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3 Reasons Why F1 Is More Popular Than Ever

I am a passionate racing enthusiast and a professional motorsport writer.

Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) is one of the new generation star drivers.

Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) is one of the new generation star drivers.

1. The New Netflix Series Drive to Survive

When debating about F1's growth and the keys behind all that, one needs to mention the Netflix series Drive to Survive. The first season of this heavily popular series about F1 drivers and their teams aired on the 8th of march 2019 and would embark a significant change regarding how F1 was perceived to that point.

The intrigue, the politics, the rivalry between teams and drivers – everything was showcased and portrayed, and to such a degree that even people who were completely uninterested in the F1 to that point started to care and follow the races. What the series did and still does incredibly well is learning more about the profiles in this sport and their personalities. It needs to be said that it's still a show, and the series has, by all rights, got criticized for making it a little bit more dramatic than it is, or should be.

But what F1 drivers need to understand is that the show has been one of the key aspects behind the huge increase in following that F1 has received in recent years, especially in the U.S. where F1 did not have any larger following scale earlier on.

2. F1 Is More Open Towards the Fans

A super important key to the nowadays success of Formula 1 is the change in how F1 teams and F1 drivers choose to operate. Nowadays, you can see them being open, doing all sorts of "for-fan" activities, et cetera.

Teams are nowadays allowing more people to the paddock. They have also become much more efficient with their marketing actions, including behind-the-scenes videos and other things that have opened what earlier was a mystical and closed world of the glamorous F1.

Streaming As a Way of Connecting With the Fans

A huge change that had never been seen before was that some of F1's biggest profiles started streaming the virtual racing they do besides their F1 duties. Those two are no others than British super talent Lando Norris and one of the F1's most-known names in recent years, the world champion of the 2021 season Max Verstappen.

Starting in 2019, their streaming sessions received massive attention and hit their pinnacle during the corona pandemic when all the real-life racing stopped, and virtual was the only way to go. During that period, there were a lot of other F1 drivers joining the virtual world, and together with guys from the Indycar series, WEC, WRC, and so on, made some memorable races that entertained us in those tremendously hard times.

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Lando Norris (McLaren) did a lot of virtual racing when corona-pandemic struck and postponed the F1 2020 season.

Lando Norris (McLaren) did a lot of virtual racing when corona-pandemic struck and postponed the F1 2020 season.

3. Broadcasting Has Become a Lot Better

Another significant game-changer was the broadcasting quality. When Liberty Media took over, this was one of the elements they wanted to change and improve for the better. In May 2018, a subscription streaming service called F1 TV Pro made its debut.

F1 TV Pro Was a Huge Step Forward

Although the streaming service has suffered significant issues following its launch, it has improved massively through the years, and today is a highly rated service. I subscribe to F1 TV Pro and have done so since the beginning of 2021. I can conclude that it has been one of the best choices I've made.

The service offers you a massive archive of F1 races and other sessions. Besides that, you can stream all the F1 sessions live. That includes its following support series, such as the F2, F3, and Porsche Supercup. Every session gets streamed live. After that, the session gets archived and is available to watch whenever you want to.

Adding Pre-Season Testing Was a Positive Surprise

Another change was including the pre-season testing in the broadcast schedule. Sky Sports F1 and F1 TV Pro are those who decided to broadcast what is a testing session (usually consisting of six days). However, this year they have broadcasted only the last three days of testing that was run in Bahrain. No matter what, enabling people to see the pre-season testing has also played a significant role in how F1 is perceived.

For those unfamiliar with F1 – testing was earlier a closed event that no one was ever allowed to broadcast. So when F1 decided that they would live-stream pre-season testing, it was a very positive surprise for us all. The first ever pre-season testing broadcasted was held back in 2020, before the corona pandemic postponed the season.

There are other smaller factors as well. The addition of new different programs such as pre and post-race shows, as well as more analysis and other specials during an F1 week, gives F1 an edge over other racing series that do not offer such a luxury of content.

Sources

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Jan Stepan

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