News and Insight

RF Uncovers: 2024 F1 Car Launches - Empty Brand Engagement or Invaluable Exposure?

For Formula 1 fans, the gap between the last race of the season and the start of a new campaign can feel like a lifetime. This means, when the car launches come around, anticipation has reached fever pitch.

Perhaps not front of mind for fans, though, is the huge opportunity this moment represents for team sponsors.

For this year's car launches ahead of the 2024 season, across all ten teams, mentions increased on average by more than 6,000 on launch day compared to the days before. Even more impressively, the average number of interactions surrounding the teams skyrocketed by more than three million on average compared to the days before launch. Using BWT Alpine as an example, that’s the difference between getting 565 interactions in a day compared to 2,383,699.


Spikes in team mentions across 2024 F1 car launch: 1st Feb - 15th February 2024 / Data: Synthesio

For team sponsors, this is massive. It represents their brand name being seen by millions of people and linked to fans' favourite teams, as well as delivery of ROI against significant sponsorship investments.

The benefits of this are perfectly encapsulated by the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s car launch. Caught up in the 'Hamilton effect' following the recent announcement that Lewis Hamilton will join Scuderia Ferrari next year, the team’s car launch earned a lot of traction.

Beyond the hugely significant 951% increase in mentions and 2,956% rise in interactions, 31% of these engagements were classified as positive sentiment. In other words, the launch made people happy or excited – an important takeaway when looking at how the 'Hamilton effect' could have played out.

Spikes in team interactions across 2024 F1 car launch

Spikes in team interactions across 2024 F1 car launch: 1st Feb - 15th February 2024 / Data: Synthesio

This is invaluable for sponsors like AMG and PETRONAS. Not only does it mean they’re getting their brand name in front of millions of people, but people who will now also associate it with positive emotions. That’s before the season – and all the excitement that comes with it - has even kicked off.

Naturally, one of the other big winners from the car launches was Ferrari. Boosted by the coup of securing Hamilton for the 2025 season, the SF-24 earned the team an enormous 16,342 mentions and 8,320,564 interactions on launch day.

Now, unlike Mercedes, Ferrari team doesn’t have a name sponsor. What it does have, however, is 36 total sponsors that all feature on the car. Some of these sponsors are more prominent than others, such as Santander, which features multiple times with its white logo standing out against the racing red of Ferrari. AWS also features heavily.

Scuderia Ferrari's new car for the 2024 F1 season, the SF-24

Scuderia Ferrari SF-24 / Image: Scuderia Ferrari

For every fan that pours over the new Ferrari car, that represents highly valuable brand awareness for sponsors like Santander and AWS – and for minimal effort.

Some may see this as quite empty brand awareness; there’s no messaging after all, just a logo. But we know the important role heuristics – a key mental shortcut when making a purchase decision – plays in building trust for a brand. That logo being exposed to millions of people represents an opportunity for brands to influence their target audience. And as it relates to sport, according to a Nielsen Trust in Advertising study, 81% of global consumers either completely or somewhat trust brands that have sports sponsorships.

As is the nature of modern sport sponsorships, there will be and are plenty of opportunities during the season for brands to tell their deep-rooted stories, helping them to become more than just a name in people’s minds. However, the value in earning such a large and guaranteed spike in brand awareness cannot be underestimated.

Interested in discussing the role sport sponsorship plays in equitable brand engagement and telling those year-round stories? Drop us a line: