While social media is not the sole indicator of global trends, it has served as a reliable barometer of Formula 1’s popularity in recent years. However, a new study by social media intelligence company Buzz Radar suggests that Formula 1 may be losing some of its social media buzz in 2023.
The analysis presented in a white paper reveals a significant decline in mentions and conversations about Formula 1 compared to the previous year, 2022. This decline has led to predictions that the sport may have reached its peak in terms of social media engagement.
One key factor contributing to the decrease in social media buzz is the dominant performance of Red Bull and the reigning world champion, Max Verstappen. Verstappen, hailing from Belgium and the Netherlands, has won an impressive 13 out of 16 races in 2023, including a remarkable streak of 10 consecutive wins at one point. Red Bull has similarly excelled, winning all but one competition this year, securing a second consecutive Constructors’ championship.
The report acknowledges that similar concerns about a decline in interest were raised during the era when Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the Formula 1 circuit throughout much of the 2010s.
However, other factors may be contributing to the drop in Formula 1’s social media presence beyond on-track performance. Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” played a pivotal role in introducing the sport to American fans, but the last two seasons of the series lacked the same level of intrigue as the initial two.
Additionally, the social media landscape has seen changes, particularly with the transformation of Twitter into the platform now known as “X” following Elon Musk’s acquisition in late 2022. This transition has come under scrutiny for placing NFL ads on the accounts of prominent white nationalists, raising concerns among advertisers about brand safety. There are conflicting reports about the platform’s usage rates, with Musk asserting an increase, while some reports dispute his claim.
The dominance of Red Bull in Formula 1 during 2023 may also have implications for traditional television viewership in the United States. The sport has experienced significant growth in the U.S. over the past four years, but Red Bull’s dominance could potentially affect this trend.
While these factors suggest a dip in social media interest in Formula 1 in 2023, the sport’s dynamic nature means that it can experience shifts in popularity over time. Whether this decline in social media buzz will translate into long-term changes in Formula 1’s fan base and viewership remains to be seen.