Talk about a bonza weekend. Formula 1 enjoyed a double boost at the Australian GP. First it set anew attendance record for the Albert Park circuit, with a total of 419,114 spectators over the weekend, then it announced a renewed partnership with social media company Twitter.
The two statements confirm the growing popularity of Formula 1 both in the flesh and on digital channels and will be seen as vindication of Liberty Media’s strategy for broadening the appeal of the sport and especially of targeting a younger generation of fans.
The Twitter deal will see F1 produce more video clips to be shared on the social media platform, including race coverage, interviews with drivers and archive footage. It hopes to produce around 20 clips per race weekend. The sport currently has over 7.5 million followers on its @F1 account, and 65% of those tweeting about the sport are under 35 thanks in part to the popularity of Drive to Survive. In total the sport was tweeted about 71 million times in 2021, a 64%increase from 2020.
In return Twitter will use its TwitterAmplify technology to ensure that the F1 content is more visible to a wider audience. It does this by ensuring that anyone who Tweets about F1 will see the video content even if they don’t follow the official F1 account. The deal will run across the 2022 and 2023 race seasons.
Ashwin Desai, head of digital media rights at F1, said: “Twitter is where so many of our fans go to get to the heart of the action, and our enhanced output is going to drive even more conversation as we celebrate an exciting new era for Formula 1.”
Theo Luke, a senior director at Twitter, said: “The extension of this content partnership reaffirms the scale and value of the F1 conversation taking place on Twitter. We’re able to deliver impactful video highlights alongside amore targeted advertising experience for Formula 1’s sponsors and other brands who want to engage with this rapidly growing fanbase.”
Back in the real world, the Albert Park turnout came on the back of several sell-out grands prix. In October last year, the Circuit of the Americas in Austin reported a record crowd of 400,000 to see Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton.
However, both Melbourne and Austin are still some way short of F1’s outright attendance record, which is also held by the Australian GP when 520,000 people descended on Adelaide for the 1995 race.