A global survey of motorsport fans has highlighted concerns that F1 is failing to attract new audiences – with 75% of respondents saying they have been following the sport for more than 10 years and many of those admitting to not watching it as avidly as they did in the past.
The Global Fan Survey – claimed to be the biggest project of its kind ever conducted in sports – was carried out by Motorsport.com and the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), in association with expert research company Repucom.
Despite the worries about the current state of F1, it is clear from the results that fans are not demanding any knee-jerk reactions nor a radical overhaul of grand prix racing that takes it away from its historic roots.
The majority of fans are against gimmicks like success ballast, sprinkler systems, standard engines or fewer teams running more cars. Instead, they favour initiatives that have been a success in the past, such as a return to tire competition (79.6%) or refueling (60%).
Motorsport.com Editor in Chief Charles Bradley said:
The fans have spoken in numbers greater than ever that they want to see change in F1. But while they feel a need for a revamp, they also want to protect F1’s core values of racing purity and historic venues.
There’s a clear message here for the sport’s rule makers to consider a back-to-basics approach, and allowing room for engineering innovation to make the cars look – and sound – more exciting. This data from fans is priceless.
GPDA chairman Alex Wurz said:
The scientific nature of this survey, as well as the data that we have been able to extract from it, is like gold and we should value it as such. Not only do we get clear trends and answers to the 52 questions, but we gather a very deep and scientific profile of fans around the globe.
Formula 1 may need to ask itself some important questions; that’s why we wanted the fans to have their say. But through the survey the fans are clear: They don’t want a radical overhaul of grand prix racing that takes it away from its historic roots.