F1 can learn from Esports fan engagement, says Brawn

Formula 1 can learn from the way Esports has helped drivers engage more actively and closely with fans during the recent break, according to managing director Ross Brawn.

F1 can learn from Esports fan engagement, says Brawn

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the cancellation of the opening 10 races of the 2020 season, a number of F1 drivers took up sim racing as a way to stay sharp and entertained during the break.

Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, George Russell and Alexander Albon were all regulars in F1’s Virtual GP Series, while Leclerc and Norris also took part in the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans that was supported by Motorsport Games

The drivers also did their own independent streaming across a variety of games, allowing them to interact and chat with fans on a regular basis away from the regular pressures of F1.

Speaking in the latest part of the #thinkingforward series of interviews with motor racing’s leaders, F1 managing director of motorsports Brawn spoke warmly of how the sport’s younger generation of drivers had continued to engage with fans despite the lack of racing.

"It’s been a lifeline in this period to keep fans engaged, and with so many people in lockdown to be able to offer them this engagement, this entertainment, following it has been wonderful,” Brawn said in an interview at the FIA eConference.

“The thing I’ve seen that is very striking to me is how because the real drivers have become involved in these initiatives and these events, how well they’ve been able to engage with the fans.

“The message was constantly coming across from the fans that they wanted to know more about the drivers. They see them in the car with the helmet on, see them interviewed formally, but what are the drivers really like? What do they do? How do they live?

“Of course with Esports, you’ve got a much better insight into the drivers’ personalities and their characters and their nature. That’s been a real boom.

“Lando Norris, George Russell, and all those guys, you probably wouldn’t have seen as much of, but they’ve suddenly come to the forefront, and their personalities have come out.”

Read Also:

Brawn hoped that even with racing set to return in July that the lessons from Esports could prove long-lasting to improve F1’s engagement with fans.

“I think that has been a really useful element of Esports, and we always supported it,” Brawn said.

“We had our Esports championship with every team participating, but they would be with professional gamers most of the time. I think the real racing drivers taking part has been a massive boost to Esports.

“I’m sure that will have a lot more support and a lot more resource in the future. We’ve seen massive positives on that side, and we’re not going to want to let them go. Formula 1 is very committed to it.”

shares
comments

Haas F1 not disadvantaged by lack of pre-Austria running

Zanardi’s prognosis is not yet clear, says his surgeon

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinuackas

Assessing Hamilton's Mercedes stint Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinauckas

Assessing Wolff's Mercedes influence The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The line-up Ocon, Gasly may emulate The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Who were the fastest F1 drivers? Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Adam Cooper

Why Hulkenberg is ready for return Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why Vasseur relishes the pressure Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jake Boxall-Legge

F1 2023's crucial tech changes The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023