Love Or Hate A Driver? How Media Shapes Driver Perceptions – Inside Line F1 Podcast

Love Or Hate A Driver? How Media Shapes Driver Perceptions - Inside Line F1 Podcast


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In this episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we have a special guest – Chetan Narula, a seasoned sports journalist and the author of the book ‘History of F1: The Circus Comes To India‘. 

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Chetan joins Soumil and Kunal to discuss ‘driver perceptions and media portrayals’ in Formula 1 and sport (also, life!?) overall. This is an opinionated episode but one that raises a pertinent question about the media’s role in shaping personalities, celebrities and their fandom. The most-recent case of Nikita Mazepin – is he a bad driver, a bad human or both? In fact, does the Russian media portray him as a hero for being the sole Russian racing in Formula 1? Lando Norris’ support of Mazepin did change the tone of chatter around the Haas driver’s opening lap crash at the first race in Bahrain. 

We also discuss Romain Grosjean’s long-lasting memory of being a crash kid and his infamous crash behind the Safety Car at Baku (2018). Unsurprisingly, reactions to Grosjean were a stark contrast to a similar gaffe by George Russell at Imola (2020). Does media have a more responsible role to play in building driver perception? Is it easier for the drivers to manage their perception and portrayal via social media or is that a double-edged sword? And of course, what role do the fans have to play? Tune in! 

(Season 2021, Episode 21)

Follow our hosts on Twitter: Chetan Narula, Soumil Arora and Kunal Shah

Music courtesy: Lucien Byfieldt

Image courtesy: Motorsport Week


Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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