F1 Winter Break
Fans Forum ready to go and here’s how you can follow it too
Fans Forum ready to go and here’s how you can follow it too
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Jun 2010   |  7:34 am GMT  |  48 comments

The FOTA Fans Forum, powered by Santander, takes place in London this Thursday at 1pm UK time.

Formula 1 fans will get the chance to meet face to face with leading figures from the sport at this groundbreaking event. It is a unique opportunity for the fans and the sport to come together and exchange ideas.

The panel for the 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 and Paul di Resta test and reserve driver, Force India F1 team.

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. I will act as the moderator of the discussion.

We asked fans to apply for the 150 places last week on a first come first served basis and we were very oversubscribed. The places were more or less filled within 24 hours.

For those who are not able to be there on Thursday, you can still follow the action in real time starting at 1pm UK time and soon after the event you will be able to watch the discussions and add your voice to the debate.

If you go to http://twitter.jamesallenonf1.com/fanforum you will be able to see what’s being said via a live Twitter feed from fans, journalists and team personnel at the venue. Tweet your views and comments to @jamesallenonf1 and we will take a look at the comments at the venue as we go along.

After the event the content will be released in video chapters via You Tube. We will post the videos here on the JA on F1 site and you can leave your comments, which will be passed on to the Formula 1 teams.

The idea came from the comments section on this site. We’ve regularly taken fans’ questions and suggestions 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.

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Is it being shown live on the web?


I’m one of the lucky ones and am looking forward to tomorrow! Hope it’s not going to be too stage-managed.

James, thanks for organising. For the next one, perhaps you could summarise all the online questions and let those people who can’t attend vote for the one(s) they’d like to see asked and answered.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Hi James,

Just wanted to say that i cant wait for the event tomorrow, really lloking forward to putting the fans view to those responsible for the f1 “show”!


I am also one of the lucky ones going, looking forward to it.

Also thanks to James and to everyone else involved in setting up this event and giving up their time to do it.


hi James – I submitted 3 questions.. can you tell me which one I will be asking?

thx b


Well, my last comment doesn’t go well with the steward. I dunno what’s wrong with it. It’s just that I’m gay about the ‘real time’ ie live streaming. Am I wrong about it?


I hope someone raises a point about the safety car rules.

If I am correct, 2009 introduced new SC rules due to refueling. Now that refueling is gone, perhaps the pit lanes should once again close during SC period?

The current ruleset puzzles me a bit: we saw Ferrari more or less get punished for doing well in the race before the SC period.

I think what I mean is clear but in case we’re not on the same page this is what I mean: Ferrari were in 3rd and 4th place (respectable race pace) but were sort of “screwed over” for passing the pit entrance before SC was announced. The result was that all the midfield teams were able to pit while Ferrari had to do an entire lap before pitting again. We all know how that changed their afternoon…

However, had the pits been closed then NO ONE would have been able to pit and in fact the running order would have remained intact.

I feel like maybe the old rules were more fair?


I too am one of the luck ones attending on Thursday, i’m really looking forward to it, again a big thank you to you James for organisng the event. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Romeo ( MEX in USA)

James I want to thank you for everything you do for F1, and for this blog. Maybe you could one day create special discussions on things that could improve competition. I want “Canada” style tire changes, even more steps in the tires and 8 to 15 lap tires. 5 to 6 tire changes per team would create a strategy war. Thank you Again, and good luck in the forum.


Hi James, I have a question that id like you to put forward to Fota, not necessarily in London but maybe sometime in the paddock as its something i feel very feel strongly about.

As a passionate fan of F1 i would love to go to as many race as possible but today’s ticket prices just dont allow this, Fota talked about this a year ago with their breakaway threat but nothing materialised.

With the impending cost cuts this is an area F1 could really give something back, hope i havent rattled on too much but i just feel very frustrated as many other fans do that its no longer affordable to go multiple races.



James – Could you ask about re-implementing the 2007-2008 Safety Car rules, with the pit lane being closed until the cars are formed up behind the SC?

That rule would have eliminated most of the problems with the Valencia SC period, and now that refueling is banned we don’t have to worry about cars having to pit while the pits are closed in order to not run out of fuel.



I am lucky enough to be going on thursday & i can’t wait! one question though – my question was regarding tyre supply which has since changed/confirmed – can i re-word my question for it to be relevant or ask a question on another subject?




I wish I had known about it sooner, but with current commitments, I can’t make it down there, so didn’t apply.

James, have you considered a system for submitting questions by people that can’t make it, in case someone who isn’t there may have a really insightful question, you could pick say 5 questions and ask them yourself, time allowing?


What a fantastic event. I appreciate that you will post it on the Forum James.

I hope the fans respect the speakers and ask serious questions and not make it a “B and moan” session.


Hi james, really looking forward to this event, its a brilliant idea! In the email confirming my place it said not to use filming equiptment, are we allowed to do an audio recording or is that not allowed? Would be greatful to find out. Thanks again!



I submitted a question for which i got a response asking if i will be participating in the event. Unfortunately i do not live in the UK which did not make it feasible for me to attend. Do you have time allocated for questions gathered from your website from people who would not be making it?


I’m so jealous I can’t be attending this! Would be a great experience, it shows how far our sport has come and that FOTA really do want to listen to the fans.

James do you think this will be a one off event or do you think there may be another similar event in the near future (i sure hope so!).


Im lucky too and will be there. I must have lucked in by checking the website shortly after the invitation went up. Im really glad to be part of something F1 in what is a largely intimate gathering. Thanks James for setting the wheels in motion for this.



Flying into London to attend this meeting while the misses goes shopping in Oxford St, perfect!


Managed to nab a place, looking forward to it!!

@howardhughes are you operating undercover or something?


James I was going to ask you to sign my copy of your book….but you already have!


Hi James

Thank you for a very informative and authoritative website; always highly enjoyable reading.

I just wanted to make a small comment about the heading image of your Euro Grand Prix item for Valencia. I know you are a linguist and I wonder if you delberately chose that road sign in the centre for ironic effect. It gives a minimum speed limit apparently of 98 km/h. No problem for our F1 drivers, I think!

Keep up the good work.



I’m one of the lucky few going and can’t wait. For those who can’t make it, if you think you have a better question than me then reply to this with it…


Brilliant effort to get this to happen, James. It’s just a shame that no-one from the FIA is going to be there; they, more than anyone, need to hear what the fans want, like and dislike.

Maybe next time?


Ah well.. there is going to be a senior FIA figure there.


Done. Thanks.


Looking forward to this – should be fun


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