Why FOM’s limitations on video content is bad news for F1 teams and fans

Photo Credit: McLaren Racing
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McLaren Unboxed: hilarious, insightful, and innovative. Started in 2019, the series showcased the McLaren team at each race, giving fans an inside look into what life is like at the race track. At the time, this type of content from F1 teams didn’t exist.

“McLaren Racing were the first to give real insight into their races, creating the blueprint for so many teams, not only in F1 but other championships too,” Matt Amys, head of content at Quadrant, says.

After the motorsport community saw how successful the McLaren Unboxed series was, teams like Red Bull and Ferrari followed suit, creating their own behind-the-scenes YouTube series like “Ferrari: Full Access” and “Red Bull: Behind the Charge”.

With Formula 1 growing in popularity these past few years and social media becoming so prevalent to fan culture, these YouTube series’ were great. Not only did they show a more genuine and insightful side of F1 drivers and their teams, but it also lured new fans in. Sound familiar? 

It sounds very similar to Drive To Survive, Netflix’s Formula 1 drama show that supposedly shows the behind the scenes of F1 drivers and teams. Also started in 2019, Drive to Survive has been running alongside these YouTube series, no problems caused. But this year, things seemed to have changed as Formula One Management has cut down on what teams can capture on video. 

“McLaren’s Unboxed YouTube series doesn’t look like it’s being continued for 2024… unfortunately it’s because of a wider issue facing all Formula 1 teams. This year FOM has limited the amount of Behind The Scenes content that can go out onto YouTube, primarily due to it’s crossover of what Drive To Survive are capturing,” Matt Amys added.

This recent realization has left F1 fans very upset, and rightfully so. While Drive to Survive aims to capture genuine behind-the-scenes content, most F1 fans can agree that Drive to Survive is far from genuine. On one hand, it does give fans an inside look into the sport, and this previous season did show a lot more raw and funny moments from drivers. But on another hand, it’s not the same as these YouTube series created by the teams. 

Drive to Survive is a drama. McLaren Unboxed is true storytelling. It captures incredible moments like the McLaren 1-2 in Monza, heartwarming friendships like the one between Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, and heartbreaking races like Sochi 2021. There’s raw emotion, something Drive to Survive lacks. 

Something that McLaren Unboxed had that’s hard to emulate is the sense of community. F1 fans felt like they were growing with the drivers, watching them go from their rookie years to being a team leader. There were laughs, there were cries, and there was a family that was built around this series. It’s a shame it’s been limited due to Drive to Survive. With F1 becoming more and more money hungry, these YouTube series from the teams felt like a breath of fresh air. A diamond in the rough.

So say your goodbyes to McLaren Unboxed and the last ounce of genuine content from F1 teams. Who knows what this limitation of content may lead to.