The F1 authorities and money men need to grow up and get with the 21st century. Their continued attempts to control the media outlets together with corporate images and messages they attempt to ram down our throats is pitiful.
These offerings conceived by PR companies and advertising agencies are as transparent as the gazillion dollar cathedrals of glass in which they reside.
TheJudge13 is partly a social media project as well as a great place to find F1 news and gossip, learn about the technical aspect of the sport and discuss all this with fans as passionate as you from across the worldwide village.
Pause for a moment, and try to consider life without the World Wide Web….. It is fairly hard to do and whilst the majority of my life was spent prior to this incredible revolution, at times I struggle to remember life without the internet.
Social media and its ongoing and developing forms will be considered in time to be as equal a revolution if not greater than the WWW. The internet is merely a platform, social media is people joining together and being empowered to act and exist in ways never before possible.
I came across this article, “How can social media change the World”. In an instant I was humbled and realised my understanding of the impact of the phenomenon was microscopic when considering the range and scope of its reach, and actual effects.
(SM) Social media is…
Deconstructing complex policies, making the previously ‘out of reach’ accessible
Providing greater transparency that forces people to be accountable
Delivering previously untapped data and large scale job creation
Impacting the methods and manner of international diplomacy
Eliminating Paediatric AIDSAiding birth control
Empowered the previously unimpowered to stand together and cause a revolution called ‘the Arab spring’
We fans of course all have our favourite platforms like F1 forums, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and a host of new methods of communicating spring up with every passing month. However, Twitter and Facebook are still giant structures in the quickly expanding world village.
I have to say my introduction to Twitter was slow and painful, but as I say if you click on the ‘About’ tab in the menu above – the day TJ13 was launched I saw that Prof Sid Watkins had died about 9pm that night – many of the established F1 media only knew the following day.
10 minutes ago on twitter at times is like ancient history.
So back to F1 and the ‘grown ups’ who are in charge. They will take a very long time to ‘get it’ – and for a global sport that should be punching better in terms of inward revenue’s F1 is way behind the curve of opportunities that SM brings.
The big boys don’t ‘get it’ because they see SM as a channel for their chosen disbursements, as a method to shape the image they wish to portray and not as an agent for inward change, action and engagement.
‘Bringing the fans closer to F1’…Bla bla bla. Whilst this may be the goal of TJ13, very few others who claim this to be their guiding light are delivering this objective en masse. It should be noted that James Allen and Shell Motorsport make significant efforts to achieve this mantra, but are a rare example of flashing synapses in the giant bloated cerebrum that is the mind of F1.
What has provoked this Judges Chambers furore you may ask? I’ll tell you.
We all know about Lewis and his Twitter faux pas last year, and of course tweeting confidential team data – whilst delightful for our consumption – doesn’t help the cause for freedom of speech we wish Lewis to be committed too.
Whatever you think of Hamilton, he is a heart on his sleeve kind of guy, and I for one feel that is great to see and for us to identify with. In Barcelona testing 1, Lewis did a SKY interview on the final evening and was visibly depressed if not suicidal. I thought Roscoe was going to be toast.
Toward the end of Barcelona 2, the contrast in Hamilton’s demeanour was dramatic indeed. Why do we want him to restrain from being this person? Lewis is who he is and fundamentally won’t change.
Hamilton set his cards out on the table when he joined twitter stating, “Life is a journey, and I want my share with my fans – my passion, my drive, my ups and downs and my efforts to be the best,” he has 1.4m followers
We have recently seen tweets and pictures from Hamilton about his, dog, girlfriend and music (punctuation carefully observed) – beautiful banalities against the backdrop of the ruthlessness that is F1
I personally quite enjoyed the run in last year when Alonso took to Tweeting in the guise of a Samurai warrior. Prior to the Korean GP he posted this, “Five great races coming! If the enemy thinks in the mountains, attack by sea. If they think in the sea, attack by the mountains.”
The psychological battle – whether effective or not – is of interest to those of us who try to interpret the banal flood of dull speak and read the F1 tea leaves to discover the heart of the matter.
Yet it appears that there were those who were furious with Alonso and even Massa for their Red Bull jibes. The metaphors of guns and battles drew comments from an influential Ferrari supporter who described their behaviour as ‘tasteless’ and accused the Maranello drivers of ‘behaving like children, not thinking before they speak/tweet.
The words Fernando chose in the above quote are from 17th century Japanese Miyamoto Musashi, who set out in his ‘Book of Five Rings’ teachings ranging from strategy, philosophy and battlefield tactics to self-control and spiritual calm.
Musashi’s conviction that “there is more than one path to the top of the mountain” clearly struck a chord with Fernando and the inference is that his own ascent to the title was slowed by others and incidents beyond his control.
I suggest to you that this was not a childish case of ‘speak first – think later’. Alosno had thought very clearly about exactly what he was saying, and part of it was directed inward at his own team’s failures.
Then we have ‘the greatest driver of this generation’ – some say -.the loveable, warm and open Sebastian Vettel. He says that he won’t use Twitter or Facebook because, “I’m rather old-fashioned. I don’t understand the need to communicate really, I like to communicate directly and personally and make contact with the fans, for example, at autograph sessions.”
Somehow I hear that clinical, clipped monotone clearly through the very translation I just penned, and maybe we should expect nothing less. Bernie keeps trying to get Seb to ‘show his personality’, but I suspect he is doing that quite adequately – and has been for some time.
Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or in print or broadcast, the F1 corporate clones need to wake up and recognise nobody is suggesting we want F1 to become a TV show of ridicule… al la… the WWE. Yet the public interest in these exorbitantly paid individuals will not diminish and neither will we the fans believe the party lines they are forced to toe, and the bull they are given to say.
In fact, in the sport of F1 we have a rich diversity of actors on the stage. Some thinkers, some analysts, there are comics along with a few drama queens; and of course some very, very efficient individuals whose obsession is world domination.
Fernando has tweeted this year, but so far has restricted his topics to training and being generally in a very happy place. I believe Fernando demonstrated last year he is no respecter of persons when he ridiculed the La Stampa story about his row with Pat Fry – even though that story was sanctioned by Il Padrino himself.
So I hope when the tensions begin to rise and the pressure is high, we see Fernando re-incarnated into another form on Twitter. I would advise Fernando to look to his national heritage and deliver to us the wisdom from an ancient heroic and philosophic Matador de toros.
On the note of Social Media. Why not join us on our Facebook page for some live chat during the Australian Grand Prix. An event has been created which you can access by clicking . Once on the page you can “like” us and then join the event which will allow you to post to the event wall. Lets see how it goes for this race and we can run events for the other races if there is a demand.