Lewis Hamilton hopes F1 fans “stay loyal” despite F1 moving behind pay-wall

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton says he hopes F1 fans will stay loyal to the sport despite it moving behind a pay-wall.

With F1 signing deals with countries allowing them to offer live coverage by paid subscription only, a lot of fans have been priced out. Hamilton urged these people to continue supporting, and highlighted his struggles and humble beginnings.

Hamilton’s childhood and early life are well-documented, and he has always spoken about F1 being accessible to everyone. He recently called F1 “a billionaire boys’ club”. Despite this, Hamilton spoke about the situation, and said that was the direction TV consumption and sport were heading in.

Gerhard Berger predicts more mistakes from Lewis Hamilton | PlanetF1
Lewis Hamilton hopes fans will continue watching and supporting no matter what. Source: planetf1.com

“There is not really much I can say that would change the situation. But when I think about how I grew up, for example, we lived in a one-bedroom flat and couldn’t afford Sky,” Hamilton said.

“So I understand the people who can’t afford pay TV or Sky or whatever. But that’s the way of the world today and there’s not much we can do about it – I think it’s all part of the business. I grew up watching the races live on free TV, which attracted a lot of fans. I remember in Spain there used to be four to six million people tuning in every afternoon at 2pm. That was pretty impressive.

“There seems to be a tendency (nowadays) that you have to pay for what you want on TV. You have to pay for Netflix, you have to pay for everything you want to watch. So that’s a transition. The world has changed in that respect,” he explained.

Keep it going

Even though everything is swiftly becoming paid, Hamilton is hopeful of the sport continuing to thrive. He called for younger fans to keep up with F1 however they can.

“I just hope people continue to stay loyal to the sport and follow it on social media, because the numbers on social media are massively increasing,” he said.

“I think F1 and everyone else here is doing a good job of opening up the sport to the fans and I personally think there’s a lot of work to do there and we need to keep working in that direction to bring the sport closer to the fans when it’s going to be on TV on pay-per-view.”

Read more: Lewis Hamilton willing to take pay cut, but proposes other conditions


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