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The Ins and Outs of Formula One Content Creation with Roberto Baldea

Conducted and Written by Jasmin Low, Edited by Meghana Sree

Credits - Roberto Baldea

Upon reaching out to Roberto Baldea, a Canadian content creator and aspiring Formula One photographer, it immediately became evident how willing he is to help other content creators achieve their dreams. Whilst F1 is regarded as a very competitive industry, it is truly astonishing what a tight-knit community it seems to be, and how those who work within this community are keen to share their knowledge and inspire future generations. In an enlightening conversation with Baldea just before the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix, he gave us his take on the role of content creators, as well as his own aspirations.

Jasmin Low: How long have you been following F1 for, and how long have you been creating content?

Roberto Baldea: I’ve been watching F1 since 2011, more than 10 years ago! It was the 2011 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Even more precisely, when Sebastian (Vettel) made the move for the lead into ‘Curva Grande’ (Turn 3), overtaking Fernando Alonso, was where I decided that he was going to be my favourite driver, which did not change until his very last race in Abu Dhabi 2022. A decision that my dad did not like as he was a very big fan of Ferrari and Fernando, and Seb (Vettel) was in their rival team.

I’ve been creating content on Instagram since 2018, but I started being more serious about it in 2020-2021, during the pandemic, and getting more and more comfortable with social media. My account on Instagram became quite big as I was one of the first racing/F1 creators to use Instagram reels (as I could just post the same videos that I posted on TikTok), and just posted consistently to this day! JL: What would you say your biggest achievement or greatest moment has been so far and why?

RB: As Seb (Vettel) would say, I hope my biggest achievement is yet to come! But if we are talking so far, it would be meeting people at last year’s Canadian GP. I was there during the 4 days of the Grand Prix and each day I met some really nice people. It was genuinely crazy to me that people were recognising me, and it was the moment I really realised that there were real people that were liking my content.

Credit: Roberto Baldea

JL: What role do you think content creators play in motorsports? Do you think that online platforms have attracted more people into watching F1?

RB: I think we have quite a big role in expanding the reach that Formula 1 has, in creating content that is made by fans, for fans. When talking about the immense boom Formula 1 had in 2020, Netflix and Drive to Survive being a major part in that, people often overlook the part that content creators played in its success too. As soon as people were finished with the Netflix series, they went on social media and they were being entertained again by Formula 1 content, from Formula 1 fans, which made people understand more about the sport and led them to watch the actual racing as well as the series.

JL: What are some of the pros and cons of being a content creator and why? What would you say the best thing about being a content creator is?

RB: There are major cons but also major pros. For the cons, the fact that you feel the constant need to put something out, it is very difficult to take a break as you feel like you could do more! Another would be when some videos that take you a long time to do are not doing well. It is extremely damaging to creators and does often lead us into a bad frame of mind. Another con would be the time, it is literally a side job, and in most cases, it does not reward you with money, at least at the beginning. It is extremely time-consuming.

There is also the look of other people on yourself, before you succeed, people constantly judge, laugh, and do not understand why you are doing this, and it is almost impossible to explain to them as they already have their minds made up.

I could go on for a long time, but let's look at the positives! One of the biggest would be meeting amazing people, for it to be creators, photographers, journalists, and even drivers! It brings you so much closer to other people that have the same passion as you, and even work where you would want to in the future, it's like being a fly on the wall, or as other people call it ‘networking’.

There are people I even consider as friends, an example would be ‘@nniamhball’ on TikTok. Niamh is an aspiring F1 journalist in Formula 1 and we’ve connected through F1 content as we’re both creators, and the support I’ve received from her has been huge. We truly want to see each other succeed and make it to Formula 1, truly one of the best people I’ve met through social media! The list could go on and on, but the point is that it helped me meet incredible people! Another pro would be getting free products, as F1 fans, merch is so expensive it’s crazy, and to finally be able to not pay for it anymore is really really nice, I’m not going to hide that!

Another major pro would be getting recognition from teams and being invited to events that would otherwise be impossible to access. I haven’t really been given opportunities as important as those yet, but it's getting you closer to the world of Formula 1. An example would be creators like ‘f1hannah’ and Lissie Mackintosh being invited to the Aston Martin car reveal. I would like teams to provide even more opportunities as there are people extremely deserving that should be involved as well!

JL: What are your future goals?

RB: Future goals, well with my passion for photography, the ultimate goal for me is to become a photographer for a Formula 1 team. I would love to share my journey from being a racing photographer to reaching F1 and to then show how it is, what it took to get there, and to give back and be able to help others like me, give opportunities to reach their dreams, for it to be in racing photography, journalism, videography, or any field!

Credit - Roberto Baldea

JL: Do you have any advice for those wanting to become more involved in the world of F1 or become content creators?

RB: My advice to other creators would be to not give up and continue going forward even if it seems like it's going to go nowhere, just keep going, one video, one photo, one article, one whatever at a time! It is quite complicated and not really motivating at the start, but the journey is well worth it!

With over fifty-thousand followers on Instagram alone, Roberto Baldea is certainly one to look out for! A huge thank you goes out to Roberto for sharing his words of wisdom, and we wish him all the best for the future!


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