In a reversal from recent trends, the 2023 Formula 1 season has witnessed a significant decline in social media attention, as revealed by Buzz Radar’s latest case study. This study sheds light on what could be considered a peak in the sport’s popularity, following its remarkable surge in previous years.
Buzz Radar’s comprehensive analysis of 70 million fan posts spanning the past decade has brought forth a striking revelation: social media mentions of Formula 1 have plummeted by an astonishing 70.2% in the first five months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
This report from the analytics company also highlights a notable shift in fan sentiment. Words such as ‘boring’ and ‘annoying’ have now taken precedence in conversations surrounding Formula 1, effectively supplanting previously positive descriptors like ‘exciting’ and ‘interesting.’
The primary factor attributed to this decline in interest is the phenomenon of single-team dominance, primarily by Red Bull. This echoes patterns seen in previous years when Formula 1 witnessed diminished discussions during seasons dominated by one team.
According to the most recent research from Buzz Radar, while 2022 experienced a surge in Formula 1 interest, catalyzed by the electrifying 2021 title battle and the introduction of new car regulations, 2023 has ushered in a downturn. The analytics firm has noted a dramatic 46.29% reduction in new followers and a 64.10% decrease in social media reach this year.
Furthermore, Buzz Radar’s report underscores a clear shift in the discourse surrounding Formula 1. Negative adjectives have now taken center stage in conversations, indicative of a waning enthusiasm among fans.
However, the primary driver behind this decline in interest is undeniably linked to the dominance of a single team. Red Bull’s overwhelming success, having won nearly all but two races over the past year, has significantly impacted fan engagement. Similar trends were last observed in 2018 when Lewis Hamilton’s supremacy led to a comparable drop in social media attention.
By referencing the intense rivalry between Nico Rosberg and Hamilton in 2016 and the thrilling climax to the 2021 season, Buzz Radar has emphasized the direct correlation between closely-fought championships and heightened fan involvement. Seasons characterized by a single dominant force tend to generate less conversation and attention.
Nonetheless, there is a silver lining for Formula 1. Despite the disappointing metrics of 2023, Buzz Radar acknowledges the commendable growth the sport has witnessed over the last decade. Formula 1’s conversation levels soared by 80% between 2016 and 2022. Impressively, this growth was achieved with only 22-23 events annually, a fraction compared to other major sports. The pinnacle of this growth was reached in 2021, with an influx of approximately 14 million new cross-channel followers, solidifying its status as the fastest-growing among all major sports during that period.