With the recent flurry of new car launches ahead of the 2010 Formula One season, we have seen an unprecedented level of live streams from a variety of teams, old and new, as they move into new ways of communicating with the fans and media alike.
However, with this move to a more digital way of doing things, one has to wonder if the car launch has become an unnecessary hassle and wasted expenditure in this time of scrimping and saving. Car launches are not deep rooted in Formula One’s history, and only really came about as another way to show off the technology and sponsors as well as providing an excuse to woo the investors and have a party.
Isn’t it time Formula One teams ‘launched’ their cars when the driver starts the engine and rolls out of the garage at the first test in his new machinery?
I think Toyota had it just about spot-on with their entirely on-line launch last year – they just needed McLaren to organise the technology for them.
I must say that I agree. Maybe take some publicity photos with the drivers at the track, but make them the day of the car’s first track test. Get cracking and stop wasting time and money doing dog-and-pony shows for the investors (who, if they’re smart, would rather have the car on track for as much time as necessary instead of trying to impress in a convention hall with free swag and food galore).
I like launches, they help to build up the excitement pre-season. Testing I’m not so sure about, perhaps if we had access to live coverage it might be more interesting and I wonder how much benefit the teams get since they were the driving force to abolishing in-season tests.
I’d rather see pictures of the car actually doing what it was built for (and what the drivers are paid for)–driving around a track faster than anyone else.
I’ve also been catching up with Sidepodcast, and they were talking about Toyota’s farewell video, which although may not have been a live stream, does show that some teams are on the ball when it comes to this sort of thing, and others are still fumbling around with the chalk and slate.
And I’ll add that the teams should release these photos with a set of studio pictures (which cover all aspects of the car so we can see what’s what) and all the other blurb at the same time. Which is why an online launch makes sense as it can all be done at once, on one medium.
This part of the ‘launch season’ though I do have to agree with. I actually like the launches, I really do. Especially when the car and livery has been kept under wraps until the unveiling. It does seem like a total waste of money though (with regards to the top-end launches (McLaren in Valencia a few years back etc…)), and I cannot get my mind away from that.
That’s just it. Seeing the car unveiled might be a wonderful experience (it is), but that wonderful experience costs money. In a time where only a few teams actually seem to get results and everyone’s barking about reducing costs, this seems like a no-brainer on the axe block.