La Digital Battle des coéquipiers pour la saison 2017 de F1

Avant chaque séance de qualifications de F1, la Formula One Management diffuse la « Qualifying Battle », qui est en fait le résultat du face à face des équipiers en qualifications. Au-delà du placement sur la grille de départ, il s’agit d’un chiffre souvent très révélateur qui reflète la vitesse pure d’un pilote sur un tour. Dans l’esprit de cette « Qualifying Battle », Sportsmarketing.fr propose une « Digital Battle » où les coéquipiers sont comparés non pas sur leur tour de superpole mais sur leur nombre de fans sur Facebook et Twitter. L’occasion de voir quels sont les pilotes les plus populaires sur les réseaux sociaux, mais aussi de présenter, via ce diaporama, le line up 2017 de chaque écurie. Voici donc les résultats, les ‘vainqueurs’ sur les réseaux sociaux seront-ils aussi forts sur la piste ? Réponse dès le 26 mars à Melbourne…

Mercedes : Lewis Hamilton l’emporte face à Valtteri Bottas

Red Bull : Daniel Ricciardo l’emporte face à Max Verstappen

Ferrari : Pas de compte Twitter ni Facebook pour Kimi Raikkonen et Sebastian Vettel

Force India : Sergio Perez l’emporte face à Esteban Ocon

Williams : Felipe Massa l’emporte face à Lance Stroll

McLaren : Fernando Alonso l’emporte face à Stoffel Vandoorne

Toro Rosso : Carlos Sainz l’emporte face à Daniil Kvyat

Haas : Romain Grosjean l’emporte face à Kevin Magnussen

Renault : Nico Hulkenberg l’emporte face à Jolyon Palmer

Sauber : Marcus Ericsson et Pascal Wehrlein se neutralisent

Si Lewis Hamilton remporte haut la main cette « digital battle », il est clair que le pilote au numéro 44 fait parler de lui bien au-delà du microcosme de la F1 par son mode de vie de star, mais aussi (et surtout) par son palmarès de triple champion du monde. Le rayonnement des autres pilotes semble moindre, en tous cas du point de vue de ces chiffres là sur le digital, sauf pour certains pilotes bénéficiant d’une très importante audience comme : Fernando Alonso, double champion du monde, Felipe Massa, qui bénéficie de beaucoup d’empathie auprès des fans notamment au Brésil, Sergio Perez ou encore Daniel Ricciardo. Sebastian Vettel et Kimi Raikkonen considèrent qu’ils n’ont pas besoin d’avoir de comptes officiels pour être considérés comme stars de la F1, leur palmarès et leur longévité parlant pour eux. Palmarès, démographie du pays d’origine (on se souvient de Rio Haryanto, alors rookie, 10ème pilote sur 22 le plus suivi sur Twitter en 2016, bénéficiant d’une importante audience dans son pays), force et cohérence de la stratégie digitale, ou encore ancienneté sur les circuits apparaissent comme les principaux critères des pilotes et leur management pour réussir à attirer et fidéliser leur communauté. Bien évidemment d’autres plateformes entrent en ligne de compte comme Vine, Snapchat ou Instagram, à l’image du pilote français Esteban Ocon qui a plus de 60 000 abonnés sur Instagram. L’enjeu des interactions avec les fans est désormais compris de tous (ou presque), surtout dans un contexte de diffusion de la F1 sur des chaînes payantes, avec un prix des billets sur les circuits toujours très onéreux, ce qui n’aide pas à rapprocher le public et les pilotes.

En ce début d’année 2017, Liberty Media a autorisé les équipes de F1 à publier des vidéos sur les réseaux sociaux. Ce qui ne concerne pour l’instant que la première session d’essais hivernaux à Barcelone, pourrait être, espérons le, prolongé. Longtemps réputée comme frileuse, la F1 peine à rattraper son retard, surement inspirée par des disciplines comme le Moto GP ou la Formule E et son désormais célèbre « Fan Boost » qui permet aux fans de voter pour son pilote favori.

A travers un partage d’informations et de contenus, entre communication et valorisation, les réseaux sociaux permettent à la F1 de rencontrer les fans, ce qui s’avère indispensable pour toucher un public complémentaire qui passe de moins en moins de temps devant la télévision. Citons les exemples récents de Lewis Hamilton et Nico Hulkenberg qui ont lancé un concours auprès de leurs fans, l’idée étant de designer leur casque.

► Voir aussi l’article « Qui gagne le Grand Prix de F1 social media ? »

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