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Vijay Mallya: Bernie Ecclestone needs F1 social media education

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone needs educating about the benefits of social media if the sport is to make the popularity strides it desires, says Force India's Vijay Mallya

Ecclestone caused surprise earlier this year when he suggested F1 did not need an official social media presence, because he felt platforms like Twitter and Facebook had no future.

That stance did not impress the sport's teams, which have worked hard in recent years to engage more with fans.

Mallya says he is puzzled about the situation F1 has found itself in, especially amid concerns about falling audience interest.

"What I don't understand is that Bernie doesn't want to know about social media - he's a TV man and that's it," Mallya told AUTOSPORT.

"Somebody who is qualified enough to persuade him and convince him that social media is something that should be taken seriously would be a nice addition.

"Bernie may also be concerned at the lack of live spectator interest, but you cannot immediately ascribe that to the races being unexciting.

"It could be for so many other reasons: ticket prices will influence attendance big-time, and so will weather or other clashing major sporting events - all this has to be factored in.

"You can't just say: 'the stands are empty; the sport is not exciting enough'."

Mallya suggest that the popularity boost enjoyed in recent years by Indian Premier League cricket, where he has his own team, came via it embracing social media.

"The IPL has had such a massive social media boost. We have had the CEO of Twitter and the regional head of Facebook come and make presentations to all IPL teams on how they can help promote IPL.

"It's fantastic. We need someone like that to come and make a presentation to Bernie. Then I think he will be convinced."

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