With the 2022 F1 season fast approaching, the regulations are now emphasizing the part fans have to play in the sport. This is an addition to the provision to make sure that drivers should be available for fan interaction from this season on. The regulation reads :
“Within a one-hour period finishing no later than 1hr and 30 minutes before P3, all drivers must be available for fan activities (including, but not limited to, autograph sessions and fan forums) for a maximum period of 15 minutes each within the hour.”
Ever since the ownership of F1 moved to Liberty Media, the following for the sport has remarkably increased — notably among younger audiences. According to a research report by Nielsen, interest in the series last year grew by 73 million – equal to 20 per cent – in ten of the motorsport series’ key markets. These markets include Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The research also found that 75% of the growth was driven by a predominantly young audience (16 to 35 age group). This accounted for 46% of the sport's loyal viewers as of last year.
The season finale at Yas Marina, which saw Max Vertsappen crowned champion, beating Lewis Hamilton on the last lap, reported a record audience of 7.4 million in the UK. The 2021 F1 season is also reported to be the most watched season in the sport's history.
F1 on course to reach 1 billion fans in 2022
The popularity of Formula One is on a steady rise. The strong end to the 2021 season played a crucial role in this, with the beloved Netflix series 'Drive to Survive' and the Virtual Grands Prix also playing a part. An independent study by Nielsen has now confirmed that the Libery Media-owned sport anticipates that a billion people will claim an interest in the sport by April 2022.
Nielsen Sports Head of Rights Holders, Tom McCormack, explained:
“By embracing these platforms – as well as OTT services such as Netflix, with its Drive to Survive series – Formula One is now well-poised to convert newcomers to the sport to long-term fans and generate unprecedented interest levels.”
The 2022 season is all set to start on 18 March, with the Bahrain Grand Prix.
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