- Jaguar TCS Racing driver Sam Bird believes Formula E needs a drive of its own to survive in order to enjoy the popularity phenomenon that F1 is enjoying today.
- “It is an opportunity to turn pilots (…) into public figures. When it happens, and it may, it will overtake Formula E and we will get more fans,” said Bird.
- Formula E has its own documentary series, Unplugged, but Bird believes it should come to streaming platforms such as Netflix or Prime Video.
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The CDMX is one of the favorite venues for Formula E drivers, who describe their fans as “passionate” about the motor sport and their screams as they race through the Foro Sol sector at the Hermanos Rodríguez Autodrome. can listen.
Jaguar TCS Racing driver Sam Bird said in an interview with Business Insider, “It’s one of those races where the fans are so passionate that you have to wait an extra 20 or 30 minutes to get them to sign all their caps or pieces of paper.” want to give.” Mexico.. “It’s impossible. There are too many people here who want an autograph or a picture with you.”
The Briton, who has raced in every season of the Electric World Championship, even went so far as to assure that there are times when he feels “guilty” for not interacting with all the Mexican fans, something that is common in all those cities. Doesn’t happen in where they compete.
“There are some castes that do not have such good potential. I wish they had this type of fans, because here they are very passionate and you get incredible energy from them.” “If we have Formula E everywhere, at the level of F1, there is no doubt. “
Compared to the top class of motorsport, Formula E is very young. While the electric series is only nine years old, F1 has a long history that spans over 70. Similarly, the former only has a calendar of 16 races, while the latter will run this 2023 on 24 different circuits.
Although it is unfair to compare one series with the other, even if technically and sportingly they differ, Bird believes that Formula E does not have something to reach the “level” of F1, such as a television programme. drive to survive.
The Netflix documentary series premiered in 2019 and each season closely follows drivers and teams over the course of a campaign. Insider reported that in 2021, more than 50 million people watched the show, translating to 73 million fans in markets such as Brazil, China and France.
“This is an opportunity to turn pilots into public figures who are currently just pilots,” Bird said. “When it happens, and it may happen, it will surpass Formula E and we will get more fans.”
“It means potentially bigger sponsorship and more money coming in for the teams and drivers,” he said. “It’s like a snowball effect. If you look at how F1 and its economy have grown thanks to a very successful TV show. Their drivers are making more money and their teams are making more money.”
The British also explained drive to survive F1 was able to grow by reaching such an important market as America. According to Statista, the number of F1 fans in the United States is set to increase from 44.9 million in 2019 to 49.2 million in 2022.
In the same year, the United States GP at Texas broke a record as the most crowded F1 event in history, with an audience of 440 billion viewers over the weekend.
In 2023, the World Championships will also visit Miami and Las Vegas, enhancing its strategy focused on the US market.
Formula E has its own documentary, but it needs access to streaming platforms
Event drive to survive It is not ignored by other sports championships. your maker, box to box films, It is also premiering two new docu-series on Netflix this year: Full Swing, about the PGA Tour, and Break Point, about the ATP and WTA Tours.
In motorsports, an event in F2 (the prelude to F1) is called chasing the Dream, produced by Sky Sports and available on the streaming platform F1TV. It also follows its pilots throughout the season.
Formula E has also tried to respond to this trend unplugged, The series which premiered its first season in 2022 and which follows the events of the seventh campaign (his first world championship).
All 15 episodes of that season are available for free on YouTube. Its average duration is only 15 minutes. The first episode peaked at over 75,000 views, but these fell throughout the season, with the final chapter peaking at 17,000 views.
for the second season unpluggedIn 2010, Formula E decided to reduce the number of its episodes to six, but increase its duration to 30 minutes. It premiered on 20 December on regional television channels (mainly European). It is expected to be seen in Mexico in March 2023 through digital channels of the electric range.
“Now (unplugged) doesn’t have an audience because it’s not on a platform like Netflix,” Bird told Business Insider Mexico.
“If our show was bought by Prime Video, Netflix or any other platform, people would start watching and recommending it. Then things can change,” he said.
now read: Drivers debunk the 4 biggest myths they’ve heard about Formula E
Read also: How Formula E overcame a supply chain crisis to debut Gen3, according to its co-founder
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