Formula One is undergoing a drastic makeover under new ownership Liberty Media, and there’s one aspect in particular that must never return.
To its credit, Formula One has built up a world-wide phenomenon of the open-wheel Motorsport through a unique decision to present itself as the most elite out of all other forms of motor racing. Not only were the technologies involved in Formula One ensured to always be on the bleeding edge of development, the sport’s public-facing appeal has gone to long strides to push the conception that the sport is utterly dripping in class and prestige. While that may have served it well in the past, it’s time for F1 to rid itself of its archaic trappings.
The current Formula One era is markedly different from its predecessor. Widespread adoption of technology via the smartphone, tablet, and personal computer, has completely changed the game. Consider for a moment that it can still be fiscally prudent for someone to not own a car, but it is viewed as sheer lunacy when one does not have a smart device with which they can easily connect and interface with others.
This latent desire to connect, share, and observe has been bolstered to the forefront of modern society–and has shown that the old guard habit of doling out content to fans in piecemeal form is now redundant. Fans want to consume, interact, and share their experiences with others who pursue the same interests. There’s just no space for the longstanding elitism in Formula One in this regard.
While celebrity visitations and exotic race calendar locations will continue to serve as a benefit to the sport, the old method of being greedy with race viewership and insisting on ridiculous paywalls and cable subscriptions has already signalled its death rattle. Liberty Media have shown from the outset that the sport they wish to see Formula One become is one that puts their fans front and center, allowing them unlimited accessibility and interaction within a world that they love. Long gone are the days where the managing body would demand gratitude from its viewers, and in come the days where the sport practices gratitude towards the fans which keep the sport alive this many years on.
It’s taken longer than it should for F1 to make the much-needed correction in way of fan treatment and digital distribution, but what the Motorsport is showing signs of a truly democratized method of fan interaction, not to mention a more holistic look at the state of the sport. A late start indeed, but one that will see Formula One usher in a new generations of devoted fans in hordes like have never been seen before.