For the first time ever, F1 teams and drivers took their talents to South Beach for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix. The race was actually around Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, not South Beach, but regardless was a highly anticipated event that continued the growing relationship between Formula 1 and the States.
As with anything shiny and new, the Miami GP had a lot of hype. F1 teams and drivers invaded the states early in the week, appearing at several press, sporting, brand, and music events in the days leading up to practice, qualifying and the Grand Prix. Friday through Sunday ended up being pretty run-of-the-mill for an F1 race weekend, but many teams took advantage of the new social content opportunities Miami had to offer, using them to entertain fans throughout the week and expand their visibility in the US.
The two teams with noteworthy social success in Miami were McLaren F1 and Williams Racing, who had their most engagement for a race week all season. For this data, we’re defining a race week as Monday through Sunday of a Grand Prix.
McLaren In Miami
McLaren was the big social winner of the Miami GP, capitalizing on the hype going into race weekend, giving fans tons of unique Miami content throughout the week. From Monday through Sunday they accumulated over 7.23 million engagements, which is more than any of their previous race weeks for 2022. They had a tough time on the track Sunday, but on social ranked 3rd in engagements, impressions and social value and 2nd in engagement rate among all teams for the week/weekend.
McLaren did not hesitate to tap into the star power available in Miami, featuring celebs like DJ Khaled and Paris Hilton and influencers like TikTok sensation Francis Bourgeois.
DJ KHALED!#MiamiGP 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/Qr7OdoNWKW— McLaren (@McLarenF1) May 8, 2022
If you know, you know. 🚂😉 #MiamiGP 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/dUFYP4NpyD— McLaren (@McLarenF1) May 7, 2022
For one of their big social moments, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo created content with The Late Late Show with James Corden. Posts featuring Corden made up three of their top five posts for the week. McLaren’s Instagram post of an amusing crop-top moment was the top piece of team content for the entire race week/weekend, earning more than 708K engagements and $230K in social value.
Daniel Ricciardo joined in on the fun on his personal Instagram, earning over 959K engagements and $302K in social value on his own post of the memorable outfits. Ricciardo’s social had 46% more engagement for the week compared to his average for the previous four race weeks.
McLaren also featured Ricciardo’s Pet Detective-themed helmet and Lando Norris’ basketball-themed helmet heavily, both fan favorites for the week. Making extra special helmets with added American appeal seemed to get the attention of fans on social. The reveal of Ricciardo’s lid earned 300K+ engagements across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Okay, I like it, Picasso. 🎨🌸🏝— McLaren (@McLarenF1) May 6, 2022
Pet Detective @DanielRicciardo. 🕵️♂️#MiamiGP 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/F1CTAUmgJg
Thanks in part to his basketball helmet, Lando Norris had his best race week on social for the entire season. Lando only had less engagements than 7-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who has over 5x as many followers as Norris. Despite a tough DNF on Sunday, his IG post of his helmet was the #1 driver post for the week with a whopping 1.13 MILLON engagements and $362K in social value on Instagram. Partners Mind Charity and Tezos earned $27K+ and $18K+ in brand value respectively from just that one post.
Williams Wins On Social
From Monday through Sunday, Williams Racing had over 1.8M engagements, a 97% increase over their 2022 season average from the first four GPs.
Part of their success can be attributed to Alex Albon, who finished in the points for the second time this season with a P9 finish. Williams made sure to note on social that Albon coincidentally had red hair for both points finishes, earning them the fifth most liked team Tweet of the week with over 46K engagements and 3.2M impressions. The red hair is actually a touching tribute to an orphanage in Thailand, a cause close to both Albon and Williams.
No one:@alex_albon with red hair: pic.twitter.com/d4LszZRDlx— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) May 8, 2022
Outside of the race, Williams leaned in to the spectacle of the Miami GP for other popular content. On social they showcased a special graffiti livery made with local Miami artist Surge, and it ended up being their most liked content on Instagram and Facebook. Partners like Acronis, Duracell and Pirelli all earned thousands of dollars in brand value from posts about the livery.
Celebrity content also helped boost their brand. Actress Claire Holt was featured hopping into the FW44, earning 135K engagements on Williams’ Instagram. LPGA golfer and Albon’s girlfriend Lily Muni He was also featured heavily in some adorable couples content. A picture of her trying on Albon’s helmet was the second biggest post of the week for Williams with 168K engagements.
As for Albon, his personal social posts stateside for the week and weekend earned 29% more engagement than his season average thus far.
Takeaways From Miami
In a sport where exciting results aren’t guaranteed, teams must sometimes get creative to make sure fans are still engaged on social. Maximizing content opportunities at new and noteworthy events like the Miami GP is important for delivering strong social results for partners and an exciting experience to fans, regardless of where their drivers end up on track.