Wolff: F1 must embrace social media

Thursday 03-July-2014 07:37

Toto Wolff has revealed he had a "long row" with Bernie Ecclestone over using social media to grow Formula 1.

The 83-year-old Formula 1 supremo is not a fan of social media, mainly because it does not bring in money like television rights.

Asked last month if F1 should embrace social media, Ecclestone said: "No. We're commercial... If they find people to pay us [to do that] then I will be happy."

Wolff, though, disagrees.

The Mercedes motorsport boss fears that Formula 1 is missing out on a huge opportunity and has told Ecclestone just that.

"I had quite a long row with Bernie in a meeting," Wolff told Autosport.

"We were talking each other down again and saying, we have lost 30 per cent of TV audience in Italy and we have lost some of the audience in Germany - although interestingly the UK is growing.

"Then you wonder why the audience is not growing and is diminishing if you sell the rights from free TV to pay TV. That is completely normal.

"But the other thing I mentioned was that we are having such an explosive growth in online activities - before Bernie said, 'those guys are not paying and half our profit is TV.'

"Sure the [social media] model does not work yet as you cannot monetise it, but I can tell each of my sponsors that the audience seeing his logo is growing even though TV figures are down.

"Even the big players like Twitter have not worked out how to monetise it, but it is just a matter of time before we do that."

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