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Lewis Hamilton in spotlight as F1 opens new chapter with Facebook live

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Lewis Hamilton in spotlight as F1 opens new chapter with Facebook live
Apr 20, 2016, 3:27 PM

On Tuesday afternoon Lewis Hamilton was in the chair in a new experiment involving Facebook Live and Sky Sports F1.

On Tuesday afternoon Lewis Hamilton was in the chair in a new experiment involving Facebook Live and Sky Sports F1.

Nothing happens by accident in this sport and this event is noteworthy as another step in the digitisation of the sport, as Facebook is developing its Facebook live platform around sports and Sky Sports is one of the partners.

The idea of the platform is to be able to stream live video on Facebook, potentially opening up the world as an audience for a video.

Lewis Hamilton

It allows its users access to a potential audience of billions around the world. Sky is a trusted rights holder with F1 Management and so is contractually bound not to do anything to infringe those rights when it comes to live F1 action footage, but when you take this step in conjunction with the new Sky UK deal from 2019 to 2024 and the fact that Tata Communications has carried out a successful OTT (over the top) services proof of concept to enable video streaming with almost zero latency, you can see a general direction that F1 and Sky might explore together.

Apps like Periscope have made live streaming of video from anywhere popular, now Facebook has opened up the possibility to engage with a global audience. It is likely that this will become a popular feature in the coming years around F1 events and activations; at the F1 race track, wherein the video rights are tightly controlled a subject to significant rights fees, its is the domain of Sky and other rights holders. Activations from the F1 paddock, 'at the track' as opposed to 'on the track' will be the subject of discussions with teams going forward as they seek to engage with their fans more imaginatively.

Hamilton is one of the judges in the F1 Connectivity Innovation prize, entering its third year as F1's leading crowdsourcing challenge and he spoke about that before moving on to answer questions from fans in a format that is likely to become familiar over time.

Lewis Hamilton

He said that he has faith in Mercedes' reliability despite the issues he suffered at the weekend and believes that the first three races have also shown that Ferrari is having to push over its limits to chase competitiveness, which has caused them breakdowns, while in China Mercedes believed that Ferrari was running a conservative engine mode in the race.

“We’ve had the best reliability over the last few years, "he said. “China was just one bad weekend. The car is phenomenal – it’s just been a bit unfortunate on my side.”

Hamilton: “I think the fans have great ideas”

Hamilton used the Facebook like interview at the Mercedes factory in Brackley to outline why he thinks F1 should listen to its fans more often and use the rest of the season to experiment with a better qualifying format.

He said: “I think the fans have great ideas and unfortunately some of the people who make decisions don’t have the best ones. That’s just how it is.

XPB.cc Australian Grand Prix qualifying

“The [qualifying] idea wasn’t great and now we’ve had to revert back and I just think [that as] we’ve got 18 races there’s no reason why we can’t try a different thing each week.

“There’s no reason why we can’t make small steps, but at the moment we’re not making any steps. I think the fans have great ideas and ultimately the fans are the ones that are watching.”

Not plans to stay in F1 after retirement

https://twitter.com/LewisHamilton/status/719910205262340096?lang=en-gb

When asked if his much discussed personal activities away from the racetrack were a way for preparing for a career in the F1 media once he retires, Hamilton explained that he currently has no plans to stay involved in the sport when he stops driving.

He said: “I’m just enjoying the age I am and utilising the time I have because at one point my career will have ended and I’ll move onto something else.

“I don’t want to stop and be a commentator or stay and be in the sport – it’s just not for me.

“This has been my opinion for a long time. I feel like there are a lot of people that are still in the sport and they just can’t let go.

Lewis Hamilton

“I’ve been racing for two thirds of my lift and no doubt I [would] miss it and want to come back, but I don’t want to come back and watch someone else driving the car that I was driving.

“[I will] go off and do something else – there is so much else I can do.”

Red Bull resurgence “good for F1”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo recently qualified second on the grid at the Chinese Grand Prix and the Australian led the first few laps of the race before he was passed by Nico Rosberg and then dropped down the field when he suffered a puncture.

Daniel Ricciardo

As Ricciardo was able to recover to fourth and his teammate Daniil Kvyat finished third, Hamilton, who has regularly said he would welcome more competition at the front of the F1 grid, described how a return to form by Red Bull was good for the sport.

He said: “They’ve got a great car and they’ve improved the engine so I think it’s great for the sport [to have] another team that’s on the cusp.”

Lewis Hamilton

Did you watch Hamilton’s Facebook Live interview? Did you enjoy it? Is this an area you would like to see F1 explore more? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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Series Formula 1
Tags innovation