With ten percent of the 2017 F1 season now complete, how is Formula One's brave new world starting to shape up? Has the new regime brought with it a wave of positivity and potential profits, or have we simply been distracted by the razzmatazz of Instagram stories and Facebook Lives now emanating from the paddock?
Curious to discover what it looks like from the top of the team personnel tree, ESPN asked Zak Brown, Claire Williams, and Christian Horner for their takes on life under Liberty, and whether the change of leadership was leading to increased interest from potential sponsors both old and new.
"I think there is a really good buzz around Formula One," Brown said. "It's early days, finding partners takes time. We've been fortunate to announce a couple [since the start of the season].
"I think everyone is excited about the future of Formula One," the McLaren executive director continued. "Liberty Group -- which is now really FOM; we keep calling them Liberty but it is FOM -- are going to push the envelope and I think there is... the drivers, you see them doing a lot more fan engagement, there is a big degree of optimism in pit lane."
Brown has been tasked with securing a title sponsor for the Woking racers, and while smaller partnerships have been announced the American anticipates it being at least autumn before any deal is formally completed, every 'i' dotted and each 't' crossed.
Williams are another team hoping to add to their roster of sponsors and partners, although the Grove outfit already enjoy a strong relationship with title sponsors Martini. The addition of Lance Stroll to the team's driver line-up has brought with it interest from Canadian firms, most notably the Bombardier deal announced earlier this year.
"The level of interest is higher than it probably normally is, certainly more than it has been for the last two or three years at least," agreed Claire Williams. "But I think, as Zak said, people are waiting to see what happens.
"Liberty have got some great ideas, and teams are able to do more than they have been in past season," she continued. "That's going to have a positive knock-on effect, but the more we see coming out of the sport I think that's going to then start increasing the conversations we are having. Maybe towards the end of this year when our conversations for '18 start ramping up that's when we'll really see the positive impact."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner provided the light relief, as is his wont.
"I thought it was great to see Bernie doing a Facebook Live from the paddock earlier today," Horner laughed. "Times are obviously moving on and changing. Opening up the digital channels had an immediate impact where the personalities of the drivers are shining through a bit more.
"The way people follow media in general now, particularly social and digital media, being able to engage with drivers, with teams through a race weekend, seeing some of the behind the scenes action of what's going on.
"Some of the content that's getting out there is fantastic and Formula One is all about generating great content and great on-track stuff and if we can bring more fans in through some of the social channels hopefully they will turn on the broadcast on a Sunday to see what happens in a grand prix. Hopefully the strategy that's being worked upon and built for the future will enable more revenue streams to come into the sport."
So far the general consensus remains one of cautious optimism. This brave new world seems to be more than simple mirage, but until the impact of the change of ownership leads to tangible results, all the F1 world can do is hope that all truly is as good as it appears.