Formula One fans want more races, more teams, more overtaking and more emphasis on driver skill according to the findings of the FIA/AMD Formula One Survey 2005, the largest and most comprehensive analysis of public opinion ever undertaken in...
Formula One fans want more races, more teams, more overtaking and more emphasis on driver skill according to the findings of the FIA/AMD Formula One Survey 2005, the largest and most comprehensive analysis of public opinion ever undertaken in motor sport.
- 94% want more overtaking;
- 74% want more emphasis on driver skill;
- 69% want more teams;
- 84% want 18 or more races in a season.
Max Mosley, FIA President:
"Fans from all over the world agree that the most important challenge to F1 in the next five years is to maintain competitive racing. Many want to place more emphasis on driver skill and less on driver aids. It is also clear that the majority of fans are unhappy with the current qualifying system.
"These and other views will be an invaluable addition to the consultation process on the future rules of Formula One, which began formally this week. For the first time, fans' opinions will form an essential part of this process."
Henri Richard, AMD Executive Vice President:
"As an industry leading technology partner, AMD is proud to have put our customer-centric philosophy to work with the FIA to help connect Formula One fans around the world and help shape the future of Formula One racing through this unprecedented survey."
"It's encouraging to find that a majority of fans look forward to the technical innovations each season and most believe that technology developed in Formula One has improved the development and safety of road cars. We're excited about the overwhelming success of this survey and look forward to working more closely with the FIA to continue improving one of the world's great sports."
Independent research specialists TNS Sport analysed more than 93,000 completed surveys from fans in 180 countries worldwide. The majority of respondents have been following the sport for at least six years and many for more than ten. Almost all describe themselves as either very interested or extremely interested in Formula One.
The driver and technology
- 88% say showcasing the skills of the drivers is the most essential aspect
of Formula One;
- 80% agree advanced technology sets F1 apart from other motor sports;
- 74% want more emphasis on driver skill and less on driver aids;
- 64% look forward to the technical innovations each season.
Only 15% of fans think Formula One incorporates the right balance of technology and driver skill. Almost two thirds think Formula One currently showcases the most advanced technology in motor sport but only a third believe it showcases the best drivers.
In the next five years, almost three quarters of the fans want to see more emphasis placed on driver skill and less on driver aids.
- 84% of fans want 18 or more races a season;
- 28% want 21 races or more;
- 69% said that the sport should travel to even more new countries.
With the 2005 season incorporating 19 races some of the current teams have argued for a shorter calendar. But that opinion is not shared amongst fans, 53% of whom strongly disagreed that there are too many races on the calendar.
Most fans said new circuits had increased their interest in the championship. This was especially the case with younger fans rather than older fans.
The most popular circuits are Monaco and Spa with 55% and 53% of fans respectively saying their interest in Formula One would decrease if these circuits were removed from the Championship. Other circuits were voted for as follows:
20% Magny Cours
Apart from the three new circuits in Bahrain, Shanghai and Istanbul, which have had little or no time to gain favour, the least popular tracks were considered to be Magny-Cours, Sepang and Hungaroring.
- 99% of fans watch Formula One on TV;
- 76% will watch all 19 races;
- 68% watch all of the race coverage;
- 36% watch all of the qualifying coverage;
- 54% think television coverage has improved in the last five years.
With the increasingly international nature of Formula One, television has become the essential medium through which fans follow the sport.
Japan is the most avid nation of viewers with 87% of fans intending to watch all 19 races this season. This compares with 79% in the UK, 68% in the US and 60% in Germany.
Most fans agree that coverage has improved in the last five years. The vast majority of fans (95%) praised the increased use of onboard cameras. Many also commented on the increased quality of programme content, such as driver profiles, interviews and pit updates.
Over a fifth (22%) of fans believed that TV coverage had deteriorated. They blamed the lack of depth of coverage, the quality of the commentators and too much attention focused on the race leaders.
Qualifying is not as big a draw as the race. Fewer fans watch it on television and a massive 70% would prefer qualifying to be decided by the best time from a specified number of flying laps.
Media and marketing
In the last 12 months:
- 95% of fans visited a dedicated Formula One website
- 89% read about Formula One in the newspaper
- 48% bought team merchandise
- 40% purchased a product or service of a sponsor
Most fans follow the sport via websites and newspapers. But just 55% were willing to buy a Formula One related publication.
Many show their support with team merchandise. This is especially the case in the US where 57% bought Formula One team merchandise in the last 12 months. In Germany just 38% bought team merchandise.
A number of fans have bought sponsors' products. Again, US fans were the most supportive, with 58 per cent buying the product or service of a sponsor in the last year. In the UK, just 34% did so.