“Camera phones are the plague,” reveals Ricciardo to Sky Sports F1 in a recent interview. An ironic statement perhaps; Daniel Ricciardo is well known as one of the most active Social Media users in the paddock.
“One negative aspect about it is that people approach you as if you were a product. They arrive, take a picture and leave. There is no interaction.”
So not even the basic rules of courtesy are respected, no “request”, no “thank you”, it’s all about the photo, says Ricciardo: “I have the feeling that more and more people think they just have the right. Sometimes I just talk to someone else and they simply ignore those, “says the 28-year-old.
Previous team mate Sebastian Vettel is well known to have purposely shunned modern social media. He has never opened an account anywhere as far as we know. The Ferrari driver has never allowed fans into his world outside of the race track. When making a comment on ‘selfies’, the German is candid on the subject:
“People come and ask, ‘Can we take a picture?’ And they’re gone, ” says Vettel.
“It’s rather rare that they actually say hello and ask if it they can have a photo followed by a -Thank you-”
“A good trick to avoid people who want something from you. I find it particularly funny when they see that you have headphones, but still talk to a normal person. Like you would not listen to any music. Since I just think, “How do you expect me to hear you through these headphones”.
Perhaps it’s true that common respect and courtesy are lacking in the modern world of the smart phone and internet. But this hasn’t stopped Liberty Media embracing the revolution further. The drivers are the product, and the sport needs to market itself better to the audience. The audience demands selfies, youtube and live streaming.
With the average age of an F1 fan beyond 40, the younger generation isn’t willing to sacrifice one and a half to two hours on Sunday hence why we hear of a potential change to Saturday’s and qualifying. Auto Motor und Sport claim that Liberty Media are considering a sprint race on Saturday to determine the start grid for Sunday.
Two one-hour practice sessions for Friday then a Saturday morning follows the classic qualification. The result of which determines the starting grid for a sprint race over 100 kilometres. The finishing positions then give us the final starting grid for Sunday.
It must be noted that this particular story was published April 1st by the German publication, plenty of readers presumed it to be an April Fools.