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F1 fan survey – High Definition TV and internet are key
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F1 fan survey – High Definition TV and internet are key
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Jun 2010   |  2:09 pm GMT  |  132 comments

The results of a new F1 fans survey have been published today. The survey was carried out by the Formula One Teams Association, with help from LG and F1 Racing magazine. 85,000 fans around the world were sounded out.

As with all surveys you can pull out what you want to suit your argument and this one isn’t going to bring about any revolutions, apart from the call for Grands Prix to be broadcast in High Definition.

It’s a lengthy document which shows some fans’ opinions about F1, what they would like to see more or less of in the coverage and how they consume it, with the internet’s growing importance clear for all to see.

The survey is divided into avid fans and the mildly interested.

80% say overtaking is vital (Darren Heath)


There aren’t to many surprises in there – 80% of fans think overtaking is important and 84% of avid fans watch more than 12 races and a similar number sit through the whole race from start to finish.

TV remains the main window in on the sport with 90% of avid fans and 48% of all fans accessing the sport on TV regularly. Radio comes out badly with only 4% of all fans accessing the sport that way. F1 magazines and newspapers are also declining as sources of information about the sport.

However the internet’s growing importance is also highlighted with 72% of avid fans and 29% of all fans regularly going onto websites. Mobile phones remains a largely untapped market with only 4.8% of fans accessing F1 data on their mobile.

One of the biggest clamours is for F1 to be shown in High Definition – 70% of fans are calling for it, according to the survey.

Other eye catching results were that 47% of all fans think that advanced technology best sums up the sport, more than glamour or excitement or drama; 47% say that there is too much politics in F1, 51% would like more analysis of pit strategies and tactics; 50% want more understanding of how stewards reach their decisions.

There are also some more subtle questions about whether fans think FOTA should take a more central role in speaking up on the sport, recommending technologies and such like. These initiatives have roughly 50% support, according to the survey.

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132 Comments
  1. Every year we seem to get these surveys where the fans say that ‘Overtaking is important’, ‘There is too much politics in F1′, ‘Technology is important’ etc, etc… Yet nothing seems to be done about it.

    What is the point of these surveys if they ask for the fans’ opinions and yet no action is ever taken?

    1. Henry says:

      I completely agree. They never seem to change much. but it gives the fans the impression that they have a say, which releases some of the steam. Ultimately Bernie and the FIA do what they want…

      Also I filled in the survey in question, but I think I filled it in late last year or early this year – either way it took them a bloody age to compile the results, which should really have taken an afternoon or less, with a computer inputting all of the numbers!

    2. CH1UNDA says:

      Every one else – FOTA, FIA etc – have run these surveys except FOM that is why nothing changes.

    3. SteveH says:

      I took this survey and was very, very, unhappy that you could only chose from the answers provided; there was no way to say that you didn’t agree at all with any of the options. I tried not answering what were obviously rigged questions but was not allowed to skip any questions. This survey was designed to produce certain answers and it did; there wasn’t even an option at the end to comment. It was pretty bogus.

  2. Alchemy says:

    “Mobile phones remains a largely untapped market with only 4.8% of fans accessing F1 data on their mobile.”

    Great, allow my company to build your iPhone App for you?

    PS Totally agreed on the new media consumption. I think like all fans we’re suckers for info and even more suckers for F1 insights and analysis (congrats to your blog being the best that).

      1. Howard Hughes says:

        Brilliant idea.

      2. Gareth says:

        Just to let you know I read your articles on my iPhone and it’s formatted differently to the main site. it’s the same with joe sawards site, it’s got a “mobile theme” mode available which significantly reduces the amount of data needed to be downloaded.

        Quality site James. All the best.

    1. Spencer says:

      “Mobile phones remains a largely untapped market with only 4.8% of fans accessing F1 data on their mobile.”

      I’m reading this on my iPhone right now. I really don’t believe I’m in the minority. People who read blogs of any kind are doing so on mobile phones more and more

      1. D Kadrinski says:

        No wonder only 4.8% of fans accessing the data on mobile… there is no suitable application. If there is a good app, then it is only available for number of phones. There is a good iphone app, but we are not all iphone lovers… and you have to pay subscription charge for data that is otherwise provided for free.

      2. J Mironchik says:

        I also use my iPhone to access timing data directly from the F1 website. I only recently downloaded the free F1 app. I think one of the big problems has been that Bernie charges too much for the full-load app ($32.99 with complete season access)? The reviews of the app are generally very good, and one can argue that the money could easily be spent in one afternoon at a pub watching one race. But as apps go, it’s very expensive.

  3. Fmc says:

    F1 in 3d would be hectic
    Go webber

    1. Henry says:

      I think that F1 is probably one of the sports that would not benefit hugely from 3D, it would not enhance the viewing all that much. But imagine watching some huge crashes in 3D with splinters of carbon fibre exploding out at you and wheels bouncing everywhere…wow that would be exciting!

      1. Fmc says:

        I know this is a bit unrealistic but special screenings of the best races eg spa , monza in IMAX !!!!!!

    2. BiggusJimmus says:

      I reckon 3D will remain a niche product no matter how much we’re told that it is the next big thing: it’s the glasses, man. Does anyone want to sit around their house in those things? And then every time you want to look away form the tele you have to take them off?
      HD, obviously. Choice of feed direct form your favorite cars, brilliant. 3D, going too far.

  4. Jason C says:

    I took that survey, and I think it’s a bit flawed – after all, if you’re a fan of F1, you’re not going to ask for less of anything about it, are you? I think they should have instead got people to rate things on a scale with one aspect versus another (e.g. technology vs glamour). In that way, they can work out what is most important to the fans.

    1. mrmagic says:

      I couldn’t agree more

  5. Francisco says:

    Overall I think that FOM is missing a great deal. There is a lot things that can be shared online to the viewers.

    - different online camera, you could follow your driver
    - split image, driver 1 left, driver 2 right
    - be able to populate the screen with more/less information
    - have more online technical data during the race
    - be able to follow any radio team
    - overlapping images, specially during qualification

    These are just a few. There is a lot of room for improvement but FOM is not delivering. Come guys stop leaving in the 90′s.

    1. Jose Arellano says:

      +1

    2. neil m says:

      Legard mute facility

      1. Sebee says:

        Every TV has SAP audio, can someone tell me please why I just can’t have the track audio without commentary on SAP?

        I am so sick of hearing commentary during onboard quail video. I’ve seen it on SpeedTV without yapping and I wish they would show the pole lap without commentators chatting more often. Back in the day our feed would sometimes have problems picking up itv commentary and would broadcast just the track audio – let me tell you, it was wonderful. Felt like you were there.

      2. Fmc says:

        That’s a good feature on the official DVD review from 09 that you can turn the commentary off , just the race audio is played sounds awesome

      3. Bevan says:

        Neil M & Seebee are dead right,don’t these people know an F1 engine is music to the ears for us fans.Some commentators even have the audacity to talk about other sports during a race,like the 06 FIFA world cup,”outrageous”!

      4. Matt says:

        If you press the red button you can choose to have 5Live commentary.

      5. Nadeem Zreikat says:

        I wish because of rights restrictions I can’t get 5live. Red buton our commerical networks dont know what that is

      6. Steve Skooz says:

        LMAO!

        Bring Back James!
        :)

      7. JonE says:

        Also… Is there a way to deliver an electric shock to Eddie Jordan during his bits on screen? I think the yellow button is free…

    3. Great ideas but they won’t happen. They all cost money and FOM don’t have money and just don’t care.

      On a related point I wish FOTA would stop asking fans if they would like things they can’t deliver like HD TV, Internet services and cheaper tickets. These all require FOM to not be in debt and also care about F1 fans.

    4. I agree. As a minimum I would like to see all sessions broadcast live through the official F1 website. Indycar can do it, why can’t Formula 1. I know if you live in the UK you have iPlayer or whatever, but for the rest of us we aren’t lucky enough to have a quality broadcaster like the BBC. In Brisbane, Australia where I live Formula 1 is broadcast on a dedicated sports channel, but they don’t show practise sessions, and they frequently delay qualifying by an hour or hour and a half, until coverage of a local Australian Rules football match is finished, which means you can’t follow the live timing, and you can’t communicate with the outside world for fear of learning the result.

      1. James Allen says:

        …But they do have pre race content from JA and Tom Clarkson…

      2. Criscles says:

        … and after some concern when it was known Windsor was going to stop doing these, you guys have continued the excellent work. Keep it up. We really appreciate your insights.

      3. Nadeem Zreikat says:

        That’s the part we all look forward to. Would be great to see practice. 6pm & 10pm AEST on a Firday bring it on

  6. Jakub says:

    The synergistic relationship of HD and F1 would result in spectacular viewing! It will be interesting to see if the result has any impact. Can FOTA pressure Bernie, I doubt it??

    1. S.J.M says:

      Many seem to speculate that because Bernie got his hands burnt with the digital idea thing from a few years back, he’s more sceptical about HDTV. If thats the reason, it sound very strange to me.

      But F1 in HD is a must. Every TV sold now is a HDtv (of varying qualities) and is clearly the way its going to be for broadcasting. I cant believe i can watch the Indy Racing series in HD but not F1. Criminal.

      1. mohamed says:

        and motogp

      2. Bastosman says:

        Bernie’s just trying to work out the best way to make money off it. I’m sure when some of the key TV contracts to come up for renewal the price will go up significantly and he will try to justify it because of HD. I expect he’s probably pretty pleased with this survey in that regard.

      3. Luca says:

        Bernie has already said there isn’t the demand for it – the demand from the broadcasters as they will be the ones lumbered with the bill for the new cameras etc…

        The broadcasters already have to pay huge fees, so for someone like the BBC to substantiate the extra cost just won’t fly… So i won’t be surprised if this doesn’t happen for a very long time.

        Read this:
        http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_news_item.php?fes_art_id=39947

  7. Freespeech says:

    Whatever happens F1 must stay on a free to view channel

  8. Young Slinger says:

    Now, will the ‘authorities’ actually respond to our – the fans’ – desires?

  9. CTP says:

    how about a link to the survey results?

    1. James Allen says:

      They are a PDF at the moment. Not aware of where you can find them online

  10. Steve Arnott says:

    So the whole overtaking thing rears its head again. I never really got this. A team principal (although I can’t remember who) recently said on a BBC F1 Forum that he believe that fans don’t actually want more overtaking, but more _anticipation_ of an overtake. I couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing interesting about one car just sailing past another car, but a duel over several laps is riveting. I think this year F1 has made some excellent steps in the right direction.

    HDTV: I can’t believe there’s even a debate about this. We should be watching F1 in HD. Sort it out, Bernie!

    And the internet: yep, it sure is important. Just look at the popularity of this blog! So much so that I just cancelled my subscription to a popular F1 magazine on the basis that it rarely gives me any insight beyond what I can already get sooner and cheaper online, here and elsewhere.

    Roll on the future of F1!

    1. malcolm.strachan says:

      Exactly. NASCAR on a superspeedway has about 18 passes per lap. Exciting? Not overly. With KERS, most passes were simple drive-bys. Exciting? Again, not by much.

      I would much rather see a driver hound another for 5-10 laps and then finally be able to make a pass stick, rather than just driving past on a straight because he pushed a button for 50 more horsepower.

    2. Alan Zechter says:

      Agreed, HD should have been done 4 years ago. I read somewhere that f1 is filmed in HD, but the feed is not being released to the broadcasters.

      Why we are having this debate is beyond me; how f1 is broadcast now would not have been that impressive in the 1990′s. It is 2010, get moving FOM.

      I really want to see f1 in 3d in the very near future, but honestly, I don’t see this happening for 10 years +

      1. ManxF1 says:

        Pah – Internet – it’ll never catch on

        You’d never get me using it!!!!!

        :)

        Go Webber!!

    3. Young Slinger says:

      I can’t talk for anyone else but to me, ‘overtaking’ is the whole action – catching, battling and then passing, NOT just the physical act of overtaking.

    4. Sebee says:

      Well all you have to do is look at Schumi and Alonso at Imola05 and 06 and it confirms your point.

      1. Carlos Del Valle says:

        I think the problem is that many people want a Pironi vs. Villeneuve every Sunday. But if that wheel banging was that common, we wouldn´t be still commenting great duels from five or ten years ago.

        Let´s bring it down, F1 is not Nascar. Even in the eighties and nineties there were a lot of processional races.

        Things are going fine regarding excitement and overtaking. Please just do not bring again the bloody horrendous refueling ever again. It reminds of the dreadful Schumacher years when every pass was done in the pit strategy. Never again.

        TRUST ME:
        1. Second semester will be terrific. No refueling + 25-point victory = hectic last few laps all around.

        2. I have to concede that Alonso was right back in Bahrein, during the cryout about boring races: “People who want extra show perhaps need to reconsider if they want to watch F1″

    5. James says:

      I agree with your comments regarding the anticipation of an overtake. I think the problem in recent years (not so much this year) has been that a faster car hasn’t been able to draw close enough to the back of a slower car. The buffer effect created by the aero losses have taken away that anticipation. This is part of why I think Monaco is always a great race despite it always copping criticism for being too hard to overtake; it’s more likely there that cars will be following bumper to bumper, and despite the difficulty of actually getting past the tension is very high and it’s clear that one mistake can change everything

  11. Brace says:

    I can’t imagine why would anyone follow F1 over the radio unless he has no other way.

    And of course, if F1 would incorporate internet features so that fans can get closer to data and perhaps choose which camera they wish to follow at which time, that would surely be a step forward and not just a step for the sake of it.

    1. Nathan says:

      How about people who WATCH it on TV, but listen to the radio.

      That’s what I do, because I can’t stand Jonathan Legard, and David Croft + Anthony Davidson are a much, much better commentary team.

      1. Young Slinger says:

        Totally agree. Legard spoils it for me!

    2. Eje says:

      I love the pan cameras in Indycar and their FREE racecontrol with live video and audio feed where you can choose track feed, 1 out of 4 driver cameras or driver vs driver view with team radio feed. How sweet would it not be to have that access in F1 even if just a few select cars each race. Would be epic and I would gladly pay for it to boot but would of course like it free ;)

  12. F1 Novice says:

    I cannot think of a sport that is much better suited to HD & 3D TV – with the ability to have uniform fixed camera positions on the cars.

  13. Andrew C says:

    One thing I cannot understand is that F1 is supposed to be the top, the best; however we still don’t have HD.

    On a similar note, all the politics clouding over what really matters; we want a sport that comes up with the new technologies and not be limited by bureaucrats who are trying to ruin the sport.

    Bring back the turbo and instead of hindering development of new technologies and ways to do things like the F-Duct encourage it.

    People wonder why the major manufacturers are leaving? F1 has gone from being first class to 2nd, if not third.

    1. Paul says:

      they are bringing back the turbo when the new engine formula comes

  14. Adam says:

    Not surprised about the magazines declining. F1 Racing Subscriptions regularly phone to offer me a deal to enlist again, but the agent on the call always ends up simultaneously saying with me “….get all the info from the internet”.

    Mind you, F1 Racing has been poor since Matt Bishop left. I gave it a chance but the redesign was terrible (it seems to have copied it’s design from one of those back-of-the-magazine blue pill adverts) and they’re gutless in their interviews now.

    Regarding the net, I do think Bernie is more concerned with getting the money in, rather than exploiting the opportunites within the internet and providing fans with a more immersive experience. Yes, there’s the iPhone apps but there’s so much more that can be done. Like Rupert Murdoch, he’s an elderly gentleman now with no understanding of how the information game is changing.

    HDTV should have been a no-brainer long ago. Surely if you’re charging TV companies to show the races at least give them the best possible feed !

    1. Luke Potter says:

      Good point Adam; I haven’t really noticed Matt Bishop’s departure, but I have noticed the enormous decline in race report quality since Pat Symonds took over from Peter Windsor. I find them very poor indeed now.

      1. Road of Bones says:

        Agree – since Hans Seeberg took over, F1 Racing is little more than a tabloid. Peter Windsor’s race analyses were glorious, thoughtful and intelligent – where Pat Symonds’ are rather dry and factual. The overall interview quality has dropped dramatically too – I used to like the “big interview” each month, where they really grilled people like Max or Bernie.

        One thing I did notice about the FOTA survey was the omission of the contentious “do you want to see shorter races” question – I suppose that a “100% disagree” result would have looked bad on their report!

      2. Rishi says:

        Yeah the Big Interview thing is the big thing I miss too. I still can’t make up my mind about Seeberg-era F1 Racing. At first he definitely toned it down (and even admitted doing so, in order to tap into the “Lewis Hamilton effect”) but then over time it seemed to improve and I thought some of the articles last year were really good. I think on balance I do prefer the Bishop era’s F1 specialism (which also encompassed the business side and analysed things in more depth) but maybe Seeberg needed to make the change to some degree in order to make the publication remain commercially viable?

    2. Nadeem Zreikat says:

      Remember Bernie brought in digital coverage years ago way before anyone had a digital TV that was innovative, now complete opposite. Technology changes so fast these days with apps etc, hey I was watching Bon Jovi live on O2 rooftop on my iphone yesterday no rights restrictions there.

  15. Stu says:

    I still can’t believe F1 isn’t in HD, are they skipping this and going straight to 3D or something? I do also agree they need to do something about overtaking…

    Great photo from Darren, by the way.

    1. **Paul** says:

      Ditto I can’t believe it’s not in HD yet either. I watched the whole FIA World Touring Car Championship season in HD last year, which takes in a few F1 tracks for good measure, in glorious HD and it really adds to the experience. The ability to make out exactly which car is which, and see hte bits of rubber flying off the wheels.

      Yet F1 lags behind, as does MotoGP for that matter. As the premier motorsport series’ for cars and bikes I’m staggered that neither are yet broadcast in HD.

      Just to show how behind the times F1 is here some sportings events I’ve watched in HD recently; Football (The world cup is all HD!), The French Open (and wimbeldon will be of course), Darts, Nascar, Golf, Cricket, Rugby, WTCC, LeMans, Cycling etc etc etc.

      Calling F1, where are you with HD….

      It’s a little worrying when I think how long it took them to get onboard with widescreen technology.

      1. James Allen says:

        To be fair, part of the problem is the broadcasters who own the rights to F1 in their territories not being equipped, so I’m told by someone close to it

      2. Knuckles says:

        Indeed, RTL in Germany has their own HD+ system, which you can get only via satellite feed and which requires a decoder card, which is 50 EUR after the first year. The state-owned stations offer HD over cable and IP-TV, but they don’t show F1. I’d love it if RTL lost the rights though, because their pre-race shows and commentary are atrocious.

      3. Nadeem Zreikat says:

        Is there anyway we can use people power here to get HD and other things in F1.

      4. monktonnik says:

        So the British GP in HD is a possibility?

        This is academic as I don’t have HD, and I am going to be at Silverstone in the flesh!

        Seriously, the BBC said they were going to broadcast in HD, and it is a bit disappointing that they haven’t. Although I can understand the reason.

      5. mohamed says:

        motogp is available in hd

  16. PaulL says:

    Read my lips Bernie.. F1 in HD. Do it! Not even joking!

  17. CHUBASCO . C says:

    I have watched and recorded all races from 1989 till now, never missed a race.
    From VHS to DVD and now HD, it will be so cool to watch in 3D .

    1. CHUBASCO . C says:

      I meant HD +3D = F 1.
      isn’t F 1 supposed to be the future of Tech,
      and yet the board cast are still in the 80′s,
      F 1 should take a peak at the Japan”s JGTC series,
      it ‘s time to match the F1 tech and the board cast all together~~~~

      1. Sebee says:

        Read the post, F1 wants to be backwards compatible! :-)

        I hope it doesn’t go 3D – I get queasy.

  18. Stuart Fenton says:

    I don’t get the attraction of 3D films/tv let alone F1. Surely, its just sensationalism, nothing to add to the show? Most surveys are a smoke screen, to make it look like the establishment care, but they dont. In regard to overtaking. I honestly think that the teams dont want competitive overtaking. They would rather have their seasons decided by brain power, resulting in cars/aero, and drivers that are quick. I say drivers and not RACERS

    1. Sebee says:

      Interesting. What would that make Schumi’s 5 at Ferrari?
      I too have days where I think it’s an engineering championship. But we still watch, and that’s all that counts.

  19. Andrew_F says:

    James, wondered if given your links with LG on this blog you could answer a question from a slightly different angle on F1 in HD. How is it that a company like LG were happy to have their name linked to the F1 brand without managing to push through the HD message, for them to pour money into a sport which refuses to recognise the advances of HD seems a little backwards to me.

    The last argument I read about it not happening was that Bernie was waiting for a wider acceptance of HD around the world so he could charge for it. Surley from a business point of view now is the time he is likely to be able to attract the biggest premium from offering HD? Perhaps he believes the boat has sailed on early adoption of this technology and wants to be one of the first onboard with 3D?

    Also on a tenuous link, what do you and/or other people on the blog think of the BBC coverage specifically during the actual race? Now they have had a season and a bit to bed in do you think the pairing of Legard and Brundle is working. To me and many I speak to it seems that the consensus is that Legard has been a bit of a let down in his transition to TV and that the chemistry is just not there between him and Brundle. I appreciate that being lead commentator is by no means a simple job but do you think it is time the BBC started thinking about a replacement for Legard… would you ever consider putting your name forwards if so?!

    Great work on the blog – always interesting and insightful, keep it up!

    1. James Allen says:

      Fair question – I think LG are working with FOM on new tech for the broadcasts, also doing some 3D tests here in Montreal this weekend, for example. I’ll ask them and then do a post on this subject some time

      1. I cannot understand why FOM is trying out 3D when they have yet to roll out HD. Seems to me the company has no idea what it’s doing.. no doubt someone heard about 3DTV and thought it would be cool.

      2. Rich C says:

        The only way to get ahead is to skip a generation of tech.

      3. monktonnik says:

        Once HD becomes ubiquitous it will be harder to charge for, particularly if you are already paying SkyBSB for the priviledge.

        3D is an exciting enough prospect to charge for. If only the glasses weren’t so expensive!

      4. Carlos Fonseca says:

        Top class. That’s why Internet is the future. James Allen giving that insightful answer, tops HD, 3D and Bernie´s funeral in my F1 world. I check it every morning, together with Pitpass and Planet F1.

    2. Steve Skooz says:

      Absolutely agree..

      Need Martin & James
      Need Eddie
      Need DC

      Would you be interested in joining Martin, young James?
      Hmmm?

      1. Carlos Fonseca says:

        Better James stick with his site than go back to TV, as the Tweets Link, the Tech Report and all his sponsors certify. Just enjoy the priceless information he’s giving us. TV is past. Maybe Ecclestone as old as he is The Respected One knows this and is developing the greatest sport paysite ever for himself.

  20. Nathan says:

    I don’t care about HD.

    I really don’t.

    It’s much, much more important to me to have other things that could be given to the fans : a live stream of the radio traffic, for example. Or increased user interactivity on the internet, such as being able to choose a car to follow or to select certain parts of the track, or having a timing system that is actually in sync with the race, or having more humanity displayed from the drivers, or having rules that allow for better racing, etc.

    HD is a flashy way for TV makers to sell new goods, and it’s an advertising man’s dream.

    Pity that people would rather watch things in higher quality than watch higher quality racing, in lower quality resolution.

    Sad.

    1. Sebee says:

      Nathan, did you know that you are watching a two hour long marketing message each time you watch a race? Welcome to the world of high speed infomercials.

      That’s why it is suprising that its not in HD, they can’t show you all those brand logos clearly.

      Sounds like 3D logos are coming soon. Reach out and touch a Vodafone logo.

    2. Gareth says:

      I’m guessing you have a little tv.

      It’s a fact that tvs are now getting bigger, and standard def uses the same amount of progressive lines on a 40 inch as a 28 inch.

      High def uses pixels which increases the quality of broadcast. If you got a large tv like myself or many thousands of other viewers, your f1 broadcast is blurred and it’s a nuisance.

      If you don’t want the HD broadcast then you just go to the regular BBC channel, so you don’t have to enjoy the immense picture and sound.

      It’s probably irrelevent as you probably have neither a HD tv or a HD subscription.

      Sad.

  21. Luke Potter says:

    Yes, it’s absolutely crazy that F1 isn’t already broadcast in HD. What sort of a world is it where you can watch Eggheads on HD, but not Formula One?!

    F1 has a real problem with keeping up with new technology. Not being able to watch BBC F1 on the Internet in Europe or RTL F1 on the Internet in the UK is another thing. In the global village, we should be able to see what we want wherever we are. I have paid my TV Licence, after all!

    1. Knuckles says:

      You do not want to see F1 on RTL if you have access to BBC, trust me :)

      1. Luke Potter says:

        Quite right, I wouldn’t! But some Germans living in the UK might. What I mean is that I think we should be able to receive F1 in whichever language we want. Optimistic, yes. But also quite fair I think.

      2. James Allen says:

        That is a very good point

      3. Knuckles says:

        Well, it would also be beyond me why a German in UK would want to watch RTL instead of BBC. But yes, I agree with your general point that all these artificial restrictions, who help no-one, are not appropriate anymore in the Internet age. I would also hope that FOM stops the takedown notices for old race clips on Youtube. These snippets cannot reasonably be converted to money anymore, at least not directly. But they could serve the building of the fan base, higher-quality discussions on the F1 forums, and to develop or retain a sense of the sport’s history. If only FOM would get it and started working with the fans instead of against them.

  22. Paul Mc says:

    I’m not sure my eyes could cope with Eddie Jordan’s shirts in HD :)

  23. Matt says:

    Even minor sports are broadcast in HD now and i’m staggered why HD is still one of the last not to be in HD.

    I’m actually more surprised the sponsors haven’t kicked up a fuss about HD.

    There are many small sponsor logo/brands on the cars which are unreadable on TV – unless you know the brand and are familiar the that particular brand/logo so all that money the sponsor spends is all but wasted by millions of armchair viewers not be able to see what the logo/writing says.

    In HD these would be far more clear and readable and would be win/win for the sponsor and the viewer alike.

    1. Sebee says:

      Maybe that’s why we don’t have HD – they don’t want to take value away from the big logos. If you could be seen for 1/6 of the price maybe you wouldn’t pay for big space on cars?

  24. Michael Grievson says:

    Nothing will happen as long as Bernie is in charge. He needs to open his eyes to the world around him.

    What F1 needs is someone who is ready to take the sport into the 21st centuary

  25. Bill Johnson says:

    It is a farce to tout oneself as the ‘pinnacle of motor racing technical achievement’ and display that in low-res TV. NASCAR and Indy are HD, Bernie – pinnacle? well, maybe in some little island kingdom with unicorns and fairies…

  26. Aaron James says:

    I think it depends on what is defined as ‘mobile content’. Until recently and the explosion of internet connected smart phones, mobile content has been naff wap pages, or pricey push text messages.

    If there is a compelling offering (like the f1 timing app) there’s a growing market there. But the price has to be right. And so far it hasn’t (nor has the services).

  27. parthi says:

    For those looking for a copy of the pdf:

    http://journal.autosport.com/2010/week24/2010%20F1%20Survey%20results.pdf

    I thought I rembered voting on popularity of drivers/tracks, but unfortunately its not published.

    1. A-P says:

      Driver/track popularity came out early, see http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2010/03/ferrari-tops-poll-as-fans-favourite/
      though I never saw the full details, myself.

  28. russ says:

    but as usual not a thing will be done.
    The fans have spelled it all out for the establishment.it seems clear what the fans want.But instead we will hear,wait a minute-
    passing isnt needed in f1-internet? we dont need internet-theses silly fans-they dont need hi-def……

  29. DavidC says:

    FOM has well and truly dropped the ball on HD. NASCAR has been available in HD for several years while “the pinnacle of motorsports” is still not? As others have said, this should be a no-brainer.

    I agree with Adam, in that I suspect that this comes down to Bernie, since I can’t believe that FOM doesn’t have some bright people who understand “new” technologies. He’s probably just refusing to offer something without being (over)paid for it.

  30. MacG says:

    If you want overtaking, you have got to create more than one racing line and insist that each driver uses the different racing lines at least XX times in each race.

    All you need is some white paint – just like the pitlane exits – and we’d have wheel to wheel battles all the time.

  31. Wally says:

    If there was a way that FOM could have made money out of HD then we`d have had it ages ago.
    The problem as I see it , is that because FOM have taken responsibility for filming each grand prix with their own cameras and personnel , it just does`nt make any financial sense to bin their SD equipment for HD stuff and retrain their people how to use it.
    If the host nation broadcaster was responsible,as it once used to be, then we`d be watching ( those of us with satellite ) F1 in HD.

    1. JR says:

      As a TV professional I can tell you that there’s virtually no retraining needed and there’s a ready market for decent SD gear. With F1′s coffers it’s relative peanuts to go HD.

    2. I wonder if the hardware being used by FOM is the same hardware that was originally bought for and used by FOCA Television before that service was terminated?

  32. Carl Craven says:

    James, love the banner photo for the Canadian GP that you are using.

    Would make a great shot for the coverage.

  33. S-D says:

    I’d be happy if they could just stream the current feed online and worldwide. I’d pay. Anything else is gravy.

  34. AlexBookoo says:

    I don’t really care about HD. Besides Jonathan Legard, there’s only one thing that annoys me about F1 coverage, and that’s when they cut away from the track for a 10 second shot of some inanimate person in the garage.

    The biggest improvement to the way I consume F1 was finding this blog. That sounds sycophantic but it’s true! It’s so much more interesting when you know what’s going on behind the scenes. And why do people hate the politics? F1 is never more exciting than when there’s some controversy that spills over onto the track.

  35. russ parkin says:

    im with alot of people here it seems like someone puts these surveys out for a joke, nothing is ever done. they need to man up and change the structure. f1 thinks its big but it just takes the odd stewarding error/attack or a snoooooze fest like bahrain to turn people away. and i personally feel f1 thinks its above its fans. the fact is im dedicated to the core and i have been close to walking away from f1 so i cant imagine how mnay ‘casual viewers’ have been lost. p.s. james your earlier post to the guy who said about making an app. i have 0.59p ready for a j.a. app. get it done sharpish

    1. James Allen says:

      Well there is an event coming up which will disprove your theory. Keep your eyes peeled and make sure you get a place on the event

  36. Jon says:

    Two points…

    One about technology for the fans (HD, ability to listen to team radio live on official site, ability to watch whichever onboard car you like etc). Here’s a simple one.. internet live timing that shows 3 decimal places for the sector times, and the ability to view all laptimes by right clicking on the drivers name. That’s a rather simple one that could help alot.

    These aren’t groundbreaking things, USA does alot of these things already. F1 in the pinnacle on the racetrack, but in terms of technology and coverage it’s still in the dark ages.

    Two, the seperation between casual fans watch the TV coverage, who don’t understand the strategies that well etc. And the hardcore fans who follow live timing more then the TV screen during the race. And understandings things that are happening as they happen, almost as much as the teams do (given limited data the fans have available to them).

    You could say “hardcore fans are already hooked, don’t need to worry about them”. I think it must have taken Redbull by surprise, the fan reaction after Turkey. We are not idiots.

    I can also remember sometimes where a driver retires from failure or a crash and makes it sound like they were headed to the podium. Where alot of people know they were headed for 1 or 2 points at best.

    It seems it takes the teams a little by surprise. Alot of F1 fans are very intelligent and can follow lots of different cars strategies and can tell who was quicker or slower etc. And let’s face it, when there is a procession it’s not that hard to do. The internet is probably the main reason.

    Every season there seems to be increasing blogs which really enhance knowledge of the sport.

    Should F1 try to cater to these fans, or the ones who don’t watch at all? To that I say, if F1 wants to be the pinnacle, it should be at least on par with MotoGP, NASCAR, Indycar in terms of the website, HD, etc etc.

    The biggest priority to me is the “product” on track. Overtaking yes, but more then that.. unpredictability of the results. A reason to keep watching.. this years regulations are a step in the wrong direction in my opinion. Too much conserving, and not enough variables that can mix up the order. I propose that last race would have been just as exciting if they were all 2 or 3 stopping. That is something that I think all sections of the fanbase can appreciate.. the ability to force the viewer not look away or change the channel.
    Some circuits are better then others, and on the bad circuits there needs to be variables to mix it up. Either that, or get sprinkler systems for the track on the warmup lap.

    One thing that really influences F1 is history and culture. F1 is almost like a European religion. In that for alot of people, they grow up with their father watching it, and it rubs off on them and becomes ingrained on them. Alot of F1 fans have been watching for a long long time. It doesn’t seem boring to them, because they are used to it. And are also used to 0-0 draws in football. It really seems like one of those sports to me.. where you need to be introduced to it. It’s got history and it’s a complicated technical sport and it’s hard to get newcomers to really appreciate it in depth.

    Adding more excitement is never a bad thing. I also notice alot of Euro vs USA vibes in F1. Both sides have their own way of doing things, and both sides think their way is right.

    To me more excitement is never a bad thing, and the best situation is probably a middle ground between the two. Both sides have good points and advantages to their way of doing things. I hope that in future, the two can merge together and there will be no feeling of superiority or cultural bias in terms of how things should be done.

    The fans and the sport as a whole will be the winner.

  37. JR says:

    Here’s an idea that will create more overtaking excitement for the viewer.

    Once an overtaking car is level, or its centre line is in front of that of the car being overtaken, if any collision between the two cars occurs it will automatically be deemed to have been caused by the overtaken car. And maybe the driver will automatically drop, say, ten points?

    My thinking is that once the overtaking car is ahead, the overtaken car has to make room and avoid a collision at all costs. It might seem unfair but on subsequent corners it’s now the following car that has the advantage of the rule. It should make drivers more likely to take the risk of trying to overtake, with reduced worry of being punted off.

    Just an idea!

  38. Andy C says:

    I don’t see how HD would improve the spectacle to be honest. I have sky HD and it’s good, but I doesn’t make me watch anymore.

    I do have an HD lg tv and they are great, bit I did chuckle about their survey. Who would have thought a prime advocate of HD would support a survey where high percentage of fans want HD. :-)

  39. Nilesh says:

    I hope Chad Hurley gets a deal and we get to see the races on YouTube. The sport which likens itself to the top echelons of technology has a very limited presence on the Web in this Internet Age. Fans should be able to view live streams of races in the same way as other global sports like tennis and soccer.

  40. Glen D says:

    F1 has totally dropped the ball by not getting F1 onto HD! It should have been one of the first things it didn’t and i ithink it’s an insult to the fans that they can watch many many other sports in HD, including most other forms of motorsport, but not F1

    FOM, Bernie, Jean, Max you should all be ashamed!!

  41. Bec says:

    I see FOTA again left out answers to questions that didn’t get the results they wanted.

    Where’s the ‘do you want shorter races’ question?

  42. Dieter says:

    F1 needs to see and look at WWE and Nascar how they made it big on the web, there are all these Pay Per View, video on demand. I think F1 has a big fear of adopting the web, if you look at stuff of how people are getting stuff from iTunes which can too host HD content. If you dont market or show of your stuff people will never turn up or hear of F1. The internet is accessed by tons of millions daily. F1 stuff has been poorly marketed, accessing F1 DVD’s for instance is very hard in most countries and they are either sold at car book shops who are scarce and secondly F1 related things are way overpriced, this again is why Apple iTunes sells millions of items because the content is affordable.

  43. Gary says:

    Here here to the accurate timings to be available … I’m fed up with being told that car x is gaining on car y, without knowing whether it’s because car x is going faster or because car y is going slower – the info is there for the commentators but they feel they have to spice it up a bit to try and make it exciting for the casual viewers …

    HD would be nice, but until they sort out the rules, accept that it is and always has been a team sport, get consistancy and transparancy on the rulings, and make it possible for a faster car to have a reasonable chance to overtake a slower car (drivers permitting ;-), then it will be just yet another money-making activity for them, and they won’t bother addressing the real issues

  44. Richard Elder says:

    I am working on some software that reads the data coming in through the live timing screen on formula1.com, and provides real time analysis, trends, predictions, charts, etc…

    I don’t really have any ambition to release it commercially (mostly because I would have a lot of lawyers knocking at my door). My reason is that I love betting on F1. I normally make a profit in about 75% of races but I am hoping my software will give me the edge.

    Win or lose, it’s an interesting project on a subject that I enjoy, maybe the formula 1 media guys can produce something similar, the data and has been available for them for years, and the internet provides an easy platform for them to deliver it.

  45. OppositeLock says:

    Bernie lost his shirt on his digital subscription TV service. (OK, for billionaire Bernie it was, maybe, a pair of socks.) He won’t jump into High Def until he is absolutely positive it will make him money, or at the very least not cost him any.

    Bernie, the world has gone HD. It’s no longer a luxury it is a necessity to keep a TV audience happy. Especially your core audience of F1 enthusiasts. Listen tot he fans. Listen to the sponsors. Join the 21st century…

  46. Alan says:

    ‘How many F1 GP races have you personally attended in the last 12 months?’

    Weighted Sample: 77.5 percent said ‘never’; Unweighted Sample: 75.7 percent said ‘never’

    Does anyone else think this shows a problem with ticket prices for some races?

    Silverstone’s website advertises the British Grand Prix from ‘£50 per person.’

    In fact, that only covers Friday Practice. If you want to see the race, you need to find £220; or £110 if you are a youngster.

    That’s more than quadruple the minimum price that the organisers tout of £50 to watch the same cars actually race each other on a *race*track…

    1. James Allen says:

      THey have plenty of seats left too, from the looks of things.

      1. Rafael L says:

        It’s rather silly that they’re so expensive.

        I’m already going to be paying plane tickets and hotel. It would be nice if the tickets weren’t ~300 US dollars.

        All in all, attending a race is ALREADY extremely expensive if you don’t live near a track. That’s not even including the overpriced ticket to the GP.

    2. OppositeLock says:

      And, once again teams are making noises about wanting shorter races. Does it make sense to go to a race, especially if you take the whole family, spend $300 USD or more to watch a race that lasts less than 2 hours? And now they want to make it shorter? While there are support races, seriously, are you all that entertained or interested in them? They fill time until the headline act appears. Indianapolis got good crowds because good seats could be had for under $100 USD. Somehow I don’t think that’s gonna happen in Austin…
      Good entertainment value?

    3. monktonnik says:

      Ticket prices are high, but compare it to a concert. 3 hours of music (if you are lucky) for £40 or three days of racing for £220. In terms of £/minute it isn’t that bad.

      I looked at going to the download festival this weekend. To get a hotel and ticket package was going to set me back £1700

      To be honest, if I hadn’t saved all my pocket money and couldn’t afford the full ticket price, I would consider going to the practice days at £50 a go

  47. Rich C says:

    The fact that I was able to watch the Indy 500 on my laptop and ride with any one of several drivers, all in real time, still staggers me. It was awesome.

    Why can’t F1 match this??

  48. Sterling Mindenhall says:

    I’ll say it: Bernie’s a dinosaur.

    I’m sorry, he did fantastic work of growing F1 into the global sport that it is, but it’s a sad, sad thing when James Allen does a far better job at leveraging the web than Bernie does. (If you’ll pardon the comparison, James.)

    While it isn’t necessary for Bernie to become a technophile, it is critical that he chooses someone who does understand tech, business, and the relationship between the two to head up those affairs. All signs point to him having not done so. [Bernie, I could be persuaded to leave my current post. Just FYI.] Virtually every other form of top-level motorsport does a better job of presenting the races, and any progress F1 makes in that regard is, almost without fail, years behind the times.

    And it’s pretty clear CVC hasn’t provided any firm direction in this area, either.

    And because no argument is sufficiently brilliant without supporting evidence: It’s partway through 2010 and we’re finally getting on-screen overlays telling us the position for which cars are battling.

  49. monktonnik says:

    I took the survey and I think it is positive that FOTA and F1 in general is reaching out to the fans.

    I think the comments about the “anticipation of overtaking” being more important are correct. Overtaking should be difficult, but the problem is that on some tracks it is nearly impossible. If next years regulations do not help overtaking then there ought to be a push to re-design the worst tracks (with the possible exception of Monaco) to include at least 2 opportunities.

    Technology is important. I actually can’t believe that the FIA has banned the F-Duct for next year. In the drive for a greener F1 surely this kind of thing ought to be standard on all cars? It is a way of going faster without burning more fuel, and judging by Petrov vs Hamilton a few races ago it doesn’t exactly hurt slipstreaming, so it seems to help overtaking. Banning it has really proved that FOTA is still a coalition of teams who look after themselves rather than the spectacle.

    As far as HD is concerned, I think it is something that must happen next year. The BBC promised this, and also the ability to follow the driver of your choice on the red button. Whilst you have a choice of drivers, it is not the whole field.

    Finally, to echo the comments of a few others; The BBC team has done a great job in carrying on from the ITV crew and even added some improvements. I love the F1 Forum, and even the insane ramblings of EJ and associated raised eyebrows of DC are a welcome site. But please BBC, get rid of Jonathan Legard. He doesn’t come across as being particulalry well informed and makes loads of mistakes. Watching the video of JA and MB going round Silverstone really brought home how important chemistry is too the commentary team. I know that James won’t be drawn on that opinion, but it does seem to be shared by many.

  50. Clay says:

    Hi everyone

    RE: HD, didn’t Fuji TV start testing HD at Suzuka back in 2006?? If so, what’s happened since then?

  51. Konstantin says:

    As a journalist couldn’t you put the argument: How can such a professional, technologically advanced sport not provide the basic needs for the sponsors? Such as HD broadcasts?
    Bernie: my money, I do I want with it.

  52. Nate says:

    If “they” can figure out how to shoot and broadcast point-to-point cycling in HD, why can’t they figure out how to broadcast the events of 5km circuit in HD?

  53. Sade Kassa says:

    this website is my intake , real good style and perfect articles .

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