Formula 1. How F1 made its revolution in ten years – Formula 1

For more than 20 years, and until 2012, Formula 1 was broadcast on TF1. Until Canal + recovers the rights… for the greatest pleasure of the encrypted channel. It is that in the space of ten years, the queen category of motorsport has undergone a revolution. On the slopes first, but also outside. To the point, today, that those who had stopped on Sunday afternoons to watch F1 after the family meal would be disturbed to say the least if they came to return today. « It’s true that F1 experienced complicated years in the 2000s », recognizes Emmanuel Touzot, freelance journalist and specialist in motor sports.

The starting grid for the 2022 season in Formula 1.
The starting grid for the 2022 season in Formula 1. (Infographic Le Télégramme)

« All for show »

The new regulations for the 2022 season should also be in line with those put in place for ten years: the objective being to promote the spectacle and try to redistribute the cards. “The arrival of Liberty Medias (Editor’s note: the new owner of F1 for five years) changed a lot of things in 2017, recalls Emmanuel Touzot. Formula 1 was an aging product, like its audience. Ratings were plummeting, all images were blocked on social media and it had the image of an elite sport. Now it’s all for show. The arrival of the DRS (Drag Reduction System), or drag reduction system in French, was one of the first steps in this change. In particular, it greatly favored overtaking on the straights. Concretely, when it is open, the DRS allows a gain in speed at the expense of a loss of grip. Drivers can use it only in certain specific, predefined areas of each circuit and if the car in front of them is less than a second away. « The new regulations must erase the possibility for engineers to find solutions to circumvent them », smiles the journalist, follower of F1 for almost ten years. “They were really designed to promote battles on the track”.

Social networks, a new sounding board

In addition to DRS, Formula 1 also experienced another technical revolution in 2014 with the era of hybrid engines. The latter revived the suspense in a championship then dominated by Red Bull and the German Sebastian Vettel. “We can imagine that with the new single-seaters of 2022, some will have to adapt their driving”, projects Emmanuel Touzot. “The arrival of hybrid engines, for example, disturbed pilots like Vettel who found himself in difficulty”. For him, it is not excluded that the novelties of the coming season, even if they must slow down the cars whose times in the pre-season tests are – very – far from the records established on the circuits concerned, continue to benefit the show. on the track. “In the 90s, there was a lot more spectacle as cars went up to 10 » slower than they do now”. A show that Liberty Media has decided to push to the limit. On social networks, the American group has completely changed its way of seeing things and completely opened the floodgates. “The arrival of Netflix is ​​also very positive, concludes Emmanuel Touzot. There is a whole new public who discovered Formula 1 and the product is considerably more attractive today: it must be said that it was over 70 years old”… Canal can rub its hands: there is no doubt that, on Sunday, the public will be numerous to follow the first Grand Prix of the season in Bahrain.

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