Sean Bratches, the commercial boss of Formula 1, has labeled Germany as a critical market for Formula 1 and says fans will have the greatest amount of data in F1 history avalaible for them this season.
Since Liberty Media took over Formula 1 more than a year ago, many changes have been made to improve the entertaining factor, engage more fans and attract more viewers, although it will initially mean more investments that will pay off latter.
The number of viewers in F1 2017 increased compared to 2016, although we saw about 50% less overtaking, but for the first time in three years we have seen the fight for the two world championships between two different teams despite the fact that Vettel and Ferrari failed in the last third of the season .
“Formula 1 sells a good story, about drivers, engineers and brands. We’ve been trying to sell these stories better, push content to digital channels, even to people who were not interested in motorsport,” Bratches said for Auto Motor und Sport.
“We are not organizing a football game that is over in two hours, we have to keep people entertained all weekend, six to eight hours a day.”
“Fans are willing to pay for new experiences as long as they feel they are worth the money, so we need to increase value and one of the ways is to create more equal competition between teams. ”
Hamilton – Bernie would arrest me for using F1 logos
At the time of the reign of Bernie Ecclestone, drivers could not place video footage from the garage and track on their social networks, let alone use the official Formula 1 logo. Bratches says Hamilton said to him what the situation was at Ecclestone’s time.
“One of my first experiences was lunch with Lewis Hamilton and I asked him why he doesn’t use F1 logos on his social networks, and he replied that Bernie would have arrested him.”
“If you have such great athletes like Lewis, you have to use their social channels and try to adapt to the market in the 21st century. ”
More data than ever for fans
Bratches promised that F1 fans in 2018 would be able to see more data than ever to improve their F1 experience.
“We will transfer the data from the 120 sensors that transmit 1500 data records every second – we will filter 30 to 50 data – some will be available free of charge to everyone, and those for hardcore fans will have to be paid. ”
“For example, Verstappen fan wants to know where Max brakes and this information will be recorded exactly in the braking zone and displayed to them.”
Germany ‘critical market’ for Formula 1
Bratches is aware that the F1 in the free viewing countries will reach a much larger audience, so in some countries they decided to keep that model.
“Free TV means reach, money comes from pay-TV. Ideally, 25 to 30% of the race should be free of charge and the rest is payed.”
“From the perspective of paid TV, it’s even good that some races are being broadcasted for free. This is advertising for sports.”
“We know that Germany is a critical market, they are not ready to leave the free transfer, so we ended up there again with RTL. I’m born in Berlin and my family lives in Germany while my uncle is a big F1 fan. He would be pretty angry if we went too far. ”