Formula 1 may have only recently joined the social media bandwagon, but fans have long been using platforms such as Facebook to express their love for racing.
2015 saw a marked turnaround in F1’s approach toward social media. The sport launched official pages on photo sharing app Instagram and video hub YouTube, to add to its incumbent Twitter channel.
The type of posts varied from results, graphics and classic footage, although the content was still not at par with NASCAR or Formula E.
That said, F1’s increased presence on social media was widely hailed by fans, as attested by engagement levels. Perhaps, the best example is the recently-launched Facebook page which has amassed close to two million likes within a few days of its launch.
F1’s slow adoption of social media meant that fans found their own way to engage among themselves.
For instance, Die Hard F1 Fans has become a popular destination for fans, team members and even racing drivers to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the world of grand prix racing.
The page boasts 79,000 fans on Facebook, with weekly reach peaking well over one million. Its Google+ community is the most popular of all, and if followed by leading F1 teams and journalists.
DHF1 strives to be the one-stop shop for all F1-related stuff, with facts, memes and classic videos receiving the highest reception from fans.
Similarly, MsportExtra and 5 Lights F1 have strong presence on Twitter. While the former provides news on all forms of motorsport, the latter focuses specially on Formula 1, with live commentary during races being its USP.
The above three pages are all run by fans with the sole aim of bringing like-minded people together.
Humour-centric F1 pages are also on a rise, with WTF1 and the Grand Prix Butcher finding news way to keep fans entertained.
Newer ways to engage
And that’s not all. Fans have constantly been finding new ways to engage with each other, such as through video chat app Skype.
Pitstop Radio hosts a regular chat show, often inviting F1 paddock insiders to share their knowledge to the fans.
Places Alonso would rather be
Fernando Alonso's armchair photo during the qualifying of last year's Brazilian Grand Prix led to endless photoshops. The hashtag went viral and even Alonso was amused to see the reactions on Twitter.
Strong in the face of adversity
Formula 1 is one big community of fans, who, at times, have come together in adversities. When Michael Schumacher suffered a major ski accident in December, 2013, fans showed support by wearing red-coloured attires on his birthday. The campaign became extremely popular on Twitter with the hashtag #Red4Schumi.
by Rachit Thukral