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F1 fan survey – High Definition TV and internet are key
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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this website is my intake , real good style and perfect articles .


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?


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.


Hi everyone

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


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.

Sterling Mindenhall

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.


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??


‘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…


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


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?


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


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.


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…


I am working on some software that reads the data coming in through the live timing screen on, 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.


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


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.


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?


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!!


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.


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. 🙂


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!


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.


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


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


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.


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


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

Would make a great shot for the coverage.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.

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