.

      What I find strange is the talk about restrictions on social – you could have fooled me! The Mercedes team tweets 20 times EVERY SINGLE DAY on average. The problem isn’t access – it’s the content being produced. For example over the past week, we’ve seen a flurry of posts by journalists posting the exact same thing about the car launches. More unique angles are needed.

      I’m sure Liberty will free the drivers up to post more stuff, but I’m just as sure that the needle on the dial won’t move the ratings just because they do. Marketing F1 is basically about attracting the attention of people who DON’T watch it in the first place. More content on social media won’t fix that.

      Just think about the millions of social posts about other sports. How many motorsport fans have started watching the Premier League on the back of the (huge amount of) social media content put out by footballers, pundits and TV personalities?

  5. Lewis wants to tweet telemetry again. smh.

    1. This is taking the sharing telemetry to a whole new level. Except for his teammate ofcourse

  6. “In Formula One every time, for example, I would have posted a picture or a video I would have got a warning from the FIA or a notice telling me to take it down.”

    This is why Bernie was replaced ASAP. No earthly reason to keep this restriction…

    Drivers should stream pre race, teams should film pit operations, personel should pop out tweets,… F1 should be massievly more socially publicised.

    Keep the live races on payTV or wherever, but whenever LH does free publicity for F1 he should be encouraged, helped… And it can be done right away, let teams film the testing process.

  7. I want selfies at 200mph, Lewis! Anything less does not engage fans.


    1. I want selfies and bunny ears during the FIA press confer…. or wait.

  8. More social media the better. F1 should flood Instagram with videos and pictures, create a valuable YouTube channel with lots of content, including historic races.

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