Formula 1 fans will have a new platform to discuss and debate their hot takes in a new podcast, Is It Just Me?
Joining Motorsport Network's wide portfolio of podcast programming, Is It Just Me? is a new weekly show co-hosted by Jessica McFadyen and Luke Smith.
Each week, Jess and Luke will take a deep dive into some of F1 and motorsport's burning issues, with the conversation firmly being driven by fans via social platforms.
Viewers and listeners will be invited to submit their own unpopular opinions and takes on any topic of their choosing through messages on social media, or by sending in video or audio clips to play on the show.
The pilot episode - which premiered on Wednesday 22 April - sees Jess and Luke discuss the impact of both Esports and the Drive to Survive Netflix series on F1, and weigh up which will help bring more fans to the sport.
During the current break enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Esports has been enjoying something of a boom as drivers and fans alike look for ways to get their racing fix while staying safe at home during lockdown.
Sim racing has proven popular as a way to keep entertained, but will it prove to be a sustainable way of drawing more fans into the sport? And is it accessible enough to make a lasting impact once real-world motorsport resumes?
The first two seasons of Drive to Survive on Netflix have drawn widespread acclaim from the F1 paddock, being credited for helping bring numerous new fans to the sport by opening it up to a large new audience. But is there enough longevity and freshness in the series' format to keep people coming back in the future? And does it risk over-hyping F1's current product?
All episodes will be available to watch on YouTube, and will also be available to listen and download on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and all good Audi platforms.
"I am very excited to be co-hosting Is It Just Me? alongside Luke," said Jess. "Nothing seems to fire up us motorsport fans more than a good controversial opinion, but if we're honest we've all got loads of them! This podcast is all about sharing them, airing them and getting to the bottom of them.
"Whilst this show is likely going to get heated at times, a big part of our effort with this podcast is going to be promoting better behaviour and interaction with each other when online. Too often the comment threads on unpopular opinions lead to toxic responses. With this show, it's ok to get feisty, it's ok to not agree with one another - just don't make it personal!
"This podcast will hopefully provide an entertaining but safe place for people to debate some hotly contested subjects with one another. We're hoping to build a truly interactive fan-led video and audio show for us all to debate with each other without the fear of being totally ripped apart - well... mostly!"
Luke added: "I'm really excited to be part of this new project co-hosting Is It Just Me? alongside Jess. It's an awesome opportunity to try and put to rest some of the biggest debates in racing.
"I've learned through my time in F1 that there is nothing more important than listening to the fans, making it a natural decision to place them at the heart of the show. I'm really excited to interact with one of the most vibrant and, importantly for the show, most opinionated communities in sport!
"Whether it's arguing over the greatness of drivers, the future of the sport, or even our least favourite tracks - something Jess and I have already disagreed on even before this show launched! - everyone has some hot takes burning away. This will be the ideal place to share those for some fierce, fun and friendly debate."