Following the inaugural edition of the Insider Survey last year, we reached back out to our Formula 1 (F1) colleagues ahead of the 2022 Season to see how the last twelve months have impacted opinion. Least of all, to see whether the events of last year’s thrilling F1 season have altered the landscape for our sport today and, no doubt, for years to come.
We are once again thankful to those who have given their time to respond and are delighted to share our findings. Our intention is that this survey can continue to provide an insightful, honest and thought-provoking view of the commercial aspect of F1 and the opportunities it can or should provide to brands and stakeholders currently involved or thinking of joining the sport itself.
All signs point to us emerging from the global pandemic but it’s clear that we are by no means free of its impact, with the majority still believing we will not see a return to ‘business as usual’ before 2023. However, a steady return of event attendees in some capacity, both fans and media, has reaffirmed their importance to the championship, where brands and teams continue to list on-ground activation as key.
One of the overriding themes from 2021 was diversity. In 2022 the tone is different, our respondents’ priorities for this season have shifted and are now very much focused on sustainability and technical innovation.
On the removal of the ‘knee-taking’ gesture from the race start procedure for this season, opinion is split, with just under half recognising its positive message against almost a quarter feeling F1 would look back on the ‘moment’ as a negative for the sport.
There is also an interesting disparity around media coverage, with different stakeholders experiencing contrasting levels of engagement and ease of access, whilst each claim varying levels of success.
Nevertheless, there is clear cause for optimism in F1, with commercial opportunities continuing to be better than five years ago. General public awareness and understanding of the sport was highlighted as a point of concern in last year’s survey. In 2022, it is undeniably at an all-time high, buoyed no doubt by the popularity of a certain television series and the incredible and controversial events of the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
In a sport where so many differing parties have a skin in the game, it seems F1 has never been such a hot topic of conversation with the man on the street. Whisper it quietly, F1 might even be back in the ‘mainstream’. But where does F1 go from here? Is it a sport or an entertainment brand?
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