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Fans get a chance to talk to the sport face to face
Posted By: James Allen  |  21 Jun 2010   |  6:20 pm GMT  |  131 comments

Formula 1 fans are to get the chance to meet face to face with leading figures from the sport, team principals, engineers and drivers at a groundbreaking event in London.

The FOTA Fans Forum, powered by Santander is a unique opportunity for the fans and the sport to come together and exchange ideas.

The idea came from the comments section on this site. We’ve regularly taken fans’ questions and points and put them to people in the sport. Now this event, organised in conjunction with the Formula One Teams Association, goes one step further and brings fans even closer to the sport. It offers the chance to engage face to face with key decision makers from the pit wall and to have your voices heard.

The panel for the July 1 event is led by Martin Whitmarsh, FOTA chairman and team principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and features Tony Fernandes, team principal of Lotus Racing, Jock Clear, Senior Race Engineer, Mercedes GP Petronas F1 team, Luca Colajanni, Head of Motorsport Press Office, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Paul di Resta test and reserve driver, Force India F1 team.


The free event will start at 1pm. Taking the form of a 90 minute discussion in a “Question Time” format in the theatre at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, in London’s Piccadilly, fans will have the opportunity to ask questions and to offer their points of view on all the key talking points in the sport at the moment.

With the Santander British Grand Prix taking place a week later the revised Silverstone circuit is sure to be one of the topics under discussion, but it’s up to you the fans to set the agenda; Team orders, overtaking, new circuits? What’s on your mind?

If you would like to attend the Fans Forum, there are 150 places available on a first come first served basis. The event is free. All you have to do is register your email address and the question you would like to ask on the day. Attendees will be notified in due course.

Everyone who signs in on the day will be entered into a draw for three stunning prizes, including a ride in the Santander 2 seater GP car with Martin Brundle and tickets for the Grand Prix. The winners will be drawn during the event.

To find out more details and to register for a place click here FANS FORUM APPLICATIONS

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131 Comments
  1. zidane the great says:

    I have idea which could be considered now when there are lot more points in the race. How about 1 point for fastest lap and 1 point for pole? And points wouldn’t be awarded for last 2 or 3 races so that those points don’t decade championship. We could see some banzai laps at the end of the races, maybe even new strategies for smaller teams and even more dramatical qualifications.

    1. DC says:

      I’ve always liked the idea of a point for pole and fastest lap, but to help with the issue of a championship being decided before the race, I think the driver should have to finish the race in order for the points to apply, in the same way that they would for the race points to apply. That way, they still earn them by racing. That could make the fastest lap point very interesting if a championship was close!

      I think the main criticism to this is that it may complicate the points system for casual viewers of the sport…i don’t agree with this point of view myself, but i’ve heard it mentioned.

      1. Paul Kirk says:

        I agree with you, DC, and I think the “great Zidan” has some good pionts! Good on him.
        PK.
        Btw, I hope the “powers that be” consider your suggestions and act on them!

      2. Stephen Pattenden says:

        That is a genius idea – points only valid if the driver finishes the race – love it.

      3. Or even better, for the extra points to apply the driver has to finish the race IN THE POINTS.

        How fussed is the casual viewer about points? I occaissionaly watch BTCC and rallying. Don’t have a scooby how the points system works but still enjoy it!

      4. DC says:

        That may be valid too. You might get an extreme situation where a point from Pole is all you need to win the championship regardless of what anyone else does, so you just turn your engine down and trundle around until you finish and earn your pole point to win…that wouldn’t be very exciting. But that is an extreme example I guess.

      5. Henry says:

        Yes, I do agree with both Zidane and DC, I have read alot of chat about this idea and I think it would be great – definitely support the idea of points only given to drivers that finish the race, but I dont think it should only be applied to those in the points already – there can be spins etc, pit stops, collisions that dont stop a driver’s race but the car can still continue to compete, in which case the fastest lap or pole should still be valid.

        Casual viewers wont mind much about the points, and ultimately these points are not going to have a huge impact, unless the competition is very close in the first place and towards the end of the season. Also the points should be valid all the way through the season, not disallowed for the last races – we want the cars to fight for these points, I’d be happy to see it decided on qualifying, it would force drivers to take more risks and really push the whole way through the season.

        I would also like to see a couple of official awards, prizes not championship points, for drivers who complete the most overtakes for position, etc, in the vein of ‘golden boot’ for footballers – make it a viable cash prize or trophy, but with enough attention and kudos to encourage drivers to think about it! Maybe the driver can have a symbol on his car for the following season.

        Finally, would it not be fun to have a little patch on the car, (I know this would be complicated with sponsorship but…) which can be used for various colours/stripes, in the vein of the yellow/green etc jerseys in the Tour de France; championship leader, most poles so far, best overtaker, most fastest laps, etc. Something to make it a little more interactive for the fans, a fun talking point, which doesn’t put out the teams or sponsors. Again, could have a small but official prize at the end of the season!

    2. Austin K says:

      The problem with that is that nowadays the fastest lap isn’t really a fair contest- it often goes to the guy who, for one reason or another, gets a new set of tyres towards the end of the race!

      If there was a point for the fastest lap, then you would see the guys in 11th/12th pit in the last couple of laps to get a new set of tyres, and then bomb around the track for the final laps like qualifying.

      1. DC says:

        I hadn’t thought of that. Good point. Although it would give something back to the mid pack teams and it would still encourage competition! I guess the question is, would that example be entertaining?

        I think it might be! But the fastest lap race within a race might not be what everybody would want to see…

      2. Stevie P says:

        And what’s wrong with that? Maybe it might force someone at the front to pull a fast one out too, as they need that all important “fast lap” point and as a consequence make a mistake… or blow their engine… or their brakes go. Oh, of course, those infernal back-markers were in the pesky way ;-)

        I loved Vettel asking near the end of Canada, what the fastest lap was… quickly told to “forget it” by the team :-(

        But as others say above, maybe you have to finish (and maybe in the points) to collect the extra fast lap point? Or you give a fast lap point, to the fastest lapper from the points-scorers?

      3. Henry says:

        But surely that is something worth seeing? surely better than simply sitting in position waiting to cross the line?

      4. zidane the great says:

        banzai laps like I sad;) It would bring some drama at the end of the race

      5. GP2 had the same issue a couple of years back, but then drew a regulation whereby those in the top 10 could only get the fastest lap point.

    3. Robert Keating says:

      I love the idea. I just recently raised it for discussion with Bob Varsha from Speed (by that you can tell I am a Yank).
      But include in the rules for the point for fastest lap,perhaps something like;
      The point for fastest lap of race cannot be used to decide the championship during say the last two or three races.

    4. BMG says:

      That’s a great idea. But I think it should be for all races and only for Pole.

      1. DC says:

        an interesting point is do we make it so they have to reach the checkered flag, or just gain classification?

        An example here is Lewis’ race in spain. I believe he got the fastest lap in that race, but then of course his wheel rim failed on the penultimate lap, so he was classified as 14th but he didn’t reach the checkered flag… Should he have gained the point for fastest lap in our new system?

        Just thinking through the details of the system…

      2. BMG says:

        Well no! he would not because he did not get pole. If you ask the driver what’s more important, pole or fastest lap. I think they would say pole. So it should be rewarded.

  2. James W says:

    So want to apply but cant go as I’m in Le Mans taking part in a 24hr kart race. Cant knock that event, a great laugh! But all the same, I hope there are more opportunities like this later in the year =)

    1. Paul Kirk says:

      How can you race a kart for 24 hours, James W.? I would expect a lot of stuf to crack, or loosen up!
      PK.
      Good luck anyway.
      Let us know how you got on.

      1. Henry says:

        I would expect the driver to crack or loosen up! unless the carts being used are rather special!

      2. Stevie P says:

        I’ll second that… good luck James W! :-)

        Hey, it’s not tag-team karting or some relay event with a baton, is it? ;-) “Oh no, they’ve dropped the baton!!!” Ha ha. Sorry, blame the weather… the sun always sends me doo-lally.

      3. James W says:

        I wont be racing the whole 24 hours, but it is possible to race a kart for 24 hours. In fact, I believe the world record is 77 hours for karting.

        Karts have to be serviced after 8 and 16 hours to check for any signs of damage or things about to come loose. Teeside Karting, the people who are supplying the karts to the “hire” teams have excellent karts and have a great team checking them over. I’ll be in safe hands =)

      4. iceman says:

        Indeed, like teeth and vertebrae for example :)

  3. Deepan says:

    Wow! Great initiative from Santander.. Hoping that the first person to comment is also considered, just in case I missed the first 150 cut :-)!

    1. BiggusJimmus says:

      The moderator killed you Deep. Bad luck, mate. Maybe you should complain to the stewards.

    2. Axcel says:

      What an amazing scoop James – how did you manage to put this all together!? Gutted that I’m not going to be able to make it, I’d love the opportunity to meet these guys, will you be doing another? Is this going to be a regular JA on F1 event? If so – can I get my name down for that one!!? Keep up the good work!!

  4. Banjo says:

    Fantastic! Just goes to show how highly rated this site is amongst the F1 paddock and F1 fans a like.

    Good work James.

  5. ashley edwards says:

    A few years ago this would never happen. Nice to see them become more open to the fans.

  6. Farah Ahmed says:

    Are FIA rules making it harder for teams to innovate and develop the cars?

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks but please submit your question on the application form for places by clicking on the Fans Forum tab at the top of the homepage

      1. Alex Cooper says:

        James,

        This sounds like a great event, and one that I’d be prepared to travel the length of the country for. However I can’t make this date.

        Does this or any future event have the capacity for non-attendees to ask questions?
        Thanks.

    2. Kakashi says:

      very good question.. m curious to hear from FOTA if this gets through

  7. Feb says:

    that’s a very good opportunity for fans, i envy the attendants already :)
    and the big picture shows that formula 1 has started to – sort of – “descend” toward the public more often.
    i just wish i could be more ‘mobile’..

  8. notimportant says:

    “150 places available on a first come first served basis. The event is free. All you have to do is register your email address and the question you would like to ask on the day. Attendees will be notified in due course.”

    which is it then?

    1. James Allen says:

      The first 150 people who wish to attend the event and who send in their entries will get a place. We will let those 150 people know who they are in due course.

      1. notimportant says:

        My apologies, I didn’t understand from the text you’d combined attendance at the physical venue with the conceptual Fans Forum.
        Sounds like a good opportunity.

  9. tank says:

    This is an amazing opportunity. A great pity I’ll be half a world away when it takes place! Will there be more events like this one?

    Kudos for continually writing content-rich articles.

    1. James Allen says:

      What country are you in?

      1. Frenchie says:

        Likewise. Very tough for Australian residents to attend. :-)

        James: any chances of recording this Q&A session and posting it on youtube or vimeo? This would take the sport even closer to the ‘international’ fans.

        Alternatively, if Tony wouldn’t mind flying me from OZ with AirAsia…

      2. Kakashi says:

        i so wish there is a similar event at next years OZ race.. i m even willing to pay to be in such an event…

      3. Liam says:

        It would be great if you could record it, video or audio. Australia is too far away from F1 most of the time :(

        Silly question, I know, but if I were able to attend, I would ask – no, demand – the grand prix to be back in Adelaide.

      4. tank says:

        South Africa, but planning a trip to Europe to see the Belgium GP this year. Now that I can afford it, I’m hoping for many more grand prix visits in the future.

  10. Joss says:

    Nice to see this, hope we can get some good information about where F1 is going and how key decisions are made.

  11. David Smith says:

    James.

    Do you pick the best questions and then send them on to be answered?
    What happen re the mechanics raft race in montreal was it correct that only 2 teams entered? A sorry sign of the times in F1…

    1. Henry says:

      Only williams and lotus entered. Williams took the win! yes It was a shame there were so few entries, lets cross our fingers for next year!

      1. Stuey says:

        Mike Gascoyne disputed the win in an interview on the BBC as he felt the Williams team had entered with a canoe and not a raft!

        James, perhaps you can check if the teams need to set up a further technical working group so they can enter rafts next year that don’t have too much of a performance advantage!?!

  12. Mark Rollings says:

    What can the panel say to asure the fans that F1 will remain the pinacle of technological development for the automotive industry – in particular, how does an engine development freeze, chassis & aero rules and so much regulation on dimensions help, other than short term financially?

    1. James Allen says:

      Please submit this on the form on the Fans Forum page

  13. Mark V says:

    That’s pretty conclusive proof you’re doing some fine work here James. I have a question for you, I hope it does not seem intrusive: I am well acquainted with “sweat equity” so I can imagine how much work it is to get the stories, monitor the comments and continually develop this site with “key upgrades” coming at a regular pace. Do you get any sleep?

      1. krampa says:

        James, the issue is not whether you get any sleep but how much sleep you get and how much time do you get to bond with your son?

        Thanks a lot for the effort you put in!!

  14. Luke A says:

    Arghhh, I would have loved to come to that event, I really like the political based question time and therefore an F1 style question time would be amazing!

    Unfortunately, I am on holiday with my girlfriend in Croatia from the 26th of June – the 3rd of July.

    James, well done for helping to arrange such a innovative and fan-based event. Do you think that they may run a similar event again if it is a success?

    1. James Allen says:

      Too bad. I’m sure your girlfriend is happy anyway. Have a great holiday!

      1. Luke A says:

        Thank you!

        Ahh yeah, we will both be glad to get away, im in the thick of it with the MSc im doing in Software Engineering and so it’s a welcome break before I have to start my summer project.

        Keep up the good work.

  15. Luke A says:

    Another question, will they be showing the event on TV? or streaming it online? I would really enjoy to watch it and see what questions are asked and how the panel answer them. :)

    1. James Allen says:

      We will give more details on this soon

      1. Howard Hughes says:

        Oh dear. I was fortunate enough to get a place on this, but I’m not sure I’d go if was being filmed for broadcast…

      2. James Allen says:

        Please let us know if you wish to cancel. We have many fans who have missed the cut

    2. like2cf1 says:

      ‘streaming it online’…eh, wonderful idea. Just flash it, hopefully the server and the associates could take it.

    3. Kakashi says:

      great idea!!!

  16. Darren says:

    James a few of us live in a land far far away, and as such can’t make the event so can you ask a few questions on our behalf. Mine would be.

    To Tony Fernandes, can you tell us what you are going to do to celebrate when you regularly beat Ferrari? Also are you going to push for a rule change for force Ferrari into GP2/3 when they fall to the back of the grid or will you welcome them and hope they improve over the coming years?

  17. Colm says:

    Great, well done! Can you post their best answers afterwards?

  18. Anil says:

    What a great idea! Shame I can’t go as I’ve already made plans but it just goes to show how we are moving forward, this would never have happened a few years ago!

    James do you reckon this Q&A session will be able to be watched online? I’m sure there are loads of people out there who would love to wath this, it’s a quality idea.

    1. James Allen says:

      We have plans, which we’ll reveal shortly

  19. Alan says:

    So, in this “Question Time” format, will you be assuming the role of David Dimbelby, James? :)

    I’ll bet a panel of Ron Dennis, Max Mosely, Flavio Briatore and Luca di Montezemolo would be fun to chair :)

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, I will be doing the moderating role

  20. Noahracer says:

    I don’t believe the sport talks, does it?

  21. Ed says:

    It sounds fascinating, and I am coincidentally landing in London at about 12pm, but that won’t quite give me enough time to get there unfortunately.

    I echo the thoughts of uploading either a video or transcript to the web, or planning more of these in the future.

  22. ozzmosis says:

    Very cool, James. I’m in Australia so can’t make it, but if possible a podcast of this would be great.

  23. Adrian says:

    Hi James,

    I think this is a great idea, but it’s a shame it’s on a weekday as a great many fans (including me) work weekdays so wouldn’t be able to attend.

    Do you know whether there would be any plans to run another one in the UK but on a weekend so fans who work full time could have a chance to attend?

  24. Alexey R. says:

    Its great step to funs. Really nice. I’m glad to hear about it but in my country only some people with good income can visit London.
    Maybe in the future it will be nice to see the same in Eastern Europe or Russia.

  25. Spyros says:

    Great idea James. If commercial factors determine many aspects of the sport, it is nice to know that the fans are also considered. I hope it takes off and we see more events like it take place.

  26. Bec says:

    FOTA should have an online forum, not a forum for a select few, who they’ll hope will be on message with their bizarre ideas about shortening races and filling the grid up with guest drivers in Ferraris.

    It’s all style over substance from FOTA … Again.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think that’s a bit harsh. They are reaching out to fans, engaging with them and listening to their thoughts. The content of the forum will be made widely available online soon after the event.

      1. Bec says:

        Not reaching out far or wide enough.

        Asking for questions in advance so they can cherry pick the ones that will put their message across best.

        Once again FOTA are looking for ways to manipulate the F1 fans, look how loaded most of the questions were in their questionnaire, and how they released only the answers they wanted to release … No sign of the ‘much shorter races’ question or response when they released the data, I wonder why? Were the answers not ‘on message’ enough.

        All style over substance.

      2. James Allen says:

        …er, it’s me who asked people to submit the questions so I can plan the flow of the discussion…

  27. gaz909 says:

    Cracking idea again James. Once again you are ahead of the curve and time and time again demonstrating not just an insight, but an ability to actually get right at the heart of F1. Fantastic.

    PS. pick me!!

  28. simon jacobs says:

    James, Santander and FOTA – congratulations to you all for finally giving us fans a platform to speak from! I just hope my boss allows me to take a day off to participate next Thursday in this unique and very rare opportunity! Good on you all.

    SJ

  29. YuppieScum says:

    Call me an old cynic, but if it’s really “first come, first served”, then why

    (a) are you asked your question in advance?
    (b) are you not notified of your success in securing a place at the time you register?

    I would love to hear both LucaC and MartinW speak on Ferrari’s track test of the F10-Bspec as a “promotional event”, but given the registration process I don’t expect anything at all contentious to be asked.

    Shame, really.

    1. James Allen says:

      Because we don’t want endless emails so we ask for a question in the application. Plus we need to be sure that the people asking questions aren’t just asking questions but actually plan to attend the event. Inevitably there will be some who don’t get this and it would be wrong to instantly confirm a place to someone in Australia who would not be there on the day.

  30. Jim says:

    There’s a better way to improve the show. Change the regs that define the car to say, must pass existing safety tests and have a minimum of 4 wheels. Now show us what you can build. That would be fun to watch and would stop the squabbles over the regs…

    1. malcolm.strachan says:

      …then you’ll end up with 2000 horsepower cars with massive ground-effect tunnels and huge wings that give the drivers vertigo from all of the downforce. Speeds will be so high that current safety standards won’t cut it, and even modern tracks with massive run-off won’t be safe. “Well, limit the power somehow, and say that you can’t have ground effects tunnels”, you say. Now we’re starting to introduce rules again. They’ll be hunting downforce, just like now, and all of the cars will have such a massive aero-wake that following a car would be impossible. “Then limit the wings and the little aero devices”, you say. Now we’re back to square one, with very similar rules to now.

  31. James, when do you plan to confirm who will be attending as I’d need a few days notice to book holiday… as I’m sure a few other people need as well.

  32. Mark says:

    I saw on Autosport.com that the WMSC will be deciding on eliminating movable front wings in 2011 and going to movable rear wings. Although the Can-Am cars of old had them, why would they do this for modern formula 1? Straight line speed would increase but it would create nasty imbalances if it cannot be changed back in the same instance. I cannot imagine heading into a tight corner with a light back-end; the car would be monstrously oversteery. While this might get you past on the straight, you might be pointing in the wrong direction when the car you just passed dips inside you under breaking.

    What was the logic in this, do you know?

    1. malcolm.strachan says:

      The idea was that it is no different than the F-Duct in terms of reducing drag down the straights, but harnessed as yet another “push-to-pass” gimmick.

      The logic is totally flawed, as the only “overtaking” will be a drive-by 3/4 of the way down the straight, and will be more reminiscent of passing a lapped car than one for position. Who honestly gets excited about that?

      This whole idea of the drafting pass down a long straight into a tight corner hasn’t worked, otherwise every race held on a Tilke track would have been a scorcher. If they really want circuit and car design to improve overtaking (in both quantity and quality), they really need to work on figuring out how you can pass from corner to corner. Figuring out which combinations of corners and short straights encourage overtaking is what is needed. Look at the Canadian GP; a lot of overtaking was done on the short “straights” between the S-bends on the backside of the circuit. Almost none was done into the hairpin or down the straight before the final chicane.

      They should set up security cameras around the track, or put on-boards on all of the cars, and then analyse where the various passes are made and see if there is a common trend, such as corner-type, overtaking car, overtaken car, time of race, tire compound, etc. Do the statistics and then decide where to go from there.

      These silly drive-by pass gimmicks are pointless, and the “overtaking” we do see won’t be interesting. It seems like they are trying to cop out of doing some real homework on the issue.

  33. Ted the Mechanic says:

    Any chance of bringing it to New Zealand… :(
    Great idea though!

  34. Marc says:

    Love the idea. Spot on.
    I’m not really into going to events myself (and certainly not askin questions) but I will be 100% viewing whatever media relates to the outcome. btw IMO Martin Whitmarsh has to be one of the best TP this season regarding how open he appears to be after races (on the BBC forum).

    1. Harvey Yates says:

      Many of the team principals have made themselves available to BBC. It’s been a revelation this season, and a vast improvement. We even had the spectacle of three together.

      Fair enough they seemed a wee bit relectant to speak their minds but we did have Brawn say that, in essence, he regretted the Ferrari years of the one man team. He didn’t pass the buck either, but actually appeared to accept blame.

      Ron Dennis is something of a hero of mine but I can’t help wondering how much more sympathy a better television presentation might have generated for his team. I spoke with RD at Goodwood in a one-to-one for a few minutes and he was nothing like he is in public.

      Long may this availability of TPs continue. And, perhaps, develop.

      Whitmarsh does come over as a thoroughly decent chap who is also an F1 fanatic. Still, given how RD’s character changed dramatically for TV I expect Martin went straight from the interview and threw a gerbil on the barbeque.

  35. Bludd says:

    I get the mobile version of this site when I enter the front page and when I try to disable the mobile skin, it just reloads the mobile again.

    And I am not on a mobile so it is a bit annoying.

  36. Mark SYD says:

    Hey James – Not sure how to email you directly, but have you seen this footage of JV @ Road America in the Nationwide series?

    Really reminds me of his old man, ballsy moves with a damaged car!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz1L10hep2U

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks for sharing that

    2. Scott says:

      You really notice just how good British motor sport commentators are when you listen to their American counterparts!

  37. Alam Z says:

    This is a fantastic event and one the f1 fans really do appreciate. I for one really do. I hope I can secure my spot. ;-)

    I would like to see a test drivers charity race on the Friday in lotus sports cars. This would improve the show. Seeing the test drivers have at it.

    1. Harvey Yates says:

      My age might be catching up with me here, after all I logged on to Confused.com for reasons other than insurance. But do I remember seeing team princals racing in Escorts? There’s a vague image of Frank Williams and Colin Chapman swopping paint.

      Around 1970 or so and it would have been at Brands.

      Perhaps I’ll ask the nurse for some more pills.

  38. Nando says:

    How about limiting the amount KERS is used, say you’d get to use 20 times a race or something. The way it was last season the cars would largely cancel out each other when using it at the same times, it would introduce another strategic element for the drivers.

    1. James says:

      My question when applying for a place at the event was very much along these lines.

  39. Andy C says:

    James,

    I initially thought I could make this and I then checked my work diary today.

    gutted us not quite the word for it.

    Thanks for organising and sorry I can’t go.

    Keep up the good work!

      1. Andy C says:

        Absolutely.

        My question I would have asked is in relation to track choice. More and more f1 is going to emerging markets rather than picking the best places to go racing (as in best tracks and largest f1 support via fans etc)?Is f1 in danger of going to far down the route of satisfying sponsors at the expense of racing.

  40. Bec says:

    “…er, it’s me who asked people to submit the questions so I can plan the flow of the discussion…”

    Ahh, that explains some of your replies then.

    My advice would be to supply a question FOTA will want to use, then ask one that will put them on the back foot.

    This ‘question time’ format is for politicians, and who trusts them?

  41. Ashley says:

    Hi James,

    Got an email from Simon Wittenberg regarding the event can I just check that is legitimate as the companies website when searched from Google is blocked by Firefox and Chrome as it tries to install spyware, going to the actual address is fine.

    Thanks,

    Ashley

    1. James Allen says:

      It is legitimate. He is working with me on the organisation of the event. Thanks

  42. Banjo says:

    Just confirmed my attendance. Can’t wait!

  43. Nico says:

    I’m on the other side of the planet this month so cannot attend, but I would love for someone to take my place and ask:

    Why can’t F1 shareholders work together to deliver a logical bodywork and aero framework to promote overtaking?

    Instead we see the FIA repeatedly introducing band-aid solutions such as the CDG wing, adjustable wing elements, and they completely nullified the overtaking working group’s improvements for the 2009 season by green-lighting the double diffuser concept.

  44. Craig says:

    Confirmed my attendance yesterday! :) Just waiting for the event details. I cant wait…

    PS. Trains are a rip off but im willing to pay £120 return to spend a day in london and speak to the FOTA panel.

  45. Ben says:

    Hi James,

    Great to see such events happening, when do you think we’ll likely hear if we’re one of the lucky few?

    Thanks

    1. James Allen says:

      You are in. I believe the emails are going out very shortly. We have been very oversubscribed. It really is first come first served

  46. Jamie says:

    Hi james, i recieved an email asking to confirm i could attend and send my mobile number, as yet i’ve heard nothing, how long will it be before they get in touch, thanks

    1. James Allen says:

      You are confirmed. You should get an email shortly. Thanks for your support and see you there!

      1. Shane says:

        I spoke to Simon yesterday after getting my email, am really looking forward to the event, i wouldn’t miss it for the world, well done for getting it put together.

      2. James Allen says:

        Thanks, it should be fun

  47. Nilesh says:

    James,

    You are fantastic! I got an invite yesterday and have written back. This is how the sport gets fans for life. I’m on the other side of the pond in the US so I don’t think I’ll be able to get visa et al ready in time. I hope that my question is asked even though I’m not able to make it.

    Here is the question in any case and it would be great if you could give us your take on it:

    Rule changes v/s Track changes -

    Some circuits on the calendar more often than not produce scintillating races irrespective of the weather or the set of rules for that year. Should the FIA and teams get together and focus on changing the other tracks rather than change the rules every year? How much input do the teams and drivers currently provide to the FIA about changes to existing tracks and during construction of new ones?

    Track changes may end up costing less than the costs incurred by teams with rule changes at the end of every year. Also, the sport would be less confusing for the average fan who would not have to keep relearning the rules all over again.

    1. James Allen says:

      We will take some remote questions on the day, time permitting, so thanks for that.

      1. Nilesh says:

        Thank you. Hope we get to watch a streaming broadcast.

  48. madjon88 says:

    Hi James, when do we find out if we have been lucky? I replied to the email yesterday and am now just waiting! Thanks!

    1. James Allen says:

      An email goes out tomorrow. We were massively oversubscribed, but we did it first come first served as promised. As long as you got your confirmation in by 9am today you should be fine

  49. Matt Wilmshurst says:

    James, sorry to repeat a string of the same questions but wondering if i am down to attend the forum? My emails have been playing up. Congratulations regarding this, your time and effort put into this sport and the interaction with fans is second to none!

  50. Treebeard says:

    James, just to clarify the situation here. If we haven’t had an e-mail back now confirming attendance, i.e we only got an e-mail requesting we confirm out attendance, then can we assume that we didn’t make the final 150?

    1. James Allen says:

      No. The emails confirming a place are going out today to the first 150 who sent back the email you mention.

      1. Treebeard says:

        Ok thanks for the update, just got my confirmation e-mail come through.

        Looking forward to it!

  51. Alastair C says:

    James, I sent my question but judging by the comments on here I was probably too late. Gutted.

    Well done for organising it anyway, it sounds like an amazing opportunity to connect with the sport.

    If any spaces do become available, I live in London so could make it at short notice.

  52. Stephen Pattenden says:

    Just heard back from them – I’m in!

    I’m very much looking forward to meeting you in person James.

    Thank you so much for this unique opportunity.

    Steve

  53. roadie says:

    This is a fantastic initiative, thanks to James and FOTA. I’ll be there! :)

    1. James Allen says:

      ..and to Santander, who are sponsoring the whole thing

  54. Tom Cable says:

    What a FANtastic idea! Geddit????
    Just received email confirmation of my place at the fams forum. Great news!

    After sending my question in, I saved a copy on my laptop hard-drive, but regrettably this has just expired expensively.
    As my question was rather long and I cannot remember exactly how it was phrased, would it be possible for you to send me a copy of my question? Apologies for being a pain, but I don’t want to guess at what it was.
    The question was regarding the panel’s views about young drivers and possible changes to the testing limitations.
    I emailed Simon W, and he said you could remind me on the day, but I wondered if it would be easier before then, as you will be hugely busy at the event.

    Thanks for your help, apologies for adding to your workload, and sorry for being so forgetful!

    1. James Allen says:

      “With the difficulties experienced by drivers taking over mid-season, and the limitations imposed on testing favouring mature drivers with greater experience, would the panel be keen to change the regulations to allow new and reserve drivers to gain more experience within the cars and help develop new talent? If so, what regulation changes would they make to help bring the younger and less experienced drivers into the sport to minimise the possibility of them fairing badly on their debut, dissapointing their fans and potentially shortening their careers at the pinnacle of the sport?”

      1. Tom Cable says:

        Thanks James for your super-quick reply.
        Thought you would be too busy today with all the practice action.
        Phew, not surprised I forgot exactly how it went.
        Looking forward to seeing everyone at this great event.

      2. DanielH says:

        I’m sure I’m not the only person who can’t remember the exact wording of their question! Mine was about dropping the mandatory use of both types of tyre.

        See the other 149 of you there!

  55. TheWon4 says:

    FOTA,

    1. Flatten Concorde payments and stop using the Concorde as a glorified racing purse. It’s unprofessional and embarrassing way to conduct business. The current arrangement makes “cheating” the rules a wildly profitable endeavor. Maybe you should help combat that incentive.

    2. Impose a budget cap at a nice high figure that doesn’t disadvantage the strong teams, but still protects the likes of Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren, and Williams from the likes of Honda, Toyota, Ford, and Volkswagen. Let’s say 100m or 150m Euros. No more cryptic RRA agreements. If the cap is low enough, some factories might choose to run a clean livery so they can focus on racing instead of pandering to sponsors. WHAT A NOVEL CONCEPT!!!

    3. Continue to keep Bernie in line. Push for more commercial rights revenue.

    4. Continue the current homologation procedures.

    5. Leave the sport in better condition than when you found it.

    Do these things or fail. Myopic obsession with #3 and #4 is not acceptable anymore.

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