Formula 1 | Fans under 24, a series on Netflix: the story of the revival of Formula 1 | Automotive | Verstappen | Belgian Grand Prix | SPORT-TOTAL

Formula 1 | Fans under 24, a series on Netflix: the story of the revival of Formula 1 | Automotive | Verstappen | Belgian Grand Prix | SPORT-TOTAL

“One of the problems with tennis is that we spent many years asking Federer and Nadal what changes needed to be made in this sport. In general, those who dominate do not want change: they want everything to stay the same. It’s up to the fans to ask them what kind of changes they prefer, “said Stacey Allaster, director of the US Open at the time. A reality he detected in tennis and which, if necessary , was repeated in F1. No one can deny that the Formula One, in terms of fans, is enjoying a renaissance. It’s hard for passion to grow in dictatorial seasons like the ones the category has seen in this millennium, but today there’s no doubt that it’s succeeded. First reigned the tyranny of Michael Schumacher, who won the titles from 2000 to 2004, who was dethroned by Alonso’s double championship. In 2010, he will begin Vettel’s four-year tenure and then move on to the monarchy of Lewis Hamilton, who won seven of the eight contested titles between 2014 and 2020. So as these absolutist kingdoms came and went, the replacement generation awaited its instant. Verstappen stumbled first, then stumbled and now hard. His arrival at the crown not only meant new times in the division but in the whole circus around him.

Mira: Follow live the Belgian GP 2022, one of the most anticipated races in Formula 1

Until a few years ago, Formula 1 fans were forties, men and mainly Europeans. The division realized that they were in serious danger of surviving if they didn’t broaden the spectrum of followers in danger of their fans starting to die out. Today, the latest audience reports reveal that one in three Formula fans are under 24. Something unheard of ten years ago. What change? The arrival of Liberty Media. After 40 years under the control of the transmission rights of the British Bernie Ecclestone, the North American television consortium entered the division to energize the whole. They began to open up to social networks, something that until 2016 did not happen with the category, and to open the back room of the division to Netflix with the docu-series “Formula 1: Drive to Survive “where the drama of competition, the devotion to technology and the self-centered soap operas of the pilots and all the harem around them.

Mex Vertsappen.
Max Verstappen won the 2022 French Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen won the 2022 French Grand Prix. / Formula 1

“Drive To Survive’s success is due to its excellent cast of characters. To be a Formula 1 driver, to be in the top 20 drivers in the world, you have to have something in your character, and whether it’s a Lewis Hamilton or a Daniel Ricciardo, they’re all very different, they’re all very complex to their own way., and everyone handles the pressure in their own way,” says Paul Martin, one of the show’s executive directors. The rebirth of the category, in terms of audience and circuit attendance, is the product of a division that knew how to read the new times and propose a strategy to attract new fans. It is therefore here, in this new scenario, that the duel of these two twenty-somethings like Verstappen and Leclerc takes on greater importance in this unusual escalation of increasingly street programming. The category is changing for the sake of its survival and much to the chagrin of purists. Transformation they say. F1, the biggest show in the world, could not ignore it.

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