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Formula 1

F1 data counters new report's purported social media 'crisis'

F1 has provided data refuting findings in a new report analysing social media numbers across 2021 to 2023.

Verstappen Sainz Italy Ferrari Red Bull 2023
To news overview © XPBimages

Formula 1 has provided data countering the findings of a new report which claimed that the series' social media reach was weakening.

A report was released on Thursday (28th September) from Buzz Radar, claiming that F1 had seen a sharp drop in terms of new followers, interactions and mentions across the period of January-May in 2022 and 2023.

It put this down to the lack of a title fight this season owing to Max Verstappen and Red Bull's dominance when compared to the same period 12 months prior when the new technical regulations and fallout from the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix rumbled on throughout the early part of the year.

However, F1 has provided RacingNews365 with data countering those in the Buzz Radar report.

F1's in-house data suggests that growth across official FOM channels in 2023 is almost eight times (757%) bigger than the 3.7 million claimed by Buzz Radar.

In the second quarter of 2023 - April 1st to June 30th - F1-owned channels ranked second globally for follower growth rate across top sporting leagues.

Only La Liga - Spain's top football division where the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid play -ranked higher.

Meanwhile, F1 measured active engagements - counted as likes, comments and shares, was up 4% on the Year to Date against 2022, with 1.5 billion engagements expected to be collected for the third season in a row.

What did the report say?

The whitepaper report from Buzz Radar, a company which analyses social media patterns, claimed the 2023 season - dominated by Verstappen and Red Bull to the tune of 13 and 15 wins respectively from 16 races - had seen a downturn from the otherwise explosive growth enjoyed.

The report, titled Have we reached Peak F1?, suggested that the relative boom of early 2022 could serve as a high-point of F1's popularity for the time being, with data crunched from 70 million fan posts.

As opposed to the overly positive keywords such as 'exciting', 'boring' was a top term - with the report believing the links between a close F1 title fight and strong social media numbers is clear, with some figures from its findings below.

F1's claimed falling social media numbers

January-May Mentions - millions New Followers - thousands Reach - billons
2021 3.19m 624.27k 35.63bn
2022 6.14m 911.15k 61.73bn
2023 1.83m 489.37k 22.16bn

Good news for F1 in report

While the report suggested F1's social media reach fell by nearly a third across the five-month period of January-May 2022 to 2023 and new followers down just by over 50%, it praised the growth enjoyed over the previous decade.

When Liberty Media assumed control of the series in 2017, social media rules were immediately relaxed that permitted content being filmed in the paddock that was banned under the previous ownership, with there being an 80% growth since.

This is only second to football's UEFA Champions League (112%) and cricket's Indian Premier League (IPL), at 208% growth.

Other motorsport series including IndyCar, NASCAR and the World Rally Championship recorded figures of 60%, 12% and 40%, respectively.

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