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Justice for Amy - How the Australian Grand Prix screwed up their Lotus pit tour competition - A call for the track and team to play fair in their Twitter competitions

Published by Christine

A beautiful day in Australia, the start of the new F1 season, and a chance to tour your favourite team's garage? Who wouldn't jump at the opportunity?

The official Twitter account for the Australian Grand Prix (@ausgrandprix) ran a competition today - the first two people to tweet them with the hashtag #ILoveAusGP would win a Team Lotus garage tour.

Amy Fulton, a regular writer for Sidepodcast, and one of Lotus' biggest fans, jumped at the chance and via the magic of modern technology replied from the circuit just in time to squeeze into second place. However, almost immediately, things took a turn for the strange.

Despite being the second person to respond, Amy wasn't contacted. A second competition was then tweeted by Aus Grand Prix, requesting a different hashtag to win. This time Amy was the fourth person to tweet the new hashtag (even though she had already technically won the first and then been overlooked).

The person behind the account seems to have gotten themselves in a twist and handed out tickets to the wrong winners, when challenged the reply was - "Apologies guys, we use Tweetdeck".

We've spent a few minutes examining the data under the Twitter hood to ensure the facts stack up. An API request to twitter search reveals that Amy was the second person to respond to the first competition by a clear 36 seconds.

Twitter search data acquired via the Twitter API
Twitter search data acquired via the Twitter API

Cheated out of the prize, Amy commented:

I was so upset, I don't win things lots of times and I don't mind, but I thought I had won so to not get the prize bought on the tears. I wouldn't have been so upset if it was any other team but it was MY team.

- Amy

Instead of touring the Lotus garage, Amy spent the afternoon queueing up to get a 60-second glimpse of Heikki Kovalainen.

If you're going to harness the power of social media for your own benefit, you can't turn around and screw those participating out of their rightful prize. A mistake has been made, but there seems to be no repentance or desire to even understand the situation by organisers of the Australian Grand Prix. It is the official Twitter account of the race and although manned by one person, it should be held to the same standards as any other website competition held by race organisers.

It looks like @ausgrandprix are not going to own up to their mistake, at this point they appear oblivious to any mistake actually having been made. We are calling on people somewhat more competent to have a look at the data available. Team Lotus entrusted a competition to organisers and they managed to royally screw it up, denying a fan a chance to tour their garage in the process.

Social media isn't a one-way street, on Twitter everyone has an equal voice. If you have an account please send this story to @myteamlotus and @ausgrandprix, let them know how you feel, because next time it could be you. #justiceforamy

Update at 12:49 Team Lotus responded via Twitter - @sidepodcast @amyfulton Hey guys we're looking into it and will do our very best to help.

Update at 14:47 Team Lotus' press officer contacted Amy directly to say they'll try and sort something out for Friday.