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Ferrari tops poll as fans’ favourite
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Ferrari tops poll as fans’ favourite
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Mar 2010   |  1:01 am GMT  |  101 comments

I was interested to see the results of the recent fan survey conducted by FOTA with the support of LG Electronics and F1 Racing.


They are fairly predictable, with Ferrari coming out on top with 30% of the support, well ahead of McLaren on 19% and Mercedes on 10%. 22% of fans said that they had no particular favourite team.

On the driver side, Michael Schumacher has not lost his fan base and he tops the poll with 19.5%, ahead of Fernando Alonso on 9.7%, Kimi Raikkonen on 7.2%, Felipe Massa on 6.1% and Lewis Hamilton on 6%. Again it was notable that 30% of fans had no favourite driver. Meanwhile poor old Jenson Button had just 2.6% of the votes.

It shows how hard it is to build a strong fan base in F1 unless, like Robert Kubica (4.3%) you are the only representative of your country. Alonso has been at it now for seven years and yet he has less than half of Schumacher’s fans.

Elsewhere there was a slight bias towards continuing on the classic tracks, but not as much as you might expect, only 51%, while Monaco, Italy and Britain were the three races most fans wanted to see kept on the calendar.

One of the more striking stats was that 43% of fans would like to see KERS re-introduced. This survey was done before the first Grand Prix in Bahrain, where a few KERS induced passes would have been welcome.

In all, 84,000 fans were surveyed in 174 countries. F1 Racing did a similar survey with ING a couple of years ago and the FIA did two surveys sponsored by AMD. It remains to be seen what actions will be taken as a result of the survey, but it is positive in that it shows FOTA taking some steps to understand F1′s fanbase better.

F1 fans are more of a community now than they have ever been with internet and social media making it possible for them to get their voices heard. Some action needs to come out of these surveys if fans are to continue to take them seriously in future. There is no point in having the same one sided conversation all the time.

The next survey should perhaps target people who are aware of F1 but don’t watch it, to find out what measures would attract them and thereby increase the fanbase. Women and under 18s would be the area I would want to survey as these are groups with low representation among F1 fans.

Meanwhile Silverstone and FOM have got together to offer an amazing experience to two lucky fans at this year’s British Grand Prix. Anyone buying tickets to the race prior to midday on 30 April 2010, will be automatically entered into a prize draw. In addition to being in with a chance of winning ticket upgrades to the Formula One Paddock and Paddock Club Hospitality, two lucky individuals will join a team on the Pit Wall.

It’s a great initiative and very much a step in the right direction.

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101 Comments
  1. Henry says:

    I cannot agree more that the authorities should be targeting people who are borderline, I have only really become really engrossed in F1 over the last two or three years; I am still fairly new to the sport and Bernie & co have to be on the ball with attracting new fans. Having said that trying to create a spectacle whilst retaining the essence of pure F1 racing is not at all easy!

  2. Jameson says:

    I’m one of the 2.6% who favor Jenson Button.

    James,

    Where are the results published? I’m interested in finding out about where the fans are on some of the other questions.

    1. Fernando says:

      F1 Racing magazine. April’s issue I guess.

  3. Legend2 says:

    I wonder what the figures for Mark Webber are. Although he is a great driver, he is regarded by many Australians as not very good. This was due to him not winning a grand prix. That changed last year. He has done some amazing performances over the years for Mindardi, Jaguar and Williams. Ironically his performance last year at Red Bull was his least impressive season in my opinion. There are odds for Mark Webber to finish in the Top 3 in the championship from one betting house at $5.50. If I could actually trust the agency I would sell everything and put $100,000 on this. I know it’s less than a 50% chance, however at $5.50 it shows how incredibly underrated Webber is. The man is driving for the world championship.

  4. Carlos E. Del Valle says:

    I think Kers was used on overtakings, but it was as well used to block a quicker car. We saw a couple of times a slower Ferrari blocking quicker cars, for instance Kimi vs Fisi in Spa. All In all, Kers was good for technology and marketing, but not for sport, imho.

  5. malcolm.strachan says:

    Fans of other motorsport would be good targets for a similar study as well (MotoGP, NASCAR, Touring Cars, Le Mans, etc.).

  6. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

    I bet the survey result will be a lot different now then what it was before Bahrain. Maybe introducing fans’ suggestions would be good idea too.

    Tell you a few stories James. My fiancé is sick and tired of me talking about F1 & she reckons that I somehow relate everything to F1. Before I met her she never watched any F1 race even though she grew up only 20 minutes away from Albert Park. When I met her she just turned 20 & now she is 23. She still doesn’t love F1 like I do, but she has pretty good knowledge about the teams, drivers & rule changes compare to any of her friends or relatives, they just hate F1 from every aspect. The funny thing is she also has a favourite driver now, Lewis Hamilton & favourite team is Ferrari.

    The next one is about some phone calls taken about the Melbourne Grand Prix in a breakfast radio show last year on Monday morning. The hosts of the radio show asked people if they cared about the grand prix. Unfortunately nearly every caller said that could care less about the grand prix. Even the host said that she went to the grand prix only to see “The Who” concert. I still remember one caller saying that he thinks the drivers are bunch of overpaid people go around the tracks making annoying noises, polluting the environment.

    The last story is about my dad. He is a hardcore soccer & cricket fan. When I saw him a couple of months ago for the first time in 7 years, we sat down in a restaurant & talked about F1. He never watched one F1 race in his 68 year life. But he knows the name Michael Schumacher. Still he was extremely interested to understand what exactly I was talking about. He thought car races is all about racing as fast as possible, overtaking and at the end of 20/30 laps somebody crossing the chequered flag first. But when I told him about the KERS, he was surprised that it was taken away. He was also surprised about the double diffuser being banned next season because these are some ingenious inventions that make sense to a non F1 fan. I agree with him that these incredible technologies have been misused & KERS should’ve been compulsory to use for every team. Anyway, my dad called me a couple of days ago & asked me if I was looking forward to the Melbourne Grand Prix. I tried to explain why I am not sure about going to the grand prix this year in for the 1st time in 10 years. He understands that I’m disappointed about this year, but doesn’t understand why it is a big deal that the rules changes this year has a big impact on the spectacle of the Grand Prix. One thing though nearly made him pass out that how much money are spent in this sport.

    So based on those kinds of reactions from most of my friends I understand why they think F1 is a sport only for rich people. My 3 days pass cost me $499, I know only one more person who is going to the Grand Prix this season. He is going there only to see Schumacher & only on Sunday. I’m not sure if I’m going to get my money’s worth this year.

    Anyway, I reckon Jenson will have more fans if he is able to achieve a major result over the course of the year against Lewis Hamilton. He is now sitting at the same position as Jack Villeneuve, the champion that nobody cares much about. He needs to win another championship in other words. It was good to see him swapping his machine with Jamie Wincup though.

    1. Henri says:

      Jack Villeneuve??? Never heard of him.

      1. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

        If you are not British & Jenson doesn’t win as many races as Lewis Hamilton for McLaren most likely you will forget who Jenson Button is in a few years time as well.

      2. Henri says:

        and you’ll start calling him Jason Button??

  7. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

    By the way most teams or the drivers don’t last long enough in F1 anymore to have enough fans. So the result was pretty predictable. A mid season survey would be better so that the opinion of the fan community could be used properly for the following seaons.

    1. Andrew Halliday says:

      Some interesting points raised there mate, I’m from Melbourne and used to go to the race every year now I live in Britain. One thing you do realise is how cheap the Aussie GP actually is, my tickets to races here and in Europe generally cost around £300 (approx $600). I think the most disappointing thing about the Melbourne race is the reaction from newspapers and radio over there. I was recently looking through some old Herald Sun newspapers I’d kept from the first few years of the Melbourne GP and they were full of excited stories about the race and George Harrison sightings, now, as you say, the paper is full of stories questioning the cost and relevance of the GP. One suggestion I have always had for the race organisers is to open the track on say the Tuesday after the race and charge people maybe $20 to do a hot lap of the track in their own car. I reckon they’d make quite a bit of cash out of doing that!

  8. Matt W says:

    Very interesting results. I wonder if Ferrari are benefitting from a Man Utd effect where their popularity is boosted by their success. I wonder how they would have faired in a poll in the early 90s before the Schumacher era.

    1. Kenny says:

      I think that Ferrari have been immune, to a certain degree, to that sort of thing. Good or bad, the tifosi around the world stick by their team. More casual fans know Ferrari, but perhaps not any other team. It’s always been that way.

      As for the early 90s- Nigel Mansell was hugely popular with the tifosi, and Prost was there for a couple of years…not really a low point.

      1. JohnsonsEvilTwin says:

        Tifosi are almost exclusively Italian when things are going bad for Ferrari.
        They are not immune to it, look at the early in mid 90s.
        So should they have a barren spell and Mercedes or Mclaren have a succesful period. expect the tables to be turned.

        I just dont buy this “aura” gumph. Manchester UTD suffered when Mourinho was in charge of Chelsea and their international influence waned.

        It is also notable that Mercedes have 10.1% in their 1st season in 55 years. Expect them or even Mclaren to rival Ferraris popularity in the coming years.

      2. murray says:

        Ferrari is the de facto Italian “national team”, Mercedes the German. McLaren can’t leverage nationalism like that, but the name is potentially more international, the man himself being a GP and Le Mans winner, the cars with his name doing that and more. Even Ferrari and Mercedes can’t touch that. Enzo Ferrari’s adoption of the airman’s cavallino rampante gave him an instant romantic legend to build his team and company on, while McLaren’s image is more pragmatic and businesslike, which probably counts against them because a large part of the appeal of F1 is the romance.

      3. Kenny says:

        As long as they beat Ferrari, I don’t care how popular they are.

      4. JohnsonsEvilTwin says:

        Murray

        Regardless of any legend, Mercedes has more history than Ferrari. You are correct in saying the adoption of the Cavallino Rampante rubbed off to give Ferrari a PR halo.
        McLaren have the potential to rival Ferrari, but their dour company image hinders that.
        Mercedes were creating legends before the inception of Ferrari. The reason Mercedes do not have the same following is simply because they havent been in F1 for every championship unlike Ferrari.

        As a closet Mclaren and Mercedes fan, I await the day Ferrari’s bubble bursts. Special they are, above the other two? not a chance!

  9. arvi says:

    its no surprise to see SCHUMI as #1

  10. Interesting results. I’m surprised Ferrari aren’t even higher, the supporters on track are more like 50% Ferrari and then the rest from there

    1. Tim Lamkin says:

      Ron Dennis had the entire factory vote ……

      88 times :)

  11. Antoine says:

    “…two lucky individuals will join a team on the Pit Wall.”, I bet many will rather choose McLaren, as it’s the MOST amazing team to watch.

  12. Becken says:

    Let me see:

    — Ferrari the most popular team (not surprise there!)

    — Schumacher the most popular driver (not surprise there!), but…

    — Fernando second

    — Kimi third, Felipe fourth…

    Don’t you think that this survey shouldn´t come with some demographic analyzes attached?

    I´m just feeling that there’s too much excitement about F1 in Spain and Italy in the last months and that is clearly reflecting in this survey…

    1. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

      Fernando Second because he was signed by Ferrai half way through the last season as well as being the only driver to win back to back world championship during Schumacher era. Plus he is in a lot of commercial & hugely popular in Europe for years.

      Kimi third because he became world champion under Ferrari color.

      Felipe fourth because he has been close to schumacher from the begining of career. Plus he drives for Ferrari.

      I donno if you read the interview of Alonso saying that the champions can be forgotten if the champion never drove for Ferrari. No matter you like them or hate them ‘Ferrari’ is as big as Formula One itself if not bigger. I’m from Australia & whenever you talk about F1 in any sporting or non sporting community, somehow ‘Ferrari’ always comes to the conversation. When you go to a Grand Prix in any country, you’ll see how many Ferrari fans there are compare to the other teams. If you scroll up & read the other comments here, you’ll see somebody mentioning that in a grand prix there are like 50% (if not more) Ferrari fans & 50% for the rest of them. It’s very true

      1. Jonth says:

        Re forgetting champions if they never drove for Ferrari: Scheckter, P Hill, Senna. Which one of these is memorable? Which ones drove for Ferrari?

      2. Tombong says:

        Jody Schecter drove for Ferrari, Phill Hill also a Ferrari’s champion

      3. CHIUNDA says:

        Senna never drove for Ferrari so your statement is not entirely true

      4. Jonth says:

        Yes, that was my point: I was saying that Alonso is wrong. Winning a WDC with Ferrari is neither necessary nor sufficient to be memorable. I don’t think that anyone (except possibly their native countrymen) would class Jody Scheckter or Phil Hill as memorable champions, yet they drove for Ferrari. Senna, on the other hand, is considered legendary, but never drove for Ferrari. To give more examples, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart & Nelson Piquet never drove for Ferrari. Even Alain Prost is a counter example: he drove for Ferrari, but never won a WDC with them.

  13. Paul Kirk says:

    2 comments, James: (1) Most surveys I’ve seen give us options of one of a few different answers to a question, but sometimes those options don’t exactly represent what the viewer wishes to answer, so he’s got to choose the closest one, or skip to the next question, and if he skips, quite often a window comes up saying an answer is required for that previous question! In my opinion there should be options for the viewer to write extra comments if he so wishes.
    (2) Regarding attracting women and under 18s, I believe it will be hard to attract them, they’re either fans or not fans, and a person who isn’t a fan can’t understand how anyone likes watching cars following each other round and round for hours at a time! So I doubt if it would be possable to convert many of them, and of course teenagers have have plenty of other stuf to do nowadays. (not to mention spending hours at the computor!)
    PK.
    And another thing, many kids who are interested in cars are being seduced by the constant coverage of “drifting” (easy to televise) and once hooked on that with constant action, I doubt if they’d find boreing old F1 exciting enough!

    1. Richard Bell says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more, there were several questions where I didn’t agree with any of the options, it was annoying.
      When I was 18 I followed F1 from a distance, I never had time to sit down for 3 hours to watch a race, I was too busy going out and having fun. I started watching a complete GP around my mid to late twenties, I became more engrossed the more I watched it and I gradually evolved into a complete F1 anorak.
      What hooked me on to F1 was having a love of cars and speed from the day I was born. When I was 16 I went to the Williams factory with one of their engineers, Matthew White, (not that you needed to know his name) and I met Sir Frank Williams, it was a superb day. So when I got home did I watch a whole GP? nope, I was too busy going out and having fun.
      By the way, Matthew said no one liked working Nigel Mansell, not that you needed to know that either.

  14. Paul Kirk says:

    Re JB’s low poll: I’ve got a lot of time for Jenson and I wish him well, [mod] , but it’s about time he found time to have a shave instead of looking like a “down and outer” and on the bones of his a*se!
    Come on, Jenson, you’re a World Champion and proud of it, (I can tell by the number of times you’ve mentioned it), so keep yourself groomed for the camera.
    PK.

    1. Henri says:

      (and I hope he blows away the dark guy)

      That’s a bit racist Paul…please keep yourself in check!

      1. Tim Lamkin says:

        ..A BIT…..wow….NO that is period.

      2. kowalsky says:

        are you a cop? or from the irs.

  15. kkpolice says:

    still boggles me how Schumacher has so many fans out there. He’s a great driver no doubt, but I would have thought that his numerous questionable on track antics would have put some ppl off.

    IMO, KERS would make things more exciting only if a few teams had it, like last year. If all teams had KERS, they would only end up cancelling each other out. Won’t be much of a difference from what it is now.

    1. Jomy John says:

      I think you would agree in todays world Mike Tyson is the king of boxing despite his many antics. You need a bit of good and bad to make a great superstar.

    2. chairmanmeow says:

      a flawed genius is infinitely more interesting. and you somehow think that ayrton senna was a nice bloke when it comes to racing?

    3. kkpolice says:

      I guess u guys have a point. And in addition to the interest factor, perhaps it is those flaws that makes him and others like him seem more human and easier to relate to.

      One of the things that I find fascinating abt Schumi is how his on-track and off-track behavior differs so much. His will to win may be described as too extreme, but when it comes to humanitarian aids and charity, he has done much more than many other individuals with a similar status. Add that to being a responsible family man.

  16. Seisteve says:

    WOW leaving the really cool bit to the end, for any fan that has to be the Ultimate in prizes and if it doesn’t increase early ticket sales than I cannot think what will.

    Taking a long term view of the sport has to be the answer here, things are too tight to allow for technology developments to be an advantage so taking something like kers and allowing unlimited development in this space would provide an environment method of adding power to the cars.

  17. David Jerromes says:

    I do hope that surveys such as this are taken on-board and acted upon.

    Like most people using your site James I also took part in the survey, although I was initially cynical as to whether my and everybody else’s answers would translate into some action.

    Maybe you should run a survey on your site James as you seem to have a lot of participants and readers, with many having an above average knowledge of the sport?!

    You also have an ear to so many behind the scenes…

  18. George says:

    As one of the 22% that have no particular favourite team (or driver), it does slightly surprise me as I’m used to British fans being dominated by McLaren, I even saw a guy down the pub last night with a McLaren jacket on which was bizarre.

    Personally I’d prefer to keep the great tracks like Suzuka or Spa, but that’s just me.

    1. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

      The funny thing is I met a group of people in a Chelsea night club a few years back wearing McLaren t-shirts. When I spoke to them I found out they don’t even know if there is such a thing as pit stop in F1, lol. There are supporters like that for every team, but there are bit too many for McLaren

    2. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

      By the way, tracks like Monza, Monaco, Spa are iconic for any fan that is passionate about the sport. Hate night races though no matter what track it is

  19. Red5 says:

    Looks like the survey combined a healthy mix of long time fans of the sport and those turning on for the first time. Seeing Ferrari, Monaco and Schumi figuring so prominently is no surprise. F1 as a sport perhaps could learn from the way teams and drivers, even circuits, have built up strong brands. I think F1 should use the drivers to help promote the sport as a whole since they are more often than not the most recognisable faces of the sport.
    KERs will probably be back in some form or another most probably built in to the hybrid engine + drivetrain rules. This makes sense to manufacturers who can utilise the technology in their road cars. And as we saw at the end of last season McLaren managed to get a positive performance benefit from the system.
    One idea from Murray Walker I liked, put a light on top of the car so fans can see when KERs boost is being used.

    1. Paul Kirk says:

      Personally, Red5 (Nigel), I’m not in favour of KERs on the bassis that the millions of dollars/pounds spent on developing F1-compatable systems would be better spent on road-specific systems which I’m sure would be far removed from F1 designs, also storage systems/batterys. The other thing is FIA is currantly stopping developement of engines and everybody is moaning that Merc has 20BHP or more midrange torque more than others. In my mind letting competitors use KERs, or not, is like giving the guys with the best ones a v12 instead of a v8. OR a turbo. Or methanol. Just seems to be contradicting the concept of budget constraints and performance equalization that they’re going on about these days.
      PK.

  20. michael grievson says:

    Slighty off topic bit I’ve always wanted to go to silverstone with my wife. Can anyone tell me what disabled access is like? My wife is in a wheelchair so I need to know what the facilities are like

    1. Martin P says:

      I can’t speak from first hand experience, but the circuit has a page on access for the disabled on their web-site. Here’s the link;

      http://www.silverstone.co.uk/about/accessibility/

      Hope you both get there and have a great time – but don’t forget the ear-plugs!

  21. Gilles says:

    If they want good ideas to spice up the show, FOTA should read the blog about ‘getting rid of aero’.
    Once there’s more on track action, more fans will be attracted to the sport automatically.

  22. Wolfgang says:

    No wonder fans would like to see the re-introduction of KERS. It’s like the boost button in some of the more casual racing video games and introduces the random element we miss so much.
    On another topic, James. Could you write a piece about driver’s preference of car setup behaviour? It seems that this year’s cars are more understeering than in previous years, which is not preferred by some drivers, e.g. Michael Schumacher. I was always wondering if teams take these differences into account, when they sign up drivers. It does not make much sense to me to have one driver preferring oversteer, the other the opposite.

  23. " for sure " says:

    Presumably the reason 43% would like to see KERS reintrodduced is that they believe that it will make things more exciting, AKA overtaking. If/when all the teams have it, normal service will be resumed.

    1. malcolm.strachan says:

      True; however, KERS should be reintroduced to improve the efficiency of the cars, to the point where they would use a very small amount of fuel to cover a race distance. It would be used as part of the normal powertrain, rather than a push-to-pass boost button. This, of course, would be very relevant in today’s Earth-friendly social climate.

  24. PaulL says:

    I think KERS is something that everyone or nobody at all should have. I don’t like racing where KERS cars boost past the non-KERS runners.

    1. Paul Kirk says:

      Absolutely!!!!!!
      PK.

  25. S Hughes says:

    It’s funny, the last survey had McLaren as the most popular and Lewis Hamilton as the most popular driver by quite a margin, with Kimi second. But that survey got hardly any media space, whereas this one is much more reported. I have the copy of F1 Racing with the last survey in it. Also, when the last survey was discussed on the odd forum, despite 70,000 people in 160 countries being questioned, a lot of people started to question the validity of it. I wonder if the same thing will happen with this one, or are the answers “right” this time?

    1. Benni says:

      Are you sure that wasn’t a British survey? I’m pretty sure Ferrari has been the most popular team (internationally) in F1 for at least 10 years.

      1. adam says:

        The old ING survey was just as internationally based as the current one.
        McLaren just edged out Ferrari because Lewis was the new champion.

        I’m surprised just how far ahead Schumacher is in the popularity stakes compared to the other drivers.

  26. Simon says:

    re the silverstone competition that is a great idea. pity its too late for australia, and this should be something that FOM and FOTA does for every race, or at least something similar where the real fans can get injected into the action (sensibly of course so as not to distract the show).

    definitely a step in the right direction and would love to see how this progresses. just wish they could trial it at an earlier race (language barriers notwithstanding) and i hope all tickets are eligible for the draw. imagine buying general admission and then getting this monster of an upgrade! great incentive!

    better yet, if a grandstand ticket holder gets it, then a random general admission ticket holder gets upgraded to the newly-occupied grand stand seats.

  27. sfaero says:

    it is interesting that in favourite driver massa is over hamilton.
    massa is 2008 wdc.
    it is just shame that button officialy is wdc and massa is not.

    1. Phil C says:

      How is Massa the 2008 WDC?

      Lewis was cheated out of his win in Belgium, and that win was handed to Massa, who had a miserable race and was lucky to finish third on the road!

      1. sfaero says:

        in belgium 2008 it was ham mistake.
        for masssa it was ferrari mistake in singapore and ferrari engine reliabity problem in hungary,the same thing occur last year for vettel.
        meanwhile massa win 5 gp ,a victory more than ham.
        if 2008 season have the 2010 point system massa was wdc.
        2008 season cause to change point system.

      2. Phil C says:

        Yes but Hamilton followed the rules, let Kimi past and then re-passed him into the first corner. As Kimi didn’t even finish the race, no penalty should have been levied.

        Yes Massa won 1 gp more than Hamilton in 2008 on paper – but thanks to Belgium, Lewis won a gp more than Massa on the road

      3. malcolm.strachan says:

        I think that was a typo.

    2. Martin P says:

      Favourite amongst the respondents.

      Personally I’m a Massa fan, but you have no idea yet of the number of respondents from Italy, Brazil and Britain respectively. This could well have skewed the results if there’s a disproportionate slice of Italian and Brazilian replies (which is what you’d expect).

      And as much as I like Massa, Lewis Hamilton won the 2008 World Driver’s Championship, simple as.

  28. Thalasa says:

    It seems to me that people have some inclination for those who don’t talk too much: Schumacher and Kimi. Alonso would be the exception only because he is Spain’s no 1, and because he is a double champion. I’ve never understood why Kimi gets so many fans: he is boring to listen to, and he was much more irregular in his performances than any of the others.

    I prefer people who speak out their minds, except if their name is Bernie Ecclestone.

    1. Kibby says:

      Kimi doesn’t like media attention, that’s rather a quality itself. However it’s not for the “quality” of the speech that people like him, f1 racing is not some kind of “role models” arena…:)

    2. Martin P says:

      When was Kimi ever boring?

      His accent may be monotonic, which seems to be a trait in all Finnish drivers speaking out of their mother tongue, but you could never call him boring.

      I always found his responses in interviews to be both humourous and enlightening – he had a knack of telling you exactly what he thought with a single word and a look than any of the others could manage. He didn’t waffle, he didn’t make excuses, he just told it how he saw it – no more no less.

      1. Thalasa says:

        I’m sorry Martin but however interesting it could have been what he may have said, it became boring as it went through his lips.
        I don’t really remember anything he said but I feel very capable of writing any driver’s speech from now to the end of the season. They always say what they are supposed to say and that’s it. I only remember I could never follow his words becauseitwaseverythinglikealongboringword.

        I used to like Kimi’s helmets though.

      2. Andy says:

        I just read a top-10 statements from Kimi, and I can’t believe anyone would say those were boring in any sense of the word, and I can’t see any other driver on the grid speaking their mind like he did. I don’t think the mods would allow me to quote all of those sentences, but he certainly lets his distaste for PR hear in his answers and it’s just plain funny to follow. ;)

        Maybe just a couple of family friendly pearls:

        “The helmet has a special meaning for many drivers. How important is it to you? – It protects my head.”

        “What are the kind of things that make you angry in normal life, as you say?
        - If you keep asking questions like those.”

        “I’m not going to a language school to learn Italian, that’s not what I came to do at Ferrari.”

        “I read somewhere that I drive with the luck of a drunk.”

        “Kimi, you speak a little bit? – Yeah, one two.. three..”

        “Interviewer: The most exciting moment during the race weekend?
        Kimi: I think so it’s the race start, always.
        Interviewer: The most boring?
        Kimi: Now.”

        And of course the classic quotes, like with Martin Brundle in Brazil, and on what there is to do in Finland at summer/winter time, but I’ll moderate myself and won’t repeat them here…

    3. Paul Kirk says:

      Well I like Kimi, he’s not one to whine about his car or other competitors, he just gets on with the job and has a bit of fun after hours as well, no acting or getting carried away, just good old Kimi.
      I hope he’s back soon!
      We all know he can drive.
      PK.

  29. Bec says:

    FOTA’s conclusion regarding the KERS question in one of their surveys:

    “When fans understand KERS, there is a positive reaction. However, one fifth of fans do not know or understand the technology.”

    How hard is it to understand KERS? Surely if you’re an F1 fan you understand KERS.

    One of the questions in the latest survey was something like … “Would you like to take part in more surveys”.
    I hope this means FOTA will be asking F1 fans for their opinions more often, rather than just once a year.

    1. Paul Kirk says:

      Ok Bec, you understand KERS, will you explain to me exactly where and how the KERS power is applied to the F1 driveline. And while you’re about it clarify to me if they get electrical energy from the brakes or do they engage a generator on the overun to charge the batteries. I’ve always wondered about this. And btw how much voltage and cranking amps do the batteries have?
      PK.

  30. Robert S says:

    Hi James

    Good article just wondering if you took part in the survey and what were some of your answers? such as what races do you want to stay, how long do you think a race should be?? Do you have a favourite driver or team?

    Thanks

  31. Robert McKay says:

    “It remains to be seen what actions will be taken as a result of the survey, but it is positive in that it shows FOTA taking some steps to understand F1’s fanbase better….Some action needs to come out of these surveys if fans are to continue to take them seriously in future. There is no point in having the same one sided conversation all the time.

    The next survey should perhaps target people who are aware of F1 but don’t watch it, to find out what measures would attract them and thereby increase the fanbase.”

    It seems difficult to envisage situations where the sport both makes changes to appeal to the hardcore and to the not-currently-interested, other than the disingenuous “more overtaking please”-type requests.

  32. CptZorg says:

    James, can you please enlighten us on the need to attract more fans to F1.

    I can’t help but feeling I’m missing something here, the sport has gazillions of viewers and it makes huge amounts of money for Bernie and all involved. Why do they need to get more people to view it, especially if it means coming up with ridiculous new rules & regs?

    Wouldn’t cricket get more recognition in the US if they introduced body tackles? Or ice hockey in the UK if they introduced tea & cake and spread a game to last 3 days instead of 60 minutes?

    Maybe I’m a bit thick here but I’m quite happy to watch a race and enjoy a beer while the missus & kids are out skipping or whatever it is they do. I certainly wouldn’t want to see F1 brought down (or up) to their collective level of interest with puppets, costume jewellery, interior decorating etc.

    If it really is necessary to attract women, just do a small split screen at the bottom which only films drivers’ wives and girlfriends during the race.

    1. Paul Kirk says:

      Well said, Captain. I agree.
      PK.

  33. monktonnik says:

    Well I hope I don’t win the draw and have to sit on the pit wall. Apparently the pit straight isn’t the best place to see the action from ;)

    As far as the survey goes I am not too surprised to see the outcome, although I am a little disappointed that Jenson didn’t score so highly. I think it would be more interesting to hear why people truly support drivers. We can all churn out the same “because he is the best” etc etc stuff, but I would be interested to see whether there is a particular part of the driving (overtaking, wins, poles, fastest laps) that could help quantify this. I have been doing a little work up of the stats of some of the most popular drivers, including the all time greats and it is interesting to see who actually comes out on top, particularly reading many of the comments on Senna.

    As far as the support for KERS, I bet most of us would love to see that reintroduced by the teams, it probably would have changed the order of the race, if not the podium.

    1. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

      Jenson needs to prove that he is at least as good as Hamilton if not better.

      If you want people to say stuff about overtaking, wins, poles, fastest laps then it won’t be survey anymore, it will be a research. A lot of fans don’t understand every little thing about F1 either. 84,000 people are not going to write a history book about F1 all night long. More like 84 people will. Then there will barely be any viewer left in 20 years time.

      KERS need be used by every team before being used at all in the grand prix

  34. Paul says:

    I recall the questionaire asked about race distances, and whether one would prefer shorter or longer races. Have they released the results of that question?

    I live in fear of the day that Grand Prixs following the path of World Rally events, and are emasculated in the name of television. FOTA have previous made comments favouring shorter races, and it’ll be a travesty if it ever occurs.

    I imagine it’s a misguided belief that they can keep the fun start and end, and miss out ‘boring’ middle. However like a good wine, races need time. It allows for things to evolve, conditions to change, difference to play out.

  35. Peter says:

    No surprise that Schumacher is well ahead. Whilst he may anger and put off some people with his controversial actions, his extraordinary achievements and stunning victories have told here.

    Which is a real shame as his achievements aren’t spoken of enough in the media. But then the media only likes controversy don’t they. Instead of getting journalists opinions on his misdemeanours lets get their thoughts on his brilliance more.

    The saying goes Michael Schumacher – 7 times World Champion. The rest is just opinion!

    1. Paul Kirk says:

      Must admit I’m a bit surprised that Sandshoe Fixer is at the top of the list, just goes to show how boreing the rest of the competitors are, although I expected Mark Weber to be up there.
      But in MotoGP there’s no disputing Valintino Rossi is at the top of his pile, personallity too.
      PK.

      1. murray says:

        On results to date, sure. But as with F1, some questions will probably never be answered, like Rossi and Stoner on the same bike. More’s the pity.

  36. Richard Wilson says:

    I think if they asked who was the most unpopular driver Schumacher might win that one too. He is probably liked and disliked in equal measure

    1. James Allen says:

      Interesting point.

      1. Carlos Del Valle says:

        Agree

      2. Charlie B says:

        It will be like that for all the controversial drivers. Some people like that, some (or a lot) of people dislike that. It would be the same for someone like Hamilton and to a certain extent, Alonso.

      3. Tim Lamkin says:

        For Sure…

    2. Ralf F says:

      Alonso and Hamilton would be high, too.

  37. Jeroen says:

    Hi James,

    I think this survey needs to be analysed carfully before we can judge if for example Shumi has a larger fan base than say Hamilton or Alonso. I suspect they have not weighted this survey in terms of number of responses per country. What I mean is that by poulation numbers and thus likely number of respondents there are more Germanic countries (Germany, Switserland and Austria) some 100 million. So if their result is biased and for example of 1,000 survey takers 300 were from that area then the 19.5% Shumi has does not reflect reality and therefore your and other journalist’s interpretations will be utterly wrong.

    Can you let us know where to view the results and can we/you find out how the survey was conducted, i.e. is it representative of global fan base.

    1. Jomy John says:

      I think globally, Schumacher is the only star driver that is sellable. That is a fact. No one else has global appeal like schumi. We dont need polls to figure that out.

  38. SerbianVoice says:

    Spa not included in favourite tracks by fans? Something fishy to me.

    Just hope it won’t come from the calendar.

    And where are the results for the most prefered points system? Again, something fishy.

    About fanbase: I also heard in last survey Hamilton leading with Kimi second. So how this year Hami lost those fans? Kimi isn’t in F1 any more so he doesn’t count.

  39. Kibby says:

    questions for James Allen:
    1. is this survey gonna be published somewhere, I would surely like to read it all.
    2. to what extent (if any)fans ideas will be taken into account on improving the show
    thx

  40. Gareth says:

    Zami, you are mistaken, Mika Hakkinen also won back to back world championships (1998-
    1999, albeit Schumacher missed most of ’99).

  41. Steven says:

    Poor Jenson, but he can rest easy knowing that I am also one of the 2.6% that voted for him. He has been very favourite driver since 2000 since Damon Hill retired. Always supported the Brits.

  42. I didn’t see this survey, so did not take part in it. I doubt the part about Monaco – the last survey I took part in you could vote for or against Monaco. I would vote against, such a boring race.

    The only thing that is exciting at Monaco is if a driver is involved in a horrific accident, and spectular as that is, that is the wrong reason to be watching.

    You certainly won’t see any overtaking there – witness DC in a McLaren unable to overtake an Arrows all those years ago.

    They also don’t pay any race hosting fees, despite putting on a really poor race. And yet Silverstone has to pay through the nose and has a great track. Some world we live in.

  43. Julie says:

    It isn’t hard to get behind a team with as much history and talent as Ferrari.

  44. **Paul** says:

    Interesting results, almost to be expected.

    Schumacher is #1 on the back of his success.

    Hamilton surely beats Button because it’s ‘fashionable’ to support Lewis? He’s down with the kids talking about his bling and inviting rappers to the grid. Jenson is more old skool than that, ergo the difference in the poll.

    I’m surprised McLaren has so many fans given their very dodgy way of running things over tha last few years. British they may be, but I can’t support them at all, they go completely against fair play IMO, they’re as bad a Steven Gerrards dives !

  45. Scott says:

    Interesting that Kimi is still featured. What was more interesting is that I visited the Ferrari store in San Francisco on the Thursday before the Bahrain Grand Prix. They didn’t have any Alonso merchandise in store, but they were well stocked with Raikkonen products!

  46. John Player says:

    It is a nice oppurtunity for us,that survey.And a clever idea as well,to make us more interested in watching the spectacle which is now “almost entirely” designed by fans…
    I hope to see more surveys like this,but concentrating more on a specific problem or topic.Although,it cannot work properly,we might witness quite tifosi biased answers,considering that 30 percent voted Ferrari as a favourite.
    Anyway,the questions were too soft and smart for my taste,designed in a way that it was not easy to show our mentality or dislike towards certain trends in f1. I had to think hard,how would bernies and mosleys interpret our clicks,before sending the answers.

  47. AmandaG says:

    I’m surprised about the fact that it appears that there isn’t a large female fanbase. My experience is very different. I’m a woman and I don’t personally many male fans, however I know a lot of female fans and that is not because the majority of my friend basis is female, because it isn’t. If you visit F1 forums you’ll find that on average the split is about (just a guess) 35% female. I believe that is quite high in sporting terms.

    I agree that the younger audiences need to be targeted. However to do that there needs to have either good strategical elements involved or more overtaking. Preferably both. Good highly enthusiastic commentators help. Definitely missing you there James.

  48. Allan Rooms says:

    James
    I undertook the survey and my answers pretty much sum up the result of the survey, one part fo the survey was the bit about improving the racing and overtaking. Now an idea that I think could be muted, I remember the one lap shoot outs which where great and if you made an error you went to the back and the best drivers in the best cars then had to overtake or their race was over.
    I agree with the Bahrain assumption it was processional but the grids are always going to be the top 4 teams and some other people unless something goes horribly wrong. How about leaving the no refuelling, putting in 2 pit stops minimum, and hard tyres only but change the qualifying. I would go for 3 sessions but you only get 3 laps (Out lap, fast lap, in lap) and each car goes out 30 seconds after the one in front. Then as now the bottom times drop out, then session 2 exacylt the same but the fastest time from the first session goes out first, and carry one. This way the fans get to see cars on the track, and the grids could be shaken up radically meaning you could get Alonso starting in P14 meaning he has to push to get to the front. I know it would take a while but surely by upsetting the grid is the answer to also get some racing out there.
    Your thoughts or thoughts of fellow readers would be of interest.
    Allan (UK)

  49. Richard Mee says:

    F1 is a sport by adult men for adult men. If we allow ourselves to cut through the PC nonsense and be honest for a minute.

    Sensibly, I’d like to ask why MUST it be any different? The short term goal must be to retain the current fan base after Bahrain – not sure that F1 has the luxury of looking beyond this for the time being…

    Having said that – broadening the appeal did no harm for the ratings of Top Gear for example.

    You’d be looking at a very different sport though. To get kids and (most)ladies interested you’d need to hide away all the layers of engineering tech and bring the blood and guts driver personalities to the fore… complete with guaranteed excitement.

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