Formula One teams engaging fans online

The 2010 Formula One season kicked off at the weekend, and the online engagement from a couple of the teams has caught my eye. I’ll own up now that so I’ve only really looked at the British teams. But I’m British and we have a good representation in the sport, so it seemed like a good place to start.

*First up: McLaren *

I’m not actually a big fan of the site design itself. It seems a bit clunky, although there are some nice features – I’m thinking of the scaling images here. But, and I don’t know how they’ve done it, if you try to copy & paste some text from the page this is what you get.


What happened to the spaces?! Not very handy for sharing info. Prior to the first race they had a story up that I wanted to send to a friend via MSN. I had to resort to sending a cropped screenshot. Pretty shoddy.

The saving grace, where the site really came alive was during the race. At the top of the screen were live updates of the radio transmission between pitwall & drivers – although these were obviously (and quite reasonably from a tactical point of view) censored. At the bottom of the screen was the geek area. It was awesome! Live telemetry from both cars – lap number, position, speed, % throttle/brake, g-forces, lap-time.

Given that the opening race in Bahrain wasn’t the most exciting, this – in a nerdy way – added a new dimension. Personally, I found it interesting so congratulations to McLaren.

Secondly: Lotus Racing

Back in F1 for the first time in years this new team have embraced the interactive nature of the social web well.

Their home page is waiting for you to personalise it. There for you is a Twitter feed, a You Tube channel and Flickr Stream – whatever takes your fancy.

My favourite has been the Twitter feed. I’ve been following the feed on the run-up to the start of the season, and the enthusiasm and excitement from this new team has been very infectious. For me it has embodied what can be great about social media. We’ve been more involved than ever before in a Formula One team, their enthusiasm became our enthusiasm, their joy at getting both cars to the end of their first race became our joy.

I’d be interested to hear other opinions on what these and/or other teams have been doing to engage the fans…